You meet all the requirements. You have prepared all the necessary documentation. After gathering everything, you submit your application for Spanish nationality. Now the only thing that is left to do is to wait. But for how long?
Enough time for your file to successfully go through the different application phases.
And in this post you will discover which are those different stages or statutes in which your Spanish nationality file can be found, how long each stage takes, and all the actions that are required by your side in each one to continue advancing with the process.
What are the possible statuses or stages of my citizenship file?
Once you have submitted your application, you can monitor the status of your application through the online platform called “cómo va lo mío” completely for free.
Although it is not 100% real-time, your information will be updated quite fast, and that will let you know how much time is left until you are finally granted citizenship.
So, what are each of the phases your file will go through and what does each one actually mean?
Waiting to be admitted for processing (“A la espera de ser admitido a trámtie”)
Once you have uploaded all the documents through the electronic headquarters of the Ministry of Justice, you will automatically be assigned a registration number (something that did not happen when filing through the Civil Registry, making the process slower, especially in this initial phase).
And just then your file will enter this phase called “a la espera de ser admitido a trámite”; which does not mean that the Administration has received your application yet, simply that you have successfully uploaded the documents.
Open – Registered (“Abierto – Registrado”)
Once your file has been submitted and received by the Ministry of Justice, you will see “abierto – registrado” as the current status.
This only means that the information has been submitted correctly and has reached the authorities, but has not yet started to be processed and analyzed.
Nevertheless, this is a good indicator: everything is correct and ready to be processed.
Open – In process. Pending request for reports (“Pendiente de solicitud de informes”)
At this point, the administration has already started working on your file.
One of the initial phases of the nationality resolution process consists of verifying that you do indeed meet all the requirements.
That is to say, the Ministry of Justice must ensure that you do not have criminal records, that you have complied with the required years of residence in the country, etc.
For all this, the Ministry of Justice contacts different institutions to verify these requirements, such as:
- The CNI (national center of intelligence in Spain)
- The Cervantes Institute (where the nationality exams are held)
- The Interior Ministry
- The Registry of Convicts and Rebels
All this verification information requested from each of these institutions is called official reports (“informes prececptivos oficiales”), and they contain all your personal data.
Thus, this is the stage prior to requesting this documentation.
Open – In process. Pending reports response (“Pendiente de respuesta de informes”)
Once these reports are requested, your file will transition into this phase.
Here the Ministry informs you that it has requested these reports, and is waiting for each institution to send them so they can be reviewed in detail.
In other words, it has simply asked for everything it needs, but has not received anything yet.
Your file could spend a considerable amount of time in this phase, since it depends on many different institutions, which must prepare all the information and send it to the corresponding public workers.
So our recommendation is to be patient if it takes longer than usual (although it is also true that many applications will pass this phase quickly).
Do you have any doubts so far? If that is the case, ask us anything here:
In qualification or being studied (“En calificación o en estudio”)
Once the CNI, the Ministry of Interior, and the remaining institutions send the required reports, your file will be complete of documents.
In other words, the Ministry of Justice is already in possession of the documents it needs to evaluate your application and finally issue a response.
And that is exactly what happens at this stage.
A public officer will review all your documentation and evaluate your file (either favorably, unfavorably, or initiate a requirement if anything is missing).
Based on that:
- The file will be “in study” if the reports are being analyzed
- It will be “in qualification” if they have already been analyzed and a verdict is being issued
However, keep in mind that it is possible that a file that was in this advanced stage for some time, will go back to the previous stage.
This is normal and has happened on certain occasions, but you should not worry as it is completely normal. It will delay the process for some extra weeks, but it is not a negative indicator at all.
Pending request (“pendiente de requerimiento”)
Not all files will go through this stage, as many skip it and go straight to the last part of the process (to know if citizenship has been granted or not). So it is likely that this status won’t be necessary in your particular case.
Here the Ministry of Justice has detected that some document is missing, that there is some error, or that it has doubts about certain information.
It will be then when the Administration initiates a request, which will be sent to you by mail, or that you will be able to check in your online “carpeta ciudadana”.
This type of requests are demands from the Ministry in charge so that you provide extra (or missing) information to complete your file.
In the notification that you will receive, you will clearly see all the documentation you must provide, hence the process is quite straightforward.
However, you must be very attentive to the possible arrival of this request, since you have a period of 90 days to answer and provide what is missing.
This is the only phase in the whole citizenship process in which you will have to take some action (in the other ones you must simply wait).
In process. Requested: documentation provided (“documentación aportada“)
After answering the request by providing all the extra documentation that was asked, your file will move to this “documentación aportada” phase within the request process.
That is, once the Administration receives the corresponding documents, they will update the status of your application confirming that everything arrived correctly, although it has not been analyzed yet.
Open – In process. Request for infromation from the Administration (“Requerimiento de Informaicón de la Administración”)
Very similar to the information request stage, but this phase of the Spanish nationality file is different in the sense that you actually don’t need to do anything.
Here the Ministry of Justice also needs extra information, but in this case it requests it internally from other departments of the Administration.
In other words, it is similar to the previous phase since extra information that is necessary to evaluate your application is requested, but since it is requested internally you do not have to provide anything personally.
Resolved favorably – Granted (“Resuelto favorable”)
Finally, the status that gives foreignerners the most joy when reviewing their application: granted.
If you see this status in “cómo va lo mío”, it means that you have been granted nationality, and if you have not done so yet, you will receive a notification confirming this resolution shortly.
Once you receive that notification, you will have 180 days to get your appointment for the oath of allegiance (“jura de bandera” in Spanish), at the Civil Registry or before a notary.
Denied (“Resuelto denegado”)
On the other hand, you may find “resuelto denegado” as a status.
Unfortunately, this will mean that you do not meet the necessary requirements and your citizenship application has been rejected.
But the process does not have to end here, as you still have some options.
If you do not agree with the decision, you can always file an appeal for reconsideration or an administrative appeal to dispute the decision of the Ministry of Justice.
In these cases, we recommend that you contact a lawyer to help you prepare the appeal effectively.
Archived file (“Expediente archivado”)
Many nationality files are under this status.
This status appears whenever the Administration has initiated a request for additional information, but after a certain period of time you have not provided it.
Thus, the Ministry of Justice understands that if you have not provided these documents it is because you do not want to continue with the process, hence the file is archived.
But you should not be confused: this is not the same as a denied application, since here there is a clear solution.
Obviously, if it is a voluntary archive (i.e. you do not really want to continue with the process), you don’t need to take any extra steps.
But if you are interested in continuing with the application and finally get citizenship, then you will have to legally appeal (the type of appeals depends on whether you are an EU or non-EU citizen).
How long does each phase take?
In our blog we try to provide as much legal information as possible on immigration and nationality issues (and for free), so here we would also love to inform you about the exact times that each phase will take.
But unfortunately, we can’t.
Because defining exact times is quite an impossible task.
Each file is a completely different world, and not only because of the situation of the foreigner who applies for citizenship, but also because of how each file is processed.
At our office, we see files that in just a few months successfully go through all phases and are granted, while others are stuck in one single phase for years.
The exact moment in which you submitted your application, whether you have done so online or not, and other unpredictable factors will influence the total waiting time, so the only thing we can offer is patience and compliance with each and every one of the requirements before submitting your documents.
If you would like to make sure that your application meets all the requirements to enjoy a successful fast-track application, our team of lawyers is at your complete disposal: