Registering a birth is mandatory and free of charge, and can be done by either parent, whether or not they are married. The baby can be registered online or in person.
- via the Justice Portal [Portal da Justiça] (through authentication with a Digital Mobile Key or your Citizen Card)
- at a Births Desk [Balcão Nascer Cidadão], where available in the maternity unit
- in a civil registry office within 20 days after birth.
When registering the birth, you must indicate:
- up to 2 first names (simple or compound)
- up to 4 surnames (simple or compound)
- the child’s place of birth, which may be one of the following:
Children born in Portugal to foreigners parents
Children born to foreign nationals can have Portuguese nationality at birth if one of their parents was born and resides in Portugal. When registering the birth, the mother or father must provide documents that prove their place of birth and their residence.
You can apply for Portuguese nationality later on if:
- you have no nationality (stateless persons)
- the mother or father has resided in Portugal, and has not worked in their country of origin for more than 5 years at the time the child was born
- the mother or father has been resident in Portugal for more than 5 years with a valid residence permit/document
- the child has completed primary education in Portugal
- the mother or father has acquired Portuguese nationality after the birth of the child, and the child has an effective connection to the Portuguese community*.
Children born abroad to Portuguese parents
Children born abroad are entitled to have Portuguese nationality if at least one of the parents has Portuguese nationality.
Portuguese persons residing in a country of the European Union (EU) or in a country outside the EU whose official language is Portuguese, including Macau, may apply online for birth registration and for Portuguese nationality for their children. The application can only be made online if the child was born less than one year ago.
If the child is over the age of one, the parents must register the birth and apply for Portuguese nationality in person at a consular post.
Once the birth has been registered, a birth certificate may be requested. Find out how to apply for a birth certificate in paper or electronic format.
The Citizen Card is compulsory for all persons with Portuguese nationality who reside in Portugal or abroad, as from the 20th day after birth. Until the child reaches their first birthday, the Citizen Card is free of charge.
If the baby is Portuguese, you can request the Citizen Card when registering the birth or, alternatively at the following places:
- at the desks of the Institute for Registry and Notary Affairs
- in Citizen Shops
- in RIAC shops in the Azores
- at Portuguese consular offices, if you are outside Portugal.
The first application for a Citizen Card must be made in person. Find out more about how to apply for a first Citizen Card.
In addition to assigning a Civil Identification Number [Número de Identificação Civil, NIC], when applying for a first Citizen Card, a Tax Identification Number [Número de Identificação Fiscal, NIF], Social Security Identification Number [Número de Identificação da Segurança Social, NISS] and national health service user number are assigned.
When applying for the card, which can be done by the mother, father or other person with parental responsibility, a photograph of the child’s face in digital format must simply be sent via email or other suitable means when applying.
The photograph must meet the following criteria:
- JPEG format
- in colour
- taken from the front, at a distance of 60 to 80 centimetres from the child
- focused and clear
- a neutral, light colour background
- the child must have a neutral expression (no frowning or open mouth).
The child must be in a vertical position or, if under the age of one, may be lying on a white or light-coloured blanket and may have their eyes closed. No support or object should be visible; nor should another person be holding the child. There should also be no reflections or shadows visible on the child’s face or in the background.
If the child is travelling outside the European Union, they will need to have their own passport. This document can be applied for in person at the following places:
- at the registry offices and Citizen Shops in all the municipalities
- at the Passport Shops at Lisbon and Porto Airports
- with the Governments of the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira
- at the Portuguese Consulates (for applications made abroad).
Information updated on July 26, 2023