on March 25, 2022

Doubts about changes in the regulation of Portuguese nationality for Sephardim

on March 25, 2022

Dúvidas sobre as mudanças no regulamento da nacionalidade portuguesa para sefarditas

The recent changes in the regulation have raised many doubts in those who are seeking Portuguese nationality for the Sephardic people. Knowing this, we selected some of these questions to help clarify.

When do changes to the regulation take effect?

The changes to the Portuguese nationality process for the Sephardim will take effect from the 1st of September. Until then, all processes initiated at the Conservatory will be governed by the current regulation.

After the 1st of September, will my relatives (brothers, cousins, uncles…) have to prove an effective and lasting connection with Portugal?

Yes, after that date all relatives who are candidates for Portuguese nationality by the Sephardim will have to prove an effective and lasting connection with the country. For example: real estate, companies, lifelong trips to Portugal…

Will the CIP (Community Israelita do Porto) certify orders that have already been made?

Yes, the institution has guaranteed that requests made will be fulfilled, as long as they meet the requirements. However, it does not accept new requests.

I am waiting for my certificate from the CIL (Community Israelita de Lisboa). Can my relatives already start the process of Portuguese citizenship by the Sephardim?

Yes, your relatives can start the nationality process in this way as the law is not over.

What changes will take effect from April 15th?

It is important to understand that the changes to the regulation were wide-ranging and will impact different matters of nationality law. Therefore, the rule is that these changes will take effect from April 15 of this year, with the exception of the rules for Sephardic descendants.

What changes from September 1st?

The exception that was left for September 1 refers to requests for Portuguese nationality through the Sephardic route. From this date onwards, the processes submitted to the registry office must follow the new rules, and it is necessary to prove an effective and lasting bond with Portugal.

What about the standardization of certificates for Israeli communities?

There is a second exception here: in requests for certification of descendants of Sephardic Jews in the Israeli communities of Lisbon and Porto, the changes follow the rule and go into effect from April 15th. In other words, the certificates must be standardized and the means of evidence used must be indicated.

What date is considered for my process to take effect at the registry office?

The date that counts as the start of the nationality process is the date of receipt of the documents at the Registry. Therefore, if received by August 31, they will proceed with the current rules. As of September 1, the new regulation applies. Therefore, it is clear that it is not the date of sending the process by mail or the date of receiving the access key.