Have you been living for a while in the Spanish territory? Would you like to live in Spain for a longer period of time? In that case, you will need to apply for the Spanish citizenship, which will allow you to live legally in the country for the long-run. But which are its main benefits? And how to get it? In this post, we will explain how to obtain the Spanish citizenship, step by step. Prepare your pen and paper!
SPANISH CITIZENSHIP OR PERMANENT RESIDENCY?
If you have been living in Spain for several years and would like to stay in the long run, the question regarding which is your best option will surely pop out.
What should I do, apply for the permanent residency or become a Spanish citizen, thus obtaining the Spanish nationality?
Well, the reality is that both options will grant you the possibility to live in Spain indefinitely.
Nevertheless, there are a few differences in regards these two possible paths, and clearly understanding them will be key.
ABOUT THE PERMANENT RESIDENCY IN SPAIN
If you have lived in Spain during 5 uninterrupted years, you can apply for the permanent residency in Spain.
This kind of permit grants to non-Eu citizens the possibility to stay in Spain over the long run.
The conditions under which you will be living in the country are the same as those of the Spanish citizenship; therefore it can be your prefered option, as it is perhaps the easiest one.
What is then the difference with the Spanish nationality?
THE MAIN DOWNSIDE OF OBTAINING THE SPANISH CITIZENSHIP
After 10 years of living in Spain, you can obtain the Spanish nationality, thus becoming a Spanish citizen.
The main downside of using this path in order to obtain the long run residency is that you will need to renounce to your original nationality, in order to get the Spanish one.
There is, nevertheless, an exception to that rule. If you are from Andorra, Portugal, Equatorial Guinea, the Philippines or from a Latin American country, you can obtain your dual nationality; therefore there won’t be any need to give up your original citizenship.
But the Spanish nationality has some positive aspects that the permanent residency does not. Which are those upsides?
BENEFITS OF THE SPANISH NATIONALITY
There are 5 main benefits that you can enjoy while becoming a Spanish citizen:
1. EASIER PAPERWORK
If you apply for the Spanish citizenship, you will have a much easier time navigating the Spanish bureaucracy whenever you need to start any legal process.
2. OBTAINING THE RIGHT TO VOTE
Expats living in Spain for the long run may like to have the option to vote.
3. FREE MOVEMENT
Becoming a Spanish citizen, you will have the right to enter 183 countries with your visa on hand during the arrival.
4. GETTING THE EU PASSPORT
You will also be granted the right to live and work anywhere you want inside the European Union.
5. NO SPAINEXIT
Spanish is not planning to leave the EU any time soon. Therefore, these benefits are not going to change either expire during the upcoming years.
HOW CAN I OBTAIN THE SPANISH NATIONALITY?
Now that you know which are the main benefits of the Spanish citizenship and how that differs with the permanent residency, you may be asking yourself how to actually get the nationality and which are the exact steps that arise with the application process.
There are three main ways in which you can obtain the Spanish nationality: by having lived enough years in the Spanish country, by birth, and by being a Sephardic Jew.
Let’s examine each of the three paths more carefully:
SPANISH CITIZENSHIP BY RESIDENCY
If you having been a legal resident in Spain, you can get the Spanish residency through a process called “naturalization”. How can you obtain the nationality with this method? Staying in the country legally during:
- 10 years, which is the normal timeframe
- 2 years if you are a citizen coming from a Latin American country, from Andorra, Philippines, or Portugal. In those cases, as we have already mentioned, you won’t need to give up your former and original nationality, and you will get the dual citizenship.
- Just 1 year for those married to a Spanish national or children/grandchildren of Spanish citizens born in Spain. If you are going to apply for this kind of residency as a family member of a European Union citizen through the civil partnership, do not hesitate to contact us to speed the process up.
SPANISH CITIZENSHIP BY RIGHT OF BIRTH
If you fall into one of the following circumstances, you can obtain the Spanish Nationality by birth:
- You are born to parents of Spanish origin
- You are the son or daughter of legal foreigners who reside legally in Spain, plus you have been born in the Spanish territory
- Children under the age of 18, adopted by Spanish nationals
SPANISH NATIONALITY FOR SEPHARDIC JEWS
There is a special law for citizens with Jewish origin with ties to the Sephardic community that grants the Spanish citizenship for them, and without the need to stay in the country for any given period.
That means that if you are a descendant of those expelled from the Spanish country in the 15th century, you can have the Spanish nationality, and without the need to renounce to your original citizenship.
If you are a Sephardic jew willing to apply for the Spanish citizenship, you must hurry up, as the law was extended just until October of this 2019. Contact us if you need help determining if you are actually a Sephardic Jew and would like to get the whole process managed for you.
APPLICATION PROCESS FOR THE SPANISH CITIZENSHIP: GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
In order to apply for the Spanish nationality, there are a few documents and requirements you will need to fulfil in order to obtain the citizenship:
- Complete passport
- Residency card
- Birth certificate
- Criminal records
- Marriage certificate (if applicable)
- Current census + historic of it
- DELE A2 certificate (if applicable)
- CCSE certificate
- Prove of your Sephardic origin (if applicable)
- Prove of integration to the Spanish community (like a gym membership card, library, etc.)
And, how to apply for the Spanish nationality?
Once you fill out all the required documents, you will need to submit them online.
The application process will be processed, and you will receive the acceptance or denial in a 2-3 year period.
Once approved, you will need to take an oath to the King of Spain and the constitution, and then your passport (actual document) will be sent.
If you feel this is too much information and would like to have your life simplified, you don’t need to worry, our team of specialized immigration lawyers in Spain is here to help you out.
We can manage the whole application process for you: determining which is the best path for you to follow, asking you the concrete documentation and information you will need to get your application approved, plus filling out and sending everything ourselves. You will just need to sign! What are you waiting for in order to get your Spanish Nationality?