Things to know before issuing a Spanish and Portuguese passport

1. The issuance of a Spanish passport

In 2015, the Spanish Congress approved a law granting Spanish-born descendants of Spanish citizens. According to this law, citizenship can be obtained without the need to renounce the current citizenship and without having to live in Spain.

Some important things to know about obtaining citizenship:

The application for citizenship must be submitted in Spanish within 3 years of the law's entry into force (June 11, 2015). The Spaniards may extend the deadline by another year.

To obtain Spanish citizenship, you will have to prove that you are of Sephardic origin and prove that you have a special connection to Spain.

To prove that you have a connection to Spain you will be asked:

To pass a basic examination of Spanish culture and constitution.

To prove that you know the Spanish language - the exam is conducted at the Cervantes Institute, and the level of knowledge required is basic (Level 2A).

Documents and details that you will need to submit to obtain Spanish citizenship

A family tree or family history

Family name

A document that proves a connection between you and the Spanish family name

Birth certificate or Jewish marriage contract - in the Castile style and with the approval of a qualified Spanish rabbi.

Confirmation of knowledge of the Ladino or Haketia language (this is the language spoken by Spanish exiles living in Casablanca, Tangier, Tetuan, Arcila, Chapechon, Aleksarkivir, Larraj, Souta and Melilla).

You will need to submit all the relevant documents for Spanish citizenship in Spanish, and for this, you should contact the Spanish notary.

Where can I get documents?

You can contact the Ministry of the Interior, the State Archives and the Zionist Archive to obtain documents and to prove the existence of a family relationship.

You can contact historical researchers to prove a Spanish family name. It is important to know that the Spanish government recognizes the list of names of Spanish families that appeared in Order 2217 on 11 February 1949 and is attached to the Law of 29 December 1948.

After applying for a Spanish passport, you will need a notary's approval in Spanish. The Spanish Notary will invite you, review the documents and facts and after confirming your application you will get one year to register in the Population Registry by the Spanish Consulate in your area of residence and then you will be required to swear allegiance to the King and the Constitution of Spain.

2. To issue a Portuguese passport

Portuguese law grants eligibility to those who prove that they came from countries to which the deportees from Spain and Portugal arrived. The initial request is submitted to the Portuguese Interior Ministry.

Portuguese law requires you to meet two conditions:

Prove that you have a connection with the deportees from Portugal.

Prove that you have a connection to the Portuguese Jewish tradition.

There are two ways to get permission for your connection to the Jews of Portugal

Submit a request to the Jewish communities in Portugal to prove your connection to this Judaism.

It is important to emphasize that this route is impractical because no one has documents that show continuous contact 500 years back.

The conditions for obtaining the Portuguese passport are easier than those demanded by the Spanish, and you will not have to come to Portugal to gain citizenship.