Spain’s government promised in 2015 that it would grant citizenship to people of Sephardic Jewish descent (Sepharad is the Hebrew word for the Iberian Peninsula), a program publicized as reparations for the expulsion of Jews that began in 1492. And it was one of the world’s most unusual immigration proposals — offer of Spanish citizenship to Jews whose families it expelled more than 500 years ago.
In 1492, the year Christopher Columbus set sail, Spain’s Edict of Expulsion gave Jews a stark choice: Convert, depart, or die. At the time, Spain’s Jewish community was one of the largest in the world, though their numbers had diminished due to a series of massacres and mass conversions 100 years earlier. Jews had lived on the Iberian Peninsula for more than 1,700 years, producing philosophers, poets, diplomats, physicians, scholars, translators, and merchants.
Historians still debate the number of Jews expelled; some estimate 40,000, others 100,000 or more. Those who fled sought exile in places that would have them — Italy, North Africa, the Netherlands, and eventually the Ottoman empire. Many continued to speak Ladino, a variant of 15th-century Spanish, and treasure elements of Spanish culture.
Officially Spain stopped taking applications in 2019. But there are still thousands of people in the que waiting for an approval. Then rejections started pouring in this summer. Spain’s statistics and interviews with frustrated applicants reveal a wave of more than 3,000 rejections in recent months, raising questions about how serious the country is about its promise of reparations to correct one of the darkest chapters of its history, the Inquisition. Before this year, only one person had been turned down, the government said. Some 34,000 have been accepted.
At least another 17,000 people have received no response at all, according to government statistics. Many of them have waited years and spent thousands of dollars on attorney fees and trips to Spain to file paperwork. For example, one family from Venezuela spent nearly $53,000 to file the applications, depleting much of their savings.
Spain’s government said it was simply trying to clear out a backlog of cases. But lawyers representing applicants say they feel officials have had a change of heart on the program, which formally stopped taking applications in 2019. For applicants, it has left a sense of bewilderment and betrayal.
In a statement, Spain’s Justice Ministry, which is in charge of the applications, said that it had done its best to follow Spanish law and that it was only natural it would have to turn down many cases. The program began in 2015, when Spain’s Parliament unanimously approved a law that would grant citizenship to anyone who could show that they had a single Jewish ancestor who had been expelled during the Inquisition. Applicants need not be Jewish, the government said, and were not required to give up their current citizenship — but they would be asked to demonstrate that they could speak Spanish and pass a citizenship test.
César David Ciriano, an immigration lawyer in the Spanish city of Zaragoza, said that until this year, it was almost unheard-of for applications to be denied after they had been submitted to the government. This was because Spanish notaries — like the one Mr. Ramírez visited — acted as gatekeepers, approving an applicant’s Jewish heritage certificates, genealogy chart and other documents, before an application was formally submitted. Government officials were not allowed to overrule the notary’s decision, Mr. Ciriano said.
However, this year, officials suddenly began second-guessing the notary’s approvals, he said. “This is the first time I’ve seen such illegal behavior from the government,” Mr. Ciriano said.
At the moment we may suggest that this will be a ready-made scenario for the Portugal to shut down their similar program. But only time will tell.
Souces: The New York Times, The Atlantic
For investors we offer a wide range of Citizenship by Investment Programs to choose from. Please, contact Apex Capital Partners to get more information and ask personal questions. You can get free consultation from Apex Capital Partners on the program of Citizenship of Turkey, Portugal’s Golden Visa. As well as Cyprus, Caribbean (Citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Antigua). Ask your question – email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a private banking specialist, a family lawyer, or work as a financial consultant in Middle East, Africa, China or any other region of the world, do not hesitate to contact Apex Capital Partners and become a partner, a part of our strong professional network. APEX has all the main local agent licenses to work with Citizenship by Investment Programs, including all key Caribbean CIPs. Please contact – Armand Tannous, email@example.com
Caribbean citizenship by investment is allowed in Antigua & Barbuda, Anguilla, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and St. Kitts & Nevis. Acquiring a second passport in Caribbean countries has many benefits.
European Citizenship by Investment is becoming increasingly popular across the globe. We will answer the questions where can I get second passport EU and what countries would be interesting for EU citizenship through investment?
The experience of Apex Capital Partners with the real estate market allows us to find reliable developers around the world whose projects allow you to obtain citizenship for real estate.
Need more information about Citizenship by Investment Programs or other investment options? Send us a message and our specialists will get back to you within 24 hours.
Subscribe to our monthly NEWSLETTER here.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +1 (268) email@example.com
Top Floor, 28 Kennedy Avenue, Roseau Tel: +1 (767) 448 firstname.lastname@example.org
130, King Street West, office 1800, Toronto, Ontario, M5X 1E3 Tel: +1 (647) 927 email@example.com
Hewanorra House, Trou Garnier Financial Centre, Castries Tel: +1 (758) 485 firstname.lastname@example.org
Suite 204 Building 5, Port Zante, Basseterre Tel: +1 (869) 465 email@example.com
George Washington Boulevard 51, 81000, Podgorica Tel: +382 (20) 674 firstname.lastname@example.org
Suite 209, Globe Business Center, 3-5 Ayiou Athanasiou St. 8021, Paphos Tel: +357 (26) 950 email@example.com
Apex Capital Partners © 2016 - 2024