Thursday, November 10, 2016

Morocco's Sephardic Jews Can Gain Spanish Citizenship

Under a new law administered by the Spanish Ministry of Justice that recognises the expulsion of Jews during the period of 1492-98, the descendants of those families can qualify for full Spanish citizenship and apply for a Spanish passport

Spain's Federation of Jewish Communities praised the mass naturalisations, adding that most applicants were from Morocco, Turkey and Venezuela.

The new law gives Sephardic Jews and their descendants three years to seek a Spanish passport, with the right to work and live in the 28-nation European Union.

Like others seeking Spanish citizenship, applicants must be tested in basic Spanish and pass a current events and culture test about Spain.

They also must establish a modern-day link to Spain, which can be as simple as donating to a Spanish charity or as expensive as buying property.

The Spanish Jewish federation has received more than 5,000 requests for information about the Spanish law. No one knows how many people might be eligible, though some estimates run into the millions.

The applicants don’t have to be Jewish, but the process of tracing family history back to the group of Jews known as the Sephardim who lived in Spain at the time may not be easy. Applicants also need to pass an online test in basic Spanish language and civics. The period to apply is three years, ending Oct. 1, 2018. There is also a requirement for a criminal background check, and documents have to be submitted in a specific format. It allows you to live and work not only in Spain, but in any of the European Union countries, any place you choose. It’s a tremendous opportunity.

Spain also allows dual nationality for people born in countries that used to be Spanish colonies.

For further information please contact Pippa Smith at Carbray Law Firm Spain. Tel: 0034 934 880 972

Story thanks to Pippa Smith

Historical note

Moroccan Jews (Arabic: اليهود المغاربة‎‎ al-Yehud al-Magharibah, Hebrew: יהודים מרוקאים‎‎ Yehudim Maroka'im) are the Jews who live or lived in Morocco. The first Jews migrated to this area after the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem and settled among the Berbers. They were later met by a second wave of migration from the Iberian peninsula in the period immediately preceding and following the 1492 Alhambra Decree, when the Jews were expelled from kingdoms of Spain, and soon afterwards, from Portugal as well. This second immigration wave deeply modified Moroccan jewry, who largely embraced the Andalusian Sephardic liturgy, making the Moroccan Jews switch to a mostly Sephardic identity.


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