Spain Gives Sephardic Jews Extra Time for Citizenship Status #sephardic

Jan Meisels Allen



Spain’s government announced on May 14 that it will extend the deadline for descendants of Sephardic Jews expelled from the country more than 500 years ago. They must have launched the process of acquiring Spanish citizenship but could not complete it due to the pandemic.  The extension is for one year until September 2021 and only applies to those who had presented their preliminary request for citizenship before the October 2019 deadline.


Applicants must sit for a mandatory test on their knowledge of Spain’s Constitution and culture that had been cancelled because of the pandemic and give them more time to travel to Spain for a required appearance before a notary.


In Oct. 2019, the ministry said that more than 132,000 people who claim Sephardic origins had requested Spanish citizenship since the law offering them the opportunity took effect in 2015.


Thank you to Randy Herschaft, Associated Press for sharing the article with us.


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Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


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