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Proving Sephardic Jewish Heritage

Michael Decker
Michael Decker

This article addresses proving Sephardic Jewish heritage for the purpose of obtaining Portuguese citizenship.  Thousands of individuals and families with Sephardic Jewish heritage have successfully applied for and obtained Portuguese or Spanish passports.

Proving Sephardic Jewish Heritage

Both Jews and non-Jews are eligible to obtain citizenship in Portugal if they can prove their Sephardic Jewish heritage.  There are a number of ways to do this, through one’s family name, through the language a family speaks in their home (Ladino), through their genealogy, and more.  One mandatory element of the application process is proof of Sephardic heritage in Portugal, which is discussed in the section below.

Certified Document Proving Sephardic Jewish Heritage

Proving Sephardic Jewish HeritagePortuguese authorities will accept proof of Sephardic Jewish heritage if one obtains a certificate from the Portuguese Jewish community in either Porto or Lisbon.  This document indicates that the Portuguese Jewish community recognizes the individual as having Portuguese heritage. The Jewish community in Portugal decides on one’s heritage based on evidence in the family name, language, and other evidence one provides (deeds to property, wills, marriage certificates, synagogue or cemetery records, etc.).  If the Jewish community of Porto or Lisbon recognizes your Sephardic heritage, the Portuguese government should follow suit.

Information the Certified Document Must Include

This document must include the applicant’s name, date of birth, nationality, country of residence, and an explanation of how they have Portuguese Sephardic ancestry through a genealogy.

This Series of Articles

Our website has a number of articles providing helpful information on obtaining Portuguese or Spanish citizenship for descendants of Sephardic Jews. For more information on the topic, see our articles on documents needed for Portuguese citizenship, obtaining citizenship for one’s spouse/children, the length of time involved in the application process, the costs, what happens if someone has a criminal record, and more.

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Our law offices specialize in immigration law, and we can help our clients obtain Portuguese citizenship, making the process as simple and stress-free as possible.  Contact us for legal assistance in obtaining Portuguese citizenship.

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