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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've googled this and found on wiki that if a child is born to a Portuguese parent in a foreign country, he/she is automatically a Portuguese citizen. But no information about children who are now adults and who did not register while under 18. I'm 31, my father is Portuguese, but I lived in Sweden my entire childhood.

Does anyone have information about this, whether or not it's possible for me to obtain citizenship, and how to go about it. And what about my kids?

Thanks.
 

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Well, you are not "automatically" a portuguese citizen. You have to request your citizenship to portuguese government (see letter "c", nº 1, article 1 of Law nº 37/81). The grandchildren of portuguese nationals also have the right to portuguese citizenship, even if their parents are already dead (see nº 4 of article 6 of the same law). For the proceedings, you have to look at decree-law nº 237-A/2006.

Unfortunately, I can't post links yet. I will try to answer any further doubts you have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much. I'm not quite sure how to find these laws online or elsewhere and I doubt my Portuguese will carry me through legal language. But it does seem that there is a possibility for me to obtain citizenship.
Do you know whether there are any requirements besides just descent? Does my father have to sign anything, or in any other way be contacted in the proceedings?

Are these things fairly straightforward and uncomplicated?;)

Who do I contact?

Thanks again.







Well, you are not "automatically" a portuguese citizen. You have to request your citizenship to portuguese government (see letter "c", nº 1, article 1 of Law nº 37/81). The grandchildren of portuguese nationals also have the right to portuguese citizenship, even if their parents are already dead (see nº 4 of article 6 of the same law). For the proceedings, you have to look at decree-law nº 237-A/2006.

Unfortunately, I can't post links yet. I will try to answer any further doubts you have.
 

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Thanks so much. I'm not quite sure how to find these laws online or elsewhere and I doubt my Portuguese will carry me through legal language. But it does seem that there is a possibility for me to obtain citizenship.
Do you know whether there are any requirements besides just descent? Does my father have to sign anything, or in any other way be contacted in the proceedings?
First of all, you should contact the portuguese consulate of your area. They probably may instruct you better.

Your father won't have to sign anything nor he will be contacted.

A few things you need:

  • Your birth certificate (long form), translated to portuguese and certified by the portuguese diplomatic or consular authority;
  • Your father's birth certificate (long form).;
  • Your passport or ID;
  • A declaration requesting your citizenship.

You can hand in your declaration at the portuguese consulate of your area or at the "Conservatória dos Registos Centrais" in Lisbon.

Are these things fairly straightforward and uncomplicated?;)
It depends on many things...

Who do I contact?
As I said before, you should first contact the portuguese consulate or embassy in your area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you very much for the detailed info. I will be in Portugal by the end of next week so I'll probably do it all there.

If my father doesn't need to be contacted, how do I get his birth certificate? I have a copy of the Swedish register, with his name and birth date on it, but that probably doesn't count.

For the portuguese translations and the declaration, would I need a professional translation?

Finally, not sure if this applies to your experience, but I'm wondering whether in the case of settling in Portugal, being a citizen would improve my situation any, as compared to just claiming residency based on my European citizenship. My husband is American and I think that in Portugal he would be eligible for the EEA Family Permit, which is free of charge, but as a spouse of a Portuguese citizen, he would apply for a visa, which I'm guessing costs money and takes longer. Perhaps the best route is to apply for citizenship after he's arrived, since I can imagine it takes time to process.

First of all, you should contact the portuguese consulate of your area. They probably may instruct you better.

Your father won't have to sign anything nor he will be contacted.

A few things you need:

  • Your birth certificate (long form), translated to portuguese and certified by the portuguese diplomatic or consular authority;
  • Your father's birth certificate (long form).;
  • Your passport or ID;
  • A declaration requesting your citizenship.

You can hand in your declaration at the portuguese consulate of your area or at the "Conservatória dos Registos Centrais" in Lisbon.



It depends on many things...



As I said before, you should first contact the portuguese consulate or embassy in your area.
 

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If my father doesn't need to be contacted, how do I get his birth certificate? I have a copy of the Swedish register, with his name and birth date on it, but that probably doesn't count.
Google "portal do cidadão certidões online". There you can search for your father's birth certificate. But the site is in portuguese. You pay with credit card and receive the certificate (if they find it with the data you provide) in less than 2 weeks. But you don't need his birth certificate if you know the "Conservatória" (notary office) where he was registered, his birth date and the number and year of the registry.

For the portuguese translations and the declaration, would I need a professional translation?
As far as I know, yes.


Finally, not sure if this applies to your experience, but I'm wondering whether in the case of settling in Portugal, being a citizen would improve my situation any, as compared to just claiming residency based on my European citizenship. My husband is American and I think that in Portugal he would be eligible for the EEA Family Permit, which is free of charge, but as a spouse of a Portuguese citizen, he would apply for a visa, which I'm guessing costs money and takes longer. Perhaps the best route is to apply for citizenship after he's arrived, since I can imagine it takes time to process.
I´m not entirelly aware of all portuguese law and permits , but according to the nationality law your status would be the same as someone born in Portugal child to portuguese parents.

In Lisbon you can ask for help at "Centro Nacional de Apoio ao Imigrante (CNAI)" at Rua Álvaro Coutinho, 14, tel. 21 810 61 00.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Very helpful, thanks again. I'm trying to get resgistered online to obtain the document--I think my Portuguese is sufficient enough;).

Google "portal do cidadão certidões online". There you can search for your father's birth certificate. But the site is in portuguese. You pay with credit card and receive the certificate (if they find it with the data you provide) in less than 2 weeks. But you don't need his birth certificate if you know the "Conservatória" (notary office) where he was registered, his birth date and the number and year of the registry.
What is the number and year of the registry? I think my mom knows the town he was born in, and of course I have the date, but not sure what the number and year means.
If I have enough info for the Conservatoria, then I only need to submit this information along with my application?

I googled whether Portugal allows dual citizenship and someone online mentioned that an application for citizenship must go through the Embassy of the country of birth. Do you know if this is true? You mentioned that I can go to Lisbon to do this, correct?

As far as obtaining citizenship for my sons, is there mandatory military service in Portugal? If so, how long, and is it something one can opt out of (ie claiming that one is pacifist)?

Thanks.
 

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If I have enough info for the Conservatoria, then I only need to submit this information along with my application?
Correct.

I googled whether Portugal allows dual citizenship and someone online mentioned that an application for citizenship must go through the Embassy of the country of birth. Do you know if this is true? You mentioned that I can go to Lisbon to do this, correct?
No, it's not true. I may even submit the application by mail.

As far as obtaining citizenship for my sons, is there mandatory military service in Portugal? If so, how long, and is it something one can opt out of (ie claiming that one is pacifist)?
Military service in Portugal is no longer mandatory since 2004.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Do you happen to know how long these applications for citizenship may take?

Also, do you know anything about applying for a spouse visa of a citizen? We applied for one for my husband in Sweden years ago, and there was no requirement to show proof of financial support (from me), but when I applied for green card, the US government required that sort of thing.

I've tried searching the site you linked, portal da cidadao, both for EEA Permit info and spouse visa, but I wasn't able to come up with anything. Is there another site with details about visas and entry permits?

Thanks.
 

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Does anybody know if one can obtain a Portuguese residence any other way? If I remember correctly, my father's grandfather was from there. Does this give me any chances?
I'm interested in going to Portugal and would truly appreciate some info/help.

Thanks
 

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Hello

I wondered if you knew anymore about applying for portuguese citezenship through desent? I'm 32 and because of many difficulties and family stubborness to say the least, my dad and mom have reconcilled and he is now on my zimbabwean birth cert. I wanted to know if you thought I was too old to apply for citizenship?

Please help,

Many thanks
 

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Hi nthere, as far as I know, if you register your marriage at the Port consulate then your husband is automatically allowed to reside and go to Port as if he was a permanent resident. A new law came out awhile ago in that if a Port citizen is married for more than 3 years to a non Port citizen, you can apply for citizenship without any problems. You need marriage certificate, his passport, your Port citizen card and a letter requesting the citizenship. I will be doing it for my hubby very shortly. My sons were born in South Africa but I registered them straight away at the consulate so they have dual citizenship.
 

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Hello

Thank you for your response but I am enquiring about myself. I am 32 and have just had my dad added to my zimbabwean birth certificate. What I wanted to know is am I too old to apply for Portuguese nationality through desent?

My dad is originally from Madeira.

Thanks

Michelle
 

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No, you are not too old. I am going through the process as well and I am 47. My grandparents were both from Madeira but I am American.

The minimum length of time for the application is 6 months. I have been working on it for over 1 1/2 years though. They keep changing the game. Now, they want the birth certificate of my Grandfather, even though I have already provided the bc of my grandmother. They are also requesting a certified copy of my passport even though the copy of my current passport was made at one of their embassies. Finally, the criminal record from one of the countries in which I have lived wasn´t good enough so I have to get a different type. BTW, that made 6 proofs of a lack of criminal history.

There are also language requirements.
 

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Hi
Thanks for replying. From all the information I have gathered from speaking to the embassies, what you're applying for is naturalisation. Through naturalisation apparently you have to have the CRB checks along with taking an exam in Portuguese. The information I've been sent from the Manchester consulate doesn't specify any of what you've told me. I'll wait and see. I just think it's so unfair to be messed about especially as we have every right to claim our ancestry.
 

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Hi,
I just got my dual Portuguese citizenship here in the USA. I wanted to leave my experience here as this site helped me piece together some of the info I needed.

My grandfather (dad's side) was born on Sao Miguel in the Azores.

Mt first step was to gather as much information from my family as I could. I was able to get my grandfathers naturalization papers which listed Portugal as his place of birth. My grandparents marriage certificate from the church in Massachusetts. I found some census info on family tree dot com. I also gathered all of the verbally passed on family info from my father and my Uncle that I could squeeze out of them. This yielded much good intel such as my grandfathers town of birth in the Azores. I guess the moral here is get all of the documentation and info you can get your hands on first.

I then hired a genealogist in the Azores to find my grandfathers birth record form his town in the Azores. I found the genealogist on a genealogical website and after a few emails back and forth I took the plunge and paid him via pay-pal. One nice thing about Portuguese people is that they are by and large honest. So within a couple of weeks I had grandpa's birth record. A certified copy from the Arrifes town hall. It cost me $50 US.

It was only after getting all of this together that I called the Portuguese consulate here in Los Angeles for help. I spoke to the consular officer over the phone and explained to him what I wanted to do. He informed me that I could get citizenship on my own but that it would be much easier to do if MY FATHER GOT HIS FIRST. If I were to get it on my own I would be applying for citizenship and the process is difficult. You DO have to take a language test. Which is doable. But you also have to prove a connection to the Portuguese community which is vague and MUCH more difficult. The Officer explained to me that there is currently a woman in San Diego trying to get her citizenship this way. She has done everything correctly. Has letters from the curch, community groups, and friends (there is a large Portuguese community in San Diego). But this is still not enough for the people who decide this because she never lived in Portugal and doesn't have references from there. My father, BEING FIRST GENERATION IS ALREADY A CITIZEN OF PORTUGAL and simply had to register all of our family info to claim this.
NO TEST, NO PROOF OF CONNECTION TO COMMUNITY.

Fortunately for me, my father is still alive and was willing to do this. We had to register (with Portugal) my grandparents marriage and deaths. My parents marriage. And then me.
Basically, you are documenting lineage. My father IS a Portuguese citizen as the child of a national. Once he registers his identity and circumstances with Portugal. I am then the child of a national. So I am already a citizen. No Test. Nothing. Simply register Myself.

What we ended up needing ;
Grandparents birth marriage and death certificates.
My parents birth and marriage certificates.
My birth certificate.

(The other documents help prove legitimacy to the consul and the more the better)

For me some of this was difficult to get. Especially as I am on the west coast and my Family is on the east coast of the USA. Luckily for me My father was keen to do this as well and really helped a lot. I paid for everything but he made trips to town halls and his local consulate to acquire and register all of the information. Also he has a gift for dealing with people in bureaucratic offices. He charmed the pants off of the ladies at the Rhode Island Portuguese consulate.

It took us about two months and US$1100 to accomplish this. We now have our Portuguese Birth Certificates.

I am getting my Portuguese ID and Passport next here in LA. It will take a few more months and cost between US$200 and $400 to accomplish. The Consular Officer told me exactly what documentation to bring so this should require two visits to the Consul for me.

I do not have a Portuguese name or speak fluent Portuguese.

If I could give some advice;

1. Have your stuff together as much as possible. The Consul is not there to do the work for you. Show respect by putting the work in.

2. Be patient and polite. LISTEN. And take notes when you speak to them. No one likes to have their time wasted.

3. Don't panic if you hit an obstacle. Think, and diligently work through or around the problem.

4. Think about what you say BEFORE you say it and speak as clearly as possible.

5. BE POLITE. Most people in a bureaucracy are willing to help someone with a good attitude that makes doing their job as easy as possible for them. Remember, they just have forms and files to fill. It's your job to give them the stuff to put in. And they don't make the rules or have any way to bend them, so never give them any grief over an obstacle you run into. It's your problem, not theirs.

Additionally, Anyone familiar with Portuguese culture knows that family comes first. I often used the term "My Family" instead of "ME" and "we" instead of "I". If you want a Portuguese person on your side, let them know you are trying to do something for your family. And thank them on behalf of your family. This is respected more than the idea that you just want EU citizenship. I am glad to have EU citizenship but I truly wanted to restore something I felt that we lost when we came to the US. Though I was born in the US and am thankful for that, I was raised around my Portuguese relatives and love the culture. And the food! My ancestors came here because they were poor. Not because they didn't like Portugal. Restoring our citizenship, for me, is a way of getting back something that was lost, and honoring my ancestors struggle. I think I was able to get this across to the Consular officers and they were very good to us.

I hope this helps someone and Good luck!

AC
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for sharing your story.

My, that sounds like a lot of money just to register your citizenship. However, definitely worth it if you're from a non-European country.

I already have a EU passport so if it's that expensive I'd probably not go for it, at least not anytime soon. I do have contact with my dad and his relatives there, albeit somewhat sporadic, so getting paperwork would be easy.

The passport will cost you an additional $200-400? A Swedish one is $50.

Congratulations on your Portuguese citizenship! Are you planning on moving there?
 

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You are welcome.

It seems expensive but it was all just the fees for filing each document.

It was around US$90each. So to register My Grandparents (Birth, Death, Marriage), My Parents (Birth, Marriage), and myself it added up quickly. Just to get to this point That's at least 10 documents/forms/etc..

The $200-$400 estimate is for both the ID and the Passport. Estimates only. I will post the actual cost after I'm through.

I am planning to visit as soon as possible. I would love to move there in the future if My girlfriend is willing.

I am fond of the expression that- Success is when preparation meets opportunity. Getting My ID and Passport is just that. If I travel to Portugal and like what I find, I will be all ready to take action. If I want to stay, I can just stay..

Thanks,

AC
 

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Question. What is citizenship as opposed to domicile status, residency or nationality? And what extra benefits/responsibilities does it carry?
 
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