How I Landed Portuguese Citizenship

***Updated October 2017***

I was born in the United States of America, my parents, were not.


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…

Port Moniz, Madeira, Portugal. 2011

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!!)

Madeira, 2010.

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
  • $$$


  • 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!


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 🇵🇹🇵🇹

Purrrrtiest book I’ve ever seen 😍




17 thoughts on “How I Landed Portuguese Citizenship

  1. Hi! I am in the process of applying for my Portuguese citizenship. My father was born in the Azores. How long did it take from when you submitted your actually documents and application to the consulate in the US until you received news from Portugal that your birth was registered. The consulate told me it would take 6-9 months.


  2. Ahhh very jealous! But glad to hear it’s all worked out.
    I submitted everything to register my birth in August – 4 months and still waiting. You make it sound so easy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alex! Did you ever receive a response? Or are you still waiting? I’m on 2 1/2 months of waiting so far. I am hoping to get it soon so I can leave to Europe.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks girl. How funny are these throwbacks?!? 😂😂😂👌 Maybe you’ll find yourself a European hunk girl!! You never know!!

      Don’t even get me started on Brexit girl, I feel SO bad they voted out. I’m curious to see how that will affect visas and travel. 🤔🤔🤔


  3. Hi. My dad was born in Sao Miguel and came to Canada when he was 9 years old. He became Canadian and gave up his Portuguese Citizenship. He has his passport from when he left Portugal but does not have his birth certificate. Can I get my Portuguese citizenship on my own or will I need him to get dual citizenship first? Thank you for posting this!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not quite sure how it works for Canada (my parents are US citizens) but if there is some kind of Portuguese consulate office in your area they can probably hunt down your Dad’s Portuguese birth certificate. My dad had to do the same thing. In my case, my parents are US citizens and needed to get their dual citizenship before I could get mine. Hope that makes sense and helps a bit. Good luck!!


  4. Great story! Just started my process. I am actually doing the process for my 97 year old grandma whose father was Portuguese. She had nothing on him other than his name and date of birth. I was able to find micro films of the baptism certificate myself. It was so hard because I had to look page by page of feather pen handwriting from 1800’s. But it was AMAZING and so rewarding when I found it. She was ecstatic to know what he did for a living and the name of her grandparents. I know I have a long way to go. Just started the process for her, then I will have to wait for my father and then me. But I know it is all worthy. It is like finding a part of you that was just hidden there.
    I wanted to ask you a question. I know you need to go to the consulate to drop off the papers and initiate the process, but can you do anything by mail after that? I live in Miami and there is no Portuguese Consulate here, which means we would have to do multiple trips to Washington DC.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Priscila I really adored reading your journey. As a huge history buff myself I am in love with all of this investigating you’re doing. It will be so rewarding once you are all done I assure you. As for mailing in your documents I would check the consulate website and see if there is an email you can forward your documents to in order to avoid all of those flights! Best of luck in your endeavours. Can’t wait for your whole family to get their duals!! ❤❤


  5. Olá,
    Thanks for the blog! I can very much relate as I obtained my dual-citizen with Portugal through my grandparents (as I am Canadian-born). Just wondering – did you receive any of the numbers on the back of your Cartão de Cidadão? I was told by the consulate in Canada I was unable to receive them until in Portugal, and that I am in Portugal – I am having major troubles obtaining these numbers. Have you lived in Portugal at all for an extended amount of time?
    Would love to connect in a private email thread 🙂


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