PORTUGAL CITIZENSHIP FOR DESCENDANTS OF SEPHARDIC JEWS
Portuguese Sephardic Jews Law - Ministry of Justice Decree-Law No 30-A / 2015, Feb. 27
- Right of Return for Sephardic Jews Descendants
This law authorizes the exercise of the right of return for Sephardic Jews descendants of Portuguese origin that so wish, through the acquisition of Portuguese nationality by naturalization, with its attendant rights and obligations.
- Eligibility Criteria for Foreign Naturalization as a Descendant of Portuguese Sephardic Jews
The Government of Portugal may grant citizenship through naturalization to the descendants of Sephardic Jews, when they fulfill the following requirements:
1. They are Adult or Emancipated under the law.
2. Not Committed Serious Crime - not been convicted, with final judgment of sentence for committing a crime punishable with a maximum prison sentence equal to or exceeding three years, under Portuguese law.
3. Evidence of belonging to a Sephardic Community of Portuguese Origin - Evidence includes family surnames, familiar language, direct descendants or family relationship in the collateral line of common parent from the Sephardic community of Portuguese origin.
- Most Common Portuguese Sephardic Last Names
The Sephardic diaspora around the world is composed of a number of different surnames, in the UK and the Netherlands specifically these are the most common:
Abrantes, Aguilar, Andrade, Brandão, Brito, Bueno, Cardoso, Carvalho, Castro, Costa, Coutinho, Dourado, Fonseca, Furtado, Gomes, Gouveia, Granjo, Henriques, Lara, Marques, Melo, Prado, Mesquita, Mendes, Neto, Nunes, Pereira, Pinheiro, Rodrigues, Rosa, Sarmento, Silva, Soares, Teixeira and Teles.
In Latin America the following names are also common:
Almeida, Avelar, Bravo, Carvajal, Crespo, Duarte, Ferreira, Franco, Gato, Gonçalves, Guerreiro, Leão, Lopes, Leiria, Lobo, Lousada, Machorro, Martins, Montesino, Moreno, Mota, Macias, Miranda, Oliveira, Osório, Pardo, Pina, Pinto, Pimentel, Pizarro, Querido, Rei, Ribeiro, Salvador, Torres and Viana.
Also, in other parts of the world these Sephardic Jewish names are also common among descendants of the Portuguese community:
Amorim, Azevedo, Álvares, Barros, Basto, Belmonte, Cáceres, Caetano, Campos, Carneiro, Cruz, Dias, Duarte, Elias, Estrela, Gaiola, Josué, Lemos, Lombroso, Lopes, Machado, Mascarenhas, Mattos, Meira, Mello e Canto, Mendes da Costa, Miranda, Morão, Morões, Mota, Moucada, Negro, Oliveira, Osório (or Ozório), Paiva, Pilão, Pinto, Pessoa, Preto, Souza, Vaz and Vargas
The Sephardic Jews Law requires that the applicant meet the following conditions to obtain Portuguese Nationality:
Certificate issued by the Portuguese Jewish Community
The applicant for Portuguese Nationality must first obtain a Certificate from the Portuguese Jewish Community which attests to his/her ties to a Sephardic Jewish Community of Portuguese origin. A request for this Certificate must be addressed to the Jewish Community of Porto or to the Jewish Community of Lisbon.
Evidence of the applicant’s family history of connection to a Sephardic Community of Portuguese origin, by means of family names, language, direct or collateral descendance, or other elements which are indicative of this connection, may be direct and circumstantial.
Direct evidence - may be provided by means of the following: family records, family tree, community archives of births, marriages and deaths, cemeteries and lists of tombs, brit milah records, general Government archives that show arrivals from Portugal, lists of ships and passengers arriving from Portugal.
Circumstantial evidence - may be provided by means of any type of proof, provided that all of such elements of proof, when considered collectively or individually, in combination with direct evidence, will serve to convince the Committee.
Proof of Descendants of Sephardic Jews of Portugal
The following means of proof are acceptable:
1. Documented evidence - For example, family records, family tree, community archives of births, marriages and deaths (such as those in Amsterdam, Bordeaux, Curacao, St. Thomas and Sofia), cemeteries and lists of tombs (like those found in Surinam, Thessaloniki, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Curacao, Bayonne, Paris and Vienna), brit milah records, general Government archives that show arrivals from Portugal, lists of ships and passengers arriving from Portugal.
2. Testimonial evidence - Reputable witnesses who can attest to a family’s oral tradition. Testimonial evidence must be submitted in writing.
3. Expert evidence - Support of an expert on Portuguese Jewish diaspora. Expert evidence must be submitted in writing.
Portugal Sephardic Citizenship by Naturalization - Documents
LX CERTIFICADO that have successfully processed hundreds of Citizenship applications, assist and advise you with:
Application to the Portuguese Jewish Community
Advice regarding documentary evidence required
Translation of documents to Portuguese, Apostilled or Certified by the Portuguese Consulate
Preparation of your application to the Portuguese Government, Process Analysis and Reports
Representation to Portuguese Administrative and Judicial Authorities, in portuguese language. No need to travel to Portugal
The following documents are required for the Portuguese Lawyers to prepare and submit your application:
1. Certificate from Jewish Community in Portugal - Certificate stating you belong to a Sephardic Community of Portuguese origin, embodied in particular in the applicant’s name, in the familiar language, genealogy, and family memory. In the abscence of a Certificate, the following evidence is also admissible:
Authenticated document issued by the Jewish community to which the applicant belongs, stating the use of the same expressions in Portuguese in Jewish rites or, as spoken by themselves within that community
Authenticated documentary records, such as records of synagogues and Jewish cemeteries, as well as residence permits, property deeds, wills and other evidence of family connection to the Sephardic community of Portuguese origin
2. Certified Passport copy - certified by a Portuguese Consulate or apostilled.
3. Power of attorney
4. Birth certificate - issued within the previous six months.
5. Criminal record certificate - from the applicant's country of birth and countries which he/she has resided more than 1 year, and issued within the previous ninety days.
6. Proofs - which establish the connection to a Portuguese community of Sephardic origin and the study which resulted in the jewish community certificate.
7. Pay Government Processing Fees and Portugal Lawyers fees
After Portuguese citizenship is granted, the applicant has the following rights:
Obtain a Portugal citizen card
Apply for a Portuguese Passport. Portugal Passport is Ranked 5th in the World - The 2020 Passport Index ranks the Portugal Passport as 11th most powerful passport in the world, and it allows visa free access to 186 countries worldwide
The Portuguese passport allows visa-free travel to the 25 Schengen countries and UK
Access to residence permits to other European countries
Dual Citizenship - You do not need to renounce your previous nationality to become a Portuguese citizen
Freedom to Live, Work, manage a Business and Study in Portugal