Portugal: The procedure a foreigner married to a Portuguese national must follow in order to acquire Portuguese nationality; any exceptions to acquisition of Portuguese nationality by a foreigner married to a Portuguese national (2003-2005)
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||8 March 2005|
|Citation / Document Symbol||PRT43429.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Portugal: The procedure a foreigner married to a Portuguese national must follow in order to acquire Portuguese nationality; any exceptions to acquisition of Portuguese nationality by a foreigner married to a Portuguese national (2003-2005) , 8 March 2005, PRT43429.E , available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/42df616329.html [accessed 9 March 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
According to article 3(1) of the Portuguese Nationality Law, [translation]
A foreigner who has been married to a Portuguese national for a period of more than three years can obtain Portuguese citizenship by making a statement during the marriage (Portugal 3 Oct. 1981; see also ACIME n.d.).
A publication on Portuguese nationality produced by the Portuguese High Commission for Immigration and Ethnic Minorities (ACIME) explains that the statement expressing the wish to obtain citizenship can be made by the foreigner, by proxy, or by legal representatives, at any Civil Registry office on Portuguese territory or through Portuguese consular services, if the person resides abroad (n.d.).
Exempted from the provision contained in article 3(1) of the Portuguese Nationality Law are those who have "committed a crime punishable under Portuguese law by a prison sentence of greater than three years; ... a civil servant of a foreign State; ... [and a person who has] carried out voluntary military service for a foreign State" (ibid.).
The statement of intent must be accompanied by the following documents:
a. Marriage certificate;
b. Birth certificate of the foreign spouse;
c. Birth certificate of the Portuguese spouse containing an annotation of the marriage;
d. Certificate of foreign nationality;
e. A Criminal Record certificate issued by Portuguese authorities, the authorities of the country of the interested party, and the authorities of the country where the person has resided;
f. Proof that a substantial link exists with the national community (this may be done through documentary means, witnesses or any other legal means) (ibid.).
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Portugal. 3 October 1981. Loi No. 37/1981 du 3 octobre 1981 – Loi sur la nationalité.
_____. n.d. High Commission for Immigration and Ethnic Minorities (ACIME). "Legislation Relating to Portuguese Nationality."
Additional Sources Consulted
Oral source: Embassy of Portugal, Ottawa.
Internet sites, including: Embassy of the United States, Lisbon.