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Nationality Law

Spanish citizenship for Sephardic Jews

Sephardic Jews of Spanish origin

Sefarad, in Hebrew, means Spain, therefore, Sephardic means Spanish. The term Sephardi applies to those Jews who lived in the Iberian Peninsula until 1492 and to their descendants.

Any person, who can prove his status of Sephardi and prove a special link to Spain, even if they do not have a legal residence in our country, can apply for Spanish citizenship as a result of the Citizenship Law for Sephardi Jews.

The Law is open to Jewish and non-Jewish people of Sephardic origin, provided that they can prove their Sephardic origin and a special link to Spain.

The religion of the applicant does not matter, what matters is proving the Sephardic ancestry and a special link to Spain.

Sephardi of Spanish ancestry

In order to (1) prove the status of Sephardi of Spanish ancestry, the following documents (which will be assessed together) can be submitted:

(a) Certificate issued by the President of the Permanent Commission of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain (FCJE)

(b) Certificate issued by the President, or someone in similar position, of the Jewish Community of the area of residence or city of birth of the applicant

(c) Certificate of the competent rabbi authority, legally recognized in the country of origin or usual residence of the applicant

 In cases b) and c), the applicant can request a certificate of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain (FCJE) proving the condition of authority of the person issuing the certificates within the foreign Jewish community or:

     ▪    Copy of the original Articles of Association of the foreign religious entity.

    ▪    Certificate of the foreign entity including the names of the people appointed as legal representatives.

    ▪    Certificate, or document, showing proof  that the foreign entity is legally recognized in the country of origin.

    ▪    And certificate issued by the legal representative of such entity, showing proof that the signatory rabbi actually and currently holds such position according to the requirements established by the articles of association.

The documents shall be submitted in Spanish language, or translated into Spanish by a sworn translator. 

Additionally, the documents shall be attested by a Notary of the country of origin, and apostilled or legalized as appropriate.

Other documentation:

- Proof of use of "Ladino" or "Haketia" as family language

-The "ketubah" (marriage certificate) stating that the marriage took place following Castilian traditions

-A reasoned report issued by an entity with proven competence showing proof that the applicant's surnames are of Sephardic descent

- Any other document proving that the applicant is a Sephardi of Spanish ancestry

 Special link to Spain

 In order to prove a (2) special link to Spain, the following documents (which will be assessed together) can be submitted:

 (a) Certificates of having studied Spanish History or Culture issued by public institutions -or officially recognized private institutions

 (b) Proof of knowledge of the Ladino or "Haketia" languages

(c) Proof of inclusion of the applicant and his/her first-degree ascendants in the list of Sephardic families protected by the Spanish government, as referred to in the Spanish Decree-Law of 29 December 1948 -related to Egypt and Greece-, or in the list of those who gained naturalization by the Spanish Royal Decree of 20 December 1924.

 Family names Decreto Ley 29-12-1948 - Egypt

Family names  de Decreto Ley 29-12-1948 - Greece

(d) Blood relationship between the applicant and someone included in any of the lists mentioned in paragraph c) above

 (e) Proof of engagement in charitable, cultural or economic activities on behalf of Spanish people or institutions, or within Spanish territory; certificates of having organized or taken part in conferences in the applicant's country of origin, or residence, on issues related to Spanish culture; certificates of having studied in Spain; proof of businesses or purchases of goods and assets in Spain, among others

 (f) Proof of engagement in activities in support of institutions devoted to the study, conservation and dissemination of Sephardic culture

 (g) Any other circumstances, unequivocally proving the applicant's special link to Spain.

Please make your consultation at:

madrid@npadvogados.com