OBTAINING PORTUGUESE CITIZENSHIP BY
Portuguese nationality by Sephardic origin is acquired as a result of Decree Law No. 30-A/2015 of February 27, 2015, which grants the possibility of obtaining Portuguese citizenship by Sephardic origin. "Sephardic Jews" is designated to the descendants of the ancient Jews and traditional Jewish communities of the Iberian Peninsula, i.e. Portugal and Spain.
This is a Decree Law of historical reparation, with the sole purpose of compensating the damage caused to an inherent right, this through the possibility of obtaining the Portuguese citiznehsip to the Sephardic Jews and their descendants, who were expelled from both Spain and Portugal in the 15th century.
Benefits of obtaining Portuguese citizenship
Right to live, work and study in all the European Union.
Free mobility in the Schengen area, with a number of 26 countries.
Family members will have the same rights.
Travel to 185 countries without Visa, including the U.S.
Right to pension and Portuguese Social Security
Fourth most valuable passport in the world.
Attractive tax regime for residents
Difference with the Spanish procedure
No Portuguese culture test is required.
No ties with Portugal are necessary.
Once the applicant is granted Portuguese citizenship by Sephardic origin minors and spouses may apply for citizenship at a later date as any child or spouse of a Portuguese citizen.
Minors are not eligible for the process, they may apply for it once their parents have obtained it.
No language proficiency test is required.
Genealogical study and collection of documents for the application for the certificate of Sephardic origin by the Jewish community of Portugal
Certificate of Jewish origin application
Collection of documentation
Application to Portuguese nationality by Sephardic Origin
Issuance of the Passport which will be delivered to the Portuguese Consulate in the country of residence.
Do I have to go to Portugal personally, do I have to live in Portugal, do I have to speak Portuguese?
The answer to all three questions is "no". You can be represented by a third party when you submit your application, and you also do not have to come to Portugal in person, reside in Portugal or speak Portuguese.
Should my surname be on the "list of Sephardic names"?
No. In fact, there are some surnames that are commonly accepted because they belong to descendants of Portuguese Jewish families, but your surname may have changed over the years. In that case, provide proof of your genealogical relationship, despite the name change.
Can minors apply for Portuguese nationality together with their parents?
No, in the Portuguese process, it is not possible to apply jointly for nationality for minor children. They must wait for the parent to obtain Portuguese nationality in order to benefit from the naturalization process, fulfilling certain requirements.
Can I apply for a family case?
No. Each family member must apply separately since the Jewish community is issued on an individual basis.
Can I apply with a genealogical study of a Spanish Sephardic ancestor?
Yes, since at the time of the expulsion of the Sephardic Jews, the Iberian Peninsula was united, therefore the Spanish Sephardics are also Portuguese.
Do I have to renounce my previous nationality?
No, in Portugal it is maintained the same as in Spain, the non-renunciation of your previous nationality, to the descendants of Sephardic Jews.
I do not have any connection with Portugal, can I still apply?
Yes, another difference between the Spanish process and the Portuguese one is that it does not require accreditation of ties with Portugal, a requirement that was obligatory in Spain.
Has anyone already been granted nationality and how long does it take?
Since March 2015, a few hundred foreign nationals have been granted Portuguese nationality under this decree law and only a small number have been rejected, mainly for technical and legal reasons or even for lack of documentation. The overall process itself is not complicated, but it takes time; there are many pending applications and the applicant must be patient and wait for the process to continue beyond 18 months.
The certification of the Israeli Community of Lisbon can normally take between 60 and 90 business days, provided we receive complete and properly organized documentation, for cases of people descended from Sephardic Jews who converted to Catholicism.
While the certification of the Comunidade Israelita de Porto, takes between 3-5 business days to grant the certificate, for cases of practicing Jews.