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Getting Spanish citizenship

Final replace on June 04, 2021

Written by Stephen Maunder

Discover out when you may apply for Spanish citizenship or everlasting residency, and what circumstances and paperwork it is advisable to qualify.

If you wish to reside in Spain long run and even completely, you will want to use for everlasting residence or Spanish citizenship.

This useful information, offered by skilled immigration attorneys Balcells International Lawyers Group, explains how the residency guidelines in Spain work, together with eligibility and how one can apply for citizenship.

The information covers the next matters:

Balcells Worldwide Legal professionals Group

Balcells Group offers authorized recommendation to people, corporations, traders, immigration companies and different middleman brokers. They’ve over 40 years {of professional} expertise, and have constructed their agency primarily based on the mixing of a number of generations of legal professionals that supply a balanced imaginative and prescient primarily based on expertise and modernity.

Spanish citizenship: the fundamentals

After you will have lived in Spain for 5 years, you may apply for everlasting residence. After 10 years, you may apply for Spanish nationality. Some exemptions exist that enable sure individuals to use sooner. For instance, you may apply in case you are married to a Spaniard or the kid of a Spanish father or mother. Each Spanish citizenship and everlasting residency let you keep dwelling in Spain, however some variations exist between the 2.

Must you select everlasting residency or citizenship?

Holding an EU long-term everlasting residence allow means that you can keep on as a resident in Spain whereas retaining your individual nationality and passport. As a Spanish everlasting resident, you may get pleasure from many of the identical advantages as Spanish residents. It’s essential to, nonetheless, be capable of fulfil sure circumstances. This consists of having the ability to help your self financially. You may transfer across the EU for restricted intervals, and longer with permission.

In the event you grow to be a Spanish citizen, nonetheless, you will want to surrender your unique nationality and passport, except you qualify for an exemption (see beneath). You’ll get pleasure from all the identical rights as different Spanish residents. As well as, you’ll grow to be a citizen of the EU, which means you might be free to maneuver round inside it. You too can vote in European elections.

Brexit: British expats in Spain

Uncertainty stays across the UK’s departure from the EU, however there are indicators that British expats dwelling in Spain will probably be protected. In March 2019, the Spanish overseas minister introduced that the 400,000 UK residents dwelling in Spain could be granted residency rights within the occasion of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

It’s not completely clear how this may work simply but. British nationals would possibly want to use for a foreigner id card by the top of 2020. This course of could be practically computerized.


No matter occurs, expats who already reside in Spain might contemplate making use of for Spanish citizenship in the event that they meet the mandatory standards to major EU entry. This could, nonetheless, imply surrendering their British citizenship.

It’s attainable that British expats may have to use for a Blue Card sooner or later. That is an EU-wide work allow that enables high-skilled, non-EU residents to work in Spain and different EU nations.

The way to apply for everlasting residence in Spain

If non-EU nationals have legally lived in Spain for 5 uninterrupted years, they will apply for an ‘EU long-term residence allow’. This enables them to remain in Spain indefinitely working or in any other case, beneath the identical circumstances as Spanish residents.

As a way to apply for a allow, you need to be capable of show that you’ve got ample monetary sources to offer for your self and your loved ones (if relevant), reminiscent of a Spanish pension, scholarship, or wage. It’s essential to even have proof of public or personal medical health insurance in Spain.

You may also should submit:

  • A legitimate passport;
  • Proof of authorized residence in Spain (e.g., a long-term rental contract in Spain or receipts for lease);
  • Legal document certificates issued by the authorities in your house nation;
  • Medical certificates (certificado medico), if not already equipped;
  • Proof that well being help is assured throughout your residence in Spain;
  • Marriage or divorce certificates or different papers regarding your marital standing (translated into Spanish if required).

Advantages of everlasting residence in Spain

When you will have the allow, you may work freely and luxuriate in social providers and advantages in Spain. You may usually transfer between different EU member states for as much as three months. This can be longer whether it is for sure functions and you’ve got a allow.

In the event you maintain a Blue Card from one other EU member state, and have lived elsewhere within the EU for a similar interval, this additionally grants you long-term residence in Spain. Nevertheless, you need to have lived within the nation for 2 years beforehand.

In the event you maintain an EU long-term residence allow granted by one other EU member state and need to keep on in Spain, you’ll have to relinquish your long-term residence standing within the different nation. Additionally, you will want to use for an EU long-term residence allow from the Foreigner’s Workplace (Oficina de Extranjeros) in Spain.

The way to get Spanish citizenship

You may apply for Spanish nationality after 10 years of residence in Spain. You too can purchase Spanish nationality by getting married in Spain or delivery, even for those who or your Spanish mother and father had been born outdoors Spain.

Spanish citizenship

All candidates should show that they’re an excellent citizen. Which means you have to be financially secure and don’t have any prison document. As well as, you need to present a ample diploma of integration into Spanish society. For instance, you may converse Spanish and also you participate in social actions which can be a part of the Spanish lifestyle.

It’s important to apply on the Civil Registry the place you reside in Spain. You will want to take alongside the required supporting documents in your Spanish citizenship utility, plus a accomplished Spanish citizenship application form.

If you’re 18 years or above, 14 or older with authorized help, or the authorized guardian of an individual beneath 14, you may apply for Spanish citizenship. The method of making use of for citizenship in Spain could also be a lot simpler with the assistance of skilled immigration attorneys reminiscent of Balcells International Lawyers Group, Carbray, or Martínez-Echevarría, who can help you with each section of the method of acquiring your residency allow.

Exemptions to the 10-year guidelines

As a rule, refugees solely have to attend 5 years earlier than they will apply for Spanish nationality. Nationals from Spanish-American nations, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal, and people of Sephardic origin solely have to attend two years.

The required interval of residence for citizenship is only one yr in case you are born in Spain to authorized overseas residents. The identical interval applies in case you are married to a Spaniard, widowed from a Spaniard, or the kid or grandchild. This is applicable even for those who had been born outdoors of Spain to a Spanish nationwide (by delivery or residence).

Descendents of expelled Sephardic Jews from Spain can even apply for Spanish citizenship with out residing in Spain. That is if they will show particular connections to Spain and go checks on Spanish language and historical past. The applying deadline is 1 October 2019.

Origin or delivery Spanish citizenship

You’re Spanish by origin and might apply for Spanish citizenship by ‘Possibility’ (the place you don’t require a residency interval) for those who had been:

  • Born to a Spanish mom or father;
  • Born in Spain to overseas mother and father, if at the very least one father or mother was additionally born in Spain. The exception is youngsters of diplomats and consuls accredited in Spain;
  • Have been adopted by a Spaniard and are beneath 18, or are over 18 and had been adopted inside the final two years;
  • Have been born in Spain to overseas mother and father whose id is unknown or their nation of origin is undetermined (stateless or refugee standing). This additionally applies if neither mother and father’ nationality might be legally handed on to you.

There are additionally different conditions to qualify for Spanish citizenship, the place residency is required for one yr. This is applicable to these born outdoors Spain to folks (additionally born outdoors Spain) and grandparents, whom had been initially Spanish. It additionally applies to these with a Spanish guardian or foster father or mother. Those that didn’t duly train their proper to accumulate Spanish nationality by choice are additionally required to have a yr.

Spanish citizenship by marriage

You may fast-track citizenship in case you are married to a Spaniard and might grow to be a Spanish citizen after dwelling in Spain for one yr. The applying and circumstances observe the usual citizenship process. The exception is that you simply don’t want to attend 10 years to use. You’ll have to give up your present citizenship to grow to be Spanish. You too can declare Spanish citizenship because the widower or widow of a Spaniard. Nevertheless, you can’t have been separated on the time of their dying.

Utility charges for Spanish citizenship

Spain costs a non-refundable charge to course of your citizenship utility. The value varies and might vary from €60-€100, even when they reject your utility. Charges may additionally apply to concern certificates and paperwork required in your utility.

Twin nationality

If you’re profitable, you’ll have to swear your loyalty to the King. It’s essential to additionally promise to obey the Spanish structure and legal guidelines.

Except you might be from a Spanish-American nation, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, or Portugal, additionally, you will should resign your earlier nationality. Sephardic Jews and descendents can even preserve their unique citizenship to have twin nationality.

You’ll lose your Spanish citizenship for those who reside overseas and take up one other nationality for greater than three years. This additionally applies of you utilize your previous nationality in that interval. The one exception is, if inside that interval, you declare to the Civil Registry your will to maintain Spanish nationality.


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