The Portuguese citizenship (nationality) law nr. 37/81 defines the following persons as being Portuguese by origin:
Children of Portuguese parent(s)
- Children of a Portuguese mother or of a Portuguese father who are born in Portugal;
- Children of a Portuguese mother or Portuguese father born abroad. This is under condition that the Portuguese parent is abroad in the service of the Portuguese State;
- Children of a Portuguese mother or a Portuguese father born abroad. The condition in this case is that their birth is registered in the Portuguese civil registry. The other option is if they declare that they want to be Portuguese.
Individuals who have Portuguese ancestors
- Individuals with at least one ancestor of Portuguese nationality originating in the 2nd degree in the straight line. The ancestor(s) must have not lost their nationality. Additionally they must declare that they want to be Portuguese and have ties of effective connection1 to the national community.
1 The effective connection is verified by the following factors:
- sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language;
- non conviction to a prison sentence equal to or greater than 3 years for a crime punishable under Portuguese law;
- absence of danger or threat to the national security or defense, for involvement in activities related to the practice of terrorism.
Individuals, born in Portugal by foreign parents
- Individuals born in Portugal, children of foreigners. This is under condition that at least one of the parents was also born in Portugal and resided in the country;
- Individuals born in Portugal, children of foreigners who are not in the service of the respective State, who do not declare that they do not want to be Portuguese, provided that, at the time of birth, one of the parents legally resides2 in Portugal for at least one year;
- Individuals born in Portugal and who do not acquire another citizenship.
2 Proof of legal residence is made by showing the competent identification document of the parent at the time of registration.
Additional legal provisions
The newborns found in Portugal are presumed to have been born in the country. This is so, unless there is evidence to the contrary.