Spanish Citizenship by Descent - Spanish Nationality


Table of Contents

Contact VisaConnect's specialist Consultants, and our partner Spanish Immigration and Citizenship Lawyers, in 2024, by phone or complete an online Form on our website or visit us in our offices in Brisbane, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, London, UK and Lisbon, Portugal for advice and assistance with your Spanish Citizenship by Descent application, and supporting documents, as evidence of Nationality of Spain!

Benefits of Spanish Nationality

The advantages and benefits of acquiring Spanish Citizenship and a Spanish Passport are:

  • Live, work and study in Spain and travel in and out of Spain, Visa-free
  • Freedom of Movement across the EU/EFTA area (Visa-Free travel in the EU)
  • Spain joined the European Union on 1 January 1986.
  • Visa-free access to 191 countries around the world, as per the Henley Passport Index, in 2023. The Spanish Passport is currently ranked as the 3rd strongest Passport in the world.
  • Cheap cost of Living. On average, the cost of living in Spain is 114% cheaper than in the UK. The biggest differences in cost are in cost in rent, utilities, and daycare.
  • The Spanish education system is funded by the national and local governments. Primary and secondary schools are compulsory and free for all students aged six to 16 years. There are more than 50 Public Universities in Spain, which generally offer low tuition fees
  • Pass on Spanish EU Citizenship to your children
  • The Spanish healthcare system is ranked among the best in the world. It offers virtually universal healthcare throughout Spain and is mostly paid for by taxpayers through social security
  • Spain has the highest monthly social security contribution rate in the EU, therefore, contributing to the system gives you access to many benefits such as healthcare and maternity leave. To participate in the System, you must obtain a social security number (número de la seguridad social)
  • Visa-free entry to the United States, under the Visa Waiver Program

Spanish Nationality by Option

Acquiring Spanish Nationality by Option is where a person has close family links with Spanish citizens. The following persons are eligible for Spanish Citizenship through an application to the Civil Registers:

  1. 1. Any person who is or has been under the Parental authority of a Spanish national, or whose mother or father was Spanish and born in Spain, or adopted persons aged over 18 years.
  2. 2. Special procedure for acquiring Spanish nationality by option, for the benefit of descendants of Spanish nationals who were exiled during the Spanish Civil War and the dictatorship, as per Law 52/2007 - The Historical Memory Law.
  3. 3. New Special procedure for certain people to qualify for Spanish nationality: those born outside Spain to a father or mother, grandfather or grandmother who were originally Spanish and who, as a result of being forced into exile due to political or ideological reasons, reasons of religious belief, or sexual orientation and identity, lost or renounced their Spanish nationality; sons and daughters born abroad to Spanish women who lost their Spanish nationality by marrying foreigners prior to the entry into force of the 1978 Constitution. This law 20/2022 recognises and extends rights and establishing measures in favour of those who suffered persecution or violence during the Spanish Civil War and the dictatorship.

Nationality by Discretionary Conferral

Nationality is granted at the discretion of the Government, by Royal decree, where there are exceptional circumstances, which includes the following:

  1. 1. Reasons relating to culture, sport, science, solidarity.
  2. 2. Special procedure for granting Spanish nationality by discretionary conferral to Sephardic Jews of Spanish origin, according to Law 12/2015. Therefore, applicants wishing to apply for Spanish Citizenship by Discretionary Conferral must provide documentary evidence of their Sephardic origin and the special connection they now have to Spain.

Nationality of Spain by Residency

Naturalisation requires that the Applicant be resident in Spain for a certain period of time, and meet the following 3 legal conditions:

  • Continuous legal residency immediately prior to the application
  • Good civic behaviour (Criminal record certificate required)
  • Integration in Spanish society. Note that the applicant must pass the tests set by the Instituto Cervantes, which check the applicant’s knowledge and fluency of the Spanish language and constitutional and socio-cultural knowledge of Spain

The legal Residency periods are as follows:

  1. 1. General period - 10 years.
  2. 2. Persons who have Refugee status - 5 years.
  3. 3. Nationals of Latin American countries, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal or persons of Sephardic origin - 2 years.
  4. 4. Persons born in Spanish territory, b) persons who have not duly exercised their right to acquire Spanish nationality by option, c) persons who have been legally placed in the custody, guardianship or foster care of a Spanish citizen or institution for 2 consecutive years, including those still in this situation at the time of application, d) persons who, at the time of application, have been married to a Spanish national for 1 year, with no legal or de facto separation, e) the widow(er) of a Spanish national if, at the time of death of the spouse, there is no legal or de facto separation, f) persons born outside Spain to a father or mother, or grandparent, provided all were originally Spanish - 1 year.

Naturalisation of Spain requirements

In addition to meeting all the Spanish Citizenship requirements listed above, the Applicant must also comply with the following requirements:

  1. 1. Swear an oath or promise of allegiance to the King and obedience to the Spanish Constitution and laws.
  2. 2. Declaration renouncing previous nationality. Howerver, this is not required for nationals of Latin American countries, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal or Sephardic Jews of Spanish origin.
  3. 3. Entry of the Acquisition of Nationality in the Spanish Civil Register.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Do you provide a FREE Citizenship Eligibility Assessment?

No, our specialist and experienced Spanish Consultants and Lawyers provide a paid Citizenship Eligibility Assessment, and the Consultation fee is deducted from the total amount of the process, if the client proceeds with our Citizenship assistance service. 

Do my documents need to be Apostilled?

Yes, your Identity documents and Character certificates need to be Notarised and then Apostilled by the Spanish Embassy or Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is an additional fee. 

What exactly are the services provided by the Spanish Citizenship Lawyers?

  • Analysis of compliance with conditions
  • Documentation preparation
  • Presentation of the nationality application with our lawyer’s digital signature
  • Monitoring during the process, response to requirements, presentation of documents
  • Custody of original documents in our office if necessary
  • Advice for the appointment at the Civil Registry once you get the Spanish citizenship for the JURA

Can I get a Spanish Tax Number (NIF)?

The Spanish Tax Identification Number (NIF) is required for communication with the Tax Agency when the person does not have a Spanish National ID (DNI) or Foreigner Identification Number (NIE). 

The following persons are entitled to obtain a NIF through the Consular Office: 

  • Spanish citizens residing abroad who do not have a DNI and are registered in the Consular Registration Registry (NIF-L)

  • Foreigners residing in the Consular area who do not have a NIE (NIF-M)

  • Legal persons whose registered office is within the Consular area (NIF-N)

What are the Spanish Government application fees?

As at 2024, the Spanish Government fees are currently:

  • Nationality Fee - 104 euros per Application
  • CCSE exam - 85 EUROS (Two chances)
  • DELE A2 - 130 EUROS (One chance)
  • DNI issuance fee at Police office: 12 euros per Application (Once nationality is obtained)
  • Passport issuance fee - 30 euros euros per Application (Once nationality is obtained)

Office Address and Telephone - VisaConnect UK

Contact VisaConnect's Consultants at our London, UK office below:

VisaConnect Immigration Consultants UK
124 City Road

Telephone: (+44) 207 193 2327