European Jewish Congress
New law allows Portuguese citizenship for whole families exiled during the Inquisition
Portugal
New law allows Portuguese citizenship for whole families exiled during the Inquisition

Israeli minors are now eligible for Portuguese citizenship after Portugal government made an amendment to a 2015 law making descendents of 16th century Jewish deportees eligible for citizenship.

Following the passing of the law in 2015, thousands of Jews in Israel, Turkey and other countries began to apply for Portuguese citizenship, with hundreds already being approved. 

However, until now, the law only applied to applicants seeking citizenship themselves, requiring family members to all apply separately. Now with the amendment, families can apply for citizenship together.

"The Portuguese law allows Jews with a historical connection to the country to receive citizenship and enjoy the possibilities afforded by a European passport. Business people who are active in Europe or people who are interested in sending their children to academic institutions can now go through the process faster and easier," said Adam Yadid, an attorney who specialises in obtaining citizenship in Spain and Portugal. 

Thousands of Israelis are currently in the process of obtaining a Portuguese passport and it is estimated that there are about three million Jews in the world who are potential beneficiaries eligible to receive Portuguese citizenship. 

The main condition for proving a connection to Portuguese deportees is proof that the geographical origin of the family is in Portugal, as well as proof of historical-cultural connections. In this framework, the applicant is required to present the "path of immigration" of his family members since the expulsion from Portugal.

The examination and approval of the connection is carried out by the Portuguese Population Authority or by one of the Jewish communities in Portugal who have been authorised to do so.

 Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot

Monday, May 01, 2017
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