Sephardic Jews to attain Spanish Citizenship Automatically
Yet another important political reform, this time affecting the Spanish Civil Code.
Ministers of Justice and Foreign Affairs, Alberto Ruiz Gallardón and José Manuel García – Margallo, announced yesterday that descendants of the Sephardic community, who were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula back in 1492, will now be able to acquire Spanish citizenship automatically, without having to reside in Spain. This is an important modification of the Spanish Civil code, which since its last modification in 1982, stated a requirement of a minimum of 2 years of residence in Spain for acquiring Spanish citizenship.
This reform will affect those who are able to prove their Sephardic condition, whether it is via surnames, language, descendants or links to Spanish culture and Spanish customs regardless of their place of residence. For this purpose a certificate of the Jewish Community Federations will be required.
According to Gallardón, a few years ago it was understood that around 250,000 people spoke Judeo-Spanish but this estimation could be too conservative. It is thought that this reform could benefit up to 3 million people.
Marta Flores Vila.