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Married to a Portuguese Citizen? You are Eligible for a Portuguese Citizenship Through Marriage!

Jordan Levy-Bograd

Sophie Cooperman

Oded Ger did an excellent job by reviewing a modeling contract I was offered. Explained the bad clauses in the contract, and their possible consequences. Thank you for your amazing job, your professionalism, your consultation and honesty. You showed me from your experience how it can be done differently. It was the best decision choosing you as my lawyer.
I highly recommend this firm, especially Oded Ger.

Can you acquire Portuguese Citizenship Through Marriage? If you are married to a Portuguese citizen, you are also eligible to receive citizenship. It does not matter where you are originally from. You do not need to have Sephardic descent, you do not need to be Jewish, you do not need to live in Portugal. You are currently eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship and get your EU passport. Contact us for help with obtaining a Portuguese passport for spouses.

Immigration laws are currently changing in Portugal. The government is reviewing their criteria on how people descended from Portuguese Sephardic Jews will obtain citizenship. However, the law has not  yet been changed with regard to the spouses of Portuguese citizens, or their minor children. The path to Portuguese citizenship by marriage remains open.Portuguese Citizenship Through Marriage

Who is Portuguese?

With so many articles on eligibility for Portuguese citizenship for those who are descendants of Sephardic Jews, many forget that there are more levels of eligibility for citizenship.

You may be considered a full Portuguese citizen once you’ve received a birth certificate from Portugal. Naturalized citizens also receive a Portuguese birth certificate, so that their birth can be recorded in the registry and their Portuguese citizenship verified.

The Portuguese spouse thanks to whom you receive your Portugese passport by marriage could be born in Portugal or could be naturalized citizen who received citizenship based on their Sephardic Jewish roots.

Citizenship FAQs

My spouse received Portuguese citizenship by Sepharadic descent, am I eligible? Yes, your spouse is now Portuguese. Therefore, you are married to a Portuguese citizen and are thereby entitled to Portuguese citizenship through marriage.

My spouse isn’t a Sephardic Jew, but was born in Portugal; am I eligible? Absolutely, the process is the same. You are married to a Portuguese citizen so you have the right to request citizenship as well.

Do I need to live in Portugal to receive citizenship? No, you do not need to live there or even speak the language. However, it is always advisable to learn the language of your new country of nationality.

Married to a Portuguese Citizen? You are Eligible for a Portuguese Citizenship Through Marriage!

How long do we have to be married for me to be eligible? If you have children together, then you only need to be married for 3 years before being eligible to receive a Portuguese passport for a pouse. If you don’t have children, then as long as you have been married 6 years or more, you are eligible.

Does Portugal recognize same-sex marriages? Yes. The genders of the individuals married don’t matter, only the legality of their marriage certificate and the length of their marriage.

Procedure and Timeline

In order to begin the process, we need to receive basic documentation for both spouses: passport copies, birth certificates, marriage certificate, and a few other miscellaneous signed documents.

The first step is to register the marriage in Portugal. On average, this takes 3 months. Once we receive the marriage certificate in Portuguese, we can apply for the spouse’s naturalization. This will take 24 months to receive citizenship.

Do not wait to apply – if your spouse is Portuguese, you are eligible right now. Contact our office if you need help obtaining a Portuguese passport as a descendant of Sephardic Jews or as the spouse of a Portuguese citizen, and we will get started on applying for your EU passport.       

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