Nationality

Nationality

Our lawyers and legal advisors specialising in foreigners can apply on your behalf for Spanish nationality.

Foreigners who have been resident in Spain for a number of years and are of good character can apply for Spanish nationality. The benefits of obtaining Spanish nationality are:

  • You will not have to wait for your residency to be renewed.
  • You are free to leave Spain whenever you want.
  • Reunification of your family members is easier.
  • If you have a criminal record, you are not expelled from Spain.
  • Your minor children will obtain citizenship.
  • You can work in all EU countries.

Some of the requirements are as follows:

Nationality by residence

  • Five years: for the granting of Spanish nationality to those who have obtained refugee status.
  • Two years: for nationals of Latin American countries, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal or persons of Sephardic origin.
  • One year:
    • Whoever was born in Spanish territory.
    • The person who did not duly exercise his or her right to acquire Spanish nationality by option.
    • The person who has been legally subject to guardianship (under the supervision of a guardian), guardianship or foster care (the foster care that allows the reduction of legal residence to one year is that in which there is a resolution of the public entity entrusted in each territory with the protection of minors and the foster care that is judicially recognised) of a Spanish citizen or institution for two consecutive years, even if he/she continues in this situation at the time of the application.
    • Who, at the time of application, has been married for one year to a Spaniard and is not legally or de facto separated.
    • The widow or widower of a Spaniard, if at the time of the death of the spouse they were not separated, either de facto or judicially.
    • Born outside Spain of a father or mother (also born outside Spain), grandfather or grandmother, provided that all of them were originally Spanish.

Nationality by naturalisation

This form of acquisition of nationality may or may not be granted by the Government by Royal Decree, after assessing the existence of exceptional circumstances.

Nationality for Spaniards of origin

  • Those born of a Spanish father or mother.
  • Those born in Spain when they are children of foreign parents if at least one of the parents was born in Spain (except children of diplomats).
  • Those born in Spain of foreign parents, if both lack nationality (stateless), or if the legislation of neither of them attributes a nationality to the child. In this case, a case may be filed in the Civil Registry of their domicile to declare Spanish nationality with the value of simple presumption.
  • Children born in Spain whose parents’ identity is unknown. Children whose first known place of stay is Spanish territory are presumed to be born in Spain.
  • Those under 18 years of age who are adopted by a Spaniard are also Spaniards of origin. If the adoptee is over 18 years of age, he or she may opt for Spanish nationality of origin within two years from the constitution of the adoption.

Nationality by possession of state

A person who has possessed and used this nationality for ten years, continuously, in good faith (without being aware of the real situation, i.e. that he/she is not actually Spanish), will be entitled to Spanish nationality.

Nationality by option

The option is a benefit that our legislation offers to foreigners who meet certain conditions in order to acquire Spanish nationality. They will have the right to acquire Spanish nationality in this way:

  • Those persons who are or have been subject to the parental authority of a Spaniard.
  • Those whose father or mother was Spanish and was born in Spain.
  • Those whose parentage determination (parentage determination means establishing who a person’s parents are) or birth in Spain occurs after the age of eighteen. In this case, the deadline to opt for nationality is two years after the parentage or birth is determined.
  • Those persons whose adoption by Spaniards takes place after the age of eighteen. In this case, the right to opt exists until two years have elapsed since the adoption was established.
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