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Sephardic Jews can access EU citizen status via Portugal.

The Portuguese Government passed legislation in 2015 to facilitate the granting of Portuguese nationality, thereby obtaining EU citizen status, to descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews who demonstrate a traditional connection to a Community with Portuguese Sephardic origins.

Portuguese nationality may be granted to descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews who, after leaving Portugal due to religious persecution (1496-1821), maintained ties with “organised communities” that were typically Portuguese or maintained any tie whatsoever with a Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue / Community in any part of the world.

Applicants will need to prove their ancestry by having a surname of Spanish or Portuguese origin in his/her family tree or by providing evidence that their family have maintained links with the Iberian Peninsula. Sephardic Jews of Morocco may also often qualify to apply for Portuguese nationality.

Those wishing to obtain Portuguese citizenship would be required to prove their status by way of a certificate issued by the Portuguese Jewish Community which attests to his/her ties to a Sephardic Jewish Community of Portuguese origin.

The possibility of acquiring an EU passport and its consequential effect on residence, education and welfare could be attractive to many Sephardic Jews across the world. Brexit and its surrounding uncertainties also makes it an attractive proposition for potential applicants to consider.

We work closely with law firms in Portugal who are actively involved and instrumental in developing the process leading to the passing of the all the relevant legislation facilitating the process. 

If you come from a Sephardic background and are interested in exploring your chances of obtaining Portuguese nationality, contact me on for an initial assessment.

A Portuguese passport is highly coveted because of the benefits it provides to its holder.  As members of the European Union and of the European Single Market, Portuguese passport holders have a number of valuable economic, social, and religious rights.

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