Immigration. Travel. Living.

Options of Becoming a Cape Verde Citizen

Cape Verde is a republic island nation in the central Atlantic Ocean, about 500 kilometers from West Africa, consisting of 10 volcanic islets. Discovered by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century, who went on to inhabit the lands for the Atlantic slave trade, it flourished rapidly in the 16th and 17th centuries, attracting merchants, privateers, and buccaneers. During the nineteenth century, the abolition of the slave trade resulted in significant economic collapse and migration. However, it has gradually recovered to be an iconic commercial center and stopover for shipping routes. Swanking of a stable representative democracy, it is one of the most developed and democratic countries in Africa, with its developing economy mostly based on a service-oriented and keen interest in tourism and foreign investment. Currently has a population of about 512,000 persons, who are predominantly Roman Catholic.

Jus sanguinis and jus soli are the only grounds for citizenship here. However, this means that simply being born within the territory does not necessarily make a person a citizen; with the exemption of a child born to parents who are unknown or stateless. Seeing, as you are interested in becoming a citizen, this guide covers all the basics you need to know about it.

What are the options?

Every foreigner has a chance of acquiring citizenship, provided such a person meets the basic requirements. There are various types of nationality, knowing the category you belong to increases your eligibility.

Citizenship by Birth

Jus soli may not solely grant citizenship but a combo of it and jus sanguinis is used to grant nationality to a person who falls in any of the following cases:

  • Born to parents who have resided in the United States for at least five years and are legal permanent residents.
  • Born to at least one grandparent who is/was a native, irrespective of the place of birth
  • Orphans born to parents whose identities are unknown
  • Child of at least one Cape Verdean citizen, regardless of birthplace

Citizenship by Naturalization

Persons who are of the legal age and have the legal capacity to the Ministry responsible for immigration can acquire this through an application. To be eligible for this, you must have lived here for at least five years as a permanent resident or be a married spouse to a citizen. The former may be waived if an applicant can invest in the development of the country. Aside from foreigners who meet the criteria, other persons eligible to apply include:

  • The spouse of a native citizen
  • Children of a naturalized Citizen
  • Persons with Cape Verdean ancestry
  • Adoptees of nationals who are legal citizens
  • Individuals who have previously renounced their nationality and wish to reclaim it.

Note: Dual citizenship is recognized; When you become a citizen, you do not have to renounce any previous citizenship. The government does not offer a citizenship by investment scheme in this country, but anyone who makes a respectable investment can become a citizen without having to live there. This covers citizenship for family members too.


Citizenship applications are open to those who meet the following criteria:

  • have resided in the territory for a minimum of 5 years (can be waived for those you choose to make a sizeable investment
  • Is of legal age
  • Possess good moral or civil fitness
  • Must be able to survive and feed themselves
  • Speaks the language fluently

Processing Time

To apply, an applicant must prepare a request to be submitted to the ministry alongside all other required documents and a one-time payment for the application. It may take a while to process; usually three months or even more.

Processing Fee

An application for Citizenship has an initial fee of 3611 ECV. Then upon approval, successful applicants have to pay a one-time fee of 1200 ECV for the Certificate of Citizenship.

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