Change to the Portuguese nationality Regulation approved by the Cabinet allow the naturalisation of descendants of Sephardic Jews expelled from Portugal

The Portuguese Cabinet approved on January, 29 the change of the Portuguese Nationality Regulation, allowing Portuguese nationality to be granted, by naturalisation, to descendants of Sephardic Jews.

It becomes therefore possible to integrate in the national community descendants of Sephardic Jews of Portuguese origin that so desire, by acquiring Portuguese nationality by naturalisation, with all inherent rights and obligations.

It should be noted the ancient presence of such communities in the Iberian Peninsula, predating even the formation of the Iberian Christian kingdoms, such as Portugal in the 12th Century. Despite persecution and removal from their ancestral territory, many Sephardic Jews of Portuguese origin and their descendants maintained not only the Portuguese language but also the traditional rites of the ancient Jewish cult in Portugal. Throughout generations, they maintained family names, objects and documents attesting their Portuguese origin, along with a strong memory connection that leads them to entitle themselves as “Portuguese Jews” or “Jews of the Portuguese Nation”.

The application to be submitted by the interested party should indicate the circumstances that determine membership of a Sephardic community of Portuguese origin, namely family names, language used by the family, direct descent or family relation in the collateral line of a common ascendant.

The decree-law approving the changes to the Portuguese Nationality Regulation will have to be enacted by the President of the Portuguese Republic and published in the official journal, before coming into force.