Sephardic Jews to attain Spanish Citizenship Automatically

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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.


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106 thoughts on “Sephardic Jews to attain Spanish Citizenship Automatically

  1. Ellen T.

    “The dual-citizenship measure will require that applicants establish their heritage through surnames or other proof of ancestry, or a certificate from a recognized Sephardic Jewish federation or rabbinical authority, but the criteria will not be overly strict, and applicants need not be religiously observant. “We will look at any evidence,” the minister said. “We want to ease the process.””
    Excerpt from NY Times article Many Seek Spanish Citizenship Offered to Sephardic Jews. by RICK GLADSTONE MARCH 19, 2014

  2. Earl Cassorla

    @Ellen T.
    Thank you Ellen. The article you reference is here:

    A related article is here:

    “Spain’s Justice Minister, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, speaks at the American Jewish Committee’s offices in New York [City] on March 19, 2014″
    The article’s writer states:
    “The proposal is, apparently, big news in Spain: reporters from at least eight Spanish media outlets attended the AJC lunch, including representatives from four television stations and two radio stations.”

  3. Arthur James Frayalde Tagaban


    I’m Arthur James Frayalde Tagaban, residence of Brgy. 3, San Ildefonso, San Nicolas Ilocos Norte, Philippines. I have watched in the National Television here in the Philippines that they are granting Spanish Citizenship if the Surnames are in their lists. Well actually I havent found that page their mention in facebook. So I did tried any site just to see what surnames are in their list. I’m very curios to know about this cause my grandfather was a part Castilla or Spanish. My Middle name, Frayalde, if I’m not mistaken is a place in Spain. Is it possible for me, my family, and my relatives to acquire Spanish Citizenship. Pls, send me message as soon as possible you recieve this message. Thank you so much and more power. Godbless.

  4. Earl C

    Anti-semitism in Spain is significant, and on the rise.

    Title: “No More Spanish Historic Mistakes about Jews”

    “A dishonorable example of that behavior was the anger and hatred registered after the Maccabi Tel Aviv team beat Real Madrid in the final of the Euroleague basketball tournament. As a result, there were 17,500 antisemitic messages recorded by Twitter users, including bulletins of “Jews to the ovens,” and “Jews to the showers.” Noticeably, there has been a striking increase in the number of hostile references to Jews in print and online publications and other web sites.”

    Article is here:

  5. Jessica Ursell

    Please let me know the process to obtain citizenship. I can trace my family back to Spain and the year 1115 as well as the town in Spain where we came from. Thank you!

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