Get Spanish nationality after long living in Spain or through ancestry
There are several ways to obtain Spanish Citizenship. Our immigration lawyers will guide you through the process step by step.
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What is Spanish citizenship?
As a general rule after having lived in Spain for five years, you can apply for permanent residency, and after 10 years you can apply for Spanish nationality.
Generally, Citizenship is the legal bond that unites the person with the state. It has a double aspect of being a fundamental right and constituting the legal status of persons. As a result of this relationship, the individual enjoys certain rights that he/she can demand from the state organization to which he/she belongs and the latter. In return, the government can impose the fulfilment of a series of obligations and duties.
How to obtain Spanish citizenship in Spain?
Once you have obtained all the necessary documents for the application, you can apply online by means of a digital certificate or by legal representation or in-person (on paper) at the Civil Registry.
After approximately a year, you will receive an answer online. The resolution defines whether you obtained the nationality or not.
After receiving the favourable answer, you will have a total of 6 months to finish the process with the oath in the Civil Registry that corresponds to you according to your census registration.
During that day, you will get a specific document to go to the police station and apply for your Spanish passport and National Identity Card (DNI).
HOW CAN A LAWYER HELP ME?
We can communicate with the Ministry of Justice directly, if necessary, to ask questions that may occur during the process.
Each specific case will require different documents than others, we will let you know which are the specific ones instead.
Digital submission on your behalf and follow-up on the status of the application process.
Knowledge of the practice of the Spanish Administration and the requirements that are usually demanded beyond those provided by law.
Full assistance in English, French or Italian.
- Take your exams (The courses offered by the Cervantes Institute can be taken in Spain or in the Cervantes Institutes abroad).
- Wait for test results. The results will be communicated about 20 days after the test is performed.
- Gather of documentation. 2 weeks to 2 months.
- Submission of the application. 1 day if electronic. If in-person an appointment must be obtained.
- Resolution of the application for citizenship. From 1 to 2.5 years.
- Oath of the nationality before the Civil Registry. From 2 to 10 months depending on the Civil Registry assigned according to the registry.
- Spanish passport and DNI application. An appointment must be obtained at the police station, it is granted for approximately 2 weeks.
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Mónica Isern López
Cristina Negro Vizoso
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Spanish Citizenship through Residence
This form of acquisition of nationality, in general, requires the residence of the person in Spain for ten years in a legal, continuous way and immediately prior to the request. There are cases in which the required period of residence is reduced to one, two or five years.
Spanish citizenship by marriage
At the time of the request the applicant has been married for one year to a Spaniard and is not legally or de facto separated.
Spanish citizenship by Sephardic ancestry
To apply for citizenship through Sephardic Jews, you must show a certificate showing your Sephardic ancestry and live legally in Spain minimum of 2 years.
Spanish citizenship by Investment
Citizenship through investment does not exist in Spain. However, Spain has simplified the process of getting a residence permit by means of investment. This permit is called Golden Visa Investment and gives you the ability to quickly immigrate to Spain.
Spanish citizenship by birth
First of all, we must refer to the original Spaniards, that is to say, those who hold Spanish nationality in their own right. Specifically, they are if you meet one of the following requirements. Those born to a Spanish father or mother. During the minority or two years after reaching the age of majority. It can be requested at the Spanish Consulate or Embassy abroad.
Spanish Citizenship by choice
Persons whose father or mother was originally a Spanish citizen born in Spain. In this case, the right of the option does not expire and can be requested at the Spanish Consulate or Embassy abroad.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can you take the citizenship test in Spanish?
To apply for Spanish nationality by residence you must pass the culture exam (CCSE) and the language exam (DELE). Nationals of Latin American countries are exempt from the language exam.
2. Can I get Spanish citizenship through my grandparents?
In the case that your grandparents were Spaniards of origin (Spaniards born in Spain), you can apply for Spanish nationality after one year of legal residence in Spain.
3. Can Spanish have dual citizenship?
If you become a Spanish citizen, you must relinquish your original nationality and passport, unless you qualify for an exemption or are a citizen of one of the following countries: Chile, Peru, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Bolivia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Argentina, Colombia, Equatorial Guinea, Philippines, Andorra, Portugal, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Uruguay, Venezuela and since 2020 France.
4. Could you pass the Spanish citizenship test?
The examinations necessary to apply for Spanish nationality must be passed by the interested party without representation.
5. How to apply for Spanish citizenship as a Sephardic jew
Since 2019, it is no longer possible to apply for Spanish nationality by Sephardic descent. However, you will be able to obtain the nationality after having resided legally in Spain for only two years.
6. Can Mexicans claim Spanish citizenship?
Mexican citizens may apply for Spanish nationality after only two years of legal residence in Spain.
7. What does it mean “to legally reside” in Spain?
In order to apply for Spanish nationality, you must be residing under a residence permit approved by the corresponding Immigration Office. In addition, for the duration of the residency application process, you must have a valid residency permit in force at all times.
8. How long does it take to obtain a Spanish residency?
Currently, the Ministry is taking between 2 and 3 years to resolve Spanish citizenship applications.
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