How to Prove Sephardic Ancestry
This article discusses how to prove Sephardic ancestry in order to apply for Portuguese citizenship under the Sephardic Law. Many people from Israel and other countries have successfully applied for citizenship through the Sephardic law, and this is how they do it.
Prove Sephardic Ancestry
Both Jewish and non-Jewish people who have Sephardic ancestry can apply for Portuguese citizenship. There are various things that indicate Sephardic ancestry, including one’s family name (or the Sephardic family names of your ancestors), speaking Ladino in one’s home (either Eastern Ladino or Western Ladino), through a genealogy, proof of one’s connection to Sephardic synagogues or communities (cemeteries, ketubot, etc.), and more. These items provide the basis of the following section, which is the most important part of the entire application process for Portuguese citizenship.
Obtaining the Document to Prove Sephardic Ancestry
The most important document in the application for Portuguese citizenship is a certificate from the Jewish community of either Porto or Lisbon recognizing your Sephardic ancestry. Based on the various ways to prove Sephardic ancestry listed above, the Jewish community can recognize your claims as a descendant of Sephardic Jews. Once they do so, you can very easily fill out the remaining paperwork required for the application process.
Important Information in the Certificate Recognizing Sephardic Ancestry
The document provided to you from the Jewish community in Porto or Lisbon must include the following information about the applicant: name, date of birth, nationality, current country of residence, and an explanation of the applicant’s Sephardic ancestry.
This Series of Articles
This article is one of many on our website addressing frequently asked questions from our clients. Feel free to check out our other articles discussing how long the process takes, applying with a criminal record, what to do if you’ve had a recent name change, applying for citizenship for a spouse or children, and more.
Our law offices, Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh, specialize in immigration law. We have over 30 years of experience successfully helping our clients obtain status or citizenship in numerous countries, including the US, Israel, and Portugal. Contact us for legal assistance with your application process.