on March 8, 2022

Portuguese nationality for descendants of Sephardic Jews

on March 8, 2022

A nacionalidade portuguesa para os descendentes de judeus sefarditas

As a way through historical reparation, the Portuguese legislation by the Organic Law No. 1/2013, 29 July and Decree-Law 30-A / 2015, 27 February, started to grant Portuguese nationality by naturalization to Sephardic Jews' descendants, as seen in art. 6th, nº 7, in the Nationality Law, Law nº 37/81, 03 October.

It is important to say that on the day March 18, 2022 changes were published in the regulation of the nationality law that make it difficult for descendants of Sephardic Jews to access this type of nationality. At changes take effect on the 1st of September from 2022. Until that date, all processes initiated at the Conservatory will be governed by the current regulation.

Who are the Sephardic Jews?

Sephardic Jews are the descendants of Jews from the Iberian Peninsula (Portugal and Spain) and that from the end of the 15th century to being persecuted by the State and the Portuguese and Spanish Inquisition, being forced to convert to Catholicism. This persecution caused the flight of thousands of Jews to several countries outside the continent: Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, United States, Israel, among others. Their descendants can therefore apply for Portuguese nationality as long as they are able to prove this connection by means of documents.

How to apply for Portuguese nationality in this way?

1st Stage: Genealogical Study

To find out if you have the legitimacy to apply for nationality, you must first investigate whether you have Sephardic ancestry. Having confirmed the family link, which has no limits of generations, a genealogical study will be prepared, a document with all the direct and indirect evidence of the genealogical connection. The investigation is carried out by historians and genealogists from Martins Castro. At the end of this text you can find a free preliminary analysis form. 

2nd Stage: CIL or CIP certification

After the identification of Sephardic descent and the elaboration of the genealogical study, the research is submitted for consideration at the  Israeli Community of Lisbon (CIL) or Israeli Community of Porto (CIP), institutions competent to certify the genealogical research of the candidate for citizenship, as determined by article 24-A, nº 3, subparagraph c) of the Portuguese Nationality Regulation.

By the validation of genealogical study, an official certificate is issued proving the belonging tradition to a Sephardic community. This is an essential document for the beginning of the Portuguese nationality procedure in the competent Portuguese institutions.

3rd Stage: Conservatory

With the certification possession, which includes your Sephardic origin, begins the nationality process lastest step over the nationality request to the Minister of Justice that must be submitted to one of the conservatories of Instituto de Registros e Tabeliões - IRN, where it's granted the Portuguese citizenship.

The request must also be instructed with the documentation according to the arts. 18 and 24-A of DL nº 237-A / 2006.

As authorized by art. 42, no. 1, subparagraph a) of DL no. 237-A / 2006, the conservator can request additional documents to reinforce your connection to the Sephardic community in attendance to the deadline manifestation.

Related legislation:

– Organic Law No. 1/2013;
– Nationality Law, Law nº 37/81, of October 3rd;
– Decree-Law 30-A/2015.

Find out if you are a Sephardic Jew descent

You can find out if you have Sephardic ancestry. To do this, you just have to correctly answer all the fields on our pre-analysis form. There are no costs associated with completing the form.