Portugal's government has commenced working on amendments to the criteria under which descendants of Jews who were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula 500 years ago can gain citizenship.

The new regulations for the implementation of the law follows their promulgation by Portugal's president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, on 9 March.

The move was taken after the majority of European Union countries, as well as the United Kingdom, have cracked on Russian oligarchs and billionaires who gained citizenship or residency in their territory under suspicious circumstances, as another measure against the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian military.

Schengenvisainfo news reported that according to the Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs Augusto Santos Silva, the amended law on Portuguese citizenship for Jewish descendants would introduce an obligation for applicants to prove that they have an "effective connection with Portugal." 

This means that amongst others, those applying for Portuguese citizenship as descendants of expelled Jews need to present proof of frequent visits to the country or inherited property there.

Prior to Portugal's announcement that changes would be made to the law offering naturalization to descendants of Sephardic Jews driven out of the Iberian Peninsula during the Inquisition, the chief rabbi of the Jewish Community of Oporto was arrested for helping Abramovich to gain citizenship.