Obtaining Spanish citizenship requires passing two important exams: the CCSE and the DELE A2. Two exams that allow the foreigner to demonstrate that she is sufficiently rooted in Spain to become a citizen.
However, in certain cases, the foreigner/applicant has the possibility of NOT having to take these exams, and the different assumptions that do allow for that exemption, as well as how to avoid taking these tests step by step, is what we will see in detail in this post.
Below you can find what the waiver of the Spanish nationality exam is, who exactly can apply for it, and how to do it (including the application form that you can download from this post).
Who is exempt from taking the Spanish citizenship exam?
Any foreigner applying for Spanish nationality must take and pass two exams:
- The DELE A2 (or language exam), as long as in your country of origin the official language is not Spanish
- The CCSE, sociocultural exam
Although this is a key requirement and of great importance, there are different groups of foreigners who are exempt from taking the exam and can therefore request the so-called nationality exam waiver.
These foreigners can be classified into three different groups:
People who cannot read or write
Nowadays there are still people coming from countries where education levels are (or have been) very low, and therefore do not have enough reading and writing skills to be able to take an exam.
This is usually a situation that only occurs in older people (over 70).
In these cases, the foreigner is usually partially exempt from the exam.
That is to say, many times the Ministry of Justice approves not complete dispensations so that the illiterate applicant must continue to take the exam, but partial waivers in which the foreigner still takes the exam but orally or through any other format adapted to his or her abilities.
Persons with disabilities, disorders, or learning difficulties
On the other hand, there are people with certain disabilities or disorders that prevent them from taking the test in the usual way.
We are talking, for example, about blind people, people with hearing difficulties, or those with a disorder related to their attention or learning ability that may prevent them from taking the test ordinarily (dyslexia or dysgraphia).
This disability must be at least 65% to prevent them from taking the exam.
In these cases, we also usually find partial waivers (we find oral exams, exams taken with an assistant, exams of longer duration, etc.).
In any case, whether a partial waiver is granted or not will depend on the criteria of the Ministry of Justice (subjectively).
Foreigners who have studied in Spain
The third group of exempt persons is formed by those who studied ESO (Compulsory Secondary Education) in Spain.
It is important to emphasize this point: to avoid the exams in this case you must have completed the ESO in Spanish territory (exchanged diplomas obtained in centers located abroad are not valid), and to be able to request the exemption you must have successfully completed it by passing all the subjects.
On the other hand, you are also exempt from these exams as long as you have not completed ESO in Spain, but have successfully completed another type of higher education. We are talking about Bachillerato (high school), professional training (intermediate or higher), or a university degree in Spain.
In this third case or group, it will NOT be necessary to request a waiver, as simply attaching the educational qualifications will be sufficient to avoid having to take the exams.
How to apply for a waiver of the nationality exam?
If you are in the first or second case that we have seen in the previous section, you must apply for a waiver (what in Spanish is called “dispensa del examen de nacionalidad”).
You can submit your waiver application in three different ways:
- Through the Electronic Registry set up by the Ministry of Justice, which you can access here
- In any Public Registry of Government Delegation or Subdelegation of Government
- By postal mail
There is something crucial to bear in mind in these cases.
The dispensation of nationality is something discretionary of the Ministry of Justice. That is to say, they will carry out an analysis of the particular situation and based on their verdict the dispensation will be granted or not.
Thus, this process until receiving a response may take a few months (we are talking about half a year on average).
When you receive an answer, it is very possible that you will still have to take the exams (although adapted to your situation), or not at all.
Whatever the resolution, it will not be until you get your full waiver or you have partially completed the exams that you will finally be able to submit your citizenship application.
If you have completed your studies in Spain, it is NOT necessary to apply for a waiver. In the following section we tell you how to prepare your dossier in these cases.
To submit the application for your waiver, you will need to provide:
- Identity document: (DNI, NIF, or NIE).
- In case a third party makes the application for you, power of attorney or power of representation
And, depending on your situation:
- Disability certificate or medical report that proves the inability to perform the exam
- Birth certificate in case you are over 70 years old
- Notarial certificate attesting that the applicant does not know how to read or write
Nationality exam waiver form in pdf
Finally, please note that it is important to download, complete and attach the citizenship test waiver form:
Download here the dispensation nationality examination in pdf
How does it work in practice within your nationality file?
If you are exempt from the nationality exam, how should you prepare your citizenship application correctly?
Well, there is a difference depending on the reason why you do not have to take the exam.
If you have studied in Spain, you are in the most bureaucratically agile case.
When you attach all the required documents, you will come to a section where you should provide the results of the DELE A2 and CCSE exams.
It will be in this part where, instead of attaching these test results, you will include your ESO or Bachillerato diploma.
On the other hand, if you are in any of the other 2 cases (you do not know how to read or write or have learning difficulties), you will have to apply for a waiver BEFORE submitting your file, which may take a few months.
Do you have any doubts about your immigration or citizenship application? Our lawyers are at your complete disposal: