Portugal sitting on citizenship applications

Despite promises to give citizenship to descendants of persecuted Jews, 92% of applications still pending.

Tags: Portugal
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Flag of Portugal
Flag of Portugal

Despite Portugal's offer to grant citizenship to Sephardic Jews descended from Jews persecuted in the Inquisition, 92% of applications are still pending, with only 292 out of 3,838 approved in the past year and a half. However, no applications have been denied thus far.

Portugal's "law of return" allows those who can prove "a traditional connection" to persecuted Portugese Jews through "family names, family language and direct or collateral ancestry." However, applicants' documents undergo rigorous examinations, and the Portugese Jewish community are responsible for investigating applicants' ancestry.

Most applications are from Turkish and Israeli citizens, with Brazil being the third largest source.

Catarina Madeira, spokesperson for the Portugese Justice Ministry, said, "The difference between the applications approved and those pending owes to the fact that each request for naturalization requires rigorous evaluation of documents."