Spanish Citizenship and Spanish Nationality

Spanish nationality can be obtained by means of one's origin, by choice or residence.

WHO ARE SPANISH BY MEANS OF ORIGIN?

1. People born of a Spanish mother or father
2.People born in Spain of foreign parents, if at least one parent was also born in Spain (Children of Diplomats and Consuls accredited in Spain are not included)
3. People born in Spain of foreign parents if neither of them has Spanish nationality or if neither of the parents' legislations confer a nationality to their children
4. People born in Spain and whose filiation is not determined. Regarding this point, underaged whose first known residence place is in Spain, are considered as born in the country.
5. Foreigners under 18 adopted by Spaniards acquire Spanish nationality by means of origin, that begins with the date of the adoption.

ACQUISITION OF SPANISH NATIONALITY BY MEANS OF RESIDENCE IN SPAIN

Who can obtain Spanish nationality by means of residence in Spain? According to Spanish legislation any foreigner legally established as a resident in Spain, can apply for Spanish nationality. The required periods of time are different according to the nationality, or other personal circumstances.

ACQUISITION OF SPANISH NATIONALITY BY MEANS OF CONSOLIDATION: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

It means that those who have held a Spanish Nationality for a number of years, and have used it correctly and in good faith, pursuant to a Rule inscribed in the Register, are
allowed to remain a Spanish National, even if the Law that granted him the nationality changes. People concerned must have maintained an active attitude in the possession and use of Spanish Nationality, meaning that they have behaved considering themselves Spanish, both benefiting of their rights and doing their duty towards the Spanish State.


A person who finds him/herself in these circumstances has to enrol at the Register providing proof to nationality or how it was acquired given the circumstances valid at the time it was granted.

ACQUISITION OF SPANISH NATIONALITY BY CHOICE
WHO CAN CHOOSE TO BE SPANISH?

- People whose relationship or birth in Spain has been determined after the age of 18. The period for this option is of two (2) years beginning from the coming of age.
- People who are or have been under the custody of a Spaniard.
- People whose father or mother was a Spaniard by origin and born in Spain
- People over 18, adopted by a Spaniard, have an option to Spanish nationality by means of origins as long as this is requested within the next two years following adoption..

LOSS OF SPANISH NATIONALITY
HOW IS SPANISH NATIONALITY LOST?

  • Spanish nationality is lost by emancipated people who while habitually living abroad:
    - Voluntarily acquire another nationality
    - Exclusively use the foreign nationality they had before emancipation.
    Loss of nationality will be effective after a period of three years, counting from the moment of acquisition of a foreign nationality or emancipation of the Spanish one.
  • According to the above-mentioned, the acquisition of Latin American nationalities does not cause the loss of the Spanish nationality by origin. A standing act of renounce to Spanish nationality will have to be put forward by the person concerned.
  • Emancipated Spaniards who specifically renounce to their nationality, if they have another nationality and habitually live abroad.
  • Spanish nationality is not lost if Spain is on War.
  • People who are not Spanish by means of origins, also lose their nationality when:
    - Final judgment convicted them to lose it, according to what is established in criminal laws.
    - When they voluntarily join armies or have political posts in a foreign country against the expressed prohibition of the Government.
    - When, for a period of 3 years they make use of the nationality to which they had said to have renounced when they acquired the Spanish nationality.

RECOVERY OF SPANISH NATIONALITY

Can Spanish nationality be recovered?
Yes, if the following requirements are met:

  1. Being a legal resident in Spain. This requirement is not applicable to emigrants, their children, and Spanish women who lost their Spanish nationality by means of marriage, before establishment of the Law 14/1974. (In the rest of the cases, the Minister of Justice and Internal Affairs, under exceptional circumstances, may grant exemption from this requirement.
  2. Declaring before the person in charge at the Register the person's wish to recover Spanish nationality.
  3. Registering the recovery of the nationality in the Civil Register.

WHEN IS A PREVIOUS AUTHORIZATION FROM THE GOVERNMENT NECESSARY TO RECOVER SPANISH NATIONALITY?

Previous authorization from the government is necessary both to recover and to acquire, as the case may be, the Spanish nationality, for:

  • People, who, for a period of three years, make use of the nationality they had declared to have renounced when they acquired the Spanish nationality.
  • People who voluntarily join the army or hold political positions in a foreign country against the government's specific prohibition.
  • When the final decision states that the person concerned has incurred in falseness, concealment or fraud in the acquisition of the Spanish nationality causes the annulment of said acquisition.

Services and Formalities at Spain-Visas.com.

- ON-LINE ENQUIRIES (When you ask one of our lawyers who are specialists in foreign law) We inform you step by step of all necessary formalities to obtain a visa that may interest you, of all the documents you need to submit at your Consulate. This may show you new opportunities depending on your case. We may also write the documents you need to submit. See a sample case of our service

- INFORMATION SERVICE. We inform you of the progress of your file and of any law enforced which may concern your case (positively or negatively).

- CHECK-UP OF DOCUMENTS. Our company operates from Spain and the documents for the visa must be submitted at the Consulate. However, to make sure that you are submitting the right documents, you may send us a photocopy or fax of all the documents you are planning to submit at the consulate, to spare yourself problems in the future.

- LEGAL ASSISTANCE before the government (formalities for documents) and at the Courts. All our lawyers are members of a professional association and have many years of experience.

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Spanish Citizenship and Spanish Nationality
 Last update: 02-Jul-2009
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