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Non-marital partnership and Portuguese Nationality

A foreigner living in full communion of life, for more than three years, with a Portuguese citizen may acquire Portuguese Nationality.

The question: if not married to a Portuguese citizen, but living under similar conditions to marriage, can you obtain Portuguese nationality?

The answer is unquestionably yes!

A non-marital partnership or “União de facto” exists when two people, regardless of their sex, live in similar conditions to those of married couples for more than two years, as defined by article 1 no. 2 of Law no. 7/2001 of 11th May, which adopts the measures of protection of non-marital partnerships.

It is therefore clear that the Portuguese legal system equates marriage and non-marital partnership, granting an enormous level of protection to this last family relationship, and among all the rights assured, there is the possibility of obtaining the Portuguese nationality.

The Portuguese Nationality Law, as well as the Portuguese Nationality Regulation, establishes that a foreigner may be granted Portuguese Nationality if, at the moment of declaring his/her intention to acquire it, he/she lives in a non-marital partnership for more than three years with a Portuguese national, provided there is judicial recognition of the partnership situation, in other words, if there is recognition by a civil court of that partnership.

In addition to the above mentioned requirements, there is the need for the foreign citizen to prove an effective connection to the Portuguese community, but this requirement can be waived if the couple has children of Portuguese nationality or if the non-marital partnership has been in existence for at least 6 years.

In the same way, the Portuguese legal system presumes that there is an effective connection to Portugal when, at the time of the application, the applicant fulfils one of the following requirements:

  • Be a native and national of a Portuguese-speaking country, living in a non-marital partnership for at least 5 years, with a Portuguese native;
  • Have sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language, provided he/she has been living in a non-marital partnership with a Portuguese national for at least 5 years.

The application for Portuguese Nationality based on a non-marital partnership with a Portuguese citizen is not a complex process but it requires evidence to show the years of cohabitation and partnership with the Portuguese national.

The content of this information does not constitute any specific legal advice; the latter can only be given when faced with a specific case. Please contact us for any further clarification or information deemed necessary in what concerns the application of the law.

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