SPAIN AND PORTUGAL
In 2015 both Spain and Portugal passed a law that allows descendants of the Sephardic Jews who were unjustly expelled in the 15th century, to acquire Spanish or Portuguese citizenship. To apply for the citizenship, two main requirements need to be filled: proof of Sephardic status and proof of special connection to the country. It is not required to demonstrate that the applicant is a practicing Jew or considered Jewish at all today.
Both citizenships admit dual nationality, allowing new citizens to retain their previous citizenship and have an EU passport.
The process can take up to two years, however, the applicant is not required to be present for this. As for any other citizenship process, the applicants are required to have no serious criminal convictions to pass the due diligence.
POLAND AND AUSTRIA
Polish and Austrian citizenship laws allow descendants of victims of the Holocaust to obtain nationality with no limit to the number of generations that separate the applicant from their ancestors. Polish citizenship and nationality law is set out in the Polish Citizenship Act of 2009, which became law in its entirety in 2012, and it includes granting citizenship to Holocaust, WWII and the communist period victims.
To apply for the citizenship, applicants need proof that at least one of their ancestors was a Polish citizen and proof of family ties with the Polish family member.
In 2019, the Austrian Parliament passed an amendment to the nationality law, in order to facilitate the acquisition of citizenship for Holocaust survivors and their descendants. Eligible applicants include:
- all former Austrian citizens and citizens of successor states of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy (or stateless at the time, but who had their residence in Austria)
- descendants in the direct descending line (children, grandchildren, greatgrandchildren) of the persecuted person
Applicants must present proof that they or their parents (or grandparents) resided in Austria and were persecuted. In addition, a connection must be demonstrated between extended family members and the family member who was the victim of the persecution.
As for any other citizenship process, the applicants are required to have no serious criminal convictions to pass the due diligence.
Benefits of a European citizenship
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