Sephardic Jewish Ancestry and Portuguese Citizenship — Update

Since the 2015, thousands of applications for Portuguese citizenship were submitted with the Portuguese Authorities based on Sephardic Jewish ancestry.

In 2017, a total of 1713 applicants were naturalized and are now Portuguese citizens.

This group constitutes the largest group of non-residents who received a Portuguese passport that year and nearly 10 percent of the total number of people who became Portuguese citizens that year. The figures for the year 2018 are still being assessed and will be known shortly.

The success of the regime, however, created some issues in the processing the applications.

In fact, increasing number of applicants led to a backlog. Thus, due to high demand, and due to being short on staff, the Portuguese Authorities recently launched a platform where an applicant can check the status of its application. In order to have access to the platform, a password is required and can be obtained in person or by a lawyer who oversees the application process.

We highly recommend contacting your representatives to request such password. Furthermore, being represented by a specialized lawyer is key to obtain accurate advice on how to apply for Portuguese citizenship.

Please contact us should you require any assistance.


This publication or document contains general information and is not intended to be comprehensive nor to provide legal or tax advice or services. It should not be acted on or relied upon or used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect you or your business. Professional legal advice should be requested for specific cases. We do not undertake any continuing obligation to advise on future legal amendments, or of the impact on the conclusions herein. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. The contents of this publication or document may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the express consent of GFDL.

GFDL is an international law firm based in Lisbon. We advise corporations and individuals with complex needs and innovative projects.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store