Law 12/2015, June 24, In The Field Of Granting Of Nationality Spanish Sephardic Jews Originating In Spain.

Original Language Title: Ley 12/2015, de 24 de junio, en materia de concesión de la nacionalidad española a los sefardíes originarios de España.

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Read the untranslated law here:

FELIPE VI King of Spain to all that the present join together and act.

Know: That the Cortes Generales have approved and I come in to sanction the following law: preamble I is called Sephardic Jews who lived in the Iberian Peninsula and, in particular, their descendants, those who took this drastic way after the edict of 1492 which compelían to forced conversion or expulsion. The name comes from the "Sefarad", Word that Spain is known in Hebrew, both classical and contemporary language. Indeed, the Jewish presence in Iberian lands was firm and millenarian, still palpable in verb and stone vestiges. However, and by the imperative of history, the Jews returned to take the paths of the diaspora, adding or creating new communities throughout North Africa, the Balkans and the Ottoman Empire.

The children of Sefarad kept a wealth of nostalgia, immune to the evolution of languages and generations. As support retained the ladino or haketia, original Spanish enriched with loans of the host languages. In the language of their ancestors, they remedaban prayers and recipes, games and romances. They kept the applications, respected names that so often invoked the last of its origin, and accepted the silence of the Spain rocked into oblivion without rancor.

Memory and loyalty have remained throughout the ages in a large community which deserved the honour of receiving recognition with the Prince of Asturias Concord Prize in 1990. A decision that is animated by the desire to contribute to a process of harmony that summons the Sephardic communities to the reunion with their origins, after almost five centuries of estrangement, opened them forever the doors of their ancient homeland. The granting of this award had been preceded, shortly before by an historic event: the first visit of a King of Spain to a synagogue. It was on October 1, 1987 in the Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel Ángeles, California.

At the dawn of the 21st century, the Sephardic communities of the world are facing new challenges: some were battered under the fury of totalitarianism, others chose to return to his cherished Jerusalem roads; all of them envision a pragmatic and global identity in the emerging generations. It beats anything love towards a conscious Spain at the end of the historic and sentimental baggage of Sephardic Jews. It seems fair that such recognition nurtures of appropriate legal remedies to ease the condition of Spaniards who resisted, jealous and prodigiously, cease to be in spite of persecutions and sufferings that wickedly their ancestors suffered until their expulsion in 1492 Castille and Aragon and, shortly afterwards, in 1498, the Kingdom of Navarre. The Spain of today, with this Act, to take a firm step to accomplish the reunion of final reconciliation with Sephardic communities.

(II) training in Spain of a current of opinion favorable to the Sephardim comes from times of Isabel II, when Jewish communities obtained licenses to possess own cemeteries, for example, in Seville and, later, the authorization to open some synagogues.

Being Minister of Estado Fernando de los Ríos was studied by the Presidency of the Government the possibility of granting, widespread, nationality Spanish Sephardic Jews from Morocco, but the idea was abandoned by the opposition he encountered in some African media. Justice also is to recognize that in 1886, to Práxedes Mateo Sagasta impulses, and in 1900 under the promotion of the Polish Senator Angel, began an approach towards the Sephardim, fruit of which the Government authorized the opening of synagogues in Spain, the Foundation of the Hispano-Hebrea Alliance in Madrid in 1910 and the Constitution of the Universal House of the Sephardi in 1920. All this reinforced the links between the Sephardim and Spain.

Historically, also acquired Spanish nationality the Sephardim in exceptional circumstances. An example of this was the Royal Decree of December 20, 1924, in the explanatory memorandum refers to the 'ancient protected Spanish or descendants of these and, in general, individuals belonging to families of Spanish origin that have been registered at these Hispanic elements, with deeply rooted feelings of love for Spain and Spanish records ever by ignorance of the law and for other reasons beyond its will to be Spanish, they have failed to obtain our nationality. Thus opened a naturalization process that allowed the Sephardic Spanish citizenship within a period which lasted until 1930. Just three thousand Sephardic exercised that right. However, after after the deadline, many received the protection of the consuls of Spain even without properly obtaining Spanish nationality.

The course of World War II placed under German Administration to approximately two hundred thousand Sephardic. Flourishing communities of Western Europe and, above all, of the Balkans and Greece suffered nazi barbarism with breathtaking figures such as the more than fifty thousand dead in Thessaloniki, a city of deep root Sephardic. The brutal of thousands of Sephardic Jews sacrifice is the timeless link between Spain and the memory of the Holocaust.

The Royal Decree of December 20, 1924 was an unexpected utility in which probably did not think their editors: was the legal framework allowing the Spanish diplomatic legations, during the second world war, to give consular protection to those Sephardim who had obtained Spanish nationality on the basis of that Decree. The humanitarian spirit of these diplomats extended protection consular to the Sephardim not naturalized and, ultimately, many other Jews. It is the case, among others, Angel Sanz Briz in Budapest, Sebastián Romero Radigales in Athens, Bernardo Rolland de Miotta in Paris, Julio Palencia in Sofia, José de Rojas y Moreno in Bucharest, Javier Martínez de Bedoya in Lisbon, or Eduardo Propper de Callejón in Bordeaux. Thousands of Jews escaped the Holocaust as well, and could rebuild their lives.

III currently there are two channels for Sephardic Jews to obtain Spanish nationality. First, proving legal residence in Spain for at least two years, assimilating is already in such cases to nationals of other countries with a special link with Spain, such as the Ibero-American Nations. And, secondly, by letter from nature, granted at its discretion, in the person concerned when there are exceptional circumstances. As a corollary, the law concrete now that attend those exceptional circumstances referred to in article 21 of the Civil Code, in the Sephardim from Spain, proving that condition and its special links with Spain. It also determines the requirements and conditions to be considered for the justification of that condition. This is fulfilled a legitimate claim to the communities of the Sephardic diaspora whose ancestors were forced into exile. Among the requested documentation acquired singular importance the certificate issued by the Federation of Jewish communities of Spain, in consistency with the content of the cooperation agreement with the State approved by law 25/1992, of November 10.

It is also necessary to proceed, as a complement to the above, the reform of article 23 of the Civil Code to avoid that to acquire the Spanish nationality must renounce the previously held. So far, the Sephardim are the only ones who, granting them the nationality with two years of residence undertakes to this waiver.

In short, this law aims to be the point of contact between the Spaniards and the descendants of those who were unjustly expelled from 1492, and the doors of their former country is justified in the common determination to build together, against the intolerance of the past, a new space of coexistence and harmony, which reopened for ever the communities expelled from Spain.

IV standard is structured in two parts, four additional provisions, a transitional provision and six final provisions.

Article 1. Granting of Spanish nationality by Charter of nature to the Sephardim from Spain.

1. for the purposes envisaged in paragraph 1 of article 21 of the Civil Code, in the exceptional circumstances required to acquire the Spanish nationality by Charter of nature, means that such circumstances concur in the Sephardim from Spain proving such condition and a special link with Spain, even if they do not have legal residence in our country.

2 the condition of Sephardic originating in Spain will be credited by the following evidence, assessed as a whole: to) certificate issued by the President of the Permanent Commission of Federation of Jewish communities of Spain.

(b) certificate issued by the President or similar charge of the Jewish community in the area of residence or hometown of the person concerned.

(c) certificate of competent rabbinic authority, legally recognized in the country of habitual residence of the applicant.
The person concerned may accompany a certificate issued by the President of the Permanent Commission of Federation of Jewish communities in Spain indicating the condition of the authority who issued it. (Alternatively, to prove the suitability of the documents referred to in b) and (c)) the applicant must submit: 1 original copy of the statutes of the foreign religious entity.

2. certificate of the foreign entity that contains the names of those who have been appointed legal representatives.

3rd certificate or document attesting that the foreign entity is legally recognized in their country of origin.

4th certificate issued by the legal representative of the entity attesting that the undersigned Rabbi holds, effective and currently, this condition conforms to the requirements established by their statutory standards.

In addition, the documents referred to in the preceding paragraphs, except for the certificate issued by the President of the Commission permanent of the Federation of Jewish communities of Spain, will be, in your case, duly authorized, translated into Spanish by sworn translator and therein must bear the Apostille of the Hague or the seal of corresponding legalization.

(d) proof of use as family ladino or "haketia" language, or by other evidence that demonstrate the tradition of belonging to such a community.

(e) birth certificate or "ketubah" or marriage certificate indicating your celebration according to the traditions of Castile.

(f) report motivated, issued by entity of sufficient competence, showing the membership of the surnames of the applicant to the Sephardic lineage of Spanish origin.

(g) any other circumstance irrefutably demonstrating its condition of Sephardic originating in Spain.

3 the special link with Spain will be credited by the following evidence, assessed as a whole: to) transcripts of Spanish history and culture issued by official or private institutions with official recognition.

(b) knowledge of the ladino language, or "haketia" accreditation.

(c) inclusion of the petitioner or his direct descent in the lists of Sephardic families protected by Spain, as, in relation to Egypt and Greece, it referred to the Decree-Law of 29 December 1948, or from those that obtained their naturalization by special means of the Royal Decree of December 20, 1924.

d) relationship of consanguinity of the applicant with a person referred to in point (c)) above.

e) carrying out activities charitable, cultural or economic in favour of people or Spanish institutions or in Spanish territory, as well as those carried out in support of the study, conservation and dissemination of the Sephardic culture-oriented institutions.

(f) any other circumstance that irrefutably demonstrate their special links with Spain.

4. in any case, presented a certificate duly legalized or apostilled birth and, where appropriate, translated.

5. in addition, the accreditation of the special link with Spain will require overcoming two tests.

The first test will accredit a basic knowledge of the Spanish language, level A2, or higher, of the common European framework of reference for languages of the Council of Europe, by passing an examination to obtain a diploma of Spanish as foreign language DELE level A2 or higher.

In the second test will be assessed knowledge of the Spanish Constitution and the social and cultural reality Spanish.

These tests will be designed and administered by the Instituto Cervantes on the conditions established by law.

National applicants from countries or territories where the Spanish is the official language shall be exempted from the test of the Spanish but not the constitutional and socio-cultural knowledge.

They must only the DELE exam and test knowledge of Spanish the Spanish Constitution and the social and cultural reality, over the age of eighteen years and people who did not have legally modified capacity. Minors and persons with authority judicially modified are exempt and must provide certificates of their centers of training, residence, reception, care or special education in which, in his case, had been registered.

Article 2. Procedure.

1. the grant of nationality procedure regulated in this law will be electronic. The application shall be formulated in Spanish and will be directed to the General direction of the registers and notaries. In the Act be provided to the applicant a request ID number.

2. the request shall be sent electronically to the General Council of notaries. This Council, through the channels established, will provide course taking into account the preferences expressed by the person concerned, and shall determine the competent notary public to assess the documentation provided.

3 examined the documents, when the condition of Sephardic initially justified originating in Spain as well as the special link with Spain of the applicant, the notary arrange his appearance that acta will rise with this. This will be the original documents provided by the applicant, those referred to in the previous article, duly translated where appropriate, and, for applicants older than age, the certificate or certificates of criminal record relevant to their country of origin and those where it had resided in the five years immediately preceding the application. All these documents must be submitted duly authorized and apostilled or legalized and, where appropriate, translated, and must be sworn translation. Appearance in person or through his legal representative the applicant must assert responsibility before the notary authorising the certainty of the facts in that melts your request of nationalization.

Performed the appearance of the person concerned, and examined all the documents provided, the notary will consider if estimates or not justified the status of Sephardic originating in Spain and the special bonding with Spain of the applicant, expressing his opinion about the fulfilment of the requirements referred to in article 1 and expressed it by decision.

Such act shall be subject to the Notarial regulation with the following particularities: a) the requirement for the instruction of the Act and the Declaration by the notary on the compliance with the requirements referred to in article 1 will be carried out in a single instrument, which will be incorporated into the Protocol on the date and under the number corresponding to the initial requirement.

(b) the notary will assess the relevant documentary evidence from among those referred to in article 1 and, in view of the documents supplied and the Declaration of the applicant, shall be recorded if the legal requirements are met or not, in his view.

(c) authorized once, the notary shall send electronic copy of the minutes, in the standard format to be determined by a resolution the General direction of the registers and notaries, which will be forwarded electronically to the General direction of the registers and notaries.

4 received the minutes of notoriety, that will give witness of the accredited incident, the General direction of the registers and notaries will mandatorily request reports from the relevant bodies of the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of the Presidency, resolving in a reasoned way and declaring, in his case, the estimation of the request.

5 the dictated resolution will be sufficient title for the practice of the corresponding entry in the Civil Register, prior compliance with the requirement of the oath or affirmation of allegiance to the King and obedience to the Constitution and the laws demanded in the letter to) of article 23 of the Civil Code, together with the others who are established in the following section. The General Directorate of registers and notaries shall send a copy of the resolution ex officio the charge of the competent Registry Office for the registration of the birth.

6 the effectiveness of resolution of concession will be subject to that, within the period of one year from the day following the notification of the decision to the person concerned, it complies with the following conditions before the competent Civil registration by reason of his domicile: to) register.

(b) provide a new accrediting existing certificate of absence of criminal record, legalized or apostilled and translated if necessary.

(c) be in charge of the Civil Register demonstrations legally from, concerning the oath or affirmation of allegiance to the King and obedience to the Constitution and the laws.

Breach by the applicant of the above conditions by the deadline will result in the revocation of the procedure.

First additional provision. Deadlines.

1. those interested should formalize your request within the period of three years from the entry into force of this law. This period may be extended by agreement of the Council of Ministers a year more.

2 acquisition of Spanish nationality applications regulated by this Act shall be resolved within a maximum of twelve months since she had input in the General direction of the registers and notaries record together with the reports provided for in paragraph 4 of article 2.

3.Transcurrido the previous deadline without that had relapsed express resolution, requests shall be ignored by administrative silence.
Second additional provision. Electronic procedure and records processing fee.

1. the Ministry of Justice shall regulate the electronic procedure for the handling of the procedures for obtaining Spanish citizenship by residence, letter from nature or dispensation.

2. the procedure for the granting of Spanish nationality by Charter of nature referred to in this law obtains a fee of 100 euros for the administrative processing of each application. It constitutes the taxable rate of the application for the initiation of the procedure to obtain Spanish nationality and will be subject to her who requested it, regardless of the outcome of the procedure.

Rate management shall be the Ministry of Justice, that will regulate how has made the payment.

Third additional provision. Exceptional circumstances and humanitarian reasons.

Expiry of the period referred to in paragraph 1 of the additional provision first, when exceptional circumstances or humanitarian reasons, crediting the Sephardim who comply with the requirements of this law and under its procedure, may apply for obtaining Spanish nationality, whose award will be up to the Council of Ministers on the proposal of the Ministry of Justice.

Fourth additional provision. Registration in the Civil Register.

For entries that must be practiced in the Civil Register as result of the grant of the nationality the Spanish letter of nature to Sephardic Jews of Spanish origin showing special ties with Spain, in accordance with the provisions of this law, shall have jurisdiction of the Civil Registry Manager that was it for the registration of the birth.

Sole transitional provision. Concurrence of procedures.

1 those who fulfil the requirements laid down in this law are included in the subjective scope of application and, prior to its entry into force, have requested the granting of Spanish nationality by Charter of nature through the regular and individualised procedure without having received notification of the corresponding resolution, may choose the continuation of processing your file in accordance with the procedure which is regulated by this law, and to that end expressly request you and will provide the documentation required pursuant to the provisions of article 2 already missing.

2. the exercise of the option must be made through the electronic platform established in the second additional provision during the period referred to in paragraph 1 of the first additional provision. Made the choice, processing the corresponding case of nationality by Charter of nature, already initiated, will continue processing in accordance with the substantive and procedural provisions contained in this Act, even if the person concerned, either personally or through an authorized person, request the breakdown of the documents provided at the time the record now incorporated the Act of notoriety in the General direction of the registers and notaries and may also personally or through an authorized person, complete the record with the documentation required pursuant to the provisions of article 2 which has not been previously provided or grant new notarial certificate if necessary. All requests, including the option, will be processed in the order of receipt of the documents and reports required.

First final provision. Amendment of the Civil Code.

Article 23 of the Civil Code is worded as follows: «article 23.

They are common requirements for the validity of the acquisition of Spanish nationality by choice, Charter of nature or residence: to) that the largest of fourteen years and able to provide a statement by swear or promise loyalty to the King and obedience to the Constitution and the laws.

(b) for the same person to declare to renounce their previous nationality. Safe from this requirement are natives of countries mentioned in paragraph 1 of article 24 and the Sephardim from Spain.

(c) that the acquisition is placed on the Spanish Civil Register.»

Second final provision. Modification of the consolidated text of the General Law of rights of persons with disabilities and their social inclusion, adopted by Royal Legislative Decree 1/2013, 29 November.

A new twelfth additional provision added to the revised text of the Act General of rights of persons with disabilities and their social inclusion, adopted by Royal Legislative Decree 1/2013, of 29 November, with the following wording: «twelfth additional provision. Access to the Spanish equal nationality.

Persons with disabilities accessing the Spanish nationality on equal terms. Any rule that provoke discrimination, direct or indirect, in people's access to citizenship by residence by reason of their disability shall be void. Procedures for the acquisition of Spanish nationality, persons with disabilities requiring it will have support and reasonable adjustments that allow the effective exercise of this guarantee of equality.»

Third final provision. Supletoriedad.

In all matters not provided for in the present law shall apply on a supplementary basis in law 20/2011, 21 July, from the Civil and, failing that, in law 30/1992, of 26 November, legal regime of public administrations and common administrative procedure and law 11/2007, of 22 June , electronic access of citizens to public services.

Fourth final provision. Habilitation.

It empowers the Minister of Justice to enact provisions that may be necessary for the implementation of the provisions of this law.

Fifth final provision. Skill-related title.

This law is issued on the basis of article 149.1.2. ª of the Spanish Constitution in regard to nationality.

Sixth final provision. Entry into force.

This law shall enter into force from October 1, 2015.

Therefore, command to all Spaniards, private individuals and authorities, which have and will keep this law.

Madrid, 24 June 2015.


The Prime Minister, MARIANO RAJOY BREY