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Jewish Portuguese Citizenship for Spouses and Children


Michael Decker

This article addresses Jewish Portuguese citizenship for spouses and children of applicants. Some of our clients come to us and note that they or their spouse and children are not Jewish.  It is important to note that one can still apply for Portuguese citizenship as a descendant of Sephardic Jews (as many others have) even if the applicant, spouse and children are not Jewish.  

Addressing Jewish Portuguese Citizenship for Spouses and Children

Portuguese law grants citizenship to children of an applicant so long they are minors.  In order to apply for citizenship through marriage, the applicant must have been married to their spouse for at least three years (if they have children together) or 6 years when they apply.  Here are the steps:

Step 1: Registering a Marriage in Portugal

It is important to note that additional paperwork is involved in the process, but it is not too complicated, and we can assist with this.  First the applicant must register their marriage in Portugal. In order to do so, the applicant must supply their spouse’s birth certificate, a marriage certificate, and provide power of attorney so we can take the necessary steps on your behalf.  The birth certificate and marriage certificate must both have an apostille. This process takes about three months.

Step 2: Registering the Children

If the application for the spouse is successful, the children then need to be registered.  If the children are applying by Sephardic Portuguese Citizenship for Spouse and ChildrenLaw, then they need to complete the procedure we discuss in our article on documents needed for Sephardic citizenship.

If they are registering as minors, they need to provide the following documents: a birth certificate with an apostille, a copy of the child’s passport information, proof of connection to Portugal (like photos taken in Portugal, prove they belong to a Portuguese association, etc.), and power of attorney.  In order to prove a connection to Portugal, we have had clients who travel to Portugal with the purpose of taking photographs or who have enrolled in a Portuguese language course. Showing a link with Portugal is important to avoid being refused. This process takes about a year and a half.

Step 3: Registering a Foreign Spouse through Marriage

Once the marriage registration and registration of children are submitted, it is then possible to apply for a foreign spouse through marriage.  The applicant needs to provide the following documents: birth certificate with an apostille, criminal record with an apostille (from all the places the applicant has lived), Portuguese marriage certificate, true copy of passport with an apostille, and power of attorney.  This procedure takes about a year and a half.

What to Do If Your Country Does Not Provide an Apostille

In the event you live in a country that does not provide an apostille, you must turn to the Portuguese consulate nearest your residence to legalize the documents.  Once you have this, you can proceed.

This Series of Articles

In addition to this article on Jewish Portuguese citizenship for spouse and children of an applicant, our website provides further articles on Portuguese citizenship, including proving Sephardic Jewish heritage, the time and costs involved in applying for citizenship, applying with a criminal record, and more.  

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Our law offices, Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh, have over 30 years of experience in immigration law.  We would be pleased to help you with all your immigration needs.

Portuguese Citizenship for Spouse and Children

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