Portuguese law confers on those who are descendants of Portuguese because they are either children or grandchildren, the right to obtain Portuguese nationality. This kind of citizenship is taken care of a modality of granting citizenship to the Portuguese of origin by assignment. However, the attribution will depend on the proof of specific legal requirements depending on the relationship of kinship that is in question.


It is important to note that under the terms of the law there is no limitation about the generations that may benefit from the original nationality because of this related kinship. However, it is necessary to have a reference to base the request for citizenship the consanguineous straight-line of the second degree, i.e., the Portuguese relative to substantiate the application must be at most the grandfather.


The effects of the attribution of nationality because of consanguinity, for children and grandchildren, refer to the date of birth, which means to say that he will be considered a Portuguese citizen from the moment of his birth. This related alteration was a substantial change introduced in the Portuguese legal system from Decree-Law no. 71 of June 21, 2017, regarding the grandchildren of Portuguese. So far, because of the statutory criteria of this modality of nationality, in short, the grandchild who claimed citizenship due to having Portuguese grandfather / a became Portuguese and, to this extent, enjoys the status of being Portuguese, as from the granting of the request. In practice, past acts and events could not have any influence. Hence the children of those born before the acquisition could not benefit from the nationality of their parents (unless for some other reason).


About the nationality attributed directly to the grandchildren of Portuguese, although with the change that has had the effects last to report the date of the birth and with that, in practical terms, for example, the children already born of it can benefit, if somewhat more complicated. This modification came to the aggravating of proving the link of who asks for nationality with the Portuguese community. One of the reasons behind this complexity is to enable the conservation of Portuguese culture.

In order to prevent any problems, all necessary documents required should be gathered with care.  These documents are duly legalized and therefore have value in the national territory.  They can be used to initiate an application for Portuguese nationality. A person also has the option to handle this process by appointing a qualified lawyer and therefore does not need to be present at the place of filing.



Carla de Calvo Dantas

Portuguese Lawyer at Carpinelli e Dantas Lawyers


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