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The Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood of America

 

67-67 108 Street, Forest Hills, NY 11375

Office: (718)-685-0080 | Email: info@sephardicbrotherhood.com

© 2018 Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood of America, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

Spanish & Portuguese Citizenship Program

Overview

Are you interested in Spanish or Portuguese Citizenship? Sephardic Brotherhood can help! Since 2015, the Spanish and Portuguese governments have allowed for descendent of Sephardic Jews from the Iberian peninsula to reclaim their ancestral roots through formal citizenship. The Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood of America has been certified by the Spanish and Portuguese Foreign Ministries to help advise and provide supportive documentation for a person's application for citizenship based on their Sephardic heritage.

 

Each process requires certain critical steps, including providing evidence of halakhic Jewish status (according to Jewish law) and/or Sephardic heritage or genealogy, both of which the Sephardic Brotherhood is able to support. Please note that each country's process (Spain & Portugal) have different requirements and timelines, so it is best to fully review our outline summaries before beginning the process. For example, while the Spanish Government requires a Spanish Language Exam, the Portuguese Government has no language requirement. While the Spanish Citizenship law expires in Oct. 2019, the Portuguese citizenship law does not.

Applying for Spanish Citizenship

Here is a Step by Step Guide on How to Apply for Spanish Citizenship

 

  1. Obtain a certificate of Sephardic heritage. Be able to clearly prove Sephardic ancestry or familial connection to an established Sephardic community. As a general rule, individuals of any religion with a Converso Jewish heritage will need to provide genealogical evidence, while Jewish individuals can provide genealogical evidence and/or show their connection to a Sephardic community.

  2. Pass an intermediate Spanish language exam (called the DELE A-2) and a Spanish civics and culture exam (called CCES) at an Instituto Cervantes, located in Albuquerque, Boston, Chicago, New York, Miami, or Seattle.

  3. Pass an FBI background check and a state-level criminal background check based on your state of residence

  4. Show a special connection to Spain

  5. Travel to Spain

 

If you have proof of connection to a clearly Sephardic relative or ancestor, and would like a certificate certifying your Sephardic heritage from the Sephardic Brotherhood, below is a brief outline of our process. The Sephardic Brotherhood has been approved by the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain and the Spanish Foreign Ministry as a certifying institution in the United States to provide documentation attesting to an individual’s Jewish and Sephardic heritage.

For Non-Sephardic Brotherhood Members

 

  • Fill out the Application for Sephardic Origin Certificate Form

  • Write your Letter of Justification: Please write a summary of your genealogical or communal proof, ending with the following line: “I hereby certify that this information is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.” This will be inserted into the application.

  • Application Fee and Form: There is a $36 fee to start the application process, which you can pay via credit card on the donate page of our website. Please note that this donation is to the Sephardic Origin Certificate Fund in honor of “application fee”

  • Supporting Documentation: Once you submit your application, documentation backing up your letter of justification (birth records, immigration records, etc.) can be emailed to info@sephardicbrotherhood.com  

  • Processing Fee: Upon verification of your justification letter, the Sephardic Brotherhood will email you if your application is accepted. If it is not, we will do our best to advise you of needed changes.

 

Summary of Costs for Certificate of Sephardic Origin for non-members of the Sephardic Brotherhood

 

  • $36 to apply for the certificate

  • $174 to process the application and review relevant materials 

  • $150 for final documentation drafting.

  • Total cost: $360

For Sephardic Brotherhood Members

 

  • Fill out the Application for Sephardic Origin Certificate Form

  • Write your Letter of Justification: Please write a summary of your genealogical or communal proof, ending with the following line: “I hereby certify that this information is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.” This will be inserted into the application.

  • Application Fee and Form: There is a $36 fee to start the application process, which you can pay via credit card on the donate page of our website. Please note that this donation is to the Sephardic Origin Certificate Fund in honor of “application fee”

  • Supporting Documentation: Once you submit your application, documentation backing up your letter of justification (birth records, immigration records, etc.) can be emailed to info@sephardicbrotherhood.com

  • Processing Fee: Upon verification of your justification letter, the Sephardic Brotherhood will email you if your application is accepted. If it is not, we will do our best to advise you of needed changes.

 

Summary of Costs for Certificate of Sephardic Origin for non-members of the Sephardic Brotherhood

 

  • $36 to apply for the certificate

  • $64 to process the application for members and review relevant materials

  • Total cost: $100

Applying for Portuguese Citizenship

For Sephardic Brotherhood Members

 

  • Fill out the Application for Sephardic Origin Certificate Form

  • Write your Letter of Justification: Please write a summary of your genealogical or communal proof, ending with the following line: “I hereby certify that this information is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.” This will be inserted into the application.

  • Application Fee and Form: There is a $36 fee to start the application process, which you can pay via credit card on the donate page of our website. Please note that this donation is to the Sephardic Origin Certificate Fund in honor of “application fee”

  • Supporting Documentation: Once you submit your application, documentation backing up your letter of justification (birth records, immigration records, etc.) can be emailed to info@sephardicbrotherhood.com

  • Processing Fee: Upon verification of your justification letter, the Sephardic Brotherhood will email you if your application is accepted. If it is not, we will do our best to advise you of needed changes.

 

Summary of Costs for Certificate of Sephardic Origin for non-members of the Sephardic Brotherhood

 

  • $36 to apply for the certificate

  • $64 to process the application for members and review relevant materials

  • Total cost: $100

For Non-Sephardic Brotherhood Members

 

  • Fill out the Application for Sephardic Origin Certificate Form

  • Write your Letter of Justification: Please write a summary of your genealogical or communal proof, ending with the following line: “I hereby certify that this information is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.” This will be inserted into the application.

  • Application Fee and Form: There is a $36 fee to start the application process, which you can pay via credit card on the donate page of our website. Please note that this donation is to the Sephardic Origin Certificate Fund in honor of “application fee”

  • Supporting Documentation: Once you submit your application, documentation supporting your letter of justification (birth records, immigration records, etc.) can be emailed to info@sephardicbrotherhood.com  

  • Processing Fee: Upon verification of your justification letter, the Sephardic Brotherhood will email you if your application is accepted. If it is not, we will do our best to advise you of needed changes.

Summary of Costs for Certificate of Sephardic Origin for non-members of the Sephardic Brotherhood

 

  • $36 to apply for the certificate

  • $174 to process the application and review relevant materials 

  • $150 for final documentation drafting.

  • Total cost: $360

The applicable Portuguese Law states the following: "The Portuguese Government may grant nationality to descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews who demonstrate a traditional connection to a Community with Portuguese Sephardic origins, based on proven objective requirements of a connection with Portugal, such as family names, family language, direct or collateral ancestry." These are the conditions under which Portuguese nationality may be granted:

  1. Portuguese nationality may be granted to descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews, who after leaving Portugal, due to religious persecution (1496-1821), maintained ties with “organized communities” that were typically Portuguese, such as those that existed in Salonika and Smyrna before being decimated by the Shoah (KK Portugal, KK Portugal Velho, KK Lisbon, KK Évora, etc.); or had ties with the Spanish & Portuguese Synagogues in London, Amsterdam, Curaçau, Suriname, etc.

  2. Portuguese nationality may be granted to applicants whose families once abandoned the Iberian Peninsula (Portugal and Spain) and for centuries have been integrated into Portuguese and Spanish communities, commonly known as "Sephardim" (Turkey, Greece, former Yugoslavia, Morocco, etc.), rife with marriages between Jews of Portuguese origin and Jews of Spanish origin and who used the language known as Ladino (a mixture of Portuguese and Spanish languages with local languages). Those applicants may obtain the certificate, even if they cannot find "Portuguese” surnames in their known genealogy.

  3. Portuguese nationality may be granted to all those descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews who after leaving Portugal, due to religious persecution, travelled far and wide, whether in an organized manner or not, as part of a community or not and whether belonging to a synagogue or not, and who maintain an emotional connection to Portugal, even if they have since, by virtue of circumstances, become part or not of other Jewish Communities, whether Sephardic or Ashkenazi.

 

If you have proof of connection to a clearly Sephardic relative or ancestor, and would like a certificate certifying your Sephardic heritage from the Sephardic Brotherhood, below is a brief outline of our process. The Sephardic Brotherhood has the ability to act as a certifying institution in the United States to provide documentation attesting to an individual’s Jewish and Sephardic heritage for the purposes of Portuguese Citizenship.

 

Note – Unlike the Spanish Citizenship process, Portuguese Citizenship does NOT require a language exam/proof of Portuguese Language proficiency OR a requirement to go to Portugal to complete the process and receive a Portuguese Passport