In Portugal, it is still possible to acquire Portuguese nationality for individuals who can prove to be descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews. Although a bill has been presented aiming to revoke the provision that allows the Government to grant nationality by naturalization to descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews, effective from January 1, 2024, as of now, it is still possible to acquire nationality through this route, provided that the required legal criteria are met.

According to our current law, Portuguese nationality can be granted by naturalization to descendants of Sephardic Jews who meet the following criteria:

  1. Have reached the legal age or have obtained emancipation in accordance with Portuguese law.
  2. Have not been sentenced to a prison term of three years or more for an offense punishable under Portuguese law, and the sentence has become final.
  3. Do not pose a danger or threat to national security or defence through involvement in activities related to terrorism, as defined by the respective law.
  4. Can demonstrate a tradition of belonging to a Sephardic community of Portuguese origin based on objective requirements of connection to Portugal, such as surnames, family language, direct or collateral descent (to fulfil this requirement, a certificate from the Jewish community attesting to your connection to the Sephardic community must be presented).
  5. To prove the connection to Portugal and the existence of a lasting bond with the country, it is also mandatory to submit documents that demonstrate one of the following options:
    • Ownership of real estate rights in Portugal, inherited or otherwise acquired, or ownership of other rights or shares in commercial or cooperative companies established in Portugal.
    • Regular visits to Portugal throughout the applicant’s life, demonstrating an effective and enduring connection with the country.

Nationality Department

Ana Santos Fontes | Maria Moura Fonseca | Ana Luíza Fronczak