Ever thought of having Portuguese citizenship? Discover the benefits of having a Portuguese passport and how you can make it happen.

Last Updated on July 24, 2023 by Maryam Siddiqui

Visiting Portugal can be a great choice for many reasons: The food, the beaches, the weather, and the greenery. So when it comes to spending some quality time in this beautiful country, there is no doubt it has a lot to offer. The Portuguese Passport ranks fifth best in the world, and that’s only the beginning.

What if you fall in love with it and decide to stay a bit longer? What if you start thinking about living here? Or even better… What if you start wondering what it would be like if you turned into a citizen?

In that case, know you might be about to make the greatest decision of your life. Keep reading the article to learn all about an expat’s journey from a resident to a citizen, and everything in between. Let’s dive into what living here is really like!

Advantages of having a Portuguese passport

The Portuguese passport: A powerful document

When becoming a Portuguese citizen, you’re going through an entire process that changes your life. You are actually gaining access to many different perks and rights. In more than one way, you are getting the complete package.

And that’s why this can be the choice of a lifetime. Keep reading to learn why the Portuguese Passport is a powerful document and how it can significantly impact your life.

Even though Portugal is a small country, the Portuguese Passport can take you to many places in the world. To be precise, it can take you to 187 countries without needing a visa.

Its Bordeaux color, characteristic of all European Union Members, actually means power. The Portuguese Passport is the 5th most powerful in the world. And with one in your hands, you will be able to save a lot of time on airport immigration lines.

But the advantages of having a Portuguese passport don’t end here. Even when you do need a Visa to enter a certain country, the bureaucratic process can be easy and fast.

A good example of that is if you want to go to Russia. Yes, you will need a Visa, but to get it, you’ll only have to go to their Embassy, fill out a single form, pay, and you’ll have everything ready in a few days. No interview required, no endless questions asked, all thanks to the Portuguese passport.

Portugal & Europe: A single land of opportunity

Portugal is part of Europe, the continent, but also one of the 27 members of the European Union.

This means two important things: the Euro is our coin, and we have easy access to any of those countries.

Having a common coin can be a time-saver, headache-free type of perk. Imagine not having to deal with exchanges, expensive wire transfers, and withdrawing lots of cash at once.

Being a Portuguese citizen gives you access to amazing road trips but also to weekend getaways that don’t need much planning.

And even when it comes to salaries, investments, or any gains in general, this is a winning factor. After all, you’re dealing with one of the strongest coins in the world.

This citizenship is a winner once again because of easy access to any of the European Union members. To cross the border at any European airport, you must bring your National ID card. Yes, no Passport or Visa is needed. With it, you’ll have immediate access to a quick lane where you can scan it on a machine and save lots of time on your trip.

Portugal is a part of the EU

What about crossing the border by land? It’s even easier. Show the officers your national ID card, and within a few minutes, you’ll be good to proceed.

Portuguese Citizenship: A life changer

If you’re not planning to travel much around Europe, you might think you don’t really need this citizenship.

But, the truth is, being a Portuguese citizen gives you much more than some faster, easier travels.

It gives you exclusive access to excellent healthcare, education, property investments, and even less bureaucracy. You could get to experience the quality of life in Portugal for good.

Healthcare Access

All legal residents in Portugal have access to the Public Health system for free. It includes access to Public Hospitals, Health Centers, nurseries, and long-term treatments.

How good is it? It might not give you the fastest access to consultation compared to the private sector, but in an Emergency, you’ll always have a Public Hospital available. The medical expenses are low, and some services are even free. This includes not only General Practice but also Medical Specialty.

Compared to many other countries, the quality of Portugal’s health system ranked 3rd best in patient-centered care in the World Index of Healthcare Innovation (WIHI) analysis. No matter where you’re from, you will get treated with the utmost care until you’re ready to go back home.

Having private insurance is an option but definitely not required. National healthcare might be a good fit depending on your treatment urgency. Consultancies have an average waiting of 2 weeks to 1 month. You can check this information live on the SNS (National Healthcare Service) webpage.

Consultancies aren’t the only useful thing in the Portuguese public health system. Prescriptions are also an important part, reducing medication costs by up to 90%.

All these reasons show why the Portuguese Healthcare System is one of the best in the world.

Property Investment

Imagine that you want to buy a house in Portugal. You can do this being a foreigner, yes. Nowadays, there are many interesting opportunities to invest in this country. The Golden Visa is an example of that.

But this only applies if you are able to pay for everything upfront. Now imagine you actually need to apply for a loan. In that case, the story changes.

Investing in Real Estate in Portugal

In Portugal, bank loans are only provided under certain circumstances. If you don’t have a National ID card, obtaining a loan will be quite challenging.

It’s much easier, though, to request a loan if you are a citizen.

The whole process itself is bureaucratic, but having the right documentation is a must. Otherwise, not meeting the basic nationality requirements gets you stuck at stage one.

Given how profitable the real estate market in Portugal is, people are finding ways to grab an opportunity that lands them a good deal in the fastest way possible. 

The Golden Visa has successfully targeted investment in different areas of the country, primarily Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve. As a result of this, it has undergone changes that redirect investment in areas that need it more.

Through this regime, many people benefit from the vast opportunities the Portuguese Passport brings to the table. 

The process of obtaining property through investments in the country does not rely on the need for citizenship. However, given Portugal’s bureaucracy, you may find it worthwhile to obtain your citizenship first. 

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Education Access

In Portugal, it’s mandatory to complete the High School level. This means that, until 12th grade, Portuguese public schools are completely free.

When aiming for the next level, universities in Portugal are also a very reachable reality. Any Portuguese citizen has access to Public Universities and can apply for scholarships. Even without having the grades to apply, the monthly fees for the Public system are accessible and negotiable. For example, you can choose to pay phased fees instead of all at once.

It’s true that you can also study in Portugal without having citizenship. There are international scholarships to attract foreigners to study here. There are certain agreements with the community of countries where Portuguese is the native language. But no fees will ever be as low as when you are a Portuguese citizen. The full amount to complete a Degree can be more than 60% lower on average.

Less bureaucracy

Having a national ID card can save you a lot of time. You’ll only have to renew it every 5 years, and this procedure can be managed online (and all your information will be automatically filled out).

This will also give you access to other perks, such as filling out the IRS online and keeping track of your yearly expenses and tax contributions.

You might be confused why we’ve added this point. That’s okay; allow us to explain. Portugal is known for a lot of bureaucracy and lengthy procedures. Although it doesn’t make tasks impossible, it can get really confusing, especially if you’re a new expat.

Becoming Portuguese is a long-term investment

By now, you may be thinking of running to grab your Portuguese citizenship.

If still in doubt, know this is a decision that impacts not only your present and future but also your family’s. By becoming a Portuguese citizen, your kids will have the right to get this nationality automatically.

Children born in Portugal acquire Portuguese citizenship

Also, you’ll be living in one of the safest countries in the world. Portugal is actually in the top 5 list of the safest countries in Europe.

This great opportunity isn’t an immediate one. You do have to wait 5 years as a resident before being able to apply for citizenship.

There are exceptions, such as being married to a Portuguese or having direct Portuguese relatives, but this is another story.

No matter how much time you need to wait, this is an opportunity that you won’t mind being patient for. Becoming a Portuguese citizen is becoming a citizen of the world.

Do you need any assistance in obtaining Portuguese citizenship?

As you may have noticed, obtaining Portuguese citizenship isn’t very simple, but it is definitely worth it. Consider contacting professionals from Viv Europe to shorten your process and get your desired documents on time. 

You can use our Facebook Group – All About Portugal For Expats, to learn more about Portuguese citizenship. And if you ever get stuck, we’ll be here to guide you through the difficulties. 

Don’t worry; it’s not as complicated as it sounds. You can make your dream come true just like thousands of other expats have made theirs come true. It’s one step away; contact us now and start your process today! 



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