Spain Explained

A mini guide on Spanish citizenship

Last updated on July 13th, 2020 at 12:55 pm.

Your Spanish citizenship will allow you to remain living in Spain permanently, no more the 90-day rule, no more applications for your residency, no more renewals, no more fear of having your Spanish residency removed.

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And, most importantly, at the end of the process, this will be waiting for you:

  • How to get a Spanish passport
  • Your own Spanish ID with no more expiration dates to be concerned about (just the renewal date)

However, here is the usual question: where do I begin?

Where do I begin?

It is always the same question faced by people applying to follow their dream of living in Spain.

Sometimes is not knowing how to buy property legally.

Other times is the Spanish residency process.

Or how the tax system in Spain works

Not knowing where to start legal procedures is quite common between EU and non-EU citizens.

About the Internet

You could begin your Spanish citizenship journey by searching on the internet

A search on Google, under the heading Spanish citizenship brings up millions of results, still the question remains where to begin as you cannot look at all those sites, and which of those are reliable with up to date information?

Another important question: Is the first site listed the best one? 

Not necessarily.

The very first site is often positioned there because they have paid for that position.  

Other websites are high ranking due to techniques used following Google’s standards.

Neither are guarantees of being useful to you in your search for remaining permanently in Spain.

How to get Spanish citizenship

Becoming a Spanish citizen begins with your being deemed eligible to follow this path, of which there are usually just two main groups (there are more groups, but we’ll cover just the usual ones on this article):

  1. The first group is through residency, you will have had to have held Spanish residency, continuously, for at least 10 years. 

However, there are exceptions, this is reduced to just one year through marriage to a Spanish national, or if you were born in Spain and your parents are foreign nationals. 

Another exception of two years applies to people from South America, Andorra, The Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal or anyone of Sephardic origin.

  1. The second option is for those whose parents are or were Spanish and were born in Spain. Anyone over the age of 18 who has determination of their parentage (establishing, who your parents were), in this case you can apply for Spanish citizenship after two years of residency. Anyone that is adopted by Spaniards after the age of 18, once the adoption period elapses, the right exists for that person to apply for Spanish citizenship.
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Spanish citizenship requirements: the bad news

Obtaining your Spanish citizenship does not occur automatically, there are four stages to obtaining your Spanish citizenship.

  1. Requirements collection

    The first stage is the requirements collection, depending upon which group you belong to, the requirements will alter slightly. For this reason, I strongly advise you not to follow any free sources on the internet, and use a qualified and experienced professional.

  2. Applicatoin

    The second stage is sending your application and all the required documents officially to the Ministry of Justice to be studied.

  3. The official oath

    The third stage, great news for you, your application has been approved and you are required to go through the official oath into becoming a Spanish citizen. This is completed at the registrar’s office in the area of Spain you are living in.

  4. Spanish ID card and Spanish passport

    The fourth stage, and final stage, is when you are issued with your Spanish ID card and Spanish passport.

One final recommendation

My recommendation is not to go for the cheapest option, but the best option. 

The difference between the different fees charged by professionals are usually very small. 

Read up on a few websites, including my own, so you get a general understanding of the procedures involved. 

However, I do strongly advise you not to try to do this yourself as you will quite possibly waste lots of your precious time and money, all this does is eventually delay your becoming a citizen of Spain.

This recommendation also applies for the residency process, Spanish taxes, home purchasing process, etc.

If you decide to go for the cheaper option instead of the best, you might be putting yourself in the hands of the wrong people which could become a painful experience for you. 

So, my advice is to always go for the best option, the best and experienced professionals, not the cheapest.

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David Ruiz is a relocation adviser fully devoted to helping EU and non-EU citizens getting settled in Spain. Click on the link to visit his website:

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