On June 25th, 2015 Felipe IV King of Spain signed into law the regulations that would allow the concession of Spain citizenship to persons originating from Sephardi descendent communities.
In a very oversimplified definition, a Sephardi is a member of the occidental branch of European Jews that originally settled in the Iberian Peninsula, and who were later expulsed and then settled in the Balkans, the Levant, England, the Netherlands, the Americas, and the Caribbean.
The descendants of Jews who were expulsed from the Iberian Peninsula after the Spanish Alhambra Decree of 1492 and the Portuguese Decree of 1497 are referred to as Sephardim. Most of the Jewish people in the Peninsula actually left when these decrees were put into effect, but in an effort to delay or avoid their expulsion; some Sephardic Jews were forced to convert to Catholicism. The word Sephardi originates from the Hebrew word from Spain, Sepharad.
There have been some efforts by previous legislation in Spain to offer some resolution to the violent consequences that were the result of these expulsion decrees but through this law, the Kingdom of Spain wants to take a firm step towards the ultimate reconciliation with Sephardi communities, by offering them an effective and meaningful way to reunite with their Iberian roots and bring together the Sephardi tribe.
Deadline, October 2018
Applications will only be received for a maximum period of three years after the entering into effect of the law. Once the application has been received by the Dirección General de Registros y del Notariado (DGRN), it should be resolved in a maximum time of 12 (twelve) months.
We can assist you through the legal procedure to gather the required documentation and apply for Spanish citizenship based on Sephardic origin before deadline of October 2018. Feel free to contact us.