Portuguese citizenship by Sephardic Jewish ancestry

What exactly is it and how to request it.


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.

The Sephardic Jews are the descendants of the ancient and traditional Jewish communities located in the Iberian Peninsula (Portugal and Spain). By the end of the 15th century, the Sephardim began to be persecuted by the Portuguese and Spanish State during the Inquisition, while being forced to convert to Catholicism, under the risk of being expelled from their territory, which caused the flight of thousands of Jews to several countries: Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Middle East, etc.

As being Sephardic Jewish descendants, how to apply for Portuguese nationality?

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 generational limits, a genealogical study will be prepared, a document with all direct and indirect evidence of the genealogical link. The investigation is carried out by historians and genealogists at Martins Castro. You can do on here a previous analysis.

2nd Stage: CIL or CIP certification

After the identification of the Sephardic Jewish descendants and the genealogical study development, the research is submitted to the Israeli Community of Lisbon (CIL) or in the Israeli Community of Porto (CIP), dedicated institutions which analyze and approve the genealogical research for Portuguese citizenship candidates, as designed in art. 24-A, paragraph 3, point 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 3;;
Decree-Law 30-A / 2015.