Granting Portuguese Nationality for Descendants of Sephardic Jews from the Ancient and Traditional Jewish Communities of the Iberian Peninsula

The process of obtaining a Portuguese Citizenship takes 8 steps:

 
I

THE PROCESS

STEP I – THE PROCESS
  1. Filling and signing in good faith an APPLICATION FORM with all the required personal details. [click to download]
  2. A simple copy of a valid passport (page containing personal data, picture and signature). Passports of any applicant with a period of validity of less than 6 months will not be accepted.
  3. A simple copy of the birth certificate (including the name of the applicant, place and date of birth and parents’ name).
  4. Family tree or genealogical description. [click to download]
  5. Proofs related with the Family tree
  6. Research and Opinions
  7. A valid and specific power of attorney, whenever the file is not submitted by the applicant himself.
  8. Other relevant documents.

 

Means of proof

Applicants are expected to provide different means of proof and it is understood that they will not be the same in each particular case and some people won’t be able to provide all of them.
The “burden of proof” rests on the applicant, who must provide as much evidence as possible, of all kinds, showing direct or collateral progeny and the tradition of belonging to a Sephardic community of Portuguese origin. In fact, since a very large number of Spanish Jews migrated to Portugal when they were expelled from Spain, proving Spanish ancestry from families known to have lived in Portugal is also acceptable. Mind that our internal Experts’ Committee checks the information provided but does not run genealogical studies itself.

  • Personal – family name, records and documents (including image, video and audio) of family ceremonies, weddings, burials, registration at Jewish communities, birth certificates, property deeds, bibliography and book quotes, copies of inquisition archives and alike.
  • Genealogical – According to the new orders from Conservatória dos Registos Centrais, the certificates issued by the Jewish communities must be followed by the applicant’s genealogical tree. Therefore, the tradition of Sephardic Jewish belonging certification solicitude for granting Portuguese nationality must be also accompanied by a genealogical tree having indications of dates and places of ancestor’s birth, death and marriage.
    Thus, the Jewish Community of Belmonte let know that:
    • The applicant should provide a family tree as complete as possible, based on the submitted documentation.
    • The family tree should be visible and understandable.
    • It should contain the respective ancestry and descendency (if necessary), places and dates of birth, marriage and death of the ascending until reach the applicant.
    • We propose a model for Family Tree (Click to Download)
  • Testimonial – to be provided either/or by external experts, your Sephardic community’s rabbi, people who know the applicant, etc.
  • Emotional memory – it is desirable that the applicant explains in short his motivation to apply for Portuguese nationality based on his Sephardic family and tradition roots. A simple letter will do. If/when possible, evidence of some level of Ladino speaking proficiency/culture will be highly appreciated although it’s not mandatory.

All the above may be presented in Portuguese, Spanish, French or English.

II

DIGITIZED PROCESSES AND DELIVERING

STEP II - DIGITIZED PROCESSES AND DELIVERING

All processes should be sent:

Digitally to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., preferably in a SINGLE file, in PDF format, A4 which must respect the order of the documents as they appear in the document list.

The process will follow for due consideration of our responsible committee.

III

ANALYSING THE DOCUMENTS

STEP III - ANALYSING THE DOCUMENTS

After sending the digitized documentation by email, our “Analysis Commission” will review your case and send you an answer such as “APPROVED” or “NOT APPROVED – Please send more documentation / prove”.

IV

SENDING THE DOCUMENTS

STEP IV – SENDING THE DOCUMENTS

Once the applicant receives an answer of “APPROVED”, will have a maximum period of 2 weeks to send the respective documents in paper (originals) and prove of payment of the donations to:

“BJC Comissão de Análise e Certificação”
Rua Cidade Nova Lisboa, nº 11,
1800-107 Lisboa / PORTUGAL
TEL: (+351) 218 539 632

NOTE: This condition is essential for sending the final certificate. No documents, no certificate. Please send all documentation without binding, without staples or other plastic or metal materials.

V

PAYMENTS OF DONATIONS

STEP V – PAYMENTS OF DONATIONS

The amount to be paid per certificate (i.e. per person) is € 350,00 (three hundred and fifty euros).

NOTE: Donations
These donations will be used in the development and maintenance of our services and activities that guarantee the continuation of culture and traditions in our Jewish community, as well as in the Portuguese society in general, through several solidarity programs with whom the community contributes.
The power of the final decision whether it is an approval or a request for more documents that corroborates your Sephardic origins is solely taken by the Commission of Analysis.

Bank details:
IBAN: PT 50 0035 0153 00011677530 89
SWIFT/BIC: CGDIPTPL
Owner: Comunidade Judaica de Belmonte (CJB)
Bank: Caixa Geral de Depósitos
Agency: Belmonte
Account Nr.: 0153011677530
Amount: € 350,00 (three hundred and fifty euros) per person.

NOTE: You can make payment for more than one person at once. Please write the name(s) of the person(s) on the payment slip.

VI

ISSUANCE OF CERTIFICATES

STEP VI - ISSUANCE OF CERTIFICATES

Once we receive all the documents to our above-mentioned address we will start the issuance of the certificate.
The name of the applicant and the parents of the applicant as indicated in the application form that initiates the process must appear on the certificate, accurately and strictly.
Considering that the Conservatória dos Registos Centrais requires the inclusion of the name of the birth register and the current name that may vary in the passport, by means of marriage or other reasons, it is important to do so strictly according to the translations made by a competent body or person who, by necessity be included in the proceedings.

NOTE: Only requests for rectification of certificates will be accepted, in the case of a proven spelling error committed by us, or if there is an official request for reissue by the Conservatória, which must be sent to us by e- mail when communicating the same: email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
For that purposes, please include a copy of your Belmonte Jewish Community Certificate alongside your prove(s) (passport copy, birth certificate copy, etc).

VII

APPLYING FOR PORTUGUESE NATIONALITY BEFORE THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE

STEP VII - APPLYING FOR PORTUGUESE NATIONALITY BEFORE THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
The intervention of the Jewish community of Belmonte ends with the issuing of the certificate in accordance with the law or with the rejection of the application.
Once the certificate has been obtained, the applicant, by himself or through a lawyer with a power of attorney, must submit an application to the competent Portuguese Authorities. The Jewish community of Belmonte has no involvement in the decision or in the process.
Lawyers who usually work with the Jewish Community of Belmonte: Cristóvão & Fraga, Sociedade de Advogados, R.L.(https://www.cristovao-fraga.com.pt/en/ and email adress: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
However, there are 40,000 lawyers in Portugal and the petition for Portuguese Nationality can be submitted by any lawyer.
The Community is not partner of any lawyer.
 
The following documents must be submitted to the competent services, including their translation into Portuguese, duly certified by the Portuguese consulate in the applicant's country of origin / establishment and apostille according to the Hague Convention:

  1. Certificate – statement of direct or collateral progeny, family relationship to a Sephardic community of Portuguese origin and the tradition of belonging to a Sephardic community of Portuguese origin. As mentioned above, the Jewish communities of Belmonte, Lisbon and Porto, bearing the status of religious legal persons legally based in Portugal, were empowered to issue such certificate;
  2. Full copy of the applicant’s passport;
  3. Certificate of residence;
  4. Birth certificate issued in the previous six months.
  5. Criminal record’s certificates issued by the applicant’s country of birth and countries in which he has resided more than 90 days in one year. Any conviction with a crime punishable in Portugal with three years or more years’ imprisonment will make the applicant non-eligible;
  6. Power of attorney, when not presented by the applicant himself.

The Portuguese Central Registry Office charges a non-refundable and pre-paid 250.00 € fee per applicant.

VIII

GETTING A PORTUGUESE ID CARD / PASSPORT

STEP VIII - GETTING A PORTUGUESE ID CARD / PASSPORT

Upon the granting of nationality, the Central Registry Office shall issue and mail to the applicant’s address or to representing lawyer’s address a Portuguese birth certificate. Portuguese ID documents, such as passports, may then be issued by the nearest Portuguese Consulate or by “Loja Do Cidadão” found all over Portugal.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I have to come to Portugal in person? Do I have to reside in Portugal? Do I have to speak Portuguese

  • Does my family name have to be in “the list of Sephardic names”?

  • Do I have to hire the services of a lawyer?

  • Can I file a family application? Can my spouse be granted nationality as well?

  • Can I file an application for my under 18 years old children?

  • Did anyone get the Portuguese nationality yet? How long does it take?

Contacts

CALL: (+351) 876 976 973

VISIT: Rua Fonte Rosa, 6250-041, Belmonte, Portugal
[See how to get there]

EMAIL: info@belmontejewishcommunity.org

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