Monday, 20 December 2010

Grandchildren With At Least One Portuguese Grandparent


Still discussing case by case who is entitled to the Portuguese citizenship, today we will talk about the grandchildren of the Portuguese citizens.

The Article 6,4 of the Nationality Act establishes that the grandchildren, with at least one Portuguese grandparent, can apply for the Portuguese citizenship through naturalisation, without the need of living in Portugal, as long as his/her Portuguese grandparent has not lost the citizenship.

But opposite to the children of Portuguese citizens, whose the fact of having Portuguese parents is enough to justify their application, the grandchildren must meet further requirements, besides having a Portuguese grandparent, under the terms of Article 22,1 of the Nationality Statute, which are:

  • Being over 18: this means that underage grandchildren cannot apply for the naturalisation, not even represented by their parents;
  • Having enough knowledge of the Portuguese idiom;
  • Not having been found guilty of a crime whose penalty, in Portugal, is of imprisonment of three or more years;
  • Have never served the Army or worked for the government of any foreign country.

This procedure is only advised in the situation in which the parent of the grandchild, who is the child of the Portuguese citizen, has passed away before obtaining the Portuguese citizenship for himself/herself.

Summing up:

Case: grandchildren with at least one Portuguese grandparent, born abroad;
Type of citizenship: Derivative Citizenship.
Procedure: Acquisition of citizenship through naturalisation.
Documents to instruct the application: Birth Certificate of the grandchild; ID of the grandchild; Birth Certificate of the Portuguese grandparent; Birth Certificate of parent who is child of the Portuguese citizen; Document proving the knowledge of Portuguese of the applicant; Criminal clearance of the applicant.

Larissa Bona


  1. Dear Larissa,
    This is in regards to your blog I came across. I have a similar situation, but with my Dad. He has found his grandfather's birth certificate in goa, but unfortunately couldnt find his own mother's birth certificate. What do you think can be another alternate to this situation? Also that my dad's mother was also born during that time (1938) in goa, probably her birth was not registered. Although we have manged to find the local village (panchayat) where she resided and have requested for a residence certificate. My question to you is : Is there another alternate regarding my situation? And can I as a great grand child apply directly for citizenship rather than my father?

    Will be reallly obliged if you could help me out with this. Thanks

  2. hi larissa,
    my grand father lost his portuguese citizenship in the philippines thru naturalization. but my dad was a minor back then and my dad was not informed of the option to apply as a citizen of portugal... my dad was born in hongkong then they moved here to the philippines.

    pls reply

    many thanks

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    1. Dear Mr. Mendonca,

      Please, send me an email to, so we can discuss your case in private.

      I look forward to hearing from you soon.

      Yours sincerely,

      Larissa Bona

  6. Dear Larissa

    My grandparents obtained Portuguese citizenship through naturalization. Neither myself nor my parents are citizens. Would it be possible for myself or my father to go through the process mentioned in the article?

    Thanks and regards


    1. Are you sure they have obtained the citizenship through naturalization procedure? Please, send me an e-mail to

  7. Hello Larissa,

    How do you provide proof of knowledge of the Portuguese language? What type of document should I bring? I completed a Portuguese language course at the University of Ottawa here in Canada. Will a statement of completed studies suffice?

    Thank you

    1. Dear Melissa, you must take a Proficieny exam at Instituto Camões.

  8. Hello Larissa,

    My grandfather was a portuguese national born in Daman (that was under the portuguese rule back then). He has passed away but I still have his portuguese passport to prove his nationality. My immediate parents are not portuguese nationals. Can I apply for portuguese nationality under my grandfather's nationality? I do not have his birth certificate but I do have his portuguese passport. Please advise.

    1. Please, send me an e-mail to with the scans of the documents of your grandfather that you already have and I will analyze your case.