Nationality for Shephardic Jews

How to prove Sephardic ancestry

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If you are interested in initiating a procedure to obtain Portuguese citizenship because of your Sephardic origins, you should know that there are a series of requirements that must be fulfilled in order to be entitled to this citizenship.

From Cohen & Cohen Abogados we have prepared a complete guide to explain to you how to prove Sephardic ancestry.

Can a Sephardic Jew obtain Portuguese citizenship?

The answer is yes, but it has to meet a set of requirements that we will detail in this guide to know how to prove Sephardic ancestry.

In 2015 the Portuguese Government approved the Decree Law no. 30 30 A/2015 of February 27, 2015, which allows Jews of Sephardic descent to obtain Portuguese nationality by naturalization.

Therefore, if you are a Sephardic Jew or a Sephardic descendant and you meet the requirements listed by law, you will be able to obtain Portuguese nationality with all the advantages that this entails.

By obtaining a Portuguese and European passport, you will not only be able to travel, work, reside or simply move freely within a member country of the European Union, but you will also be able to travel to third countries without the need to apply for a visa or carry out administrative procedures.

Portugal is ranked 9th out of 199 countries in the Individual Passport Power Rank 2020, is a ranking of all the countries’ passports that can be used to enter another country without the need for a visa or prior formalities.

If you want to start the process to obtain Portuguese nationality, here is how to prove your Sephardic ancestry.

How can I prove my Sephardic ancestry?

To prove the Sephardic ancestry, it is necessary to present before the competent organisms the documents that certify the origin. It is a long and exhausting process, that is why it is important to count on professionals who can help you to carry out the formalities, so you do not have to worry about anything

In order to know how to prove Sephardic ancestry, it is important to take into account at which point in the process we are.

Initial phase

For the initial phase of the process of obtaining Portuguese nationality, it will be necessary to present the following documents to the Jewish Community of Portugal, in order to obtain the official certificate that recognizes your Sephardic status:

  • Passport (only the first sheet will be required).
  • Birth certificate (does not need to be apostilled).
  • Proof of residence, such as utility bills for water, electricity, telephone, certificate of municipal registration, etc.
  • Certificate issued by the Jewish Community of your place of residence, signed by the local Rabbi (an Orthodox Rabbi), indicating your Jewish-Sephardic origin.
  • Or, in an alternative way, a genealogical report proving your Sephardic origin.

Once all of the mentioned documentation has been collected, it must be presented before the competent authority. If you have any other questions about how to prove Sephardic ancestry. Do not hesitate to contact us, at Cohen & Cohen Abogados we can help you to obtain the Portuguese nationality.


Second phase

Once the Jewish community certificate has been issued to you, the following documents must be submitted to the Central Registry of Portugal (Conservatória dos Registos Centrais):

  • Official certificate attesting to your Jewish ancestry.
  • A complete copy of all pages of the passport, including the front page.
  • Apostilled birth certificate (valid for no more than six months).
  • Apostilled criminal record certificate from the place of origin and residence (valid for a maximum of three months).
  • Power of attorney granted to our firm (we would indicate you the necessary details in due course)
  • In the case of relying on our services, a Power of Attorney in our favor will also be necessary (we would give you the details at this time).

Once you have all the documentation you will have to submit it to the competent authority, and once submitted, the Portuguese Civil Registry will answer you if the Portuguese nationality has been granted or not. Such resolution may take approximately one year, year and a half to be known.

Points to be considered

Now that you know how to prove your Sephardic ancestry, it is possible that some doubts might arise, such as if it is necessary to know the language, reside in Portugal or if taxes must be paid.

In order to obtain Portuguese nationality through this procedure, it is not necessary to know the language, nor to reside in Portugal. Moreover, you will not be required to pay taxes if you do not reside or receive income derived from economic activities carried out in this country.


At Cohen & Cohen Abogados we can help you to obtain Portuguese Citizenship

At Cohen & Cohen Abogados we are a professional law firm specialized in immigration law. We not only know how to prove Sephardic ancestry, but we also take care of all the necessary procedures without having to travel from your country of residence.

From our office in Madrid we have been helping thousands of Sephardic Jews to obtain Portuguese nationality over the years. How do we make it possible? By providing the best legal assistance services and approaching the whole process in a comprehensive manner.

  • Verifying the documents prior to proceeding with their submission.
  • Obtaining the certificate of Sephardic origin from the Jewish Community in Portugal.
  • Certificates, authentications and translations.
  • Shipping and submitting the documents in Portugal.
  • Regularly monitoring the process and informing our clients about the status of their application.
  • Providing assistance to make the nationality official before Portuguese authorities.

 For more information about how to obtain the Portuguese nationality for Sephardic Jews do not hesitate to ask us:

If you’re Sephardic, don’t miss the opportunity to obtain an European passport and contact us!

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