Suppose one has a clean criminal record, and takes up Portuguese residence. During the 5 years residence required for eligibility to gain citizenship, one comes under criminal investigation and is then convicted in one's country of origin, of grave and universally recognised crimes. What implications does this have upon one's path to Portuguese citizenship?

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    I don't think a general answer is possible, as there are far too many variables. What a country of residence will do will depend upon its citizenship laws and what it knows, and that, in turn, will depend upon what it's interested in and what it's willing to pay for (in time, or money, or energy) to find out. Whether a domestic investigation in another country is (or is not) interesting is up to the laws of the country of residence as well as whatever animates its immigration authorities. Oct 4 '20 at 20:45
  • Part of the Nationalization process is normally that you must provide them with your criminal record (convictions, not investigations). They would then decide what is relevant. Withholding such information could be considered grounds for a later annulment of a Nationalization. Oct 5 '20 at 5:49
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    Need a lot more details. It's one thing to be under investigation for petty theft or a bar fight with no serious injuries/damage. It's something entirely different to be under 'investigation' for War Crimes or Crimes Against Humanity. And even then, an investigation is far different from a conviction, which is usually (though not at all necessarily - depending on the countries involved) considered with far more relevance. Edit this question to, at a minimum, include the general type of crime, and the country involved, and maybe somebody can help.
    – ouflak
    Oct 5 '20 at 5:56
  • As others wrote, it depends on the crime type. However, if it is relevant, I suggest that if this type of crime simply does not exist in Portugal, it should not have any implication for Portugal's citizenship. For other crime types it depends... Oct 5 '20 at 7:16
  • For jurisdictions that follow the Rehabilitation principles, past convictions may be considered to have expired (and therefore no longer relevant). Oct 5 '20 at 7:29

Without knowing what is to be understood by:

of grave and universally recognised crimes

no precise answer can be given (vague details lead to vague answers).

One reason for denial of an application is given in Portuguese Citizenship Act, Artigo 9 P

b) has committed a crime with a maximum penalty of imprisonment of more than three years according the Portuguese legislation;

Important is the maximum sentence possible, not the actual amount of the sentence.


  • Okay, then let's say, kidnapping, murder, rape, or child abuse.
    – Joseph P.
    Oct 6 '20 at 9:48
  • @JosephP. Here is a link where PDF's are available: Portugal - Criminal codes - Legislationline Oct 6 '20 at 10:06
  • @JosephP. See also: Murder (Portuguese law) - Wikipedia Homicide, or wilful and intentional murder (art. 131 of the Penal Code), is punishable with a prison sentence of no less than 8 years and no longer than 16 years. Oct 6 '20 at 10:23
  • Thanks Mark, I had looked for those informations on Google but didn't find anything at all myself.
    – Joseph P.
    Oct 7 '20 at 7:49

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