A Guide for Australian Immigrants to Gain EU Citizenship in Portugal

For Australian immigrants looking towards Europe, Portugal presents a unique opportunity for obtaining EU citizenship, along with a high quality of life. However, with the impending termination of the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) program by the end of 2023, it is imperative to seek professional advice promptly to navigate the changing legal landscape and optimize the process of relocation and citizenship acquisition.

With practical advice and detailed insights, let’s discuss a seamless move to Portugal, ensuring you’re well-informed and prepared for the exciting transition ahead.

Understanding Perks of Portuguese Citizenship

  • Live, work, and travel freely within the EU, EEA, and Switzerland.
  • Work in any EU country without a work permit.
  • Study across the EU with potential for local tuition rates.
  • Access to Portuguese healthcare and EU healthcare systems.
  • Voting rights in Portuguese and European Parliament elections.
  • Simplified family reunification processes.
  • No requirement to renounce Australian citizenship.
  • Permanent residence security and legal protections in Portugal.
  • Ability to pass citizenship to children.

Eligibility and Requirements for Australians to get EU Citizenship

  • Minimum of five years of legal residency in Portugal.
  • Clean criminal record in Portugal and Australia.
  • Pass a basic Portuguese language test (A2 level).
  • Sufficient financial means to support oneself.
  • Participation in the social security system, if applicable.
  • No outstanding tax obligations in Portugal.
  • Commitment to maintain residence in Portugal for the required period.

Visa Options for Australians

Golden Visa

The Golden Visa program offers a fast track to residency for Australians investing in Portuguese real estate or businesses. You must maintain the investment for five years and stay in Portugal for a minimum of seven days in the first year and 14 days in subsequent two-year periods.

D7 Visa

The D7 Visa caters to retirees or those with a stable passive income, like rental earnings or pensions. Applicants must demonstrate sufficient funds to sustain themselves and may not need to invest heavily in the country, focusing instead on proving their ongoing income.

Tech Visa

Portugal’s Tech Visa targets skilled professionals in the technology sector, aiming to fill the high demand for tech talent. Australian applicants need a job offer from a recognized tech company in Portugal and must meet certain professional qualifications.

Startup Visa

The Startup Visa is for entrepreneurs intending to establish a startup in Portugal. Australians with an innovative business plan likely to create jobs and contribute to technological advancement can apply, needing to secure backing from a recognized incubator.

Student Visa

Australians who wish to study in Portugal must be admitted to a Portuguese educational institution in order to apply for a Student Visa. Students may perform part-time jobs to help support themselves while they study, and the visa is valid for the entire term of the academic program.

Work Visa

Australians who receive a job offer in Portugal can apply for a Work Visa. This requires a contract or documented promise of a contract and the employer’s confirmation of the job offer with the Portuguese labor authorities.

Family Reunification Visa

This visa allows Australians living in Portugal to reunite with family members, including spouses, dependent children, and dependent parents. The main requirement is proving the family ties and the capacity to provide for the family’s needs.

The Process to Get EU Citizenship for Australians

  • Secure a Residency Visa: Determine the most suitable visa type for your situation (e.g., Golden Visa, D7 Passive Income Visa, Work Visa, etc.) and fulfill its specific requirements.
  • Move to Portugal: Once your visa is approved, relocate to Portugal and register with the local authorities, including the immigration services (SEF) to obtain your residency permit.
  • Complete the Minimum Period of Residency: Generally, you must legally reside in Portugal for at least five years before you can apply for permanent residency or citizenship.
  • Apply for Permanent Residency: After five years, you can apply for permanent residency, which removes the need for visa renewals and solidifies your status in Portugal.
  • Pursue Citizenship Application: With permanent residency secured, you can then apply for Portuguese citizenship. Compile the necessary documentation, including proof of your residence period, language proficiency, and ties to the community.
  • Submit Citizenship Application: The application is submitted to the Portuguese Civil Registry Office or possibly online, depending on the available procedures at the time of your application.
  • Wait for Approval: The processing time can vary, but expect several months. During this time, your application will be reviewed, and additional documentation may be requested.
  • Receive Citizenship and Obtain Passport: Upon approval, you will be granted Portuguese citizenship, after which you can request a Portuguese passport, officially becoming an EU citizen.

Things Australians Required to Get EU Citizenship

  • Valid Passport
  • Portuguese Visa (appropriate to the residency plan)
  • Residency Permit
  • Proof of Income or Investment
  • Criminal Record Certificate from Australia
  • Portuguese Criminal Record Certificate
  • Proof of Accommodation in Portugal
  • Receipt of Application Submission (from the SEF for residency)
  • Health Insurance valid in Portugal
  • Proof of Integration into the Portuguese community (could be testimonials, participation in community activities, etc.)
  • Language Proficiency Certificate (A2 level)
  • Knowledge of Portuguese Life and Culture Test Certificate
  • Receipt of Tax Identification Number (NIF) from Portugal
  • Social Security Registration (if applicable)
  • Receipts of Residency Renewal (for temporary residencies leading up to permanent residency)
  • Permanent Residency Certificate (after 5 years of legal residency)
  • Application for Portuguese Citizenship (form and associated fees)
  • Birth Certificate (to be translated and apostilled if not in Portuguese)    

Financial Considerations

When pursuing EU citizenship in Portugal, Australians should budget for the Golden Visa investment starting at €280,000, various application fees which can amount to several thousand euros, ongoing legal advisory costs, and potential tax liabilities under the Non-Habitual Resident regime. The total cost over the five-year residency period, excluding the investment, can range from €10,000 to €15,000, considering living expenses and administrative costs.

Time Required to Get EU Citizenship for Australians

To obtain EU citizenship via Portugal, Australians typically need to maintain legal residency for five years, followed by a processing period for citizenship applications which can take several months to over a year, depending on individual circumstances and the efficiency of the Portuguese bureaucracy.

Let us Assist you in Your Journey to EU Citizenship

Starting the journey to become a citizen of the EU via Portugal is an important step. Get in touch with us right now if you’re an Australian prepared to take this step. To ensure a seamless transition to your new life in Europe, our team of professionals is available to assist you at every step of the way. Don’t hesitate; start your journey right away to guarantee your spot in the center of Europe!

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