Attorney Yoram Zara

While the Spanish law is seen by attorney Zara as an almost impossible task, because of deliberate difficulties from the part of the Spanish legislator, the Portuguese option is much easier.
Zara’s firm is in Herzliya and Lisbon. All applications are submitted directly to the Ministry of Justice in Lisbon and not through an embassy. Yoram Zara can boast with the Portuguese passport that he has issued for himself as well as other members of his family living in Israel and in Turkey.
The firm’s method of operation includes a free eligibility evaluation in which they attempt to identify problems that may arise along the way. The firm explains that while it is relatively easy for eligible applicants to cross the first stage – the stage of proof of Sephardi origin, the second stage with the government is much more challenging. It is enough that there be one mistake, such as a change of name or lack of a certificate, so that the request will be halted and cannot be withdrawn for repair.
To prevent money from being invested in applications that do not stand a chance, the office will do everything possible to submit a valid and complete application.
Two-thirds of Yoram Zara’s clients are Israelis and the rest are Jews from Britain and the US. The firm is closely monitoring the extension of applicants’ queues and is therefore trying to complete the submission process to the government of any request for Portuguese citizenship within three months.

Bottom line: For those who believe only those who have managed to get a passport for themselves and have the experience since the beginning of the law.

Portuguese citizenship granted to 713 Sephardi Jews

The number of sephardi Jews that applied for Portuguese citizenship increased 1000% since 2015, with 713 citizenships granted. This data, provided by the Ministry of Justice, has been calculated since March 2015 when the legislation came into force.

Besides the approved applications, there are 385 applications waiting for the final approval and 7701 in analysis.

“The average number of applications increased 991.4%”, and the monthly average increased from 46.6 in 2015 to 462 in 2017. From these applications, only one has been denied by the Instituto dos Registos e do Notariado (IRN).

In total, the authorities received 8,800 applications from sepharadi Jews. Out of the 714 applications finalized, 713 were approved and one was denied. This corresponds to one tenth of the applications submitted.

466 citizenship applications were submitted in 2015, a monthly average of 46.6. 5,100 applications were submitted in 2016, with a monthly average of 425. In the first seven months of 2017, 3,234 applications were submitted, with a monthly average of 462. This is an increase of almost 1000% from 2015.

By country of origin, most of these applications come from Israel, Turkey, Argentine and Morocco.

This granting of citizenship is based on a change made to the Law of Citizenship (1981), approved in April 2013 by the PSD-CDS government, with the new statute approved in 2014 and its regulation published in February 2015.

“I would not like to say that it is about a historic reparation because I understand that in this issue there is no possibility of repairing of what has been done”, stated the then Minister of Justice Paula Teixeira da Cruz, adding that: “I would say it is about granting rights.”

Translated from the original in Portuguese found here

Billionaire Patrick Drahi has got a new passport: Portuguese

Descendant of Sephardi Jews, billionaire Patrick Drahi has acquired the Portuguese nationality. It is the third passport obtained by him.

Patrick Drahi (born 1963) is a Moroccan-born businessman with French, Israeli and now Portuguese citizenship, living in Switzerland since 1999. He is the founder and controlling shareholder of the Netherlands-based telecom group Altice listed on the Amsterdam stock exchange.

As of November 2015 Forbes estimated Drahi’s net worth at $10.3 billion. Forbes ranks him as the 60th richest person in the world, the third richest person in France. He was ranked as the richest person in Israel until 2016, when he came in 2nd.

In the two years between the acquisition of Portugal Telecom and Media Capital, Altice’s boss, Patrick Drahi, remained active. Under the new law of 2015, he has acquired Portuguese nationality after having been able to prove he descends from three Jewish families expelled from Portugal by D. Manuel I’s edict, in 1496: The Adrehi (a name that has evolved to Drahi), the Sicsú and the Amouyal.

From the Adrehi and the Sicsú, there are records of their return to Faro in the 19th century, after the paths of Diaspora had led them first to Livorno (Italy), then Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, where Patrick was born in 1963.

In the Algarve city, the magnate’s ancestors are remembered as influential members of the Jewish community, and the proof is in sight of whoever crosses the doors of the Lisbon Synagogue.

Translated from Portuguese from the original here

Israel