***Updated October 2017***
I was born in the United States of America, my parents, were not.
WHICH IS AWESOME.
I mean, how many people can say that their parents moved to a country they had never been to, without knowing the language, and created a joyous, prosperous life for themselves?!? I can and I’m FIERCELY proud of that.
I’ve always carried a massive amount of pride for my Portuguese roots thanks to my parents. The “old country” culture was still VERY alive in my childhood. So much so that as a kid, I used to do traditional folklore dancing (check out this outfit) in local Portuguese parades and EVEN played in the local Portuguese marching band as a teenager….
But aside from all of my awkward tween hobbies. My roots spread beautifully even farther into an ENTHRALLING country with a history of explorers, a vibrant culture with food that is just heavenly and traditions embodying love. Portugal is where my family comes from, where I still have family, it’s another home…
Which is why it only made sense to calmly say “yes” (AKA SCREAM, LET’S BE SERIOUS) when my Mom asked me if I was interested in getting dual citizenship. I instantly started thinking about all of the benefits this would mean. Number 1, free education, seriously FREE. FREEEEEEEEE.
No student loans, no debt, beautiful, glorious, FREE.
Realistically if I could be in school or some kind of school setting forever I would be the happiest of girls.
Aside from education, an EU passport means options for international mobility, employment mobility, and residential mobility open up DRASTICALLY. Then there’s a whole bunch of perks because let’s face it, Europe is where it’s AT when it comes to citizen perks. For myself, as a travel blogger, I held this passport in the same regards as Charlie and his Golden Ticket. Sooooo, when she asked me, it wasn’t even a question on whether or not I was interested.
The answer was “YES, YES AND YESSSSS.” ✔️
But enough of why it was a good idea, let’s get into how I did it.
As mentioned, both of my parents were born in Portugal. When they came to the United States they became American citizens. But a couple years ago they went ahead and obtained their dual citizenship. Their dual citizenship confirmed my eligibility for Portuguese citizenship.
Let me also quickly mention that you only need ONE parent (or even a grandparent) with Portuguese citizenship to qualify for dual citizenship.
Now here’s the zinger. If my parents had registered me before I was 14 it would have only cost $55.00. However, since I wasn’t registered until my twenties, the whole process of attaining Portuguese citizenship cost me $350.00. What it means to be “registered” is that your parents are basically letting Portugal know that “heyyy you exist”! (Go you for existing!!)
This whole process is going to happen at your nearest Portuguese Consulate (mine was in Providence, RI) which can be found here. YOU WILL NEED:
- A certified copy of your birth certificate (this is so you can be registered)
- Some kind of identification (i.e. passport, license)
- Proof of employment
- Current address
YOU WILL NEED FROM YOUR PARENTS:
- Their birth certificates
- Their marriage endorsement. If they were married abroad they must have their marriage registered by the Consulate prior to you applying.
- Their identification (passports, Portuguese ID cards, license)
Once you have submitted your registration and application for nationality it has to be forwarded and processed in Lisbon. You HAVE to be registered by your parents before you can put in your application for citizenship. This registration process can take AWHILEEEEE, mine took a couple of months, but be patient. You know how Portuguee time goes, everyone takes their sweet time for everything. My father for instance will still think he’s going to be on time even when he’s already a half hour late. Portuguee time. The worst. BRUH.
But alas, the application has gone throughhhhh!! Woot Woot! Party over here, party over thereeee! Woohooooo!!
From here it’s a simple visit to the Consulate office to have your gorgeous ID picture, fingerprints and signature taken into the system. From there it’s back to the waiting game.
A couple of weeks later you’ll receive a letter saying your citizen card is waiting at the Consulate office. DO NOT LOSE THIS PIECE OF MAIL, there is a pin number located on this letter that is very important. You will need to bring it with you when you go to get your citizen card.
Ahhh the final visit to the Consulate office (for now), after this long process it feels bittersweet. But then you’re handed your card along with your new citizenship AND with that, the new opportunities that await.
Further details and specifics can be found on the Portuguese embassy website.
Overall, the whole process of getting registered in Portugal took about three months. Include going back and forth between the consulate, filling out forms, having your picture and fingerprints taken and eventually being registered as a citizen with a citizen card to prove it altogether took about 7 months. It’s a lengthy process, kind of expensive and requires a whole lot of patience. BUT IS IT WORTH IT?!?! You better believe it!
**UPDATE: HOW I ALSO LANDED A PORTUGUESE PASSPORT**
Because I unfortunately find myself living in “Trump’s America” I wanted to cover all of my bases and get my Portuguese passport in addition to my citizen card. Now, the citizen card CAN be used to travel. However, I wanted to be REALLY thorough and have all of my documents on board JUST in case things start poppin’ off and I need to go ahead and GTFO. You know what I’m sayin’. Judging by how this year is going thus far, I think I made the right decision.
BUT I DIGRESS (for now)…
The whole process to get the passport is EXTREMELY simple and probably the easiest step in this whole endeavor. It starts with ANOTHER trip to the Portuguese consulate to visit my girl Marcia. At this point we’ve spent so much time together she’s practically family. LOL. All you need to bring to the consulate is your citizen card and $$$. At the consulate you will pay 80 dollars, have your picture and signature taken and then it’s back to waiting.
I was bracing myself to wait a couple of months before my passport arrived because that’s typically the case with American passports. Shockingly enough HOWEVER, a week and a half later, Marcia was calling me to let me know my passport was in! I went, gave Marcia a kiss on each cheek, was handed my passport and I was sent on my VERY merry way.
I feel grateful to have citizenship in the country my parents were born. Dual citizenship is certainly not something I take for granted and am beyond appreciative to my brave immigrant parents who without them, this opportunity would not exist. I hope that my journey towards dual citizenship can help you with your own. #immigrantkidsforlife 🇵🇹🇵🇹