Sephardic Jews – More than six thousand Israeli and Turkish citizens want a Portuguese ID

SEF received 3430 requests from Israelis citizens and 3033 from Turkish citizens to get the Portuguese citizenship in 2016 and 2017. They are benefiting from the law which grants citizenship to Sephardic Jews descendants. The number of requests is continuously rising.
The SEF data is presented in its Report latest for 2017. 28,673 forigners requestes Portuguese citizenship in 2017. 2539 came from Israel (891 in 2016) and 1329 from Turkey (1704 in 2016). Till January 31st of 2018, 2436 Sephardic Jews received their Portuguese ID.
The Portuguese Embassy in Tel Aviv has been receiving many citizens requesting the certification of the necessary documents to file for the citizenship, and this number is increasing, according to Matilde Barreto, one of the main Portuguese diplomatic representatives in Israel. “There is a significative raise in the number of people that come to the Embassy to file for the citizenship, whether personally or through lawyers. There was a point where we thought it would decrease, something that did not happen, it is still increasing”, stresses the diplomat. The great majority is under 50 years old, and most of them are Israeli and Turkish, but there are also people with other nationalities. “They want to have an european passport and the Portuguese nationality gives them the possibility to move around the Shengen area; others want to live and make investments in Portugal and there’s a part that does it for sentimental reasons, because they visited the country or because their families want to preserve the traditions”, explains Matilde Barreto.

Translated from the original in Portuguese found here

More than 37,000 foreign citizens requested Portuguese nationality in 2017

The 2017 Immigration, Frontiers and Asylum Report (RIFA) indicates that the SEF issued 28,673 citizenship decisions, 27,362 of which were positive and 1,311 negative.
According to the document, which will be presented during the ceremony marking the 42 years of the Foreigners and Borders Service, those who acquired most Portuguese nationality in 2017 were the natives of Brazil (10,805), Cabo Verde (3,022), Israel (2,539), Ukraine (1,960) and Angola (1,613).
The SEF also highlights other foreigners such as the native from Turkey (1,329), Guinea-Bissau (1,258), Sao Tome and Principe (835), India (646), Moldova (438), Morocco (390), Romania (358), Nepal (297), Pakistan (254) and Russia (235).
“The marked growth of requests for citizenship of citizens from Israel and Turkey is due to the amendment of the Portuguese nationality regulation concerning the naturalization of foreigners descended from Portuguese Sephardic Jews,” comments the document.

Translated from the original in Portuguese found here

More than a thousand descendants of Jews obtained Portuguese nationality since 2015

More than a thousand descendants of Jews expelled from Portugal in the 15th century have obtained Portuguese nationality since March of 2015, date when legislation allowing for that came into effect, the Jewish Community of Oporto revealed this Friday. “By force of the legislation that allows Portuguese Sephardic Jews to request, by their condition, Portuguese nationality, a rapprochement of Sephardi Jews with Portugal”, stated Dale Jeffries, the spokesman for the Jewish Community of Oporto (JCO).
To signal this achievement, JCO, according to which “to date more than a thousand Sephardi Jews have acquired Portuguese nationality”, promotes a concert on the 16th of November, 2017 in Oporto’s Casa da Música.
Tickets can be found here
Sephardic is a term that describes the descendants of the Jews that lived in Spain and Portugal before the religious persecution of which they were a targeted since the late 15th century.
According to the organizer, the Concerto da Memória Sefardita (Concert of Sephardic Memory) is “a way of thanking” the Portuguese State, for allowing the rendezvous of the community “with the descendants of those that already lived in this territory, since before the birth of nationality”.
“Tradition and Modernity – Tribute to our Jewish musical heritage” is the motto of the concert which will take place at Oporto’s Casa da Música and that will see performances by the lyrical singers Linet Saul (soprano) and Judith Rajk (contralto), both Sephardic Jews of Portuguese origin, that will interpret a diverse range of musical pieces, joined by the Orquestra of ESMAE – Escola Superior de Música e Artes do Espectáculo (Technical College of Music and Performance Arts).
Also featuring in this concert will be, according to JCO, the mixture of Portuguese, Castellano and other languages known as Ladino, spoken and sung even today in many countries, by over 150 thousand Jews of Portuguese and Spanish origin.
“The Jewish Community of Oporto does not only have religious ends. The promotion of Hebrew history and culture, which leads us to have a Jewish museum open and receiving at synagogue thousands of students annually, both Portuguese and foreigners, are some of the other priorities in which we apply ourselves”, adds Dale Jeffries.
The Concert of Sephardic Memory is composed by seven moments which include Psalm of The Distant Dove of Hugo Weisgall, three excerpts of the Hebrew version of Esther by Händel, excerpts of Seven Sephardic Folk Songs by Shimon Cohen, The Exodus Song by Ernest Gold and the Theme of Sephardi Memory authored by maestro and clarinet player António Saiote.
“While the ‘art of museum’ is not permitted in synagogues, it’s interesting to note that art and music are the essence of Hebrew prayer. Almost every prayer is made from a musical basis”, highlights Dale Jeffries.
In April of 2013, the Portuguese Parliament approved a change to the Law of Nationality, which provided for the granting of nationality by naturalization to the descendants of Portuguese Sephardi Jews, and in July of that year the law was published and should have been regulated within 90 days.
However, it was only at the end of August 2014 that the Ministry of Justice presented to the Jewish communities in Lisbon and Porto a draft decree-law for the regulations and the decree-law regulating the granting of Portuguese nationality by naturalization to descendants of Sephardi Jews was approved by the Government in January 2015.
The decree-law was promulgated by the then President Aníbal Cavaco Silva and published in Diário da República at the end of February 2015, coming into force on March 1 of the same year.

Translated from the Original in Portuguese found here

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

Portuguese nationality requests have reached a seven year record

Translated from the original in Portuguese found here

The number of requests to obtain Portuguese nationality has reached the highest value of the last seven years in 2016, totaling 35,416, according to the Annual Report of Internal Safety data (ARIS).

The 2016 report informs that of 35,416 requests to obtain Portuguese nationality, the Immigration and Borders Service has issued 27,155 decisions on the matter, 26,061 were positive and 1,094 negative.

The report indicates that the citizens who requested Portuguese nationality last year were mainly from Brazil (10,063), Cape Verde (3,126), Ukraine (2,352), Turkey (1,704) and Angola (1,470).

There are also a requests from Guinea Bissau (1,406), India (925), Israel (891) Sao Tomé and Principe (832), Moldavia (498), Romania (367), Pakistan (317), Russia (296), Nepal (268) and Mozambique (266).

The significant increase of Portuguese nationality requests made by citizens from Israel and Turkey is related to the regulation of Portuguese nationality of foreigners who are descendants from Portuguese Sephardic Jews.

According to ARIS, most of requests are related to the acquisition of nationality by naturalization (70%) and through marriage or more than three years partnership with a Portuguese citizen (14%).

Most of requests made through marriage concern native people from Brazil (2,015), Cape Verde (381), Guinea-Bissau (233), India (216) and Moldavia (132).

The report indicates that “the number of negative information has increased for the past two years as a result of more requests made by the Central Registry Office investigate regarding the existence or not of marriages of convenience or fraudulent marriages as a  way of acquiring Portuguese nationality”.