Marrying and Sponsoring a Portuguese Citizen

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Marriage to a Portuguese Citizen

Every country has its own laws that apply to its citizens marrying a person from a different country. Getting married to a Portuguese citizen with the goal of eventually bringing them to Canada to live is a process with many steps.;

If you want to bring your Portuguese spouse or partner to live in Canada, you must then file a sponsorship application for them to become a permanent resident. If they would like to visit you in Canada while their application is in process, they must also apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization. For more information, please see our family sponsorship page and our eTA article.


Portuguese Marriage Basic Requirements

If you’ve just set a date for your wedding, this can be an exciting time for the two of you! Don’t let the marriage laws of the Portugal put a dent in your wedding plans.

Here’s what you need to know and what documents to bring with you before you apply for a marriage license.

It is important that you realize that a wedding in Portugal is not something you can accomplish quickly. The Portugal Civil Registry Code has specific requirements you must meet in order to be married in Portugal.


One of you must be in Portugal for a minimum of thirty (30) days before notice of your intended marriage can be given.

Legal Documents:

Visitors to Portugal must show their passports. Canadian citizens permanently residing in Portugal need to show their residence card.

You both need to provide a certified copy of your birth certificates. These certified copies must have been issued within the last six months.

If your wedding is to take place in the Azores, the certified birth certificate must have been issued within the last three months.

You also need to provide a Certificate of “No Impediment”. The authorities may also require a consular Certificate which is based on your registration at the Consular section.

If you want to be married in a Roman Catholic Church, you will need to provide your Baptismal certificates.

After you have received approval to get married, your wedding must take place within three months.

If you’ve been married before, you will need to provide a divorce decree or death certificate to prove that your previous marriage has been legally terminated. These documents must be certified and issued within the last six months, or if in the Azores, in the last three months.

All documents must be translated into Portuguese and authenticated by a Portuguese notary public. The Canadian Embassy does not provide this service, but they can give you a list of translators.


Marriage Ceremony

Both civil and church marriages are valid in Portugal. Civil marriages are performed and registered at Conservatoria do Registo Civil (Civil Registries). You need to use the one which services the area in which you reside.

License Certification:

Don’t leave Portugal without having your Portuguese marriage documents certified at the Procuradoria Geral da Republica, Rua Escola Politecnica, No. 140, Lisboa.

Minimum Marriage Age in Portugal:

The minimum age to get married in Portugal without parental consent is 18. Persons under the age of 16 may not be married.

Common Law Marriages:

Couples cohabiting in an unregistered relationship for more than two years are recognized as having a common economy.


Family Members

If your Portuguese spouse has dependent children, this does not affect the Portuguese Marriage document application.

If you have dependent children, they have no effect on the application to marry a Portuguese citizen.


List of Portuguese Consulates in Canada

Click here

Calling Portugal from Canada

To make a direct call to Portugal from Canada, you need to follow the international dialling format given below. The dialling format is the same when calling Portugal mobile or land line from Canada.

011 – 351 – 2 or 9 – local number  

  • 011 – Exit code for Canada, and is needed for making any international call from Canada
  • 351 – ISD Code or Country Code of Portugal
  • 2 is the landline prefix
  • 9 is the cellular phone prefix
  • Area codes have been incorporated into the local numbers since 1999


Calling Canada from Portugal

To make a direct call to Canada from Portugal, you need to follow the international dialling format given below. The dialling format is the same when calling Canada mobile or land line from Portugal.

00 – 1 – Area Code – local number

  • 00 – Exit code for Portugal, and is needed for making any international call from Portugal
  • 1 – ISD Code or Country Code of Canada

List of area codes in Canada

Province Code Province  Code
Alberta 403 / 587 (southern Alberta)

587 / 780 (central and northern Alberta)

Nunavut 867
BC 236 / 250 / 778 (majority of BC)

236 / 604 / 778 (Metro Vancouver)

Ontario 226 / 519 (southwestern Ontario)

249 / 705 (northeastern Ontario)

289 / 365 / 905 (Greater Toronto Area)

343 / 613 (eastern Ontario)

416 / 647 (Toronto)

807 (northwestern Ontario)

Manitoba 204 / 431 PEI 782 / 902
New  Brunswick 506 Quebec 418 / 581 (eastern Quebec)

438 / 514 (Montreal)

450 / 579 (Greater Montreal)

819 / 873 (remainder of Quebec)

Newfoundland and Labrador 709 Saskatchewan 306 / 639
Northwest Territories 867 Yukon 867
Nova Scotia 782 / 902


Time Difference

Portugal is on Western European Standard Time (GMT+0). As with the rest of Europe, Portugal practices Daylight Saving Time over a slightly different period than North America. For one week at the end of March and another at the end of October, the below time differences do not apply. Saskatchewan does not participate in DST so add an hour in the summer.

Canadian Time Zone # of Hours Thailand is Ahead
Pacific (BC, Yukon) 8 hours
Mountain (Alberta, western Nunavut, Lloydminster, Saskatchewan) 7 hours
Central (Manitoba, Northwest Territories, central Nunavut, northwestern Ontario, Saskatchewan*) 6 hours
Eastern (most of Ontario, most of Quebec) 5 hours
Atlantic (Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, eastern Quebec) 4 hours
Newfoundland 3.5 hours


Emergency Information for Canadians in Portugal

Embassy of Canada in Lisbon

Avenida da Liberdade 196-200
3rd Floor
1269-121 Lisbon

Telephone: (351) 213 164 600
Fax: (351) 213 164 693
Email: [email protected];

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Thursday, 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
“Emergency services for Canadians are always available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.”

View Larger Map

Consulate of Canada in Faro

Rua Frei Lourenço de Santa Maria No. 1
1st Floor, Apartado 79
000-352 Faro

Postal Address: P.O. Box 79, Faro, 8001-901, Portugal

Telephone: (351) 289 803 757
Fax: (351) 289 880 888
E-mail: [email protected]

Office Hours:
Monday – Friday, 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

View Larger Map

Emergency Numbers

Medical emergency (ambulância) 112


PSP- Policia de Segurança Pública:

GNR- Guarda Nacional Repúblicana:



PSP / Command: 296 282 022

PSP / Ponta Delgada Airport: 296 205 517

PSP Trânsito / Traffic: 296 284 327

GNR Ponta Delgada: 296 306 580



PSP / Command: 239 851 300

GNR Coimbra: 239 794 300

GNR / BT – Brigada de Trânsito / Traffic Brigade: 239 794 400



PSP Faro: 289 822 022

PSP Lagos: 282 762 930

GNR Albufeira: 289 590 790

GNR Faro: 289 887 603

GNR Vilamoura: 289 381 780

GNR / Traffic: 289 598 730



PSP / Command: 291208 400

PSP / Funchal Airport: 291 520 889

PSP Trânsito / Traffic: 291 208 400

GNR Funchal: 291 214 460



PSP/ Lisbon Metropolitan Police Command: 21 765 42 42

Esquadra de Turismo / Lisbon Tourism Police Station: 21 342 16 23

Esquadra de Turismo  / Cascais Tourism Police Station: 21 486 39 29

GNR de Sintra: 21 924 49 25

GNR – General Command: 21 321 70 00

PSP Trânsito / Traffic: 21 750 12 00



PSP / Oporto Metropolitan Police Command: Tel: 22 209 20 00

Esquadra de Turismo / Oporto Tourism Police Station: Tel: 22 20818 33

GNR / BT- Brigada de Trânsito / Traffic Brigade: Tel: 22 339 96 00


Other Cities:

PSP / Aveiro Command: 234 302 510

PSP / Beja Command: 284 313 150

PSP / Braga Command: 253 200 420

PSP / Bragança Command: 273 303 400

PSP / Castelo Branco Command: 272 340 622

PSP / Faro Command: 289 899 899

PSP / Guarda Command: 271 222 022

PSP / Leiria Command: 244 859 859

PSP / Santarém Command: 243 322 022

PSP / Setúbal Command: 265 522 022

PSP / Vila Real Command: 259 330 240


The Government of Canada’s Travel Alerts for Portugal

For travel alerts, click here

Portuguese Money

The euro, the new single European currency, became the official currency of Portugal and 11 other countries on January 1, 1999, but not in the form of cash. On January 1, 2002, euro bank notes and coins were introduced. During a 2-month transition period, escudo notes, the old currency of Portugal, were withdrawn from circulation. The symbol of the euro is €; its official abbreviation is EUR.


Marriage Customs in Portugal


Religion in Portugal

Portugal has no official religion. The most predominant religion in Portugal is Roman Catholicism. According to the 2011 Census, 91.4% of the population of Portugal is Catholic, though only about 19% attend mass and take the sacraments regularly, while a larger number wish to be baptised, married in a church, and receive Last Rites.

Although Church and State were formally separated during the Portuguese First Republic (1910–1926), a separation reiterated in the constitution of 1976, Roman Catholic precepts continue to have a significant bearing in Portuguese society and culture. Many Portuguese holidays, festivals, and traditions have a religious connotation although most have an ancient pagan origin. The educational and health care systems were for a long time the Church’s preserve, and in many cases, whenever a building, bridge, or highway was opened, it received a blessing from the Clergy. Although Church and State are formally separate, the Catholic Church still receives certain privileges. Statistically, religious practice increases with increasing age, the younger generations showing less evidence of religious practice as compared to the older generation.

For most of Portugal’s history, few non–Roman Catholics lived in the country; those who did could not practice their religion freely. They had been kept out of the country for three centuries by the Inquisition. However, the British began settling in Portugal in the nineteenth century brought other Christian denominations with them. Most belonged to the Anglican Church of England, but others were Protestant Methodists, Congregationalists, Baptists, and Presbyterians.

By the early 1990s, only some 50,000 to 60,000 Anglicans and Protestants lived in Portugal, less than 1 percent of the total population. The 1950s and 1960s saw the arrival of Pentecostals, Mormons, and Jehovah’s Witnesses, all of whom increased in numbers more rapidly than the earlier arrivals did. All groups, however, were hampered by prohibitions and restrictions against the free exercise of their religions, especially missionary activities.

These restrictions were lifted after the Revolution of 1974. The constitution of 1976 guarantees all religions the right to practice their faith. Non–Roman Catholic groups came to be recognized as legal entities with the right to assemble. Portuguese who were both not Roman Catholics and were conscientious objectors had the right to apply for alternative military service. The Roman Catholic Church, however, still sought to place barriers in the way of missionary activities.

Churches in Portugal

Dos Clérigos church – Porto


Jewish Religion

The Jewish community in Portugal numbered between 500 and 1,000 as of the early 1990s. The community was concentrated in Lisbon, and many of its members were foreigners. The persecution of Portuguese Jewry had been so intense that until the twentieth century Portugal had no synagogue or even regular Jewish religious services. The few Jewish Portuguese were hence isolated from the main currents of Judaism. Their community began to revive when larger numbers of foreign Jews mainly embassy personnel, business people, and technicians began coming to Portugal in the 1960s and 1970s. In northern Portugal, there are a few villages where Marranos, descendants of Jews who converted to Christianity to avoid persecution and whose religion was a mixture of Judaism and Christianity, still exist.


Lisbon Synagogue


Atheism and Agnosticism

The number of Atheists and agnostics in Portugal ranges between 420,960 to 947,160 members which translate to between 4 to 9% of total population. According to other sources, Atheists and agnostics are 6.5% of the population. According to 2011 census, there were 2.8% atheists or agnostics in Portugal.



Portugal’s Muslim community consisted of a small number of immigrants from Portugal’s former colonies in Africa, namely Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau, and small numbers of recent immigrant workers from Northern Africa, mainly Morocco. In the 1991 census the number of Muslims in Portugal was under 10,000. The main Mosque in Portugal is the Lisbon Mosque.


Lisbon Mosque


Romantic, Scenic and Historic Places in Portugal


Sheraton Algarve Hotel – Albufeira

Sheraton Algarve Hotel is standing proudly on a spectacular cliff-top setting and surrounded by pine trees, the Sheraton Algarve Hotel overlooks miles of unspoiled beaches edging the clear, blue sea. Enticing guest rooms, a wealth of recreational facilities and a range of excellent dining venues make the Sheraton Algarve an unforgettable luxury resort experience.


Vila Sao Vicente – Albufeira

This Albufeira hotel is located by the ocean, nestled on the beach a short distance from Albufeira Old Town Square, Fisherman’s Beach, and Albufeira Marina. Also nearby are International Health Centers Albufeira and Aveiros Beach. In addition to wireless Internet access (surcharge), Vila Sao Vicente provides high-speed wired Internet access, a parking garage, and air conditioning in public areas. Guestrooms open to furnished balconies with city, beach or ocean views and feature televisions with satellite channels and balconies.


Hotel Albatroz – Cascais

The elegant Hotel Albatroz was formerly a royal summer retreat, until its transformation into one of Portugal’s top boutique hotels. The combination of excellent hotel service and the charm of a privately owned residence give each of the 53 rooms, including 10 suites, its unique character. The Hotel has an exquisite dining room, the atmospheric bar and the salt-water swimming pool, all feature panoramic views of the beautiful bay.


Pousada de Cascais

This luxury hotel, Pousada de Cascais, is set within the walls of the historical fortress, the emblematic 16th century Citadel of Cascais, in the centre of Cascais. The Pousada de Cascais, Fortaleza da Cidadela, is a world in itself with restaurants, bars, arts shops, and indoor pool, wellness centre, business centre and ample meeting and conference facilities. It goes without saying that all the rooms have air conditioning, multi-channel Lcd televisions, wi-fi, safes, bathrobes and many other comforts


Monte do Casal – Faro

Monte do Casal is in a protected preservation area close to the ancient hill village of Estoi, yet only 15 minutes from the airport, 25 minutes from Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo and the world famous golf courses and beaches. Monte do Casal is a beautiful old 18th century Country House Hotel offering a high degree of privacy with an emphasis on comfort, personal service and first class food in a very special atmosphere of total relaxation.


Reids Palace – Funchal

The Hotel is located on the outskirts of Funchal, set in Madeira’s sub-tropical paradise, Reid’s Palace Hotel magnificent cliff top setting is an ideal venue for pleasure, a place for businessmen or women who appreciate elegance and luxury. Reid’s Palace Hotel has 130 rooms and 34 suites individually decorated in pastel colours, with a traditional style and comfort and have new wicker tables and chairs on the balconies or terraces, with sea facing views of either gardens or Funchal Bay


Pestana Palace – Lisbon

Located in Lisbon city but only a short drive from the Estoril Coast and its beaches, the hotel incorporates a XIX century palace, now fully restored to its former glory and classified as a National Monument. The Pestana Palace looks over an inner private park lush with many subtropical trees and plants and enjoys panoramic views over the Tagus River. At the Pestana Palace Hotel all rooms and suites have Air conditional Central heating, Cable Television among other services. The hotel has a Health Club (with Gymnasium, indoor & outdoor swimming pools, sauna) and major sport facilities nearby such as 18 hole golf courses. Pestana Palace has fifteen meeting rooms equipped with air conditioning and the most modern audio-visual equipment. The Hotel’s recently restored XIX century ancient coach house ideal for the holding meetings congresses and conferences. All the mentioned facilities and amenities make Lisbon a perfect choice for both Leisure and corporate events.


Vilalara Thalassa Resort – Praia Das Gaivotas

The Spa hotel is set amidst 10 hectares of tropical gardens overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on Portugal’s Algarve coast. Guests can enjoy water sports at the private beach or the five pools, or indulge in spa treatments at the Thalassotherapy centre. The Vilalara Thalassa Spa Hotel has air-conditioned suites open out onto furnished balconies with garden views; all have satellite television and minibars.


Vila Monte – Sitio Dos Calicos

Vila Monte spa hotel is situated near the sea. In addition to a restaurant, Vila Monte features an outdoor pool. Other amenities include a poolside bar and a bar/lounge. Televisions come with satellite channels. Guestrooms also feature refrigerators, air conditioning, and safes.


Tavira Inn Hotel / Guest House -Tavira

Trivira Inn is situated in Tavira, this romantic guesthouse is located close to Misericordia Church, Roman Bridge, and Tavira Castle. Also nearby are Praca da Republica and Mother Church of Santa Maria do Castelo. Tavira Inn Hotel – Guest House provides complimentary wireless Internet access and free parking. Guestrooms come with refrigerators, air conditioning, hair dryers, and ceiling fans.



Camilo beach – Lagos

Camilo beach in Lagos (‘Praia do Camilo’) is simply beautiful! The view over the beach from the top is breathtaking. Picturesque cliffs embrace the little beach and the rock formations are magnificent. It is a wonderfully sheltered bay for swimming and is an ideal choice of beach for a breezy day.
There is a restaurant on the cliffs above Camilo beach which is very popular with local residents, serving local dishes and specialising in freshly caught seafood and the views are stunning!
‘Praia do Camilo’ is on the way to Ponta da Piedade and is the turning 500m further on from Dona Ana along ‘Estrada da Ponta da Piedade’. There is a small car park by the restaurant.


Dona Ana beach – Lagos

Dona Ana beach in Lagos is embraced by cliffs, which offer shelter from any sea breezes and the magnificent rock formations offer a fabulous sight from the beach. Access to the beach is by way of wooden steps, so it’s not suitable for disabled access. Dona Ana beach has a restaurant and there is limited parking behind the beach.


Meia Praia – Lagos

Meia Praia is the most famous of the Lagos beaches. Its sheer size, wonderfully clean sand, lovely beach bars and proximity to the town make it a perfect choice for relaxing into the Lagos beach life! Meia Praia extends over 4km up to the delta of the rivers Odiáxere and Arão and has numerous car parks along it’s length. Walking from the marina, past the train station takes around 5 minutes to reach the western end where 3 of the beach bars are situated. There are ramps and wooden walkways for ease of access.


Porto de Mós beach – Lagos

Porto de Mós beach in Lagos (‘Praia do Porto de Mós’) is a beautiful sandy bay backed with tall multi-coloured cliffs on either side. There are two beach restaurants with the usual stunning views and a large car park right behind the beach. Porto de Mós beach is 3.5 km from Lagos town centre.


Praia da Batata – Lagos

Praia da Batata is the closest beach to Lagos town centre and consequently is known locally as the “town beach”. As you arrive to the beach you are met with the magnificent sight of a fortress, Forte Ponta da Bandeira, which was historically used to guard Lagos by protecting the river mouth from attack. Although small compared to Meia Praia, Praia da Batata is wonderfully sheltered and is divided into smaller coves accessible by holes in the rocks. There is a beach bar at the main entrance to the beach and another further along, which is also accessible down some quite steep steps. There are sunbeds for hire and activity kiosks at the entrance to the beach for water sports and sea kayak tours.


Sponsoring Your Portuguese Spouse to Canada

The sponsorship process is complicated and lengthy; to learn more about it, click the button below:

Learn More

Sponsorship Review

Immigroup will review your completed spousal sponsorship application.. Immigroup will make sure you have not made any mistakes on your application or in gathering the documentation of your relationship. We will assess your sponsorship letter and give you peace of mind that you are submitting an application with a very good chance of success. Don’t lose sleep at night worrying about whether you’ve done enough. Call us at 1-866-760-2623 for a review.

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