There are several ways to obtain Spanish nationality, depending on the situation of each foreigner.

In this article we are going to briefly explain each way to obtain nationality, so that the interested party identifies with the one that best suits their situation.

The requirements common to all ways of applying for nationality are:

-. Be in Spain legally. The corresponding period begins to compute from the approval of the residence permit (stays do not count: tourists, studies, etc.).

-. Being in Spain continuously, that is, not having been abroad for more than 3 months per year. It is also a requirement to be in Spain continuously, that is, not to leave the country frequently. The authorities carefully review this requirement and count in detail the entries and exits of the country.

-. It is very important to have no criminal record and no records in the police. They also count negatively any type of sanction, including delays in renewing a residence. If you have any criminal record, you can contact us to cancel them.

-. It is necessary to have passed the DELE A2 exam, it is the Cervantes Institute language exam (unless you come from an Ibero-American country or your second nationality is from an Ibero-American country); and the CCSE exam, the sociocultural exam (unless you have passed the E.S.O. or the Bachiller in Spain, or that you do not know how to read or write, or that you have learning problems).


Children of Spanish citizens may have the right to Spanish nationality.

They will also have the right to have it:

a.- Children of foreign parents if, at least, one of them had also been born in Spain.

b.- The children of foreigners who are born in Spain, and are not directly granted a nationality.

c.- Those born in Spain whose affiliation is not determined: minors whose first known place of stay is Spanish territory are presumed to have been born in Spanish territory.


They have the right to opt for Spanish nationality:

a.- People who are or have been subject to the parental authority of a Spaniard.

b.- Minor children of a foreigner who has obtained Spanish nationality by residence.

c.- Those whose father or mother was originally Spanish and born in Spain.

d.- Those adopted of legal age, within a period of 2 years, from the constitution of the adoption.


They have the right to request nationality in this way:

a.- Those people who have been legally and continuously in Spanish territory for 10 years.

b.- Those who are in the country legally and continuously due to exceptional refugee circumstances, may request Spanish nationality in 5 years.

c.- People of Ibero-American or Sephardic origin, and from Philippine, Equatorial Guinea, Portuguese or Andorran, may apply for Spanish nationality within a period of 2 years.

d.- Those born in Spain, married or widowed by Spanish citizens, may apply for nationality within a period of 1 year. Keep in mind that pareja de hecho and divorces do not serve to request it. Also that the marriage must be registered in Spain.


This way of acquiring nationality concerns very specific cases. It is done discretionally, through the Council of Ministers, by Royal Decree and under very exceptional circumstances.


The Law allows requesting Spanish nationality in the event that the nationality has been used incorrectly, in good faith, for a period of 10 years.

The documents needed to apply are:

-. Empadronamiento.

-. Legalized and apostilled birth certificate.

-. Criminal record certificate, apostilled and legalized and, appropriatly, translated by a sworn translator authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

-. Proof of having passed the exams.

-. The NIE or residence (original and photocopy).

-. Full passport (original and photocopy).

-. Taxe 790 code 026, and whose amount is €104.05.

In case of applying for nationality because you are married to a Spanish citizen, you must also provide:

-. Updated Spanish marriage certificate, from the Spanish Civil Registry, which proves that you are married to a Spanish citizen.

-. Birth certificate of the Spanish citizen, proving that he is Spanish.

-. Certificate of joint registration, from the year prior to applying for nationality.

As we already know the different options we have when applying for nationality, we must know that the files are resolved within 1 year, and there are many delays. Once approved, we must request an appointment for the oath (la jura) and then request the National Identification Document (D.N.I.).

The documents needed to make the application are usually valid for 3 months, except for the birth certificate (which does not expire), the criminal record certificate (which lasts 6 months, or the specific date specified in the document itself, such as Cuba or Mexico that are valid for 1 month).

It is very important to have a valid passport, or with proof of renewal.

Advantages of having Spanish nationality:

-. Live indefinitely in Spain, without having to renew any authorization.

-. Leave the country and travel freely, as long as we want, without the risk of losing any authorization.

-. Work and move without any type of restriction in any country of the European Union.

-. We will be able to vote in all Spanish elections.

-. We will be able to navigate through the Spanish bureaucracy, and carry out procedures with the administration without any inconvenience.

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Abogados Extranjería en Alicante