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

In two years, the SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras – Borders and Foreigners Organization) evaluated 6463 requests from Israeli and Turkish citizens. 2436 have already benefited from the law that awards Portuguese citizenship to Sephardic Jews.

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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

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