Platform for the request of Sephardic origin certificates

Federación de Comunidades Judías de España

Platform for the request of Sephardic origin certificates

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Frequently asked questions


Preguntas frecuentes

Which is the deadline to submit my application?

The term to formalize the application for granting Spanish nationality to Sephardim ended on October 1, 2019.

The FCJE continues to offer the certification option for those who request it.

Who can apply for Spanish citizenship as a result of the Citizenship Law for Sephardi Jews?

Any person who can prove his/her condition of Sephardi and a special link to Spain, even if they do not have a legal residence in our country.

Which documents must I submit to the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain (FCJE) in order to obtain the certificate proving that I am a Sephardi of Spanish ancestry?

The FCJE continues to offer the certification option for those who request it.

You can access to this platform. After having completed the application form, you will be allowed to attach all the required documents.

Passport and Birth certificate are mandatory. But you must also provide supporting documents of you own sephardic origin

How much will the certificate by the FCJE cost?

As of 22nd june 2020, these are the fees to be paid for these proceedings:
1- Applications initiated on the platform before september 1st 2019.
50 € + VAT which must be paid before the revision of the documents begins.
2. Applications received from september 1st 2019 onwards.
100 euros + VAT at the beginning of the revision process. It must be paid before the validation process begins.
100 euros + VAT to get the certificate issued. Must be paid once the file is approved prior to receiving the certificate.

What does Sephardi mean?

Sefarad, in Hebrew, means Spain, therefore, Sephardic means Spanish. The term Sephardi refers to those Jews who lived in the Iberian Peninsula until 1492 and to their descendants.

Can a non-Jewish person apply?

Yes, he/she can. The Law is open to Jewish and non-Jewish people of Sephardic origin, provided that they can prove their Sephardic origin and a special link to Spain.

I know my ancestors were Jewish, but I am not. Can I still apply for Spanish citizenship according to the new Law?

Yes, you can. The religion of the applicant does not matter, what matters is proving the Sephardic ancestry and a special link to Spain.

Do I need a lawyer or an agent?

No, you do not. The applicant can apply personally. However, there are several departments specializing in these types of procedures that can help you.

Which documents are necessary to meet the requirements of the Law?

There are two requirements according to the Law: to prove the condition of being a Sephardi of Spanish ancestry and of having a special link to or connection with Spain.

Which documents prove my condition of Sephardi of Spanish ancestry?

In order to prove the condition of Sephardi of Spanish ancestry, the following documents (which will be assessed together) can be submitted.

a) Certificate issued by the President of the Permanent Commission of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain (FCJE).


b) Certificate issued by the President or someone, in similar position, of the Jewish Community of the area of residence or city of birth of the applicant.


c) Certificate of the competent rabbi authority, legally recognized in the country of origin or usual residence of the applicant.

In cases b) and c), the applicant can request a certificate of the FCJE

Other documentation:

– Proof of use of Ladino or “Haketia” as family language.

-The “ketubah” (marriage certificate) stating that the marriage took place following Castilian traditions.

-A reasoned report issued by an entity with proven competence showing proof that the applicant’s surnames are of Sephardic descent.

– Any other document proving that the applicant is a Sephardi of Spanish ancestry.

Which documents prove my special link to Spain?

In order to prove a special link to Spain, the following documents (which will be assessed together) can be submitted.

a) Certificates of having studied Spanish History or Culture, issued by public institutions –or officially recognized private institutions.

b) Proof of knowledge of the Ladino or “Haketia” languages.

c) Proof of inclusion of the applicant and his/her first-degree ascendants in the list of Sephardic families protected by the Spanish government, as referred to in the Spanish Decree-Law of 29 December 1948 –related to Egypt and Greece–, or in the list of those who gained naturalization by the Spanish Royal Decree of 20 December 1924.


d) Blood relationship between the applicant and someone included in any of the lists mentioned in paragraph c) above.

e) Proof of engagement in charitable, cultural or economic activities on behalf of Spanish people or institutions, or within Spanish territory; certificates of having organized or taken part in conferences in the applicant’s country of origin, or residence, on issues related to Spanish culture; certificates of having studied in Spain; proof of businesses or purchases of goods and assets in Spain, among others.

f) Proof of engagement in activities in support of institutions devoted to the study, conservation and dissemination of Sephardic culture.

g) Any other circumstances unequivocally proving the applicant’s special link to Spain.

Are there any other additional requirements? Are there any other documents to be submitted?

Yes, there are. Besides the documents proving the applicant to be Sephardi of Spanish ancestry and his/her special link to Spain, the applicant shall, in all cases, submit the following documents:

Full birth certificate
Criminal records certificate from the country of birth and the country in which the applicant has been residing for the last five years.
Both documents shall be translated into Spanish language by a sworn translator and apostilled or legalized as appropriate.

DELE Certificate of basic knowledge of Spanish –European A2 level, or higher.
Certificate of having passed the knowledge test on constitutional, social and cultural aspects of Spanish life.
Both tests shall be designed and managed by the Instituto Cervantes. http://ccse.cervantes.es/

Applicants native to countries or territories where Spanish is official shall be exempt from the Spanish language test, but not from the test on constitutional, social and cultural aspects of Spanish life.

How can I be informed about the Spanish language exams and the knowledge test on constitutional, social and cultural aspects of Spanish life that I must pass in order to fulfil the requirements established by the Law?

Asking at any office or accredited center of the Instituto Cervantes around the world.

http://ccse.cervantes.es/

Must all the applicants take the Spanish language and citizenship –knowledge of Spanish constitution– test?

No, they must not. Applicants under eighteen (18) and those whose legal capacity has been modified shall be exempts from the Spanish language and citizenship tests.

Furthermore, applicants native to countries or territories where Spanish language is official, shall be exempts from the Spanish language test, but not from the test on constitutional, social and cultural aspects of Spanish life.

If you are older than 70 please check this link:

http://www.justicia.sefardies.notariado.org/liferay/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=b3919b9d-3027-408b-a00b-81cbc265eea5&groupId=10089882

Must the application consist of all or some of the documents proving the Sephardic origins and the special link to Spain?

The Law clearly states that Spanish Administration will carry out a joint assessment of the submitted documents. Therefore, applicants are recommended to submit the highest number of certifications possible to meet the requirements established by Law, in order to submit a sound application.

How can I know whether my surname is of Sephardic origins?

The best way is to consult experts or academic entities with extensive experience in the area. There are companies and researchers in different countries who are professionals in that field. Enquiries can also be addressed to Genealogy departments that may exist in universities or academic institutions, either in the country of origin or in that of residence of the person intereste

My surname is included in the list of Sephardic surnames published on the internet. Is that enough?

The lists published on the internet are not valid nor a supporting evidence.

Should you believe your surname might be of Sephardic origins, you must gather supporting documentation and address to any entity with proven competence where your claims of having a Sephardic surname are reasonably substantiated.

Can a DNA test prove mi Sephardic origins?

No, it cannot. A DNA test shall not be a valid proof.

What is the ‘Ketubah’ from Castile?

The Ketubah is a marriage certificate according to the Jewish marriage ritual.

There are different types of Ketubot. The Castilian Ketubah is a type of certificate used in Spain until 1942. Some Sephardi –wherever they reside– have kept on using those Ketubot at marriage ceremonies.

Who can issue a certificate proving my Sephardic origins?

You can go to the Jewish community or to Sephardi institutions in your country of residence, and apply for the corresponding certificate. Each institution sets its own requirements.

The Law establishes three types of valid certificates:

a) Certificate issued by the President of the Permanent Commission of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain (FCJE).

and/or

b) Certificate issued by the President or someone in a similar position of the Jewish Community of the area of residence or city of birth of the applicant.

and/or

c) Certificate of the competent rabbi authority, legally recognized in the country of origin or usual residence of the applicant.

In cases b) and c), the applicant can request a certificate of the FCJE proving the condition of authority of the person issuing the certificates within the foreign Jewish community or:

Copy of the original Articles of Association of the foreign religious entity.
Certificate of the foreign entity including the names of the people appointed as legal representatives.
Certificate, or document, showing proof that the foreign entity is legally recognized in the country of origin.
And certificate issued by the legal representative of such entity showing proof that the signatory rabbi actually and currently holds such position according to the requirements established by the articles of association.
The documents shall be submitted in Spanish language, or translated into Spanish by a sworn translator. Additionally, the documents shall be authorized by a Notary of the country of origin, and apostilled or legalized as appropriate.

I am residing in Spain and of Sephardi origins, and I want to apply for Spanish citizenship. What must I do?

If you are a Sephardi and have been legally residing in Spain for two (2) or more years, you can apply for Spanish citizenship via residence.

Is it necessary to submit any documentation supporting evidence of me being Sephardi in order to apply for Spanish citizenship via residence?

Yes, it is. The same documentation needed for Sephardi people to obtain Spanish citizenship is required to apply for Spanish citizenship via residence.

 

 

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