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  • Writer's pictureCreimerman Product Team

Portugal: Discover if you can you apply for a European passport with Sephardi heritage

We are beginning this month with a topic we have not touched upon on the blog before. It has to be said, the focus is on citizenship and relocation, however, is not an investment programme as we have frequently explored. Instead, we will look into Portugal, one of the most popular European countries for second citizenship for those with the ability to apply, and one group with this opportunity are members of the Sephardi community. If you are unfamiliar with Portugal and the Sephardi community, do not panic, we will outline some context before getting into the details of the citizenship scheme.

Portugal is situated in south-west Europe within the Iberian Peninsula, exhibiting a varied climate and bustling cities, yet for the purpose of today, its global ties are important too, making the desire for the Portuguese passport increasingly popular. This stems partly from the COVID-19 pandemic, during which many of us have had a desire to move overseas to explore new environments and find better, healthier lifestyles, as opposed to the extensive periods of lockdown we have all known for the past year and a half. Yet, as with most things, there are limitations and exclusions which make the application process more selective and thus the criteria for who is entitled to apply more significant.

This leads us on to the Sephardi community, a term that encompasses the descendants of Sephardi Jewish people, whether they themselves are Jewish or not, who once lived in Spain and Portugal between a period extending from Roman Empire times up until the 15th Century when a majority of the Jewish people in the Iberian Peninsula were expelled and made to flee. This community is important for today’s article, as Portugal has a scheme in place that allows people who find themselves in this group to apply for the European nation’s passport.

If the above information applies to you, you may be wondering the steps you have to take in order to start your application and begin the process to obtaining your new passport. Please find below a breakdown of the timeline of key steps:

  1. Obtain certificate from the Portuguese Jewish Community, this is in order to prove you have a connection to the Sephardi Jewish Community in Portugal and give grounds for your application (you can either apply for the certificate from the Jewish Community of Porto or Lisbon)

  2. You can request your certificate via email, and when making the application you must also submit the relevant documents (we will cover this in more detail later)

  3. Pay the €150 application processing fee to the relevant Jewish Community

  4. Once you obtain your certificate you will need to complete the traditional application for Portuguese Nationality

Going back to the documents we briefly mentioned above, we will now provide a list of the specifics in order to make them easier to digest:

  1. Birth certificate

  2. Criminal record from Portugal and home nation

  3. Certificate from the Portuguese Jewish Community (detailed above)

  4. Copy of passport ID

  5. Proof of residence

  6. Payment of application processing fee proof

The process is ultimately rather short and as long as you have the above details in order, it should not be a stressful process. One important detail to note that could affect any application is regarding criminal records. This is because any potential applicant must have not been convicted of a crime that under Portugal’s own laws would come with a three or more-year prison term. Aside from this, however, as long as you comply with the requisite documentation and application channels, you should be well on your way to obtaining the Portuguese passport!

If you are interested in finding out more, please do not hesitate to contact us today. At Creimerman, we assist our clients with their cross-border ventures every day, helping to ensure they are a success, and we would love for you to be the next.



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