/
/
CIL speaks out against changes to citizenship law

7 de June, 2022

CIL speaks out against changes to citizenship law

Reading: 4 min

The Community of Israelis of Lisbon (CIL) has made an official statement regarding the changes introduced to the Portuguese Nationality Regulation, concerning the naturalisation regime of descendants of Sephardic Jews. The organisation says it has based its position on a lengthy study carried out by its legal services to present its understanding and position on these changes.

In a statement published on its official website on 1 June, the CIL board highlighted two important points about these changes and the rulesfor submitting of the citizenship process with the Institute of Registration and Notary Affairs (IRN). CIL is currently the only Jewish community qualified to grant certification of descendants of Sephardic Jews in Portugal.

Initiation of the process at the time of the certificate application

According to the statement, the CIL understands that applications for Portuguese nationality filed before 31 August 2022 should be accepted with the presentation of the protocol of the application of the Sephardic certificate made with the CIL, and not necessarily with the presentation of the certificate itself, so that applicants can benefit from the laws currently in force.

In other words, for the Israeli Community “the beginning of the process must be considered at the moment the application is submitted to the Communityfrom that moment onwards, the process must be considered as being pending”. In other words, for the entity, instead of delivering the certificate, the applicant could only present the proof of the certificate request, in cases where the decision on granting the certificate has not yet been concluded.

Thus, according to CIL’s understanding all processes opened until August 31, 2022, even without the certificate duly deferred, should be accepted with the certificate request protocol and interpreted under the law without alterations in effect and, therefore, without the obligation to prove effective connections with Portugal.

In this hypothesis, it should be noted, there will be, however, the risk of the citizenship process being disqualified if the aforementioned certificate is rejected, with the applicant having to inevitably pay the costs of the process.

Requirement of effective links with Portugal

CIL has also expressed its opposition to the rules introduced by the new paragraph d) of article 24.3, which requires proof of transmission of property by inheritance “mortis causa” and regular trips to Portugal throughout one’s life as a condition for meeting the naturalisation requirements. According to the statement, CIL said it had strong indications based on opinions that these rules were unconstitutional and therefore “eventually not applicable, or if applied, subject to reversal by the Courts”.

In addition to pointing out unconstitutionalities of the nationality regulation, CIL also stated that it will not give up any mechanism within its reach to have these rules expunged from the regulation, having requested three times a hearing with the Minister of Justice, without obtaining any response, and is considering using the legal means available.

Finally, he also stated that he believes that the applicants have full right and legitimacy to appeal to the courts in case of refusal to grant nationality based on non-compliance with the requirements of effective connection with the Portuguese community.

Read more: Descendants of Sephardic Jews: How to obtain Portuguese Nationality

The change in the law has been harshly criticised, as the naturalisation of descendants of Sephardic Jews aims at “historical reparation” for the expulsion and religious persecution that the Jewish people suffered in the Iberian Peninsula in the 15th and 16th centuries. And as this community was “expelled” from the territory, it does not seem reasonable to demand proof of effective links with Portugal.

We call your attention to the fact that this is the official position of the Israeli Community of Lisbon, and that the Portuguese government has not yet pronounced itself on the matter, nor is there any certainty that the registry offices will effectively follow this same understanding. However, we understand that this is a positive sign, since the Israeli community in Portugal is already seeking solutions with the government and in a way that is favourable to the descendants.

Even if legal actions are proposed in this sense, we know that this will take some time and, therefore there will be no immediate change in the current rules. Decree-Law 26/2022, published in March in the Official Gazette and which regulated the 2020 Nationality Law, came into force on 15 April, but the article referring to obtaining citizenship by descendants of Sephardic Jews will only come into force “on the first day of the sixth month following its publication”, i.e. 01 September 2022.

Requests for the acquisition of Portuguese citizenship through Sephardic means represent the largest share of total requests (35%)surpassing applications for naturalisation (27%) and acquisition by marriage (22%), according to the most recent SEF report for 2020.

Source: CIL, SEF,

Facebook
LinkedIn
WhatsApp
Telegram

Author:

Atlantic Bridge

You may also like:

European Registration Certificate: Moving within Europe

European Registration Certificate: Moving Within Europe Made Easy. Your Comprehensive Guide to Simplify Relocation. Explore More!

Author:

Atlantic Bridge

Reading: 5 min

6 de September, 2023

Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) status end in Portugal in 2024

The Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Status is ending in Portugal. See how this could impact you and how to take advantage of the regime's benefits.

Author:

Atlantic Bridge

Reading: 10 min

8 de January, 2024

Why is Portugal a popular retirement destination?

Portugal is one of the safest countries in the world. Health care is affordable and excellent. The Portuguese are kind and speak English.

Author:

Atlantic Bridge

Reading: 4 min

4 de January, 2023

How to Study in Portugal: Complete Guide

If studying in Portugal is in your plans, it is not difficult to get a place at a good university in the country!

Author:

Atlantic Bridge

Reading: 9 min

13 de March, 2024

Medical Residency in Portugal

To do medical residency in Portugal you need to revalidate your medical degree and register at the Portuguese Medical Association.

Author:

Atlantic Bridge

Reading: 9 min

10 de September, 2022

Lisbon neighborhoods: get to know the best ones to live in the capital

Knowing the neighborhoods of Lisbon is essential to ensure that you choose the one that has the features you need and fits your pocket.

Author:

Atlantic Bridge

Reading: 12 min

6 de December, 2022