This article addresses applying for Jewish Portuguese citizenship with a criminal record (ie, those applying as descendants of Sephardic Jews due to Portugal’s Sephardic Law).  Many have successfully applied for Portuguese citizenship, even with criminal records.  Here is what you need to know.

Jewish Portuguese Citizenship with a Criminal Record

Jewish Portuguese Citizenship with a Criminal Record

In the event that an applicant seeks to apply for Portuguese citizenship according to the Sephardic Law, they may have some trouble if they have a criminal record.  The Portuguese government has demonstrated great openness to descendants of Sephardic Jews in immigration, and the only cases that have been refused are those dealing with applicants with a criminal background.  However, it is important to note that not all offenses will pose a problem.  

If you seek Jewish Portuguese citizenship with a criminal record from one of your previous residences, we will need to address this on a case by case basis.  However, generally speaking, if the crime committed is not a crime in Portugal, then there should not be a problem with the application process. If the crime committed is considered a crime in Portugal, it may hurt your application process only in the event that someone can be jailed for more than three years in Portugal for the same offense.  

Again, if this is an issue for you, and you still seek Portuguese citizenship, we would be happy to help you evaluate the strength of your application case to see what we can do to help you obtain Portuguese citizenship based on the Sephardic Law.

This Series of Articles

For the convenience of our clients, we have a series of articles on obtaining Portuguese citizenship, including how long the process takes, non-Jews applying for citizenship based on the Sephardic Law, applying for one’s spouse and children, documents needed for the process, proving Sephardic Jewish ancestry, and more.

Contact Us

If you seek Portuguese Jewish citizenship and you have a criminal record, feel free to contact us.  We would be happy to help you determine the strength of your case and help make the application process as smooth and quick as possible.

Jewish Portuguese Citizenship with a Criminal Record

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