The process of acquiring Sephardic Portuguese Nationality.

Updated June 14, 2020

The Portuguese Citizenship Act was passed by the Portuguese Parliament in 2013. The vast majority of the descendants of Sephardim from Spain are considered descendents of Portugal according to the 30A / 2015 Act. The Act declares that after the expulsion from Spain in 1492, mostly all of the Jews who fled to Portugal, where then expelled in 1496.

Our firm works directly with the Jewish community of Porto-Lisbon, which studies each individual case in detail, and provides our clients with a Sephardic Certificate. This Certificate is the proof of one’s Sephardic origin, which is necessary for acquiring Portuguese Nationality.

Portuguese law (not like the Spanish law) does not require language or cultural exams in Portuguese, nor is a mandatory to have physical presence in Portugal. You can process everything through a power of attorney from one of our lawyers in our firm.

There are 2 main steps for processing the Portuguese Nationality:

1- Verifying Eligibility (Free of charge)
2- Application Process


1- Verifying Eligibility:

You need to provide 6 documents in order to verify your eligibility. If you are eligible you will receive a Sephardic Certificate from the Jewish Community in Oporto-Lisboa.
2- Application Process: Once you receive eligibility, then we start the application process. You need to provide 3 documents, sign a power of attorney and we present your nationality request to the Ministry of Justice in Portugal.

Verifying Eligibility Step by Step:

1. How to apply for a Sephardic Certificate from the Jewish Community of Oporto ?

For applicants from Sephardic-Citizenship, the Jewish Community of Porto-Lisbon prioritizes the verification process and all applicants receive a reply between 3-7 days via email regarding their eligibility. If you are eligible you will receive via email your Sephardic Certificate.

The following 6 documents are necessary for the applicant to provide. All documents have to be scanned and sent in PDF format via email.

1- Photocopy of Passport and ID
2- Photocopy of Birth Certificate
3- A form of family last names
up until one’s grandparents, signed by the applicant. (Form is provided by Sephardic-Citizenship)
4- A Declaration of Sephardic origin. This can be in form of a letter explaining your personal Sephardic traditions, lineage, community, school, and association.
5- A Letter from an Orthodox Rabbi of a Sephardic Shul or Community, certifying that the applicant is Sephardic.
6- Other optional documents:  
- Applicant’s Ketuba (Marriage-Certificate)
- Parents Ketuba (Marriage-Certificate)
- Parents or Grandparents Birth Certificates
- Letter of Family History
- Sephardic school diplomas

Once the applicant has all these documents, he/she sends them via email to our UK Manager and Advisor at iamsephardic@gmail.com If the applicant’s portfolio is complete we submit it to the Jewish Community in Porto- Lisbon. Within 3-7 days we confirm his/hers eligibility by receiving a Sephardic Certificate.

Application Process Step by Step:

2. NATIONALITY REQUEST from the GOVERNMENT of PORTUGAL.

Once the applicant has a Sephardic Certificate from the Jewish Community of Porto- Lisboa, we can start the application process. The following 3 documents are the requirements for requesting Portuguese Nationality from the Ministry of Justice in Portugal:

All 3 documents must have an Apostille, Portuguese Translation and Legalization (Portuguese Translation and Legalization is provided by Sephardic-Citizenship)

1-Notarized photocopy of the passport (only pages 1 and 2)
2- Criminal Record from all the countries where one has resided 3 months or more within the past 5 years issued within 3 months prior to the application.
3- Birth Certificate- must be issued within 6 months prior to the application. If the applicant doesn’t have a Birth Certificate (for example: born in Syria) then the following procedure is necessary:

A) Apply for a Birth Certificate at the Consulate of your country of birth and provide a stamped copy of your order.
B) An original copy of the applicant’s Naturalization Certificate, legalized by the Portuguese Consulate.
C) A Notarized verification of origin by two witnesses.

The applicant is required to sign a power of attorney to authorize our lawyer in Portugal to process the application.

Within a month that these documents are submitted, you will receive an email from the Portugal Ministry of Justice with your case number. Your case status can be verified online with your case number.

Within 12-18 months, you will receive a Certificate of Portuguese Citizenship at your home address. You can then apply for a passport at the Portugal Embassy in your country.


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