Portugal is one of Europe’s top-rated, thriving countries in the world, with a growing population of over 10 million. Offering a pleasant climate throughout the year, endless job opportunities, a booming real estate market, scenic landscapes and friendly people, Portugal is the place to be. Jews, in particular, are returning to their homeland due to the advent of new citizenship laws. But, has Portugal truly changed for the Jews? Read on to find out:
A Sharp Turn Around…
A decade ago, the Jewish community in Portugal was tiny and didn’t even have the funds to fix the cracks in their synagogue’s ceiling. They couldn’t afford to hire a rabbi due to their small number and the ongoing financial crises. Luckily, things have taken a sharp turn, and a newly renovated synagogue and the kosher hotel was opened in Lisbon. This attracted people from across the world to see and celebrate the thriving Jewish culture. The community also built a museum, mikvah, ritual bath and are planning to build a Jewish school and kindergarten, especially for their children.
A New Law
One of the main reasons for the growing Jewish population is the new law set by the Portuguese government on February 27, 2015. This granted Portuguese nationality for the descendants of Sephardic Jews under the Decree-Law no. 30-A/2015. All you have to do is provide essential documents like a passport, birth certificate, criminal record and proof of your Sephardic Jew lineage. Sephardic Jews from across the globe are now working towards grabbing this golden opportunity and registering for Portuguese citizenship. Many thousands have applied and relocated to Portugal to join the growing Jewish communities in Porto and Lisbon.
Can Anti-Semitism That Drove Jews Out 500 Years Ago Bring Them Back?
According to a global survey, the anti-Semitic attitudes in Portugal were reported to be 20% lower as compared to the European Union average. This shows that people are accepting the Jews more openly, and there’s a great opportunity for the community to make their mark once again! Most of the Jews in Porto come from Amsterdam, London, Istanbul, and New York. They speak French and are glad about the absence of anti-Semitic harassment that their friends and families experience in France.
How Long Does It Take To Get Citizenship?
The process begins by gathering all your documents and submitting them to the General Register Office in Portugal. The average time to get citizenship is a year and a half from the day you submit your documents to the Register Office. However, keep in mind that this is just an estimated timeframe, and each case may vary.
Although you can apply for citizenship independently, most Jews opt for professional lawyers to ensure a smooth and successful case. Our experts at Cohen & Cohen have been in the industry for years and will help with your Portuguese Sephardic citizenship application process from start to finish. We offer top-notch consultation, help get European passports for Sephardic Jews, and simplify the application procedure! Get in touch with us to learn more.
Warning: The Portuguese government is expected to change the laws in the future. The best time to apply for Portuguese nationality due to Sephardic Origin is now!