Decree-Law nº 30-A/2015 of 27 February finally approved the regulations on the grant of Portuguese nationality to descendants of the Sephardic Jews unfairly expelled from Portugal around the end of the XV and early XVI centuries.
In practical terms, Portuguese nationality now becomes available to descendants of Sephardic Jews able to prove having:
(a) a Portuguese-origin family name;
(b) a Portuguese family ancestor direct or by a common ancestor (collateral keen or relative) by means of a genealogical tree, for example;
(c) maintained the attachment to a Sephardic Community and its religious rites and or having maintained the use of Portuguese language and or of an ancient form of a Portuguese dialect spoken by Portuguese Sephardic Jews called the “Ladino”; even if the applicants would manage only some key words or expressions;
(d) documental records of their Portuguese Sephardic Jewish ancestral roots by means of ancient Portuguese property titles, birth records and similar records kept by Synagogues and or Jewish cemeteries.
The above Decree-Law 30-A/2015 provides some clues as to a list of family names which one may deem as of a Portuguese Sephardic Jewish origin and if the family name of a given applicant to Portuguese nationality and the family name of any ancestor and or close collateral is one taken out of such list, this may be sufficient to prove the Sephardic Jewish ascendency. Provided, however, that this fact and or any of the other facts we outlined above must be certified by a Portuguese Jewish Religious Community and or by a Jewish Community of the country of birth and or residence of the applicant.
The undersigned partner of Valadas Coriel & Associados have been deeply involved in a civic and civil society movement pro bono which triggered the approval of the law granting the right to Portuguese nationality to descendents of Sephardic Jews unfairly expelled from Portugal and persecuted for their beliefs in the XV and XVI centuries and was active also in the civic campaign for the approval of these regulations of this Law now finally enacted.
Hence, should you require any further information on this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us:
Paulino Brilhante Santos (Partner, Head of Taxation and International Projects)
Sofia Quental (Senior Associate)