Spanish Nationality



The Spanish Civil code on its Book One about Persons foresees different legal alternatives to acquire the Spanish citizenship. You may acquire the nationality by birth, legal residency given certain amount of time, naturalization and even by option.As a foreigner, in order to request your nationality, you need to go through a long process and need to gather certain requirements; therefore, our attorneys, with wide experience in immigration and application of the Civil Code, can assess you and guide you over the steps and document to achieve your Spanish nationality.

It is important to consider every aspect when requesting it, thus our lawyers will verify that every legal formality is met in order to avoid the withdrawal of your file. For instance, some countries do not allow their nationals to access double citizenship; consequently, applying for Spanish nationality would involve waiving your current nationality and signing a document in connection thereof prior submitting your file.

Legal ways to acquire Spanish Nationality.

Pursuant to the Spanish Civil code, a person might be granted the Spanish nationality provided that any of the following circumstances are met:

  • Spanish nationality granted by origin.

    If a person was born in Spanish territory will be granted automatically the Spanish nationality. In accordance with the Article 17 of the Civil Code, every child born in Spain will acquire the Spanish citizenship given that at least one of his or her parents holds the Spanish nationality.

    Those men and women of legal age whose at least one of the parents is Spanish may request the Spanish nationality as well by option. Once the interested party has confirmed his/her Spanish background, he or she shall count with a period of two years to submit the file for requesting the nationality.

    The Spanish nationality will be granted whenever a child is born in Spain and his/her parents are foreigners given that Spain is his or her first place of residence. This legislation will apply provided that:

    • the minor’s parents do not hold a citizenship

    • The current legislation of the country of the progenitors doesn’t grant the nationality directly.

  • Spanish nationality for residency.

    The Civil Code states that any foreigner who lives in Spain under residency status for a period of 10 years will be able to request the Spanish citizenship in the nearest Civil Registry to his or her domicile. This 10 years period may vary provided that any of the following conditions are met:

    • 5 years of legal residence will be needed whenever a foreigner has lived in Spain under the refugee status.

    • 2 years of legal residence will be needed whenever a foreigner is a national of Andorra, Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal, Latin American countries or has Sephardic origin.

    • 1 year of legal residence will be needed whenever a foreigner is married with a Spaniard.

    • 1 year of legal residence will be needed whenever a foreigner is or has been under the legal guardianship of a Spanish citizen.

    The applicants shall submit documentation proving that they are fully integrated into the Spanish society.

  • Spanish nationality by Sephardic heritage.

    The current Spanish government has passed a preliminary draft of a bill granting the nationality to those foreigners who can prove their Sephardic Jewish heritage. Such heritage shall benefit those who can track their ancestors back to those Spaniards who were expelled from Spain after 1942. Due to the volume of applications, the government has stated that this procedure may take up to two years to be solved.

Our Law Firm can assist you over the process to request your nationality. We invite you to schedule your consultation with us.