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How to get a Spanish citizenship?

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How to get a Spanish citizenship?

Ultimate Guide to Getting a Spanish citizenship 2023

How to get a Spanish citizenship? Everyone wants to know that, because Spain is one of the best European countries. Spain, located on the Iberian Peninsula, is a member of the European Union, the Eurozone, and the Schengen Area. Spain is also a member of the United Nations, NATO, and the OECD. It is a country with the 13th largest nominal GDP in the world and the highest living standards, with the tenth highest quality of life index ranking in the world.

It is no surprise that Spain is third in popularity among tourists. Each region is unique and has its own character. This is due to the influence of the distinct kingdoms that once ruled them. Many foreigners have the opportunity to live in Spain with a residence permit. However, it comes with its drawbacks: such as the requirement to renew every two years or the inability to work in other EU countries. Spanish Citizenship may be the answer.

How to get a Spanish passport in UK? When we refer to Spanish citizenship, we mean the legal status of those born in Spain or foreigners who meet certain requirements. This status translates into many rights. It allows you to work and live in any European country except Spain. You can also vote, and, most importantly, you can live indefinitely on the Spanish territory. Although the easiest way to become a Spanish citizen is to be from Spain, it’s possible for a foreigner also to get this passport. There are four ways to obtain Spanish citizenship. It is crucial to choose the right one for you.

What are the benefits of Spanish citizenship?

It is easier to obtain Spanish citizenship than to apply for a visa to travel to Spain. This is because a visa can only be valid for a short time, and you will need to reapply, pay fees, and go through the process again each time your visa expires. Citizenship is a single application that can be renewed for life. Everyone wants to know about the benefits of Spanish citizenship.

These are the benefits of becoming a Spanish citizen:

It’s easier to travel

You and your family will find travel less stressful, especially if you regularly travel to and from Spain. A Spanish ID card will be sent to you that can fit in your wallet. These are the things you will need to keep in mind each time you travel. Instead of passports, permit papers, and the like,

Documentation is cheaper

For an application for Spanish citizenship, the fees are EUR60-EUR100 at first. Then you will need to pay EUR11-EUR26 annually to renew your passport or ID card. An annual fee is charged for a non-lucrative residence visa, a work visa, or a visa comparable to citizenship.

The right to vote

The right to vote in your country of residence is important for most people, whether they are native-born or not. You can vote in Spain by becoming a Spanish citizen.

But how to get a Spanish citizenship? There are three main ways for you to obtain one. Let’s look at each one of them.

How to obtain Spanish citizenship by DNA

If your DNA shows Spanish descent and you can prove one of your parents or grandparents was of Spanish origin, you may apply for Spanish citizenship and get fast-tracked naturalization.

Normally, naturalization to Spanish citizenship requires ten years of continuous residence and renunciation or any other citizenship. You can apply for naturalization through the Spanish Citizenship By Ancestry stream after just 1 or 2 years of continuous residence in Spain. The Spanish authorities have relaxed their requirements regarding physical presence for applicants through the ancestry stream. The Spanish authorities have relaxed their requirements for physical presence. You can travel to Spain every three months, and you are allowed to stay only a few days per year if you wish.

Before visiting Spain, make sure to check new travel regulations. After 2025 visiting Spain it is not going to be as easy as it used to be. The requirements needed to travel to Spain will change from 2025. Anyone visiting the Schengen region from visa-exempt countries will need to fill out an ETIAS application form. For more information about ETIAS travel check out our Requirements Page.

Naturalization after 1 Year:

  • Spanish-born persons
  • If the widower or widow of a Spanish national is not legally or factually separated at the time of their death,
  • If they were born to a Spanish mother, father, grandfather, or grandmother (also from Spain), these people can be considered Spanish.

Naturalization After 2 Years

For persons of Sephardic or nationals of the below countries:

  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico (U.S. Commonwealth)
  • Spain
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

How to obtain Spanish citizenship by residency

One of the ways to obtain Spanish citizenship is through the Spanish nationality via residency. It is the one that you are allowed to claim simply because you have been legally resident in the country for enough time.

This type is easier to obtain than other nationality procedures. Only you need to live in Spain with your Spanish residence permit for the required time before becoming a citizen of the country.

According to the general rule, any foreigner who has resided in Spain for 10 years without interruption and holds a valid residence permit will be granted Spanish citizenship by residence.

However, there are some exceptions and situations where you can obtain nationality much quicker:

For citizenship, you do not need to reside in Spain for one year if you are married to a Spanish citizen. This is called marriage citizenship. You can read more about the requirements here.

For those from Portugal, the Philippines, Andorra, or any other Latin American country or Equatorial Guinea, it is only 2 years.

The required time to become a refugee is five years.

It is important to understand these timings and not miss a single day. This could result in your application for nationality being rejected.

New travel regulations

Approved by the European Union in 2018, The European Travel and Information Authorization System (ETIAS) intends to pre-screen visa-exempt “Third Country” Nationals prior traveling to the EU. Therefore, ETIAS is a travel authorization system coming into force from November 2025. It will be mandatory for every non-EU national who don’t need visa to travel to Europe.

The main objectives of the system are to strengthen the safety of the EU’s External Borders and prevent Security, Epidemic and Irregular Migration Risks.

How to obtain Spanish citizenship by descent

How to get a Spanish citizenship? For Spanish Citizenship by Descent, you can apply in one of three categories:

  1. Spanish by birth: If one of your parents was born in Spain, you could apply for Spanish citizenship.
  2. You can apply for fast-track naturalization within one year if your grandparent was a Spanish citizen or Spanish-born parent.
  3. You can apply for naturalization in a matter of days if you are a citizen of Ibero-American countries, Andorra, Equatorial Guinea, or Portugal.

You can get your identification done at the nearest Spanish consulate if you fall into category 1.

Spanish citizenship requirements

How to get a Spanish citizenship? By fulfilling the requirements, of course!

Each applicant must provide documentation, including those for children. These are the Spanish citizenship requirements:

  • Original passport valid for at most one year and two blank pages to apply for visa.
  • Two original passport-size photos
  • Evidence of valid medical insurance: private contract with an insurance company licensed in Spain.
  • Medical certificate: Original and photocopy, original translator, and photocopy (if necessary): This document must not be issued more than 90 days prior to your appointment date. It must also include letterhead, signature, and stamp from a physician (only M.D. D.O.s or original photocopies will not be accepted.
  • A certified copy of the criminal records certificate for the last five years from your country of birth. The certificate must not have been issued more than 90 days prior to your submitting your application. It must also be valid for three months from the date of issue. The Spanish Consulate/Embassy must legalize the certificate in that country.
  • Original excerpt from Birth record or a certified copy must be translated into Spanish or English. The translation must be certified by Spanish Consulate in the country of issuance.

Only the primary applicant is required to provide the following documents:

  • Proof of income or Proof of personal company – A document that proves the applicant’s address, type of work, and annual income.
  • Official English or Spanish Translation and Legalized by the Spanish Consulate in your Country of Residence
    Last 12 Months Bank Statements.

Only married couples are required to submit documents together.

  • Original excerpt from marriage record or a certified copy must be translated into Spanish or English. The translation must be certified by Spanish Consulate in the country of issuance.
  • A certified copy of the divorce certificate must first be translated into Spanish or English by an official translator. The translation must then be certified by the Spanish Consulate in Spain.

Spanish Citizenship FAQs

What is the fastest way to become a Spanish citizen?

The easiest way of getting Spanish nationality is by applying via residency. After 2,5 or 10 years of living in Spain with your residency permit, you can easily get Citizenship by residency.

How much does it cost to buy Spanish citizenship?

The fees for obtaining Spanish citizenship are currently between EUR60 and EUR100 at the time of writing. Additional documentation may require additional fees. No matter how successful your application is, application fees cannot be refunded.

Who qualifies for Spanish citizenship?

The eligibility for a passport is dependent on obtaining Spanish citizenship. You can apply for permanent residence after you have been living in Spain for at least five years. You can apply for Spanish citizenship and a Spanish passport after ten years. There are some exceptions that allow you to apply for Spanish citizenship and a Spanish passport sooner than others if you marry a Spanish citizen or the children of Spanish parents.

Is there a Spanish citizenship test?

Yes, there are lot of tools that can prove their Spanish citizenship eligibility. One of them is the CCSE and the DELE test. Some are language-related, proving you can speak Spanish as a mother tongue. Others are based on whether you have Spanish citizenship by descent great grand parent or parent to prove your descent.

Can I get residency in Spain if I buy a house?

Yes. You can obtain residency in Spain by purchasing a property. This is possible thanks to the golden visa program. Non-EU citizens can now obtain a residence permit for 2 years (it is renewable once the property is more than EUR 500.000) if they purchase property on Spanish territory.

How to get a Spanish citizenship if one has another citizenship?

The Spanish Civil Code allows dual citizenship but only in certain situations. For example, you must give up your previous citizenship if you get Spanish nationality by residence. However, there is an exception: individuals from Ibero-American countries (former Spanish colonies), Equatorial Guinea, the Philippines, and Portugal can retain their original and Spanish nationalities. For example, if you have a British passport, you will need to give up your British citizenship to get the Spanish one.

*Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica are not Ibero-American nations for this purpose. Puerto Rico is.