After Brexit, free movement within the EU came to an end for British Nationals. This meant that after the 31st of December 2020, those British citizens without an EU residency permit could only spend up to 90 days in every 180 inside the Schengen Area.
For many, this would mean losing a lifestyle they didn’t want to give up and therefore, there has been an increased interest in finding ways to keep living, working, buying property, selling property or travelling within Europe as before. This guide covers everything you need to know about applying for Spanish Citizenship.
Applying for Nationality
As the UK allows dual citizenship, for those that are eligible, applying for nationality in other European countries has become one of the best solutions.
Of course, every country has different rules when it comes to applying for citizenship, although in most, similar criteria apply: ancestry, residency, or marriage.
Countries like Ireland, Portugal, or Italy are known for being relatively less strict in their requirements, but depending on an individual’s personal circumstances, applicants may have a better chance of obtaining an EU passport in other countries.
Obtaining Spanish Nationality
Although Spain isn’t top of the list when it comes to ease of obtaining citizenship, it is a highly desirable location to many and Spanish Nationality might be suitable for those who have a close link with the country.
Obtaining Spanish Nationality would allow the citizen to enjoy free movement, change their domicile, work or travel without limitations within Europe.
Ways to obtain the Spanish Nationality
There are several ways to obtain Spanish citizenship. Procedures and Spanish citizenship requirements vary, and eligibility depends on the specific circumstances of the applicant. Here you can find the most common ones:
Spanish Citizenship by descent
You could opt for this if:
- One of your parents is a Spanish citizen.
- You were born in Spain from parents without Spanish nationality if one of your parents was also born in Spain.
Citizenship by choice
You could opt for this if:
- One of your parents was born in Spain and had Spanish citizenship previously.
This way of acquiring nationality requires the applicant to have legally lived in Spain for a continuous period of 10 years before the petition. There are cases in which the required period of residence can be reduced to a minimum of 1 year, if:
- You were born in Spanish territory
- You were married to a Spanish citizen for at least a year
- You are a widow(/er) of a Spanish citizen
Spanish dual citizenship issues
Unlike the UK, in most cases, Spain doesn’t recognise dual citizenship. The only countries where citizens are allowed to hold another citizenship along with the Spanish one are Latin American countries, and a few others including Portugal, Equatorial Guinea or the Philippines.
Other nationals that want to apply for Spanish citizenship will be required to declare the renouncement of their existing nationality at the time of acquisition of the Spanish one. This process consists of a mere declaration in front of a Spanish civil servant and doesn’t require further proof of the renouncement.
As things stand, although the Spanish Legislation doesn’t require evidence of the renouncement, it states that if the citizen uses their original nationality within three years when dealing with Spain (e.g. using their original citizenship passport to enter to Spain), he/she might face losing their Spanish citizenship.
Contact our Spanish Solicitor today
If you are thinking or looking to apply for Spanish Citizenship, or have any queries regarding the application process itself, contact our Spanish solicitor who will gladly assist you with any Spanish Law Services you require.
Unlike most law firms, Labrums have an experienced Spanish solicitor working in-house. We are completely transparent with our costs; we won’t use legal jargon and we promise to keep you updated throughout the process to ensure it is as stress-free as possible. Call us on 01727 858807, contact us online or book an appointment to see how we can help you.