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Unlike so many other countries, where the ability to naturalize into citizenship calls for significant local language knowledge, Portuguese law is very liberal in this regard.

The statutory requirement for naturalization calls for a new citizen to have merely a 'knowledge of Portuguese' and the actual ability required is best described as at a 'get around town' level -- that's all.

Taken as part of your application for Permanent Residency, the models for the tests are established by law and cost just 15 Euros for each test.

Kids aged 10 to 14 take one type of test -- and everyone older takes another.

The two test types contain a section on reading comprehension and another section on written expression and last altogether 60 minutes.

The test for younger children has appropriate content for this age group, including ads, information on recreational activities and a short text about an animal.

The test for applicants older than 14 contains real examples of notices and advertisements and a simple text about an immigrant.

The texts both correspond to level A2 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

And, a result of 50% or more is sufficient to pass the test.

If you fail, you just keep on taking it until you eventually pass, with no limit on the number of retakes.

So, by the time you're ready to qualify for citizenship, the government earnestly wish to welcome you to the fold and, judging from the average 86% pass rate, Portuguese language knowledge is not acting as a barrier to the admission of new Portuguese citizens.

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