For individuals and families living in countries outside of Europe, dual citizenship with a member country of the European Union (EU) can be an irresistible opportunity for travel, education, and connecting with our roots. At MyHeritage, finding those family connections through archives, building family trees and even DNA testing can help reach the goal of Portuguese dual citizenship.
Portugal has been a member country of the EU since 1986. As such, a Portuguese passport would allow its owner to travel anywhere within the European Union, crossing borders easily and experiencing much of what Europe has to offer.
There has been much discussion in recent years about the possibility of Portuguese citizenship for those with Sephardic-Jewish heritage. If that is your background, check out this Knowledge Base article about researching your Jewish Ancestors on MyHeritage.
However, if your ancestors were not Sephardic Jews and instead you have Portuguese parents or grandparents, becoming a dual citizen with Portugal may still be within your reach!
QUALIFICATIONS FOR PORTUGUESE DUAL CITIZENSHIP
The situations that would allow for you to apply for Portuguese citizenship include:
- You were born in Portugal,
- You have a parent or grandparent who was a citizen of Portugal (or “by descent”),
- You are married to a Portuguese citizen, or
- You have been a legal resident of Portugal for at least five years.
Dual-citizenship applications are frequently through ancestry, with a Portuguese parent or grandparent. There are a number of collections at MyHeritage that can assist you in locating records of your family in Portugal. These collections can be searched individually by clicking on the title or by conducting a broad search.
BRAZILIANS WITH PORTUGUESE ANCESTORS
There are no special considerations or requirements for Brazilians applying for Portuguese citizenship by descent. You can apply online, through the mail, or even in-person at a Portuguese consulate in your area. It is recommended to work with an immigration attorney / solicitor to assist you in navigating the legal implications of dual-citizenship as well as guiding you through this process.
If you live in Brazil and want to connect to your Portuguese ancestors, it may be helpful to search the MyHeritage vital records collection for Brazil. MyHeritage has also recently published 4.7 million records of immigrants to Brazil. If your family came from Portugal to Brazil, they will likely be included in this collection.
HOW TO APPLY
Applying for Portuguese citizenship by descent is simpler than it may seem, but if you need help, you may want to hire a professional genealogy firm to help you search for and obtain the necessary documents for your application. These documents must be certified and apostilled (a certificate that authenticates the signature of a public official on a document for use in another country). And in cases where they are not already written in Portuguese, a certified translation will be required.
The documents you will need to provide with your application typically include, but are not limited to:
- Your own birth certificate,
- The birth certificate of your father or mother who is the son / daughter of the grandparent with Portuguese citizenship,
- The birth certificate of your Portuguese-born grandparent, and
- Criminal clearance from all countries in which you have resided since age 16.
To obtain an official statement reflecting your criminal record, you may visit the local police department(s) for each past place of residence and request the department to conduct a local or state criminal records search. You will need each department to provide you with a document reflecting that there is no history of a criminal record. All non-Portuguese language documents will need to be translated and authenticated by apostille.
MISSING LINKS IN YOUR PORTUGUESE FAMILY TREE?
You may find a missing link in your family tree or are unable to gather the proper birth records you need. If you are missing a biological grandparent in your family tree and think they are from Portugal, DNA testing may be a great way to start your search for that grandparent. Learn more about how the MyHeritage DNA test works.
SUBMITTING YOUR APPLICATION
Once you have gathered the necessary paperwork and birth certificates with the necessary apostilles and certified translations in hand, along with a completed application, you are ready to submit the application packet. Make your appointment at the nearest Portuguese consulate or send your application through the mail with the appropriate application fee to the Conservatoria dos Registos Centrais in Lisbon.
And while you wait, it wouldn’t hurt to start building out more of your family tree through your MyHeritage membership.
Need help from a professional genealogist to gather birth records and verify your Portuguese family tree? Reach out to Legacy Tree Genealogists to overcome your Portuguese brick walls.
The team at Legacy Tree Genealogists has been helping clients worldwide discover their roots for almost two decades. We’re based near the world’s largest Family History Library and connected with genealogists and archives around the world to help clients find their ancestors and break down brick walls to complete their family tree.
Source: My Heritage