If you’re not ready or willing to lose your current passport, Portugal may be a good choice. The country allows dual nationality and several options for expats looking to apply for a Portuguese passport. Learn more about Portuguese passport eligibility and more in this guide.
If you move to Portugal and meet certain conditions, you may be eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship and get a Portuguese passport. Portugal is an EU country, which means that their passport allows you to travel as an EU citizen. Portugal also allows dual nationality; it’s possible to get a passport without giving up the passport of your home country.
This guide to getting a Portuguese passport includes information on types of passport in Portugal, as well as the benefits, passport eligibility, applying for and renewing a passport, and the costs involved.
The Portuguese passport
If you are a foreign resident in Portugal and you acquire Portuguese citizenship, you will be eligible for a passport which entitles you to travel around the world as an EU citizen, as well as enter/exit Portugal as many times as you wish.
You don’t have to get a passport if you are a Portuguese citizen. Rather, you can get a Portuguese Citizen Card as a general identity document upon becoming a citizen. But this passport is beneficial for international travel.
The Portuguese Ministry of Justice (Instituto dos Registos e do Notoriado) issues passports. In 2006, the Portuguese government began issuing electronic passports (Passaporte Eletronico Portugues – PEP) with enhanced security features and biometric information. All new standard passports are now a PEP.
There are five types of Portuguese passport:
- Standard electronic passport (PEP) issued to citizens
- Diplomatic Passport (PD) issued to officials carrying out diplomatic business
- Passport for Foreign Citizens (PCE) for stateless individuals with no other passports who have the right to reside in Portugal. Valid for two years.
- Special Passport (PES) given to government officials who perform certain Public Administration functions
- Temporary Passport (PT) issued in certain emergency circumstances for a period of up to one year
The standard Portuguese passport, similar to many passports, is a booklet with a dark red cover. The passport contains 28 visa pages and a biographical information page contains the holder’s name, height, date of birth, sex, birthplace, date of issue and expiration, photograph (digital in the PEP), digital signature, as well as a microchip containing the information electronically.
Portuguese passport benefits
There are certain benefits to obtaining a local passport. The benefits include the ability to:
- leave and re-enter Portugal as many times as you wish while your passport is valid
- travel around the world as a Portuguese as well as an EU citizen
- obtain dual nationality and also have two passports, providing your home country allows dual nationality
- travel to 115 different countries visa-free. Portugal sits 18th in the world on the Passport Index
You can also see our guide to Portuguese citizenship for more information on Portuguese citizenship and the benefits of citizenship.
Portuguese passport eligibility
Passport eligibility depends upon Portuguese citizenship. If you are a foreign resident and you want to become a Portuguese citizen, you must have lived in Portugal for six years, including one year with permanent residency. However, this lessens to three years if you have been married or in a legal partnership with a Portuguese citizen for three years.
In addition to this, you will need to have sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language and have not been jailed for any serious crimes. See even more in our guide to Portuguese citizenship for details.
Applying for a Portuguese passport
You can apply for your passport at any of the following places:
- Offices of the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF)
- Portuguese Citizen Shops
- Passport shops at Lisbon and Porto airports
- In the government offices of the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira
- In Portuguese consulates around the world
To apply for a passport, you will need to present your Citizen’s Card (or national ID card, which preceded the Citizen’s Card) to prove your eligibility. You will need to provide a digital signature as well as biometric information for the electronic passport (digital photograph and fingerprints). Your photograph will be taken at the office where you make your application so you don’t need to worry about providing a digital image of yourself.
You will also need to bring along your previous passport if you are making an application for a renewal. You must provide additional information if you’re under 18 or disabled. See here for even more details.
Once you have made your application and filled in the application form, you then choose your method of delivery, which is either normal (5 days), express (2 days) or urgent (1 day).
Renewing a Portuguese passport
The standard Portuguese passport (PEP) is valid for 5 years. You can apply for a replacement passport if it is due to expire within 6 months. However, it’s not possible to renew your passport once it has expired. In this case, you must make a fresh application for a new passport and go through the same process as you went through initially.
You’ll need to bring your old/expired passport with you when you make the fresh application for a new Portuguese passport; it must be submitted to the Portuguese authorities. However, an expired passport cannot replace the Portuguese Citizen Card/ID card as a proof of identity when you make an application for a new Portuguese passport.
You can get a replacement Portuguese passport if your existing passport becomes lost, damaged, stolen, filled up with visa stamps or if its expiry date is within the next six months. This is possible through any of the offices that issue passports. You will need to bring along your Portuguese Citizen’s Card and existing passport (if you still have it).
- Standard passport (PEP) – €65 (normal), €85 (express), €95 (urgent) plus €10 shipping
- Passport for Foreign Citizens (PCE) – €107.40
- Temporary Passport (PT) – €150.
The Portuguese passport fee can be paid with cash or credit/debit card at the office where it is issued, or also in advance via one of the Portuguese Multibanco ATM cash machines where you can make a range of different bill payments.