According to Wikipedia:

As of July 29, 2015, those born outside Portugal who have at least one grandparent of Portuguese nationality, are granted Portuguese citizenship by extension immediately. The new registration procedure replaces the current provision of Article 6, no. 4 according to which a person who was born abroad and is a 2nd generation descendant of a citizen who has not lost his or her citizenship can acquire Portuguese citizenship by naturalization, without a residence requirement. The amendment still needs to be signed by the President before entering into law.

It cites this webpage as the source for the claim.

Suppose you have two grandparents (now deceased) who were born in Madeira (a semi-autonomous region of Portugal) and later immigrated to the United States, but that neither of your parents are Portuguese citizens. In that case, would you be eligible for Portuguese citizenship without the residency requirements?

  • You should ask your nearest Portuguese consulate, but it certainly sounds like you are in luck. You might also want to look at Expatriates.
    – phoog
    Jun 3, 2017 at 15:56

1 Answer 1


The current law does suggest so. The law does not actually contrast "nationality" and "citizenship" as the translation suggests: it says that the grandparent "não tenha perdido essa nacionalidade" (has not his his/her nationality). The part that would remain to be determined is whether both grandparents lost their Portuguese nationality somehow. The most likely reason for that would be renouncing Portuguese citizenship, for example to take US citizenship. That matter could probably be resolved by researching the law of Portugal and the US at the time the grandparents became US citizens (if they did). Both countries currently allow dual citizenship and as far as I know the US has never required a person to formally renounce their other citizenship to be naturalized. The verbiage in the current US naturalization oath that resembles a renunciation of citizenship:

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen...

might suffice. Loss of nationality under Portuguese law simply says

Perdem a nacionalidade portuguesa os que, sendo nacionais de outro Estado, declarem que não querem ser portugueses. ("Those who, being nationals of another state, declare that they do not want to be Portuguese lose Portuguese nationality")

Some other countries make it much more difficult to renounce citizenship. One would need a Portuguese con-law attorney to know whether this legally means that you must first become a national of another state, and then declare that you don't want to be Portugese (or, can the renunciation precede the moment of naturalization?). (The fact of coming from Madeira is not significant since Madeira is still part of Portugal, whereas coming from Mozambigue would be). The main practical questions is, what were the laws at the relevant time?

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