I really recommend the law office's services. The service is very professional and efficient, the price is right. I am satisfied with the services I needed and happy to have known them.
Marce Ruth St. Rey
Party time in the heart, my beloved husband received his residence after so much time of battles and faith. Gratitude, God has blessed us with wonderful beings who have accompanied us, including a "precious angel" who touched our hearts, our excellent and fantastic lawyer: Maria Chernin Dekel, sweet and wonderful human being, who has guided us and stayed On our side. side in this intense legal transit whom we bless on every occasion. God bless you dear Maria, you have exceeded your professional duty by containing us and collaborating with us in hard times, very hard, for that we want to thank you publicly, you are unique!!!
We bless and thank the entire team at Decker Pex Tal Ofir Law Firm.
A really excellent firm. They knew exactly how to handle my situation effectively and efficiently, and we got the result I needed without much fuss. Adi Berger was a wonderful advocate for me and I am deeply grateful for her help!
We had a pleasure of working with Irena Rosenberg who assisted in getting our two U.S. born children registered in Israel and supported visa process for my wife in 2021. During the pandemic, my wife and I decided to move to Israel where I am originally from after living in the U.S. for over 20 years, but we had no idea how to go about securing visas before and after arriving in Israel. Irena is knowledgeable, reliable and competent lawyer who always had answers to all our questions which made us feel confident that everything would be fine with her assistance. We are now happily living in Israel and are so grateful to have Irena who is a genuinely nice person as our lawyer.
The best lawyer firm I’ve had dealt with. I would like to thank Anat Levi and Ariel Galili from the Jerusalem branch for all of their efforts and patience, we could not have been Able to reach to where we are now without them
I am delighted to report that my wife and I have just obtained our Israeli citizenship. We will be forever grateful for all of the help, guidance and support which Ariel Galili of Decker, Pex & Co. provided through this process.
I am a Jewish, 80-year-old American, and my wife is not Jewish. We had started the process on our own back in November 2020 via the Jewish Agency and Nefesh B’Nefesh, but soon became entangled in the delays and often-changing regulations due to Covid-19. The pandemic also caused delays in obtaining the required apostilles for various documents from various state agencies and the US State Department.
We found Decker, Pex & Co. On the internet and began working with Ariel in late November 2021. Ariel did a superb job of leading us through the process, helping us to understand which documents were essential, which would most likely be required, and which, though included on the list of required documents, were rarely required. He helped us several times to understand what was likely and unlikely to occur as “the next step.” Helping us manage our expectations was extremely useful to us.
Besides his knowing the laws, regulations and procedures, Ariel also made us feel that he was truly interested in helping us to successfully work through this process in as smooth, timely, and frustration-free manner as possible.
My wife and I strongly recommend anyone planning to go through this process seriously consider hiring Decker, Pex, Ofir & Co. and, specifically, Ariel Galili.
We were very satisfied with the service of Nehama. She was very professional in all her dealings and kept us informed all the way.
We highly recommend this law firm. They proved to be reliable, efficient and pleasant to work with.
I have been receiving services from this Law Firm for several years now and I want to say THANK YOU to the team, especially Joshua Pex. They are doing outstanding work. The services I have received for both our Israeli non profit association but also our social business have helped us solve many issues at hand and provided solutions in complicated situations. Personally, I am grateful for support in visa issues as a foreigner living now in Israel for many years.
Very knowledgeable and professional
We (myself and my husband) came to Mr. Joshua Pex – for his professional advice – and we received such human warmth and caring attitude, that our hearts melted …
His attention to our details and our situation peculiarities, combined with his professionalism and knowledge, helped us to map out what needs to be done on our part: we appreciate and recommend You, Mr. Joshua!
Alexander P Gutterman
EU PASSPORT ! Big news! Thanks to Michael Decker and the other good people at the law office, as well as to the virtue of my ancestors, the cruelty of the Inquisition, reparations issued in the Iberian Peninsula, and etc, I am delighted to be on track for Portuguese and European Union Citizenship! A truly incredible development and one which brings me deep joy.
competent consulting, fast processing, reliable, warm & good team. highly recommended
Great lawyers Joshua Pex and Nechama and Michael Deker who really want to help you and I have very trustful relationships with them. All my cases they took they won. Thank you and let’s keep working together
Oded Ger did an excellent job by reviewing a modeling contract I was offered. Explained the bad clauses in the contract, and their possible consequences. Thank you for your amazing job, your professionalism, your consultation and honesty. You showed me from your experience how it can be done differently. It was the best decision choosing you as my lawyer.
I highly recommend this firm, especially Oded Ger.
Dongdiet & Nellie
We are very happy with the services. Somehow they managed to translate the law lingo into language we actually understand 😉 and their outstanding YouTube videos helped us to have a better grasp of what process we had to go through. Their patience, clear explanation and experience are very valuable. It's also very nice to know that you will receive response promptly; it made us feel we can really trust their services. We recommend all those looking for immigration lawyers to get in touch.
We were searching for a law firm that will be honest with us and really work hard for a satisfying result, it wasn't an easy task
We found them online; they were the only law firm from all of our searchings which were completely honest and NOT gave us just what we wanted to hear
Using them guaranteed honesty above all. A legal team that is friendly and cares for a superb result
They really care about helping their customers without any other interest
Nadia gave us service behind what we expected; she was professional which lead to fast and easy process with great result
We definitely recommend using them
The team at Decker, Pex & Co have been awesome to work with in helping our US company establish banking in Israel and in providing counsel for legal needs in Israel. I highly recommend!
Joshua Pex was both an amazing human being and an inspiring human rights attorney. I reported directly to him for various activities I performed as in intern. I was impressed with his incredibly solid character. He is trustworthy, fair, and goes above and beyond to advocate for the vulnerable. He is completely trustworthy and high caliber in his work. His partners and employees are very blessed to work with him. I am honored to know them.
Mr. Joshua Pex is knowledgeable and Professional. I really appreciate his courteous and direct approach.
Incredibly knowledgeable, approachable, accessible, and evident across the board that they truly care about the people they are helping. They are quick to respond, engaged, and obviously top-notch lawyers. I couldn't recommend them highly enough. Thank you, Joshua and Itamar for your help with our Joint Life Application. You were a calming energy during a storm - always breathed a sigh of relief after speaking with you. It is so difficult to get straight answers from the Misrad Hapnim, but you guys are straight shooters. I appreciate your candor and evident integrity. Hope to work with you in the future, and will send everyone I know in need of legal aid your way. Thank you for your guidance and support.
Sergei m Vashkevich
We came to Mr. Joshua with so many questions (and most of all, with so many concerns and worries) …
When we explained our case to him, first of all, he calmed us down and helped us to see the big picture, which took away our fears;
Then he presented us with a detailed explanation and a few options to explore, and a timeline, how things work and necessary steps to undertake on our part,
We thank and highly recommend Mr. Joshua for showing us so much empathy, care and professionalism (!)
We were very pleased and content with the services of this law firm. They supported us 100% and solved our case successfully, we couldn't be happier.
Josh has been helping me on and off for a few years now. I have needed legal advice and assistance with immigration due to a complex situation of mine, and he has been extremely available and responsive, honest and clear about my route and how to proceed. Very much recommended!
If you need to solve any complicated legal issue in Israel, don't hesitate to contact them. Otherwise you will loose hours/days/weeks with things that they can solve in minutes. They helped me to obtain my expert working visa in Israel and even after that they responded further questions and gave me advices related to administrative issues in Israel which saved me a lot of time. Irena Rosenberg and Michael Decker worked on my case, they are very professional and helpful. They will not let you down, feel free to contact them.
We have been working with Decker, Pex & Co - Law Firm in Tel Aviv for many years very well. Because we appreciated their lawyers services, we recommended businesses and individuals again and again to go there as well.
I can highly recommend these services!
Every time we turned to Joshua we always got a professional quick and helpful respond.
I admire the Austrian citizenship team in Tel-Aviv branch! They deserve more then 5 stars!! They are very friendly and professional. I've got Austrian citizenship in 4 months for all family members which consists of 12 people! The entire team is very friendly and responsive. They are always answering questions and support during the process. I recommend to everyone. Was 100% satisfied.
Best lawyer house from Israel! I couldn’t dealt with my situation without their professionalism and effectiveness. Their dedication to every legal aspect and their drive it’s how a true lawyer house can be!
Working in European market and international now, I couldn’t dare to let myself wide my wings on countries unknown to me. Definitely they’ll be the lawyers representing me, my business at every international aspect and on personal development.
When you hear Decker,Pex,Ofir &Co, you hear 10+ class services, luxurious professionals, confidentiality and exclusive attention to your needs.
Michael and Ariellah Waizman
For Advocate Joshua Pex.
We were in a devastating situation when my wife received an order from the immigration office to leave Israel within 30 days, without any explanation, after we have been married and in the process for six and a half years. We heard of Advocate Pex through a friend of a friend. We contacted Mr. Pex and he was ready to help us when he heard of our situation.
The service is amazing! Always ready to assist without regard to the time it takes. The advice Mr. Pex gave us was great, such as what to do, he gave useful links, and advice about which officials to contact. The price for the service was great!
The process until we received the extension for another year for my wife was not long (3 months). Things started moving once Mr. Pex came into the picture.
We highly recommend Advocate Joshua Pex! We achieved our goal and the fear of deportation has been lifted!
The team of lawyers and assistants are incredibly professional. Aiming to give their clients the advice possible regarding the normative and the law of Israel. With well trained and professional secretary at the front desk to the lawyers team, I could say that I had one of the most professional services possible. I'm super glad of choosing Joshua Pex of Law office for immigration solution, lawyers to advise in my case, to me, it is remarkable.
I cannot recommend Nechama enough! Her expertise, professionalism, and dedication to her clients is unparalleled. From the moment I reached out to her, she provided clear and concise communication, and helped me navigate through a complex legal issue with ease.
Throughout the entire process, Nechama went above and beyond to ensure that I was informed and comfortable with every decision. She demonstrated a deep knowledge of the law, and was able to offer sound advice that ultimately led to a positive outcome.
What sets Nechama apart is her compassionate and empathetic approach to her clients. She truly cares about the well-being of her clients, and it shows in the way she handles every case.
If you are in need of a lawyer, I highly recommend Nechama.
Extrmely friendly, professional and helpful. A big thank you to Irina especially from the Jerusalem office. Highly Recommended.
Courteous, clear, efficient service.
Excellent service, very friendly and helpful, fast responding and very patient. Highly recommend. I will choose them again next time if needed.
We highly recommend Adv. Mike Decker and have know him for many years. He has helped our family with many battles over the years. We recently received our permanent residency after 23 years in Israel. We so much appreciate Mike’s representation of us.
Is it still possible for new applicants to obtain a Portuguese passport? In 2022, new regulations came into force, which set a high bar of requirements, preventing most descendants of Spanish expellees from obtaining Portuguese citizenship. In light of petitions filed in the Portuguese court against the new regulations, it is possible to try and submit citizenship applications in Portugal under the procedure that was followed in the past, until December 2023. Below, attorney Michael Decker, a partner in our firm and an expert in immigration law and Portuguese citizenship, will explain the complex legal situation regarding this issue.
Getting a Portuguese passport – it may not be too late
Until recently, many Israelis were entitled to receive Portuguese citizenship and a Portuguese passport via a relatively simple legal procedure. As part of this procedure, applicants had to prove their eligibility based on family origin from the community of Spanish expellees and present various documents and certificates (such as a certificate of good conduct proving the absence of a criminal record for serious crimes). The process was carried out in part through one of the Jewish communities in Portugal, in cities such as Porto or Belmonte. This situation changed in 2022, when the Portuguese government established new regulations that significantly tightened the conditions for obtaining citizenship for descendants of Spanish expellees.
Since the new regulations took effect, obtaining a Portuguese passport has become a very complex task for the vast majority of new applicants. The lucky ones who managed to obtain citizenship under the old procedure could still submit new citizenship applications for spouses and children, but for those who had not yet submitted a citizenship application in the past – it became an almost impossible task. Since our office deals a lot with immigration law and representing clients applying for Portuguese citizenship, we have received many inquiries from concerned clients for whom this option was closed.
Now, we are glad to announce that a narrow window of opportunity may open which might allow many people eligible for citizenship who “missed the train” in the past to submit new citizenship applications under the old, lenient procedure, until the end of December 2023. Although there a small amount of risk with this possibility, it is definitely an opportunity that those entitled to Portuguese citizenship should be aware of. Below we will describe the changes in the legal situation in Portugal, in a way that will help you better understand the new and interesting possibility of submitting an application for Portuguese citizenship and a Portuguese passport.
What changes were made in the legal situation in Portugal in 2022?
For nearly a decade, since the amendment of the citizenship law and citizenship regulations in Portugal in 2013 and 2015, hundreds of thousands of Israelis were entitled to receive Portuguese citizenship in a relatively simple procedure. The main part of the process required citizenship applicants to obtain a letter of recommendation from one of the Jewish communities in Portugal, along with proof of compliance with the conditions for eligibility. These conditions were minimal, and did not require proof of current ties to Portugal (such as residence in Portugal, knowledge of the Portuguese language, possession of assets in the country, etc.).
In 2022, the Portuguese government decided to make significant changes to the legal situation in this regard. This was, among other things, due to allegations that people were taking advantage of the lenient policy in place until then, including the fact that the name of the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who received Portuguese citizenship based on his origin, came up in a way that alerted the authorities.
As part of the 2022 amendment to Portuguese citizenship regulations, two new requirements were defined for Portuguese citizenship eligibility for descendants of Spanish expellees: (1) proof of an actual connection to the Jewish community in Portugal; and (2) proof of an actual present connection to Portugal (for example, through frequent visits to the country or alternatively through ownership of real estate or other property in Portugal, such as ownership of a company in the country).
In practice, this change in the legal situation prevented the majority of Israelis who were entitled to this citizenship in the past from obtaining Portuguese citizenship as well as a Portuguese passport. This is because most of them have no real connection to the Jewish community in the country, or the ability to prove a current connection to Portugal. However, as we will explain below, new recent legal developments in Portugal may tip the scales, and allow many of those eligible who did not yet receive citizenship to try their luck and submit citizenship applications according to the regulations that held in the past.
What are the latest legal developments in Portugal that may reopen the possibility to obtain a Portuguese passport?
The new regulations established by the Portuguese government in 2022 sparked a wave of protests in the country. The Jewish community in the city of Porto strongly criticized the change, claiming that it is tainted with anti-Semitism and joins a series of events that directly harmed the Jewish communities in the country. Alongside this criticism, various parties petitioned the court in Portugal, claiming that the new regulations are unconstitutional and that the government should be ordered to annul or amend them. Senior jurists in Portugal believe that these petitions have good chances of being accepted.
If the petition is indeed accepted, it is likely that the Portuguese government will be required to return the situation to its original state, by canceling the strict, restrictive requirements of the new regulations on obtaining Portuguese citizenship and a Portuguese passport. At the very least, the Portuguese government will have to set lower requirements. An updating of the laws and procedures, taking into consideration the objections that were brought up, is scheduled for January 2024.
The situation described above opens a narrow window of opportunity, within which it is still possible to try and submit new citizenship applications until the end of December 2023, according to the procedure that was in effect before the new regulations from 2022. That is, the applications can be submitted without the need to prove an actual connection to Portugal or a connection to the Jewish communities in the country, but only on the basis of proving a family connection to descendants of Spanish expellees.
The submission of the new applications involves a certain degree of risk and uncertainty regarding the Portuguese court’s ruling on petitions against the regulations. However, for those who were entitled but missed the opportunity to obtain Portuguese citizenship before the new regulations came into force, this is a rare opportunity to embark on the process. We recommend that those who wish to submit an application for Portuguese citizenship under these lenient conditions consult with an attorney specializing in Portuguese citizenship, in order to understand their chances of applying successfully.
Who is eligible to receive a Portuguese passport until December 2023?
As we saw in Roman Abramovich’s story above, not every Jew is of Sephardic origin and eligible for Portuguese citizenship. Portuguese passport applicants must prove to the Jewish community in Portugal that they are of Sephardic origin several generations back – a Sephardic surname, or origin from one of the countries where there was a documented Sephardic community. These countries include – Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Greece, Lebanon, Bulgaria, Turkey, Bosnia (Sarajevo), Serbia, and Macedonia. Jews with family origins in these countries will find that proving eligibility is relatively easy, even if some of the family documents were lost during the process of making Aliyah to Israel. On the other hand, Sephardic Jews from Poland, Iraq, Iran, India, and Yemen will be required to present convincing and detailed evidence of Sephardic origin.
It is understandable that many Jews from the countries of the former Soviet Union and Europe turn to the Portuguese authorities or to offices dealing with immigration to “try their luck” – perhaps they will receive citizenship, or at least a free genealogical investigation. Even if they don’t, they won’t lose anything by applying in any case. We emphasize that there is no point in submitting an application thinking “maybe I have Sephardic roots somewhere, please check for me” unless you have convincing evidence that one of your ancestors was of Sephardic origin (spoke Ladino, prayed in the Sephardic manner) and immigrated to a country where there was no Sephardic Jewish community.
Contact an attorney specializing in Portuguese citizenship
In this article we have explained the legal developments taking place these days in Portugal, which may reinstate the possibility of obtaining a Portuguese passport under the lenient conditions that were in force in the past, through the submission of citizenship applications until the end of December 2023. For more information on the subject or if you need legal advice or assistance in checking eligibility for citizenship, you can contact our office and we will be glad to help. The attorneys from our office, in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, have extensive experience in handling applications for Portuguese citizenship. Our office collaborates with a leading firm in the field in Portugal, in order to provide our clients with professional, thorough and comprehensive legal services on the subject.