Spanish passport - the full guide

In March 2018, the Spanish government decided to extend for another year the new Citizenship Law of 2015 allowing the descendants of the Jews who were expelled from Spain from 1492 to receive citizenship from the state. Following the extension of the law, Israelis and additional Jewish Sephardic descendants living in the rest of the world can take advantage of the window of opportunity until October 2019 to apply for Spanish citizenship which is a European passport for all intents and purposes.

It is worth knowing that more than 6,000 Jews of Sephardic origin have already received citizenship from Spain, in accordance with the Citizenship Law passed three years ago in the Spanish Parliament. The purpose of the law is to rectify the historical injustice caused to those expelled from Spain. The Spanish government has decided to extend the law to allow as many candidates as possible to receive citizenship from the state, so it is best to rush the application now, and not miss the opportunity to obtain a Spanish passport which is a direct entry ticket to the EU.

In addition, if you want that your children receive Spanish citizenship for a European passport, it is advisable to take advantage of the time remaining until October 2019. It is recommended to submit the application by June 2019. Otherwise, you may miss the opportunity to receive Spanish citizenship for minors. Portuguese citizenship for minors has not yet been settled, so this is the only option currently available to parents who wish to issue a European passport to their children.

The Citizenship Law - what does it say?

On June 11, 2015, the Spanish Parliament decided on the new Spanish citizenship law to allow the descendants of the Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492 to receive citizenship from the state in order to correct the injustice caused to the expelled Jews. According to the bill, the descendants of the expellees who prove their connections to the deportees can obtain citizenship from the state. This is the desire of many Jews in Israel and around the world because a Spanish passport offers many advantages.

In order to obtain citizenship, the conditions stipulated in the new Citizenship Law must be met. Over time, the conditions were exacerbated by the great confusion caused by the descendants of the Jews who were expelled from Spain who wanted to exercise their rights. Therefore, it is important to know that the main conditions set out in the new Citizenship Law are:

Special affinity to Spain - Attach documents proving a special connection to Spain, such as proof of knowledge and control of languages such as Ladino or its laws, approval of Spanish history and culture from a recognized institution, charitable activities related to the state, cultural or economic activities for Spanish institutions and the like.

Family name and genealogical research - Although there is no formal list of Spanish government names, it is very important to prove the inclusion of the applicant or his ancestors in Sephardic communities of Jews who were deported in the mass expulsion from Spain. Genealogy is usually conducted by an experienced expert to prove the connection.

A special relationship to Spain - to improve the chances of obtaining citizenship you should try to prove a special relationship to Spain. For example, marriage to a Spanish citizen, residence in the country for at least 6 months, owner of one or more properties in Spain, shares of a Spanish company, companies in a cultural center or sports in Spain and more.

Confirmation from the Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain - the approval of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain has great weight in the eyes of the Spanish authorities.

Test success - A Spanish language proficiency test and a knowledge test in the Spanish constitution and culture must be successfully passed.

Spanish passport for minors

As mentioned above, the window of opportunity for obtaining Spanish citizenship will be completed within a few months. So, it is expedient to act quickly with a professional company specializing in the subject in order to apply in the time remaining to obtain citizenship for minors. It is important to know that citizenship from the State of Spain is a direct entry ticket to the European Union. The process of obtaining citizenship for minors is easier and faster than the process which adults are required to pass. Moreover, there are many advantages to obtaining a Spanish passport.

Under the new Spanish Citizenship Law, an application for citizenship can be submitted for the child, even if the parents do not undergo the process themselves. In addition, minors are not required to pass knowledge and language tests, which is a significant relief compared to the complex and more demanding process for adults. Therefore, at a cost-effective and relatively simple procedure, parents can take care of their children's future. A minor who gets Spanish citizenship can then obtain a European passport which gives him many advantages, including:

  • Possibility to live in Spain and other EU countries.
  • Possibility to study for free or at a nominal cost in the best Spanish and Spanish universities.
  • Ability to work legally after 18 years in Spain and other EU countries.
  • Free and fast transit between EU countries.
  • A Spanish passport makes it unnecessary to issue a visa to the United States.
  • Peace of mind and a sense of security.

The procedure for issuing citizenship and then a Spanish passport for minors under the age of 18 includes the following steps:

  • Genealogy research to prove the affinity to the expelled Jews from Spain.
  • Collection of documents proving contact and affinity with the expelled Jews from Spain, including family name, Jewish marriage contract, which is inherited among the generations, and the like.
  • Confirmation of the Sephardic Jewish Federation.

A minor under the age of 14 is not required to prove his connection to Spain, but his parents are. A minor in the age range 14-18 is required to prove the connection to Spain. For example, regular annual vacations in the country, summer school in Spain and the like.

After obtaining approval from the Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain, the minor's parents are required to arrange a meeting at the Spanish Consulate in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. The meeting is intended to prove the connection to the minor and to be officially recognized as his representatives for continued treatment with the Spanish authorities. After submitting the documents required by law, the minor's parents will be summoned to a meeting with a notary in Spain. At this meeting, at least one of the minor's parents must attend, there is no need to come with the minor for whom the application is submitted.

Important documents

In order to significantly improve the chances of obtaining citizenship from Spain, it is important to attach to the request that the documents proving their connection to Spain and its culture, as well as proof of blood contact with the descendants of the Jews who were expelled from Spain. Documents must be prepared to indicate a Sephardic status, for example:

  • Confirmation from the Federation.
  • A reasoned report with genealogical research.
  • Birth or marriage certificate under the laws of Castile or the laws of the deportees.
  • Any document proving the applicant's status as a Sephardic Jew.
  • A criminal record certificate from the police attack abroad.
  • Translated and approved personal documents in accordance with the guidelines (birth certificate, marriage certificate, a summary of the registration and the like).
  • School approval for minors.

The documents must be sent to a sworn translator authorized by the Spanish Foreign Ministry. It is important to ensure that all documents are valid and have the required approval according to the guidelines.

The process of obtaining citizenship

You must fill out a Spanish application form on the Spanish Ministry of Justice portal, pay the fee and upload all documents and translations in accordance with the guidelines. After receiving confirmation that the file is in a proper order to receive a summons to a meeting with a notary in Spain.

All original documents, including their translations and other relevant documents, should be brought to the meeting with the notary. The Director of Registry and General Notary Services in Spain requests an opinion from the Spanish Ministry of the Interior. After that, a decision will be made within a period of up to 12 months from the date of submission of the application.

After approval of the application, a declaration is signed and compliance with the Spanish Constitution and the laws of the State is guaranteed. This process is carried out at the Spanish Embassy in Tel Aviv. After receiving citizenship, you can also apply for a Spanish passport, this is a short and technical process.

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