The Portuguese arrived in Mexico around the time of the Spanish colonial period. Many of them were sailors, conquistadors, clergy, and members of the military. Later Portuguese arrivals included pirates in conflict with Spanish leadership. Today, the country's largest Portuguese community is concentrated in Mexico City, especially in the Colonia Condesa, the home of many restaurants and bars popular with people of Portuguese descent. According to the 2000 census, there were 288 Portuguese living in Mexico.
The first Portuguese to arrive in New Spain was Sebastián Rodriguez de Oliveira, a companion of Hernán Cortés. The Portuguese eventually made up a large presence in New Spain. A few such immigrants were Sephardi Jews fleeing the Spanish Inquisition.
Portuguese immigrants had no difficulty adapting into New Spanish society because they were Catholics and accountable to the Spanish Crown for taxation. During the Mexican War of Independence, Mexicans did not distinguish between Spanish,Portuguese colonists and Indians who were on the side of the Spanish Crown, many of whom were killed or expelled. Only those who wanted to remain loyal to The Spanish Crown were expelled or returned to the Iberian Peninsula, while others stayed and integrated into Mexican society remained and lost touch with the Old World.
Portuguese immigrants were granted preferential naturalization times (requiring two years of residence instead of five) in 1993.