This section includes the different ways to acquire Spanish nationality, as well as important information about the loss and conservation of the same.
How is Spanish nationality acquired??
The different modes of acquisition of nationality are:
Nationality for Spaniards of origin
They are Spanish of origin:
- Those born to a Spanish father or mother.
- Those born in Spain when they are children of foreign parents if, at least one parent, born in Spain (the children of diplomats are excepted).
- Those born in Spain to foreign parents, if both lack nationality (Stateless persons), or if the legislation of none of them confers a nationality on the child. In this case, a file can be made in the Civil Registry of your domicile to declare Spanish nationality with the value of a simple presumption..
- Children born in Spain whose parentsse identity is unknown. Minors whose first known place of stay is Spanish territory are presumed to be born in Spain.
- Minors of Spanish origin are also minors of 18 years that are adopted by a Spaniard. If the adoptee is older than 18 years, may opt for spanish nationality of origin within two years of the adoption.
Nationality by possession of state
- A person who has possessed and used this nationality for ten years shall have the right to Spanish nationality, continuously, in good faith (without you having knowledge of the real situation, I mean, that it is not spanish in reality), based on a title registered in the Civil Registry. Spanish nationality will not be lost even if the title registered in the Civil Registry is annulled. The interested party must have maintained an active attitude in such possession and use of Spanish nationality, this means that he must have behaved by having himself as Spanish, both in the enjoyment of their rights and in the fulfillment of their duties in relation to organs of the Spanish State.
Nationality by option
The option is a benefit that our legislation offers to foreigners who are in certain conditions, to acquire Spanish nationality. They will have the right to acquire Spanish nationality in this way:
- Those persons who are or have been subject to the parental authority of a Spaniard. This possibility expires when the interested party complies 20 years, unless by his personal law the interested party does not acquire the age of majority to the 18 years, in which case the period shall be two years from the date of majority.
- Those whose father or mother had been Spanish and was born in Spain.
- Those persons whose determination of filiation (determining parentage means establishing who a person's parents are) or birth in Spain occurs after eighteen years of age. In this case, the period for eligibility for nationality is two years from the date on which filiation or birth is determined.
- Those people whose adoption by Spaniards occurs after eighteen years of age. In this case the right to opt exists until the expiration of the period of two years from the constitution of the adoption.
Nationality by residence
This form of acquisition of nationality requires the residence of the person in Spain for ten years legally, continued and immediately prior to the request. There are cases in which the required period of residence is reduced; these are:
Five years: for the granting of Spanish nationality to those persons who have obtained refugee status
Two years: for nationals of Ibero-American countries, Andorra, Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal or people of Sephardic origin.
- Who was born in Spanish territory.
- The one who did not duly exercise his right to acquire Spanish nationality by option.
- Who has been legally subject to guardianship (under the supervision of a guardian), guardianship or fostering (the foster care that allows the reduction of legal residence to one year is the one in which there is a resolution of the public entity that has in each territory entrusted the protection of minors and the foster care that is judicially recognized) of a Spanish citizen or institution for two consecutive years, even if you continue in this situation at the time of the request.
- What, at the time of application, have been married to a Spaniard for a year and are not legally or de facto separated.
- The widower or widower of Spanish or Spanish, if at the time of the spouse's death they were not separated, de facto or judicially.
- Born outside Spain to a father or mother, (also born outside Spain), grandfather or grandmother, provided that all of them had originally been Spanish.
Nationality by letter of nature
This form of acquisition of nationality, is ex gratia and is not subject to the general rules of administrative procedure. It will be granted or not discretionally by the Government by Royal Decree, after assessing the occurrence of exceptional circumstances.
LOSS AND PRESERVATION OF SPANISH NATIONALITY
How do you lose your nationality??
Spaniards will lose their nationality when:
- Be emancipated, reside abroad and voluntarily acquire another nationality. They can avoid this loss if within three years they declare their willingness to retain their nationality. The acquisition of the nationality of Ibero-American countries, Andorra, Philippines, Equatorial Guinea or Portugal is not enough to cause the loss of Spanish nationality.
- Are emancipated reside abroad and for three years use exclusively the nationality they had attributed before emancipation. They can avoid this loss if within three years they declare their willingness to retain their nationality. The acquisition of the nationality of Ibero-American countries, Andorra, Philippines, Equatorial Guinea or Portugal is not enough to cause the loss of Spanish nationality.
- Emancipated Spaniards who have another nationality, habitually reside abroad and voluntarily renounce it.
- In the case of Spaniards who were born abroad and are Spanish because they were born to a Spanish father or mother, also born abroad, will lose their Spanish nationality if within three years of emancipation or coming of age they do not declare their will to retain Spanish nationality.
- Spaniards who are not of origin (For example, those who have acquired Spanish nationality by residence) lose their Spanish nationality if:
- After acquiring Spanish nationality they use for a period of three years the nationality they would have renounced when acquiring the Spanish one.
- When they voluntarily enter the service of arms or exercise political office in a foreign state against the express prohibition of the government.
- When a judgment declares that the interested party committed falsehood, concealment or fraud in the acquisition of Spanish nationality.
Place where to make the conservation declaration
- Spanish Consulates abroad perform Civil Registry functions.
RECOVERY OF NATIONALITY
How is nationality regained??
- Once the Spanish nationality is lost, there is the possibility of recovering it( art.. 26 of the Civil Code); for this it will be necessary to meet the following requirements:
- The interested party must be a legal resident in Spain. However, this requirement shall not apply to emigrants or to the children of emigrants. In addition, may be waived from this requirement by the Minister of Justice, when exceptional circumstances occur. (eg: people who have carried out charitable activities in favor of Spanish interests or associations, Order of the Ministry of Justice of 11 July 1991. BOE of 24 July 1991).
- The interested party must declare before the Civil Registry Manager his will to recover Spanish nationality.
- The recovery of nationality must be registered in the Civil Registry.
When is the prior authorization of the Government necessary to recover Spanish nationality??
- It will be necessary the previous authorization of the Government to recover the Spanish nationality, when it had been lost by Spaniards who had not been of origin and the loss had occurred for any of the following reasons:
- Those who for a period of three years use exclusively the nationality to which they had declared to renounce when acquiring Spanish nationality.
- Those who voluntarily enter the service of arms or exercise political office in a foreign State against the express prohibition of the Government.
- When the final judgment declares that the interested party has committed falsehood, concealment or fraud in the acquisition of Spanish nationality.
Place to request the recovery of Spanish nationality
- The presentation of the application must be made in the Civil Registry of your domicile. The Consulates of Spain perform Civil Registry functions.
Obtaining the application
- You can obtain the application in the Civil Registry of your domicile or Consulate.