How is the new Spanish nationality procedure for Sephardic Jews carried out? What documentation is required? How much will the procedure cost? Guide: New Spanish Nationality Law for Sephardic Jews
On October 1st 2015 Law 12/2015 of 24 June took effect, on the granting of Spanish nationality to Sephardic Jews originating from Spain.
How will the new procedure be carried out as of October 1st 2015?
Once the law takes effect on October 1st, applicants who can prove their Sephardic ancestry may start the Spanish nationality procedure by submitting a certificate of naturalization without having to reside or have resided in Spain.
Applicants may submit this document online. The Ministry of Justice will set up a website where applicants can upload scanned documents to open a file and digitally begin the procedure.
Once the documents are uploaded and sent, each applicant will be given a file number so that they can track their file status online.
All documentation will be reviewed and processed by the Directorate General for Registers and Notaries where they will check to see if the file has been initiated correctly. Then they will forward the documentation to the General Council of Notaries. The General Council of Notaries will assign a notary to each case who will write up the corresponding Act of Notoriety.
The assigned notary will verify that all documentation has been submitted correctly and that the applicant´s documentation proves his link to the Sephardic Community and to Spain. Once this is complete, the notary will ask the applicant appear in Spain personally.
After the applicant meets the notary in person, the notary will then send the Act of Notoriety to the Directorate General for Registers and Notaries. Once they receive the Act of Notoriety, the DGRN will request two reports from the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of the Presidency.
Once the reports are issued and received, the final decision will be made on whether or not to grant the applicant Spanish nationality.
If the applicant is granted Spanish nationality, a favorable decision will be issued to the corresponding Civil Registry where the applicant resides. This will be done within 12 months from the application start date. Then the applicant will take part in the formal act of swearing loyalty to the King.
What are the requirements to apply?
In order to apply for Spanish nationality under this new law, you must provide certain documentation that proves your special link to Spain and the Sephardic Community. All supporting documentation will be reviewed by the designated notary.
To prove your link to the Sephardic Community you may submit a certificate issued by the Federation of Jewish Communities or by a rabbinical authority, or you may submit marriage certificates according to the laws of Castile (Ketubah), etc.
In order to prove your special link to Spain you must pass two exams at the Cervantes Institute:
• A language exam: the DELE A2.
• A cumulative knowledge exam: You will have to take a constitutional knowledge and socio-cultural exam (CCSE).
• You may also submit any of the following documentation to further prove your link to Spain: studies carried out in Spain, proof of participation or collaboration with Spanish associations or NGO´s, business or any other attribution to Spain.
The applicant must also submit a criminal background check proving that he does not have any criminal record. To complete this requirement, the applicant must submit a background check issued after the 1st of October by competent authorities in the country or countries where the applicant has resided over the last 5 years before applying.
How will the appearance before the notary be carried out?
Once the notary receives the application and supporting documentation and verifies the applicant´s link with the Sephardic Community, he will then give the applicant an appointment to come in personally.
Certain countries are required to get a visa before entering Spain. In this case the notary will issue a notarized letter stating that the applicant must go to the Spanish Consulate in his country of origin and request a visa to come for the appointment. The Consulate must issue the visa.
What happens if my application is denied?
In the event that your application is denied, you may submit three types of appeals:
• Administrative Reconsideration Appeal before the Directorate General for Registers and Notaries.
• Appeal before the Undersecretariat of Justice
• Contentious Administrative Appeal before the Superior Court of Justice in Madrid.
What are the fees for the procedure?
You will be required to pay the following:
-100 euro bank fee when you first submit the application
-The corresponding bank fees for the language and culture exams at the Cervantes Institute.
• Language exam (price depends on the center administering the exam)
• Knowledge exam: 85€
-Act of Notoriety elaborated by the notary
-Translation of documents
Translated by: Katherine Pascal