Getting Spanish nationality is an easy process when you meet the necessary conditions, along with professional support. Our expert team has prepared all the ways and requirements for citizenship acquisition for you.
Go to the sun… Go to nature, go to snow-capped mountains and more than 600 blue flag beaches. It is one of Europe’s only places where you can ski on a mountain-top resort and swim in the Mediterranean sea all within the same day.
It is none other than Spain of course, home to over 5.4 million foreigners, many of who make Spain their new home by obtaining Spanish citizenship.
Getting Citizenship in Spain
There are 4 ways to acquire Spanish citizenship:
Citizenship by Marriage in Spain
If you marry a Spanish citizen and spend a year living together in Spain, you will qualify 12 months from the date you receive your residence card. Just be sure your marriage is registered in Spain - and if it’s not - have your marriage certificate attested by your foreign consulate, followed by the Spanish consulate in your home country.
Tip: Translating your marriage certificate into Spanish will also be required prior to submitting it to the Spanish consulate.
Citizenship by Descent in Spain
If your parents are Spanish, you will qualify for Spanish citizenship. Grandchildren also apply, provided they are:
- Grandchildren of Spanish women who were born in Spain and married to non-Spanish citizens before 1978.
- Grandchildren of Spanish nationals who received nationality from another country after leaving Spain before their children were born (which means their children at the time of birth were not Spanish citizens).
- Grandchildren of citizens of Spain who did not apply to become Spanish citizens before 18 years of age (and lost the automatic privilege).
You will also be entitled to apply for a Spanish passport if your parents (regardless of their nationality) have a Spanish passport. This pathway to citizenship is why it is important to include the birth certificates of your children in your application so they can also benefit (before the cut-off time, when they turn 18 years of age) from Spanish citizenship.
Citizenship by Birth in Spain
Spain’s birthright citizenship is reserved for a list of countries that do not grant citizenship to children born abroad because Spain will not allow a child born on Spanish soil to be stateless.
For those born in Spain, citizenship will be granted if born in Spain and both parents are from any of the following countries:
- Costa Rica
- Ecuador (if the child was born before 2008)
- Sao Tome and Principe
Exceptions to the rule apply for:
- Single Moroccan mothers where the biological father is from one of the countries listed above
- If both parents are from certain regions of Palestine (i.e. they are stateless).
Please note that in the circumstances above, registering a child born in Spain through your home country consulate would not qualify the child to Spanish nationality. It is why it is essential to register the birth of a child in Spain with the Spanish civil registry. They will ask you for the following documents:
- A certificate proving that the newborn child lives with his/her parents at the same address. This certificate is called “Empadronamiento” in Spanish.
- The birth certificate of the newborn baby.
- The birth certificate of the father and mother, translated and legalized (This document comes from the civil registry from their country of origin).
- Complete passport of both parents, original and copies.
- Family record book, original and copies.
- Certificate from the consulate stating that the country of origin does not recognize the child’s nationality (as they were born overseas).
Citizenship by Residency in Spain
Living in Spain uninterrupted (without long absences) will entitle you to apply for Spanish citizenship if you meet the following criteria:
You’ve lived in Spain for 10 consecutive years (the date starts from the issue date of your first temporary residency permit), and during your first 5 years of your temporary residency permit, you have not left Spain for more than 1 year, and have not been outside of Spain longer than 6 months within a year.
After your first 5 years of living in Spain, your temporary residency permit becomes permanent and then you cannot remain outside of Spain for more than 12 months continuously, or more than 30 months (when you add up all the travel time outside of Spain over the past 5 years).
You have a clean police record (i.e. no criminal convictions, unpaid speeding tickets, or immigration breaches, such as not renewing your residency card on time.)
Refugees need only wait 5 years to be entitled to apply for Spanish citizenship. Citizens from Latin America, Andorra, Equatorial Guinea, the Philippines, or Portugal need only wait 2 years to apply for citizenship.
Can I Get Citizenship if I Buy a Property in Spain?
Eventually yes, you can buy a property in Spain and get citizenship. Golden Visa of Spain leads to citizenship if you follow the pathway. The Golden Visa program is not designed for citizenship but offers residency permits when you invest in Spain to get citizenship.
In the end, if you live at least 6 months every year in Spain for 5 years, you can continue for Permanent Residency which is the prior step to Citizenship. And, after 10 years of your initial investment, you can apply for Spain’s citizenship by investment. Again, you must live in Spain for at least 6 months out of the year for ten years.
Does Spain Accept Dual Citizenship?
Yes and no. Generally no, you must renounce your current citizenship as per Spanish law. However, if you are a citizen from any of the below countries, you can keep your current nationality with your new Spanish citizenship:
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- Equatorial Guinea
- Puerto Rico
- El Salvador
Can You Help Me Apply for Citizenship in Spain?
Spain Homes has helped many new migrants find their dream home in Spain for their path to residency and citizenship and can help you too. Contact us for an obligation-free discussion, and one of our friendly team of property professionals would be more than happy to assist.
We speak more than 20 languages and are conveniently available for your call or visit in our offices.
FAQ about Citizenship in Spain
Q: How to get Spanish citizenship?
A: You can apply for citizenship in Spain by residency, marriage, descent, or right of birth. The easiest way of becoming a citizen of Spain is to buy a property. After 10 years of uninterrupted residence in Spain, you will have the right to apply for Spanish nationality.
Q: Is it easy to get citizenship in Spain?
A: After living in Spain for 10 years, you can easily get citizenship by residency. You need to follow the rules and meet the requirements.
Q: How many years to get a Spanish citizenship?
A: You can apply for nationality after 10 years of residence in Spain.
Q: How to get Spanish citizenship by investment?
A: You can apply for Golden Visa in Spain. You can get the details from What is Golden Visa in Spain?.
Q: Can I get residency in Spain if I buy a house?
A: Yes you can. Thanks to Golden Visa, you can get a 2-year residence permit after investing in real estate in Spain worth at least € 500.000. You can renew your permit every 2 years. For more details, visit the page of Residence Permit in Spain.
Q: How to get Spanish citizenship by marriage?
A: If you marry a Spanish citizen and live in the country for at least 1 year, you can apply for citizenship.
Q: How to get Spanish citizenship by descent or ancestry?
A: You will qualify for Spanish citizenship, if:
- Your parents are Spanish (or born in Spain),
- Your grandparents are Spanish,
- You were adopted by a Spanish citizen before your 18th birthday.
Q: Can I get Spanish citizenship through my grandparents?
A: Yes you can. If your family heritage is Spanish, including parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents, you have the right to apply on the basis of jus sanguinis (right of blood).
Q: Can I get a dual nationality in Spain?
A: Spain only recognizes dual citizenship from a few countries. You can find the list of the countries that can Spain dual citizenship above.
Q: Does Spain allow triple citizenship?