Important changes in the Portuguese nationality law for Sephardim.

On March 18, was published the Decreto-Lei no. 26/2022, which modifies, among other issues, the articles regarding the procedure for acquiring Portuguese nationality for Sephardim.

Here we explain the most relevant:

1. Regardless of the accrediting certificate of Sephardic origin that must be issued by the Jewish community of Portugal, the interested party must demonstrate their link with Portugal, by presenting one of the following documents:

  • Certificate of ownership of real estate located in Portugal or of other personal rights over it or of social shares in commercial companies or cooperatives located in Portugal, in both cases as long as the transfer has been mortis causa (by title of inheritance or succession).
  • Regular trips of the applicant to Portugal.

2. The minimum content that the certificate of the Jewish community of Portugal must have is also regulated, in which the genealogy and descent of the applicant and his kinship with the Sephardic ancestor of Portuguese origin must be expressly indicated, indicating the means of proof that have been presented.

This certificate may be issued provided that the interested party submits supporting documents from his Jewish community stating that the applicant has used expressions in Portuguese in Jewish or Ladino rites, as well as records stating his direct descent from Sephardim of Portuguese origin.

3. The Jewish community of Portugal, in addition, assumes the commitment to keep for 20 years all the documents that have served as the basis for the issuance of the certificate.

Despite the fact that the legal text does not include it, as it appears on the website of the Diario de la República, these provisions will come into force on September 1 (2022).

We also want to remind you that as a result of the recent controversy over the Abramovich case, the Israelite Community of Porto has stopped issuing certificates of Sephardic origin with immediate effect, so that those interested who want to apply to this law must necessarily go to the Israelite Community of Lisbon to get the document.

In our office we continue to work very intensely on this type of procedure. If you are a descendant of Sephardim and want to apply, contact us without obligation, bearing in mind that the deadline for submitting the files to the Portuguese Registry ends on September 1.

Warning: This information does not imply any type of legal advice and is purely informative.