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Many people wonder what their options are when they are residing legally in Spain after a long time and what their options are if they are planning on residing in Spain definitely. Based on the time of residency there are several options for these people to obtain the Spanish Nationality.

Who can obtain the Spanish Nationality?

There are four different periods of legal residence in Spain. And also, other different requirements for someone to request Spanish Nationality:

10 Years

  • In general, in order to obtain Spanish Nationality because of residence, legal & continuous residence of the person in Spain for 10 years prior to the application is required. This applies to anyone who does not fall under any of the privileged exceptions.
  • The applicant must not have left Spain for more than 6 months during those 10 years. However, the administration may apply even stricter time limits depending on the case

5 Years

  • It is possible to obtain the Spanish Nationality after a period of legal residence of 5 years in case of applicants who hold refugee status in Spain.

2 Years

  • A person can obtain the Spanish nationality after only 2 years of legal residence in Spain if they are citizens from Ibero-American Countries, Andorra, The Philippines, Equatorial Guinea or Portugal.
  • The applicant must not have left Spain for more than 3 months during the 2 years before the application.

1 Year

It is possible to apply for Spanish citizenship after having resided legally in Spain for only 1 year in the following cases:

  • The applicant was born in Spain.
  • The aspirant did not duly exercise their right to acquire the Spanish Nationality by choice.
  • A Spanish citizen or institution legally subjected the applicant to guardianship, custody or fostering for two consecutive years.
  • At the time of the application, the applicant has been married for one year to a Spaniard and is not legally or de facto separated.
  • The applicant is a widow or widower of a Spaniard if at the time of the death of the spouse they were not legally or de facto separated.
  • If the applicant was born outside of Spain but their parents (born also outside Spain) or grandparents were Spanish, provided that all of them had originally been Spanish.

In these cases, the applicant must not have left Spain for more than 3 consecutive months during the year before the application is presented.

Will I lose my current Nationality if I obtain the Spanish Nationality?

Not necessary, there are some exceptions that allow applicants to obtain dual nationality. If the Applicant comes from the following countries or regions, they may obtain the dual nationality:

    • Ibero-American Countries
    • Andorra
    • Philippines
    • Equatorial Guinea
    • Portugal

How can I apply for the Spanish Nationality?

  1. Digitally: Via the website of the Ministry of Justice.
  2. In person: Applications for Spanish citizenship by residence or writs related to them may be filed in any of the entities referred to in article 16 of Law 39/2015, of October 1:
    • Registration offices of the General State Administration
    • Registration offices of the Autonomous Communities
    • Local Entities Registration Offices

If you’re looking other ways to live in Spain, you can also learn how to get a Spanish Non-Lucrative Visa.

How can Lexidy Help?

At Lexidy our Specialised Lawyers will guide you step by step during the process. Also, we will help you obtain Spanish Nationality as fast as possible if you meet all the requirements. Contact us and get a free consultation.

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