Obtain Spanish Nationality

Obtain Spanish Nationality

Updated on Monday 18th April 2016

Rate this article

based on 2 reviews.


Spanish nationality can be obtained in various ways: by birth, by adoption, etc and it requires that the person applying for nationality proves that he/she has integrated into the Spanish society. In order to do this you also have to give up your former nationality, the exceptions being citizens of countries such as Andorra, Portugal, Equatorial Guinea, the Philippines, etc. It is recommended to seek help from a law firm in Spain so as to complete the process as quickly as possible and to receive the assistance you need.

How to become a Spanish national

Spanish nationality can be acquired in more than one way:
  • By birth, which awards nationality to any child (regardless of the place of birth), who has a Spanish mother or father; every child born on Spanish territory (with at least one parent born in Spain); any child born in this country whose parents' identity is not known or who are stateless persons.
  • By adoption, in which case Spanish nationality is granted to any foreign child who is adopted by Spanish nationals and who is under 18 of age;
  • By residency, where the main requirement is to have held a Spanish residency permit for a continuous period of ten years. There are exceptions, like persons to whom the state has granted asylum, in which case only five years of residence is required; for people from Portugal, Guinea Ecuatorial, Andorra, Philippines, South America and for Sephardic Jewish persons, only two years of residency are required. The period can even be reduced to one year in some cases.

For complete information on the criteria available for applying for nationality in Spain or other legal mattersour Spanish attorneys can be of help.

The process of applying for Spanish nationality

In order to acquire Spanish nationality, you need to apply at the Civil Registry of the Spanish region you live in. You will need to submit some documents, such as:
  • - your birth certificate and your spouse's (in case you are married to a Spanish national); in this situation your marriage certificate will also be needed;
  • - a consular certificate, which has to comprise: your former nationality, your military situation with your country of origin, criminal records;
  • - registration at the Spanish town Council;
  • - a certificate from the police stating your time of legal residence in Spain.
Every document must be translated into Spanish and approved by the consulate of your home country. The authorities in Spain decide on the granting of the Spanish nationality within a period of up to 24 months after the application has been submitted.
In case you want to find out more about the requirements for becoming a Spanish national and receive the assistance you need in these complex matters, please contact our law firm in Spain.