Portugal to Make It More Difficult for Sephardic Jews & Easier for Immigrants to Obtain Citizenship


Portugal is planning to introduce a new law that will change the rules for those who want to obtain the countryโ€™s passport.

In line with the new law, it will become harder for Sephardic Jews and some other groups of people to obtain Portuguese citizenship.

On the other hand, the new law will make it easier for immigrants who live in Portugal to become citizens of the country, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

To ensure that such changes to the law are constitutional, the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, asked for the opinion of the Constitutional Court on the matter. The latter said that the changes were legal and gave the green light to the new law.

Sephardic Jews, who are people with ancestors from Spain and Portugal, could previously become Portuguese citizens more easily.

In line with the new law, they will now be subject to stricter rules. As Diario de Noticias explains, Sephardic Jews who want to obtain Portuguese citizenship will soon need to show that they have lived in Portugal legally for at least three years.

In addition, Sephardic Jews who have applied for citizenship after September 1, 2022, have to show a strong connection to Portugal. This can be done by proving that they have been visiting Portugal often or by having had a residence permit for over a year.

While the changes have been seen as necessary by the government, some people have not welcomed such a decision. They have said that it is not fair that the rules will be tightened after they have already applied for citizenship.

On the other hand, the new rules have been applauded by immigrants in the country. Previously, immigrants had to prove that they had been legally residing in Portugal for a period of five years to be eligible for Portuguese citizenship.

Now, the time in the country waiting for a residence permit will count, too, accelerating the path to citizenship for some immigrants.

Speaking on behalf of the immigrants in Portugal, Juliet Cristino said that it was about time that the country introduced less strict rules, Diario de Noticias notes.

She further said that it is not fair to make immigrants wait for a long period of time for their residence permit and not count that time when assessing the eligibility criteria for citizenship.

The President of Portugal is now expected to approve the law before it officially enters into force, and additional information on the matter will be revealed soon by the government.


Source link