On 2015, Portugal approved a law that is the Decree-Law 30-A/2015. According to this law, the Sephardic Jews can obtain the Portuguese citizenship from meeting some requirements.
What does sephardic mean? The word sephardic describe the Jewish population that lived in the Iberia peninsula up to 2492 and its descendants. Both, Spain and Portugal establish laws to search for support to those who can show their sephardic bloodline to obtain the Spanish and Portuguese citizenship, and, therefore, allow the historical reparation to the Jewish communities in the territories.
It is said that the majority of the sephardic descendants from Spain are considered at the same time, descendant from Portugal due to the great expulsion from Spain in 1492, which made most of them to refugee in Portugal, from where they were expelled too in 1496.
On 2015, with the changed to the Citizenship Law, the sephardic Jews that were expelled from Portugal from the XV century on were allowed to acquire the Portuguese citizenship, which ended in 466 requests. The number has increased year after year and there are already 51,000 descendant of sephardic Jews that have requested the Portuguese citizenship.
According to the director of the Oficina de Servicios Centrales del Instituto de Segistros y Notarios in an interview given on February 7th, 2020, it has been given the Portuguese citizenship to 17,000 sephardic Jews.
Although, Spain has also allowed the sephardic Jews the possibility of obtaining the Spanish citizenship, the assigned time expired on October 1st, 2019, after a period of three years.
On the other hand, in Portugal, there are not an expiration date to present a request, which means that the possibility is still valid and, for those who are approved, they will have the opportunity to live and work in any of the 27 countries of European Union.
Those who are interested in doing the procedure should:
- Acquire previously from the Port Jewish Community or from Lisbon a Sephardic certification and, later, make the request for the Portuguese citizenship to the Minister of Justice from Lisbon.
- Be over 18 years old.
The requester should present a file made of the following document:
- Certificate of penal records from all the countries where have been resident more than 3 months and from the country where they were born, apostatized and with Portuguese translation.
- Family book or birth certificate of the parents, where it is collected typical sephardic or Portuguese last names.
- Authenticated and apostatized photocopy of all the pages of the passport, including the blank pages.
- Sephardic and Jewish certificate of their communities or Rabin (Orthodox) of the zone where you live.
- Birth certificate. It must be presented within the previous six month from the request, and apostatized or certificated by the Portuguese Consulate of the country of birth. Translated to Portuguese.
To apply, it is not necessary to know Portuguese, nor do knowledge test, nor have travelled to Portugal.
The most common last names are:
Abrantes, Aguilar, Andrade, Brandão, Brito, Bueno, Cardoso, Carvalho, Castro, Costa, Coutinho, Dourado, Fonseca, Furtado, Gomes, Gouveia, Granjo, Henriques, Lara, Marques, Melo y Prado, Mesquita, Mendes, Neto, Nunes, Pereira, Pinheiro, Rodrigues, Rosa, Sarmento, Silva, Soares, Teixeira y Teles.
Almeida, Avelar, Bravo, Carvajal, Crespo, Duarte, Ferreira, Franco, Gato, Gonçalves, Guerreiro, Leão, Lopes, Leiria, Lobo, Lousada, Machorro, Martins, Montesino, Moreno, Mota, Macías, Miranda, Oliveira, Osorio, Pardo, Pina, Pinto, Pimentel, Pizarro, Querido, Rei, Ribeiro, Salvador, Torres y Viana.
Amorim, Azevedo, Álvares, Barros, Basto, Belmonte, Cáceres, Caetano, Campos, Carneiro, Cruz, Dias, Duarte, Elias, Estrela, Gaiola, Josué, Lemos, Lombroso, Lopes, Machado, Mascarenhas, Mattos, Meira, Mello y Canto, Mendes da Costa, Miranda, Morão, Morões, Mota, Moucada, Negro, Oliveira, Osório (or Ozório), Paiva, Pilão, Pinto, Pessoa, Preto, Souza, Vaz.
Once given the Portuguese citizenship, you can obtain a Portuguese identification card or request for a Portuguese passport. A Portuguese passport will give you the freedom to move in all the Schengen zone and the United Kingdom, without needing a visa. You can also travel without visa to 183 countries all over the world.