After the amendment and changes in the citizenship laws in Spain and Portugal, Jewish descendants of Spanish deportees can apply and choose between Spanish or Portuguese citizenship. The two countries belong to the European Union. Citizenship of one of them provides a long-awaited passport that offers many advantages, including the possibility of living in Spain or Portugal, investing in real estate, free or discounted tuition at leading universities and more.
Many people wonder which citizenship is best for them, Spanish or Portuguese, so it is worth knowing the differences in procedure required to obtain local citizenship in each country, whether there are differences in costs and it is essential to understand in advance the differences of citizenship.
Which route is considered more comfortable and friendly?
It is worth knowing that the Spanish citizenship law is considered more difficult for the descendants of the deportees. To obtain Spanish citizenship, two tests must be successfully passed: the language test and the knowledge test in the state's constitution and culture. Also, a personal interview is held in Spain with a Spanish notary. Subject to the notary's decision, it is possible to obtain the desired citizenship from the State of Spain, and then to submit an application and issue a passport.
The process of obtaining Portuguese citizenship is considered more comfortable, and the state makes it easier for the descendants of the deportees to obtain local citizenship. According to the Citizenship Law in Portugal, evidence proving the connection with the descendants of the deportees must be proved and presented. The applicant for Portuguese citizenship must contact the heads of the Jewish community in Portugal to obtain a certificate attesting to the blood and cultural connection of the descendants of the Spanish expellees, after which an application must be submitted to the local government to obtain Portuguese citizenship.
It should be noted that the Portuguese government does not require the descendants of the deportees to enter the country for a personal interview. There is no need to pass knowledge and language tests, and the government gave the heads of the local Jewish community the right to determine whether the applicant for citizenship is indeed a Sephardic Jew. However, only persons over the age of 18 may apply for Portuguese citizenship, while the Spanish government also allows minors to apply for Spanish citizenship. The minors are not required to pass the required tests from applicants over the age of 18.
Spain and Portugal are members of the European Union, so obtaining citizenship from one of the countries confers more or less equal rights. Spanish or Portuguese citizenship allows you to obtain a European passport, which lets you to live in the country, to study for free or at a low cost compared with the increases required by non-residents, to visit countries where entry is not allowed for Israelis, to travel freely in EU countries, to work without fear of the immigration authorities, To enter the United States without a visa and more.
You can also take a mortgage from a local bank in Spain or Portugal, depending on your citizenship, to invest in real estate, start a business and move goods easily and without an Israeli identity, and there are many other advantages. This may be a consideration in choosing the path to obtain citizenship, especially if you plan to start a business or invest in real estate.