You are in:

Coronavirus COVID-19

Ministry of Justice extends deadline to rectify errors in process of Sephardic Jews acquiring nationality until September 2021

Thursday 14 May 2020

The Director-General of Legal Certainty and Public Faith, Sofía Puente, issued a resolution extending the deadline to rectify errors in processes to grant nationality to Sephardic Jews of Spanish origin until 1 September 2021. The decision, which affects those candidates that have presented their application on time, has been adopted due to the impossibility for applicants to sit the examination on constitutional and socio-cultural knowledge of Spain, since the rounds of exams at the Cervantes Institute have been cancelled, and due to the restrictions on travel to Spain to appear before a notary public, due to the declaration of the state of emergency to contain COVID-19.

On 9 September, the Directorate-General, attached to the Ministry of Justice, established a deadline for rectifications of one year from the date of the application which, in no case, could be presented after 1 October 2019. This deadline for rectifications was scheduled to finalise on 1 September 2020 for the last applications originally made. Under the new resolution, this is extended until 1 September 2021, with the proviso that this term may be subsequently revised according to the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on administrative activity.

The process for nationality applications for Sephardic Jews regulated in Law 12/2015 ended on 1 October 2019 with 132,226 applications. In the month of September alone, around 72,000 applications were registered, most of them from countries in Latin America. The ministerial department undertook to process them even if they were not accompanied by the certificates accrediting the status of the candidate as a Sephardic Jew and if they had not passed the examination on constitutional and socio-cultural knowledge, giving them an additional year to comply with these formalities, which will now be extended for a further year.

The procedure also demands that interested parties resident aboard appear personally before a notary public designated in Spain to accredit in an official act their origin as a Sephardic Jew. Subsequently, the Directorate-General of Registries and Notary Offices will issue a resolution, within the period of one year, declaring, as the case may be, the approval of the application. Finally, the applicant must swear an oath or promise in the Spanish Consulate corresponding to their place of residence.

The status of Sephardic Jew of Spanish origin and the accreditation of their special ties to our country are extraordinary circumstances that justify the granting of Spanish nationality by naturalisation. In the case of this group, they are exempt from the requirement for residence in Spain, and not obliged to renounce their nationality of origin.

Non official translation