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Portugal Overview

Situated on the Atlantic seaboard, Portugal is one of the oldest countries in Europe with an excellent reputation, a very high Human Development Index ranking, a high level of security, and one of the world’s most globalized and peaceful nations.

Portugal is the member of the European Union, the Schengen area and has been using the euro as its currency since 2002. Portuguese is the official language, but English is also widely spoken, particularly by younger generations and especially in the tourist regions.

While Portugal is shifting towards offering business-oriented services, a third of its economy remains in manufacturing. It is also the world’s largest supplier of cork and enjoys the benefits of a strong tourism industry. With little of its own hydrocarbon energy resources, Portugal is committed to creating renewable sources of energy such as hydro, wind and solar power. Over 40% of the energy created in Portugal is from such resources, including the most efficient wind tower in the world.

A relatively small country of approximately 11 million people, Portugal boasts a rich history, a lively culture, exceptional cuisine, a mild climate, stunning beaches, and idyllic countryside.

Key advantages of residence in Portugal

  • Visa-free travel within the Schengen area
  • Eligibility to apply for citizenship after five years as a legal resident while keeping other citizenship
  • Excellent international and Portuguese schools and universities
  • International quality health care clinics and hospitals
  • High quality of life and low crime rate

Citizenship in Portugal

Portuguese citizenship grants the right to settle, work and study in all EU countries and allows visa-free access to 185 destinations worldwide. Portuguese citizenship can mainly be acquired by those who are descended from Portuguese parents or grandparents; by marriage or civil union, or by birth in Portuguese territory.

In relation to residents in Portugal, including those who follow the Residence-by-Investment program, it is possible to apply for citizenship after five years of legal residence in Portugal, if

  • The applicant is legally considered to be an adult, i.e. 18 years’ old
  • The applicant has been a resident in Portugal for at least five years
  • The applicant has basic (A2 international level) knowledge of Portuguese language
  • The applicant has not been convicted for a crime which corresponds to a penalty equal to or more than three years according to Portuguese law


In order to create more favorable conditions for citizenship approval, the applicant may demonstrate tangible connections with the Portuguese community.

Portugal allows dual citizenship.

Henley and Partners assists private clients in applying for citizenship on the basis that the requirements listed above have been satisfied.

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