Have you ever considered dual citizenship? Well, get ready to join us on an exciting ride as we delve into the fascinating world of dual citizenship in Spain! This country’s rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes have enticed individuals from all corners of the world, beckoning them to make it their second home.
In this blog, we’ll explore the complexities of dual citizenship in Spain, shedding light on requirements, qualified countries, notable cases, the application process, and frequently asked questions. Let’s dive in.
Table of contents
- Spain’s Requirements for Dual Citizenship
- Who is eligible for dual citizenship in Spain
- Main benefits of holding dual citizenship
- Application Process for Dual Citizenship in Spain
- How to renounce your former nationality
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- How Lexidy Can Help
Spain’s Requirements for Dual Citizenship
Before we dive head-first into the process, let’s first discuss the requirements for dual citizenship first. Spain has some specific rules that you should know. While the Spanish Civil Code does allow dual citizenship, there’s a catch – it comes with a few conditions.
When you’re all set to become a Spanish national through residency, you’re generally asked to give up your previous citizenship. Spain doesn’t normally allow citizens of other countries to hold onto their original nationality while acquiring Spanish citizenship.
In simple terms, if you’re looking to gain Spanish citizenship, you’d usually need to let go of your original country’s citizenship. However, Spanish law does allow some folks from certain countries and even Sephardic Jews who meet specific rules to snag dual citizenship.
The process of getting dual citizenship can be a bit of a maze, so brace yourself as it may take some time. But the good news? Once you’re in, Spanish citizenship comes with a bunch of cool perks and benefits for you to enjoy!
Who is eligible for dual citizenship in Spain
Let’s talk about eligibility for dual citizenship in Spain! You are eligible if you are a citizen of one of the following countries or belong to a group listed below: Here’s the rundown:
- Spanish Origins: If you’ve got Spanish roots, you can aim for that dual citizenship. But remember, you usually have to commit to keeping your Spanish identity.
- Latin-American Connection: If you’re from an Ibero-American country where Spanish or Portuguese is an official language and you’ve got historical and cultural ties with Spain, you might not need to give up your original citizenship – it’s waived.
- Specific Countries: Andorra, Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal, and France are also in the mix.
- Sephardic Jews: If you can prove you’re a Sephardic Jew, you’re in for dual citizenship too.
For the countries that don’t allow dual citizenship, if you happen to be a citizen by origin in both your country and Spain, you can also keep your first citizenship.
Likewise, if you’re a born-and-bred Spaniard turning into a US citizen, you’ve got a 3-year window to let Spain know you’re keeping your Spanish roots intact.
Main benefits of holding dual citizenship
Let’s talk about the perks of being a dual passport holder – it’s like having two keys to different kingdoms! Dual citizenship isn’t just double the passports – it’s double the opportunities, connections, and life experiences! Here are some of the benefits:
- With that Spanish passport in hand, you’ve got the green light to roam freely in all European Union countries.
- Say goodbye to visa worries! If your original passport requires you to jump through visa hoops for certain countries, your Spanish passport could be your ticket to breeze through without the paperwork. That’s over 150 countries where you can enjoy hassle-free travel.
- You can pass on your citizenship perks to your kids and close family.
- You don’t have to give up your roots. Dual citizenship lets you keep a strong connection with your home country while embracing new adventures.
- Enjoy legal protection, social benefits, and a safety net in two nations. It’s like having double security blankets.
- If you hold Spanish nationality, guess what? You’re eligible to not just cast your vote, but also throw your hat in the ring for public office in Spain.
Application Process for Dual Citizenship in Spain
Before we jump into the application process, it’s important to remember that applying for dual citizenship in Spain is not a one-size-fits-all process. Generally, it involves gathering the necessary documents, proving your connection to Spain, and fulfilling the residency requirement. But it can vary depending on your individual circumstances.
A helpful tip: Consider consulting with a legal expert who specialises in dual citizenship. We can provide invaluable guidance so you can have peace of mind throughout this entire process.
Steps to Apply
Now that we have the disclaimer out of the way, let’s talk tactics. If you’re more digitally savvy, you can kick-start the process by submitting your application online through the Spanish government’s SEDE electrónica platform. Are you more of a face-to-face kind of person? No worries, you can apply in person at a civil registry.
You will need to take two tests and pass them by the time you apply:
- The DELE, which is the Spanish language exam. Don’t worry, you’re not aiming for Shakespeare-level fluency; a minimum A2 level pass is usually the target. If your mother tongue is Spanish, this test is not mandatory!
- The CCSE sociocultural exam. This one’s about getting to know Spain’s culture, history, and the cool things that make it tick.
If for some reason, you are unable to sit the exams, don’t sweat it. You can still apply for dual citizenship in Spain. Just get a waiver from the Spanish authorities and add it to your application. There are two types of waivers you can get: total and partial. If you’ve got any disability or incapacity, a partial waiver might be your golden ticket, letting you tackle the test in a more accommodating way.
Now that you know the steps to acquire dual citizenship, let’s talk about the essential documents that you need to gather (they can vary depending on your personal situation):
- Your passport.
- Your birth certificate.
- Proof of your legal residence in Spain (unless you’re a Sephardic Jew or Spanish by origin).
- Criminal background check.
- Proof that you passed the A2 Spanish language test (DELE) and the cultural savvy exam (CCSE).
- If you are unable to complete the two citizenship tests, then add in those waivers.
- There’s an application processing fee, so keep your proof of payment.
Feeling a bit unsure about the documents? No shame in getting a pro’s advice. Our legal aces at Lexidy can make sure you have all the necessary documents in place so there are no mistakes with your application. No “missing documents” stress here!
Applications by Existing Dual Nationals
If your country isn’t on Spain’s dual citizenship list, no worries – you’re not out of the game yet. This applies only to those who already have dual nationality and hold a passport that checks Spain’s boxes.
Let’s break it down with an example: You’re a US citizen and you also have citizenship from a country that was once a Spanish colony in the Americas. Now, if you’ve been a resident of Spain for at least two years, you can apply for dual citizenship. Instead of using your US passport, you would use your Latin-American passport to apply.
It’’s kind of like a citizenship exchange program where your unique combination of passports helps you to open doors. Who said dual citizenship had to be straightforward?
How to renounce your former nationality
So, you’re from a country that isn’t on the dual citizenship list with Spain. What’s the renouncing process like? Let’s break it down, shall we?
Bear in mind that the specifics might vary based on where you’re coming from, but there are some general guidelines that can steer you in the right direction.
- The first step is scoring a residence permit and then moving to Spain
- Next, you need to live here for the minimum stretch of time to qualify for citizenship. Quick note: this time frame can vary, anywhere from 1 to 10 years – yeah, it’s a bit of a range.
- Once you’ve crossed that time threshold, you’re ready to kick off the application process.
- Your application is approved – Congrats! Now, before you take the oath of allegiance you need to bid farewell to your former passport. How? Swing by your home country’s consulate or embassy, sign those papers and make it official.
- After this passport parting, it’s time to say goodbye for good. You will no longer be able to use it anywhere.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Let’s address some of the most common questions you may have about dual citizenship in Spain:
How much does it cost?
The usual cost for processing your citizenship application falls somewhere between €60 and €100. However, the Spanish authorities may throw in an extra fee if they’re handing out certificates and other essential docs for your application.
When it comes to the application in Spain, you need to pay the fee upfront. And once you submit it, that fee is locked in – even if your application is denied. So, it’s important to make sure your application is watertight from the start.
How long does the dual citizenship application process usually take?
When applying for Spanish citizenship, the usual wait time is around twelve months from the moment you hit that “submit” button on your application.
However, the speed at which your application gets the green light depends on a few things – your personal situation and whether you have all the essential documents lined up.
But if that twelve-month deadline comes and goes without a peep from the authorities, it’s called ‘administrative inaction’ – or as they say in Spanish, ‘silencio administrativo’. If that happens, your citizenship application might be refused.
But if this happens, don’t worry. You can appeal to the Spanish authorities and sort things out. So, there’s a light at the end of the administrative tunnel.
Can I apply for dual citizenship if I’m not residing in Spain currently?
Have legal questions?
Speak with a lawyer today and get the clarity you need.
The door to dual citizenship isn’t locked. But there’s a key factor: you need to meet certain requirements. The specifics differ depending on your country of origin and your personal situation.
Every country has its own set of rules, and that goes for Spain too. So, while the general idea is that you need to be residing in Spain, the details can vary.
Can I pass on dual citizenship to my children?
Absolutely! If you’re a Spanish citizen, Spain generally gives you the green light to pass on dual citizenship to your little ones.
What are the implications of having double nationality?
Let’s dive into something that might sound like a dual citizenship riddle, but fear not, we’re here to unravel it. So, imagine having two passports and two nationalities – it’s like being a global citizen, right? But having these two citizenships means you’re legally linked to not just one, but two countries simultaneously.
Now, before you start imagining a tangled mess of laws and rules, take a breath. You might be wondering, “Do I have to follow both sets of rules at the same time?” The short answer is, no. Most of the time, the rulebook says you follow the laws of the country you’re currently living in.
Why? Because juggling two sets of laws could be like trying to dance to two different tunes – a recipe for confusion, right? By following the rules of your current country of residence, you’re keeping things clear and straightforward. This approach can even save you from accidentally waving goodbye to your Spanish citizenship, especially if you’re gaining citizenship from a country on that special double-nationality agreement list.
So, when in doubt, just remember that dual citizenship is like having two hats – you wear the one that suits the situation you’re in. And voila, you’re navigating your dual citizenship like a pro.
Embarking on the journey of dual citizenship in Spain is like stepping into a complex maze of rules and opportunities, from wrapping your head around Spain’s specific requirements to discovering the potential benefits of favourable agreements with other countries, and then tackling the nitty-gritty of the application process.
This journey requires patience, research, and often, the expertise of professionals. So, remember, as you navigate this road, the adventure lies not just in reaching your destination but in every step you take along the way.
How Lexidy Can Help
Diving into the world of dual citizenship can feel like entering a maze of legal complexities, but don’t worry – that’s where Lexidy steps in! Our squad of legal experts is here to be your navigators, assisting you every step of the way on your dual citizenship journey.
You don’t have to go it alone. Let us be your guiding light towards a successful application. Just drop your details in the form below, and we’ll reach out to you pronto!