This article address Jews eligible for Portuguese citizenship based on the Sephardic Law.  Both Jews and non-Jews are eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship based on the Sephardic Law, which indicates that Sephardic Jews and their descendants are eligible for citizenship in Portugal. Since 2015, 10,000 passports have been issued by both Spain and Portugal based on this eligibility.

Jews Eligible for Portuguese Citizenship

Defining Terms

In case you are unfamiliar with the terminology, Sephardic refers to anyone whose ancestors came from the Iberian peninsula, and it is often a descriptor attached to certain Jewish communities who were expelled in the 15th century. In Hebrew the word “Sephard” means Spain.

Jews Eligible for Portuguese Citizenship

Both non-Jews and Jews eligible for Portuguese citizenship must be able to prove their Sephardic ancestry.  This is often easier for practicing Jews who maintain ties to a Sephardic synagogue, but this is definitely possible for both non-Jews and Jews regardless of their religiosity.  We have written an article addressing proving Sephardic ancestry, which basically describes various ways one might do so.

The Application Process

The first step of the application process for non-Jews or Jews eligible for Portuguese citizenship is to obtain a recommendation letter from the Jewish community in Porto or Lisbon recognizing the applicant’s Sephardic ancestry.  Our law office has a good working relationship with these communities and can assist our clients with this process. The second step of the application process is to submit this letter and the other required documents to the relevant authorities in Portugal. We also assist our clients with this as well.

This Series of Articles

We provide numerous articles related to Portuguese citizenship and the Sephardic Law on our website.  We cover topics such as applying with a criminal background, applying with multiple names, what to do if you’ve had multiple residences, how long the process takes, applying for a spouse and children, and more.

Contact Us

The law offices of Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh have extensive experience successfully helping clients with immigration to multiple countries, including Portugal.  Feel free to contact us to help you with your application process.

Jews Eligible for Portuguese Citizenship

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