on October 18, 2019

Brazilians prove Sephardic descent and obtain Portuguese citizenship

on October 18, 2019

Brasileiros comprovam descendência sefardita e conseguem cidadania portuguesa

As of 2015, Portuguese legislation began to grant nationality, through naturalization, to those who prove Sephardic Jewish descent. 

Families from all over Brazil are discovering the right to Portuguese nationality through Sephardic proof, as provided for in art. 6th, nº. 7 of the Nationality Law (Law nº37 / 81). Ceará was the state of Brazil with the first case of recognition of nationality through this law with Nertan Ribeiro. He learned of this right from a genealogist, who was willing to do his Genealogy until reaching Sephardic ancestors White Days and Belchior da Rosa

 “My nationality process at the Conservatory (the body responsible for granting the Portuguese birth certificate) took about eight months and was worth it. This was a way I found to honor my late father and also a way to take up residence in Portugal ”, explains Nertan.  

Claudiane Juaçaba also got his Portuguese citizenship. She and her husband learned of the law that grants Portuguese nationality to Jewish descendants through family members. “Brazil's moment of instability made us seek this right and also because free transit in Europe with a red passport interests us, and who knows in the future, we may spend a longer season in Portugal”, says Claudiane Juaçaba. 

Renato Martins is a partner and lawyer at the Portuguese firm Martins Castro, specialized in nationality processes through Sephardic Jews. He explains that the law was a form of historical reparation. “In Brazil, although this possibility is still almost unknown, there are countless families with Sephardic origin and, therefore, may require dual citizenship. The process, in Portugal, is carried out entirely through documentary evidence and takes about 12 to 18 months. It is undoubtedly one of the fastest ways to achieve Portuguese nationality, if the applicant has the correct guidelines ”, highlights the lawyer.

Who are the Sephardic Jews?

Sephardic Jews are the Jews who lived in the Iberian Peninsula (Portugal and Spain) at the end of the 15th century and were persecuted by the State and, later, by the Holy Inquisition, being forced to convert to Catholicism, under pain of being expelled of the Iberian territory. This fact led to the flight and expulsion of thousands of Jews to several other countries, including Brazil. 

The entire process for acquiring nationality through Sephardic Jews takes three steps:

The step-by-step

1st step: is the genealogical study done based on surname and birthplace information. From this, the genealogist is able to identify whether or not there are chances of descent. If so, he prepares the family tree and a study that proves Sephardic Jewish origin;

2nd step: it is necessary that the Israeli Community prove the veracity of the previous study and issue an official certificate;

3rd step: with all the necessary documents gathered, the process is initiated before the Portuguese authorities, nationality being granted by the Minister of Justice.

Posted in Portal Terra

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.