Nationality
Spain approves acquisition of nationality for Sephardic Jews
6/15/2015
The Spanish Government has just approved a law which will grant citizenship to thousands across the globe with Jewish ancestry, known as ‘Sephardic Jews’. They must prove their ancestry and this bill will come into force in October. From that date onwards, they will have a period of three years to apply for the Spanish nationality. There is a fee of 100 Euros in administrative costs to be paid.
 
"This law says much about who we were in the past and who we are today and what we want to be in the future, an open, diverse and tolerant Spain," Justice Minister Rafael Catala said.
 
It is estimated that 150,000 Sephardic Jews could benefit and apply for Spanish citizenship without losing the one they already have. Other countries with Sephardic Jewish populations have been showing interest in the law as well, including Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela and Turkey.

The way the law works is by fulfilling the requirements: To justify Sephardic ancestry and to prove a especial link with Spain. The proof to be presented is essentially a Jewish community card or an ancestral marriage or birth certificate, backed up with proof of links to Spain, either through family or knowledge of Spanish, sometimes even through contributions to Spanish organizations. They must prove their Sephardic ancestry through certificates from the Jewish communities, a demonstrated knowledge of Ladino language, they must have Sephardic surnames or birth certificate or marriage contract according to Castille’s traditions.
 
A special bond with Spain can be demonstrated through knowledge of the Spanish language, donations to Spanish charities or by taking an integration exam. Sephardic candidates must pass a test to prove a link with Spain which will be designed by the Cervantes Institute, and which will also serve to determine the mastery of the Spanish language with an A2 level (if the applicant is not from a Spanish speaking country) and some knowledge of Spanish history and culture.
Once the applicant has all documents ready, he/she can send them to a Notary in Spain and, if awarded, will need to be present at the Spanish nationality in Spain, to sign the act of acquiring the Spanish Nationality. There’s a three-year period to apply for Spanish citizenship once the law has come into force and applicants are encouraged to contact their Embassies or Consulates to obtain more detailed information.

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