your source for nationality and marriage regulations in portugal
your source for nationality and marriage regulations in portugal

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Portugal - Home

Obtaining Portuguese Nationality

Nationality is a bond between a person and a chosen country. In general, countries are free to choose who they accept as their nationals. Regulations applicable to Foreigners wishing to adopt Portuguese Nationality are subject to change but as a guide the following factors shown below apply:

• Married to a Portuguese national for more then 3 years.
• Underage or dependant children whose parents acquired Portuguese nationality. The application needs to be requested by the legal representative of the involved child.
• A child fully adopted by a Portuguese national.

The Portuguese government may also grant the Portuguese nationality to foreign citizens when:

• They are over 18 years of age
• They have been living in Portugal, or a territory under the Portuguese administration, with a valid “Residencia” permit for at least 6 or 10 years (only 6 years for nationals of Portuguese speaking countries)
• They have adequate knowledge of the Portuguese language (applicants will be submitted to a test)
• They can prove that they have an effective connection with the Portuguese community
• They have no criminal record
• They have the proven financial means to provide for themselves and their all living costs

A foreign citizen who wishes to apply for Portuguese nationality, must make a request by letter to the “Ministério da Administração Interna” through their local office of the “Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF)”.

For further information about how to request a Portuguese nationality, (Example: necessary documents), please contact your local SEF office, or details can be found online at www.sef.pt

Arranging a Marriage in Portugal

Foreign citizens can become married in Portugal and the rules that apply are the same as for Portuguese nationals. The foreign bride and groom must prove that their union in marriage comply with the laws that are applicable for marriage in their own country of origin.

To start the process it will be necessary for a “Certificado de Capacidade Matrimonial” (Certificate of Matrimonial Capacity) issued by the authorities of their own country. (Please also refer to the list of impediments to marriage below)

In order that the authorities are able to verify the situation of the bride and groom a document proving this fact must be obtained from the Portuguese “Conservatória” which will organise the process of confirmation of the matrimonial capacity.

The commence the process a Certificate of Nationality, Birth Certificate of both bride and groom and Document proving the ability to confirm their marital capacity must be arranged. When these documents are issued in a foreign language they must be translated into the Portuguese language by an authorised authority.

List of impediments to marriage in Portugal

According to Portuguese law the impediments for a marriage between to people are:

• Aged under 16
• Possessing notorious dementia even during lucid periods
• Interdiction by psychic/mental illness reasons
• A previous marriage having not been dissolved, (even when occurring abroad and not registered in Portugal)
• An insufficient period between marriages (civil or religious). Requirement is 180 days for men and 300 days for women. (These periods start from the date of dissolution of the previous marriage)
• When relatives in first or second degree
• Involving a legal bond of guardianship
• When either the bride or groom having been charged with murder of the others spouse.

In specific cases there may be more documents or procedures requested.

We recommend that applicants should also check with their local Portuguese Consulate or Embassy for any up-to-date changes to the above.