Article 1. The granting of Spanish nationality to the Sephardic jews originally from Spain through naturalisation letter.
1. For the purposes provided in section 1 of article 21 of the Civil Code, regarding the exceptional circumstances required in order to acquire the Spanish nationality through naturalisation letter, it is understood that such conditions concur in the Sephardic jews originally from Spain that prove such condition and a special link to Spain, even when they have not legal residency in our country.
2. The condition of Sephardic jews originally from Spain will be attested through the following means of proof, evaluated as a whole:
a) Certificate issued by the President of the Permanent Commision of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain.
b) Certificate issued by the president or similar position of the jewish community of the area of residence or birthplace of the applicant.
c) Certificate of the competent rabbinic authority, legally recognised in the country of residence of the applicant.
The applicant may attach a certificate issued by the President of the Permanent Commision of Spain’s Federation of Jewish Communities that endorses the authority condition of the expeditor. As an alternative, to prove the idoneity of the documents mentioned on b) and c), the applicant must provide:
1st. Copy of the original statute of the foreign religious entity.
2nd. Certificate of the foreign entity containing the names of those designated as legal representatives.
3rd. Certificate or documents proving that the foreign entity is legally recognised in its country of origin.
4th. Certificate issued by the legal representative of the entity which proves that the signatory rabbi currently and effectively holds such condition in accordance with the requirements established in the statutory rules.
In addition, the documents referred to in the previous paragraphs, exception made from the certificate issued by the President of the Permanent Commision of Spain’s Federation of Jewish Communities, will be, when necessary, appropriately authorised, translated into Spanish by a sworn translator and shall contain the Apostille (of the Hague) or the pertinent seal of legalisation.
d) Accreditation of use of Ladino or “Haketia” as family language, or through other evidence that proves they traditionally belong to that community.
e) Birth certificate or “ketubah” or marriage certificate indicating its celebration according to the traditions of Castile.
f) Report issued by a sufficiently competent entity proving that the applicant’s surname belongs to the Spanish sephardic lineage.
g) Any other circumstance that can reliably prove the condition of Sephardic originally from Spain.
3. The special link with Spain will be proven through the following means of proof, evaluated as a whole:
a) Certificates of history and culture studies issued by officially recognised public or private institutions.
b) Certified knowledge of Ladino or “haketia”.
c) Inclusion of the applicant or their direct ancestry in the list of Sephardic families protected by Spain to which, related to Egypt and Greece, the Law-Decree of December 29, 1948, makes reference, or those who obtained their naturalisation through the special procedure referred to in the Royal Decree of December 20, 1924.
d) Consanguinity of the applicant with one of the individuals mentioned in the previous point c).
e) Execution of philanthropy, cultural or economic activities in favour of Spanish people or institutions or in Spanish territory, as well as those developed in support of institutions oriented towards the study, conservation or spreading of Sephardic culture.
f) Any other circumstance that reliably proves their special link to Spain.
4. In every case, a birth certificate properly legalised or apostilled and if necessary translated, must be provided.
5. Also, the accreditation of a special link to Spain requires passing two tests.
The first test will attest the knowledge of Spanish language, level A2 or higher of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages of the Council of Europe, culminating in an exam which must be passed in order to obtain a diploma DELE level A2 or higher of Spanish as a foreign language.
The second test will evaluate the knowledge of the Spanish Constitution and Spain’s cultural and social realities.
These tests will be designed by the Cervantes Institute under legally established conditions.
Applicants from Spanish speaking countries are exempt from the Spanish language test but not from the constitutional and sociocultural knowledge test.
The DELE exam and the Spanish Constitution and sociocultural reality exam must only be passed by those who are eighteen years old or older and do not have their capacities legally restricted. Minors and people with legally restricted capacities are exempt and must provide certificates of their centre of formation, residence, hosting, attention or special education in which, if so, they were inscribed.
Article 2. Procedure.
1. The procedure of granting nationality regulated in this Law will be electronic. The application will be formulated in Spanish and will be addressed to the General Directorate of Registers and Notaries. At that moment, an identification number will be provided to the applicant.
2. The application will be electronically submitted to the General Council of Public Notaries. This Council, through the channels it establishes, will take action taking into account the preferences manifested by the applicant and will determine the competent notary who will evaluate the submitted documentation.
3. Once the documentation is examined, when the condition of Sephardic jew originally from Spain is estimated to be justified as well as the special link to Spain of the applicant, the notary will arrange the appearance from which a record will be drawn up. To that record, the applicant’s original supporting documents referred to in the previous article will be included, properly translated if necessary and, for those applicants of legal age, the certificate or certificates of criminal record of their country of origin and of the ones where they had lived in the last five years prior to the application. All these documents shall be submitted properly authorised and apostilled or legalised, and, if necessary, provide a translation of them, which shall be a sworn translation. At the moment of personal appearance or through legal representative, the applicant shall assert before the notary under his or her responsibility the certainty of the facts on which the application for naturalisation is based.
Once the applicant has made his or her appearance, and all the supporting documents are examined, the notary will consider if the condition of Sephardic jew originally from Spain and the special link to Spain is justified, expressing judgement through notarial act about the fulfillment of the requirements of article 1.
Such notarial act should be made subject to the provisions in the Notary Regulations with the following peculiarities:
a) The requirement for compiling the notarial act and the declaration of the notary about the fulfillment of article 1 will be expressed in the same document, which shall be added to the protocol with the date and identification number corresponding to the initial request.
b) The notary will evaluate the pertinent supporting documents pursuant to article 1 and, in view of the provided documentation and the applicant’s testimony, will indicate if the legal requirements are fulfilled.
c) Once authorised, the notary will send an electronic copy of the record, in the uniform format that the General Directorate of Registers and Notaries will determine through legal ruling, which will be submitted electronically to the General Directorate of Registers and Notaries.
4. Once received the affidavit attesting the authenticity of the facts, the General Directorate of Registers and Notaries will mandatorily request reports from the appropriate bodies of the Interior Ministry and the Presidency Ministry, determining on a reasoned basis and declaring, when necessary, the applicant’s request.
5. The legal ruling will be sufficient for the inscription in the Civil Registry, following compliance with the requirements of oath or promise of loyalty to the King and obedience to the Constitution and the law required in section a) of article 23 of the Civil Code, alongside the ones established in the following section. The General Directorate of Registers and Notaries will send a copy ex officio of the legal ruling to the competent Registrar at the Civil Registry for the birth registration.
6. The effectiveness of the legal ruling shall be subject, in a period of one year from the next day of the notification of the legal ruling to the applicant, to the fulfillment of the following conditions before the competent Civil Registry regarding the applicant’s domicile,:
a) Request the inscription.
b) Provide a new valid supporting certificate of absence of criminal records, legalised, apostilled and, when necessary, translated.
c) Make before the Registrar at the Civil Registry the pertinent legal manifestations regarding the oath or promise of loyalty to the King and obedience to the Constitution and the Law.
The unfulfillment by the applicant of the previous conditions in the established period shall result in the expiry of the procedure.
First additional provision. Deadlines.
1. The applicants should formalise their application within three years after the entry into force of this Law. Such period may be extended one more year under agreement of the Council of Ministers.
2. The applications for granting the Spanish nationality regulated in this Law shall be resolved in a maximum period of twelve months after being received in the General Directorate of Registers and Notaries alongside the documents detailed in section 4 of article 2.
3. Once the deadline has passed without express resolution, the applications shall be considered rejected.
Second additional disposition. Electronic procedure and processing fee.
1. The Ministry of Justice will regulate the electronic procedures for the granting of the Spanish nationality through residence, naturalisation letter or waiver.
2. The procedure for granting the Spanish nationality will charge a fee of 100 euros per application. The fee is charged regardless of the procedure resolution.
The Ministry of Justice will handle the fee and will regulate how it shall be paid.
Third additional disposition. Exceptional circumstances and humanitarian grounds.
After expiry of the period established in section 1 of the first additional disposition, when exceptional circumstances or humanitarian grounds are claimed, the Sephardic jews who fulfill the requirements detailed in this Law and benefiting from the procedure, will be able to apply for the Spanish nationality, which will be proposed by the Ministry of Justice and granted by the Council of Ministers.
Fourth additional disposition. Inscriptions in the Civil Registry.
The registrations of granted Spanish nationality in the Civil Registry of those sephardic jews of Spanish origin that can prove special link to Spain, in accordance with this Law, will be made by the same Registrar of the Civil Registry responsible for the birth registration.
Single transitorial disposition. Concurrence of procedures.
1. Those who fulfill the requirements demanded in this Law and therefore are included in the subjective scope of application and, before its entry into force, had applied for the Spanish nationality through naturalisation letter by ordinary and individualised procedure without having received notification of the resolution, will be able to choose the continuation of the processing of the file in accordance with the procedure regulated through this Law and for such purposes, the applicants shall expressly demand so and provide the required documentation in accordance with article 2 in case it has not been already submitted.
2. The exercise of the option should me made through the electronic platform established in the second additional disposition during the period specified in section 1 of the first additional disposition. Once the option is set, the processing of the corresponding file of nationality through naturalisation card, already initiated, will continue its administration in compliance with substantive and procedural estimations contained in this Law, although the applicant, whether personally or through an authorised person, will be able to request the General Directorate of Registers and Notaries the itemisation of the file documents previously provided in order to include them to the affidavit, and will also be able to, personally or through an authorised person, complete the file with the required documentation in compliance with article 2 that has not been previously provided or provide a new notarial act if necessary. All applications, including the optional ones, will be processed in sequence on a “first come, first serve” basis of the required documents and reports.
Final first disposition. Modification of the Civil Code.
Article 23 of the Civil Code would now read as following:
The following are common requirements for the validity of the acquisition of the Spanish nationality through option, naturalisation letter or residence:
a) That the person older than fourteen years old and competent to declare, oaths or promises loyalty to the King and obedience to the Constitution and laws.
b) That the same person declares renunciation to his or her previous nationality. The nationals of the countries mentioned in section 1 of article 24 and the Sephardic jews originally from Spain are exempt of this requirement.
c) That the acquisition is registered in the Spanish Civil Registry.”
Final second disposition. Modification of the Recast Text of the General Law of rights of the disabled and their social inclusion, approved by Royal Legislative Decree 1/2013, of November 29.
A twelfth new disposition is added to the recast text of the General Law of rights of the disabled and their social inclusion, approved by Royal Legislative Decree 1/2013, of November 29, which read as follows:
“Twelfth additional disposition. Access to the Spanish nationality on equal terms.
The disabled will access Spanish nationality on equal terms. Any norm that, directly or indirectly, discriminates the disabled in access to Spanish nationality through residence, shall be declared null. During the processes of acquisition of Spanish nationality, the disabled that need so will have available support and reasonable adjustments that allow the effective exercise of this guarantee of equality.”
Third final disposition. Supplementary disposition.
Anything not covered by this Law shall apply in a supplementary manner as provided in Law 20/2011 of July 21, of the Civil Registry and, failing this, in Law 30/1992 of November 26 of the Legal System applicable to Public Administration and the Common Administrative Procedure and in Law 11/2007 of June 22, of electronic access of citizens to Public Services.
Fourth final disposition. Qualification.
The Ministry of Justice is qualified to enact the necessary dispositions for execution as set in this Law.
Fifth final disposition. Powers used.
The present Law is based under the provisions of article 149.1.2nd of the Spanish Constitution concerning nationality.
Sixth final disposition. Entry into force.
The present Law shall entry into force on October 1, 2015.
House of Congress, June 11, 2015.
Translation from the original in Spanish found here
Countries and amounts of Sephardi CCSE exam regiterd
The Spanish Ministry of Justice has waived Sephardic applicants over the age of 70 from the two Spanish citizenship tests. The first examines Spanish language knowledge, and second (CCSE) examines cultural knowledge of modern Spain.
The law from last October 2015 is trying to address the issue of the Jewish expulsion of 1492. 387 applicants received Spanish citizenship under this new law. 4522 received citizenship in 2015 under a previous version of the law.
The coordinator of the Sephardic Center of Istanbul (Turkey), Karen Gerson Sharon, is “very happy” about the waiving of the tests for the Sephardic people over 70, even though, she points that it’d be “much better” if the age limit was lowered to 65. “Our community is not very young”, she admits, adding that older people frequently have eyesight and hearing problems that make it difficult for them to pass tests.
The Turkish Sephardic community is estimated at 15.000 people, of whom 3.000 have obtained Spanish citizenship under a previous version of the law. Only 200 people registered in Turkey for the Spanish citizenship tests. These tests constitute the biggest obstacle for Sephardic Jews wishing to apply for citizenship.
Karen tells how the children of a friend of hers, who has Spanish nationality, have applied for the Portuguese citizenship, where no test is demanded to the Sephardic community, she also says that another friend’s 84 years old father, will not be able to accomplish his dream of obtaining a Spanish ID card due to his age, since he is “not in a very good health to travel to Spain” and do the paperwork at a public notary.
The Spanish Ministry of Justice says that the amount of applicants will increase in the next months since 1,897 people have recently taken the DELE Spanish language exam (which is not a requirement for applicants from Spanish-speaking countries) and 6,127 have sat the cultural test CCSE test. Both at the Cervantes Institute.
The geographical distribution of whom have enrolled to sit the CSSE shows the diaspora of the Sephardic community: applicants come from over a hundred countries. Among the countries with more than a hundred requests, are include 12 Ibero-American nations, besides Morocco, Israel, Turkey, the United States and Pakistan (?).