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Spain Citizenship Programs – Requirements and How to Apply

Embark on your journey towards becoming a Spanish citizen with our specialized guidance. Spain offers several pathways to citizenship, catering to diverse backgrounds and circumstances.

At Consult Immigration, we’re committed to navigating you through the complexities of acquiring Spanish citizenship, ensuring a smooth and successful application process.

Who can Apply for Spanish Citizenship?

Spanish citizenship can be obtained through various means, each with its unique requirements and processes.

The most common routes include:

1) Original Spaniards

  • Citizenship by descent for those born to a Spanish parent or those born in Spain to foreign parents with at least one parent born in Spain (excluding children of diplomats).

2) Citizenship through Residence

  • General requirement is ten years of continuous and legal residence.
  • Reduced residency requirements for refugees (five years) and nationals from Ibero-American countries, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal, or Sephardic Jews (two years).
  • One year of residency suffices for individuals born in Spain, wards of Spanish citizens, married to a Spanish citizen, or widows/widowers of Spaniards, among others.

3) Citizenship by Option

  • A benefit for foreigners under certain conditions, such as being subject to the parental authority of a Spaniard or having a Spanish parent who was born in Spain.

4) Citizenship in Accordance with the Law on Democratic Memory

  • For those born outside Spain to Spanish parents or grandparents who lost or renounced their Spanish nationality due to exile for various reasons.

5) Citizenship by Use

  • Applicable to those who have used Spanish nationality for ten years continuously and in good faith.

In all cases, residency must be legal, continuous, and immediately prior to the application.

The Spanish Citizenship Application Process

Navigating the complexities of applying for Spanish citizenship can be daunting, but with Consult Immigration, you’re in expert hands. Here’s an overview of the application process for the most common pathways to Spanish citizenship:

Citizenship through Residence

  • Ensure you meet the specific residency duration based on your category (general, refugee, Ibero-American countries, etc.).
  • Collect necessary documents, including proof of legal residence, identification, and evidence of socio-economic integration in Spain.
  • Apply through the designated government channels, either in person or online, depending on the applicant’s situation.

Citizenship by Option

  • Confirm eligibility under the citizenship by option criteria, such as being subject to a Spanish parent’s authority.
  • Assemble required documents, including proof of parental authority, birth certificates, and other relevant legal papers.
  • Make a formal declaration of opting for Spanish nationality, adhering to the stipulated legal procedures and timelines.

Citizenship in Accordance with the Law on Democratic Memory

  • Verify eligibility based on Spanish descent and the historical context outlined in the Law on Democratic Memory.
  • Gather evidence of Spanish lineage, such as birth or marriage certificates of Spanish ancestors, and proof of their exile circumstances.
  • Formalize the declaration of opting for Spanish nationality under this specific law, within the prescribed time frame.

Citizenship by Use

  • Demonstrate a decade of continuous use of Spanish nationality in good faith, through various legal and social documents.
  • Submit an application with supporting evidence to the Civil Registry, proving the continuous and good-faith use of Spanish nationality.

How We Can Help

Our team of experts at Consult Immigration offers comprehensive support throughout your citizenship application process. Our services include:

  • Personalized Consultation: We provide tailored advice based on your specific pathway to Spanish citizenship.
  • Document Management: Assistance in gathering, preparing, and verifying all necessary documentation.
  • Application Assistance: Guidance through the application submission process, ensuring adherence to all legal requirements and deadlines.
  • Legal Representation: If required, we can offer legal representation to handle complex cases or appeals.

Spain Citizenship – Frequently Asked Questions

To further assist you in your journey to obtaining Spanish citizenship, here are some frequently asked questions that provide clarity on common queries:

How long does the Spanish citizenship application process take?

The duration varies depending on the pathway, but it generally takes several months to a year after submitting all required documents.

Is a Spanish language proficiency test required for citizenship?

Yes, applicants need to pass a Spanish language proficiency test, except in cases of citizenship by origin or for those from Spanish-speaking countries.

Can I hold dual citizenship with Spain?

Spain allows dual citizenship with certain countries, especially Ibero-American nations. For others, it may require renouncing your original nationality.

Are there any specific integration requirements for Spanish citizenship?

Yes, applicants must demonstrate integration into Spanish society, which can include knowledge of the Spanish culture, history, and participation in social activities.

What happens if my Spanish citizenship application is denied?

You can appeal the decision or reapply by addressing the reasons for denial, with legal assistance, if necessary.

Do children born in Spain automatically receive citizenship?

Children born in Spain to foreign parents may acquire citizenship if at least one parent was born in Spain or under certain residency conditions.

Is it mandatory to reside in Spain during the citizenship process?

Continuous legal residence is usually required, especially for citizenship through residence.

How does marriage to a Spanish citizen affect the application?

Marriage to a Spanish citizen can reduce the residency requirement to one year for citizenship through residence.

What are the costs associated with the Spanish citizenship application?

Costs vary depending on the application pathway and may include fees for document processing, legal services, government fees and language tests.

Can Spanish citizenship be passed on to my descendants?

Yes, Spanish citizenship acquired by naturalization can be passed to future generations.

Contact Us and Begin Your Path to Spanish Citizenship

Begin your path to Spanish citizenship with our expert guidance. Fill out the form below to start your journey with Consult Immigration.

Our dedicated team of Qualified Attorneys and Legal Advisors is ready to provide you with expert, tailored guidance and support throughout each stage of your Spanish Citizenship application

What our Consult Clients have to say

I was hesitant to take this big step and apply for citizenship through descent, but I took the plunge and paid for an appointment with Consult Immigration. I am so happy I did this. David and Ines answered all my questions and were extremely helpful with their extensive knowledge of the process and they asked questions for me that opened my mind to many other possibilities that would lead me to my new destination. I really liked both of them and I felt they truly earned my trust. Great service. I got so much more out of our meeting than I expected. Nice surprise!

Shannon RossCalifornia, USA

Dear David, thank you so much for the assistance and professional service I received from you during my immigration process to Portugal. If it was not for your sound advice, I could have made a disastrous choice as to which country to relocate to, given the technical nature of immigration laws and how they are applied to foreigners. The support I received from you while dealing with the local officials was also very beneficial. Thanks for going the extra mile!

Schalk Badenhorst

David, Pina and his team at Consult assisted me in my residency permit application for Mallorca, Spain through their tireless efforts in SA and Spain, from initial interest through to making appointments with the relevant authorities in Palma and were highly knowledgeable and patient throughout the process. Highly recommended!

Maira KoutsoudakisCEO LIFE Group of Companies

We would like to thank you once again for your very professional assistance in making this move possible. Your support during the process in South Africa was invaluable and your associates here in Portugal were very professional in dealing with the local procedures. This would be a daunting process without professional help and we can strongly recommend your services to anybody interested in relocating to Portugal.

Pieter Steyn & Márcia Camargo

I have had the pleasure of dealing with David at Consult and have been highly impressed with his professionalism. Pina, his partner in Spain, has also been extremely helpful and prompt to reply. I would highly recommend their immigration services to anyone looking to have the bureaucracy streamlined.

Simone Bishop

Consult Immigration assisted my husband and I with our residency application for Spain last year, and I can honestly say that I don't know how we would have achieved it without their assistance. There was always clear communication and we were kept up to speed on where we were in the application process, right through to our appointments in Spain and the approval of our residency. I highly recommend Consult Immigration.

Kristin Shaw

I have recently experienced the efficient service delivered by Consult Immigration as part of my residency application to Spain. I found David very open, enthusiastic to help and give advice, and knowledgeable. It was a pleasure working with him and I strongly recommend.

Hugh Turpin