The purpose of this guide is to explain step by step how to approach the citizenship process? What are the steps in the process? Who is eligible? What are the conditions? Process times? The obstacles? The final result?
And all this from years of experience in executing the process with the relevant parties and of course achieving multiple successes for our customers.
The Citizenship Law, what does he say?
In February 2015 in Portugal and in October 2015 in Spain, the citizenship amendment laws were passed after recognition of the injustice caused to the expelled Jews in the 15th century.
Now, Jews can prove that their origin is "Spharadi" and that they have contacts with the expelled Jews from Spain and Portugal, to receive citizenship from the state.
In this guide, we will detail the Portuguese route, which does not require knowledge of the Portuguese language and proves a modern connection to Portugal.
What are the steps in the process?
Stage 1 - Application for eligibility from the Jewish community in Portugal.
The result is the approval of eligibility for citizenship from the Jewish community in Portugal, from the Jewish communities in Porto or Lisbon.
Stage 2 - Submission of the application for citizenship from the Portuguese government.
The result - citizenship! Receipt of a citizenship certificate issued by birth power. This certificate can be accessed by the Portuguese Embassy. Then, you can issue a Portuguese ID and a Portuguese passport.
Who is eligible?
Those who meet the criteria of the law:
Descendant of Jews.
Spanish - Portuguese Origin.
Proof of the connection to the Jews who expelled from Spain.
The Spanish origin is determined by meeting at least two of the following criteria (as a cumulative condition):
Family names originating from Sephardic Jewry - there is an updated list that contains most of the surnames in Hebrew. This list was compiled by our genealogists team and you can search for the desired name - check.campuspas.com.
The origin country is one of the migration routes from Spain/Portugal - North African countries, Balkan countries and countries ruled by the Ottoman Empire.
Customs - Spanish-style Jewish marriage contract.
Languages - Ladino / Spaniel (Balkan Jewry) - "Jewish Sephardic", Haketia(Morocco) - a dialect of the North African Ladino, half a pen - an ancient Spanish manuscript.
Not sure of your eligibility?
You can check your eligibility by answering a short questionnaire at no charge and no obligation with a certified genealogist at the following link - http://i4u.me/YZpTJ.
Who approves eligibility?
Jewish communities in Portugal, Porto and Lisbon. Which have the power to decide whether the candidate meets the criteria in the law, based on the evidence presented in the case. At the end of the examination, if eligibility is found, the Jewish community receives a certificate of entitlement, which is an exclusive condition for the application for citizenship by the Portuguese government.
What do we submit the Jewish community?
Documents proving the surname and country of origin must be presented. An experienced company can guide you by the specific case which documents can be presented and how to obtain them in the simplest and fastest way, even if you do not have any documents.
In addition, it is necessary to present to the Jewish community the historical connection, why you have a connection with the Jews who expelled from Spain.
Therefore, a genealogical report is often required to demonstrate this connection. It is advisable to use a qualified genealogist who is experienced in building these reports in order to obtain the approval of the Jewish community.
At the beginning of 2018, the community announced an up-to-date request that, from now on, a family tree should be presented.
A few inexperienced companies were deterred by the demand and even stopped applying to the Jewish community.
Therefore, it is important to be represented by a veteran company with the knowledge and experience which knows how to deal with new guidelines in order to achieve proven results.
This is usually the presence of a relatively small family tree, basic details of the parents and grandparents, all of course, depending on the specific case. An experienced company will know how to direct the customer to critical and relevant information for filling the tree.
Approval of entitlement, how is it received?
After the Jewish community examines the case and makes sure that the candidate meets the criteria of the law, the candidate will receive approval in principle from the community.
Approval in principle - confirmation from the community that there is indeed a written or oral entitlement does not constitute sufficient approval for the application for citizenship in the government.
Official Confirmation - After receiving the approval in principle, a fee of 500 Euros will be required to issue you the official approval. This approval constitutes an exclusive condition for submitting the application for citizenship to the Government of Portugal.
What is the role of the government?
The Portuguese government is examining the request for citizenship.
The government examines mainly the criminal past of that candidate, and therefore a certificate of integrity must be presented from the country of residence and from the country of birth.
In addition, authentication is required for the current passport. A prolonged stay in a foreign country presented in a passport may result in an application by the government to present a certificate of integrity from that state.
Usually, the government does not settle for presenting only these documents. The examination will be accompanied by questions about the candidate, in order to understand who is involved. If necessary, additional documents are required. All this is done with the person who represents the candidate against the government.
It is important to note that it is almost impossible for the candidate to represent himself against the government. If the candidate lives in Israel, the questions and requests are forwarded to the candidate via Portugal Post - Israel and of course in the Portuguese language. None of us will want to rely on the mail and the questions and requests to reach their destination and time.
Failure to answer a question or request after a certain time may result in disqualification of the case.
It is therefore very important that the representative of the candidate will be local, a resident of Portugal, a language speaker, licensed to practice in Portugal and recognized by the authorities, who will represent you at the best professional level. In this way, the process will pass successfully.
Who does the government approve?
It is important for the government to verify that this is a normative person without a criminal record. The government will approve those who have not had a criminal record and who have answered all its questions and requests satisfactorily.
At the end of the process, a birth certificate will be issued, which is the government's way of granting citizenship.
The birth certificate will show the identification number of that candidate and through it, a passport and a Portuguese passport can be issued.
How do you issue your passport?
Upon receipt of the birth/citizenship certificate, a passport and a Portuguese passport can be issued at any Portuguese embassy nearest your home or directly at the Ministry of the Interior in Portugal.
It is necessary to arrange an appointment for the issuance of documents. In Israel, it takes several months to receive an appointment. First, ID card issuers, which are received within two weeks by mail. Then, you need to return to the embassy to issue the passport.
Many prefer to issue the passport at the Interior Ministry in Portugal. Where it can be done faster, but of course will also cost more money.
It is important to note that it is difficult to do this without understanding and speaking the language. Therefore, it is recommended to take a language-speaking accompanist to help you issue the documents in front of the headers.
How long does it take?
Obtaining approval in principle from the Jewish community - usually up to 3 months from the time of submission.
Official approval from the Jewish community - usually up to 3 months from the date of payment of the fee.
Receipt of the citizenship certificate takes between 18-20 months from the time of submission to the government, depends mainly on the number of applications in the government. Today, the number of applications is about 15,000 requests from Jews from all over the world and is expected to only grow.
Of course, the length of time depends on the period (holidays, holidays, etc.).
Is it possible to speed up the process?
Yes, process acceleration can be relevant for applicants who work or study in an EU country.
There is a need to submit an application once the file begins the stage of handling the government.
There is a possibility that the request will be accepted and indeed the process will be accelerated by half a year, provided that there is sufficient reason justified by the government.
Here, too, there is a preference that a local lawyer will submit the application for you, so the chances that the request will be accepted will be higher.
How much does the process cost?
There are constant costs in the process, the main ones are:
Community fee - 500 euros.
A fee to the government 250 euros.
Translations of documents - between 60-100 euros per document.
Costs that will ensure the success of the process will be for the representative attorney, the genealogical report, an office that handles the client's portfolio 24/7 and attorney.
The price is between NIS 10,000 to NIS 14,000.
The price usually depends on complexity. A large number of family members who are interested in the process can significantly lower the price.
Usually, the price is not paid at once. These are divided into beats. Each company has its own considerations on how to split the payments. It is recommended to choose a company that has a logic behind the price split - which is fairest both for the customer and for the company.
Does citizenship pass automatically to your spouse and children?
Unfortunately, not really. Citizenship does not automatically pass on to a wife or husband and not to current children.
Portuguese law has recently been updated so that the process of obtaining citizenship for the other spouse is simpler.
The possibility that citizenship will pass automatically is only for children born after receiving citizenship.
It is not obligatory for all members of the family to undergo the process so that one will receive. There is no dependence between family members to receive the citizenship certificate of the other.
In addition, the process of Portuguese citizenship for minors is not well defined, so it is important to know that there is an option to make Spanish citizenship for minor children, and we will elaborate on this in a separate guide.
What are the benefits of obtaining citizenship?
- The possibility of residence and work in all EU countries.
- Entitlement to social benefits granted in EU countries.
- Portuguese citizenship is European citizenship that allows automatic visa to the United States.
- Portuguese citizens enjoy the opportunity to study for free in a variety of educational institutions in Europe and to significantly discount university tuition fees.
- Significant easements to entry and work in a variety of destinations in the world, including the US, Australia and Canada.
- Tax benefits and benefits in acquiring the business and real estate.
- The right to vote for elected institutions and easements to receive financing from European banks.
Are there any drawbacks in obtaining citizenship?
To our delight, there seems to be none.
Does citizenship expire?
Citizenship does not expire.
The passport is valid for 5-10 years. A new passport can be issued at a Portuguese embassy and renewal is not a necessary condition for citizenship.
For more information about a Portuguese passport, contact us by phone or leave details on the website. We will get back to you as soon as possible.