In this article, we will explain how you can acquire Spanish nationality by option. This is a lesser-known way to obtain nationality wherein, if you maintain family or economic ties with Spain, you can enjoy a much simpler and faster process. 

It is important that you know the requirements you must meet, the procedures to be carried out, and all the key elements that will facilitate obtaining residency through this option without any setbacks – which we will explain in this article. Then, if you believe this path is the best for you, do not hesitate to consult our team of lawyers, we are here to help you and make everything easier for you.

We would be happy to provide you with all the help you need to obtain your Spanish nationality legally and safely. Now, let’s begin. 

What is Spanish Nationality by Option?


The right for Spanish nationality by option arises through a link with Spain, which differs from legal residency. It is a benefit provided for in our legislation for foreigners who meet certain conditions, without the obligation to have previously resided in Spanish territory.

Additionally, the option for Spanish nationality is mainly for minors whose parents are natural Spaniards. 

In the case that the children are of legal age, they will only be able to opt for Spanish nationality if, at the time the parents took the oath, the child was 18 years old. 

In this situation, they will have a period of 2 years to formalize the nationality by option application. 


What are the benefits of obtaining Spanish nationality?


Obtaining Spanish nationality by option opens up numerous opportunities. It grants the child the freedom to live and work in any European Union country, and travel to destinations such as North America or Japan without needing a visa. 

This broadens their horizons and enhances their global mobility. It also makes legal processes a lot more simple. 

Lastly, becoming a Spanish citizen also gives the individual the right to vote in Spain. 


Who can apply for Spanish nationality by option?


Foreigners who meet the following conditions may obtain Spanish nationality through this route:

  • Having parents, grandparents, or at least one of them, who was Spanish and born in Spain
  • Being under the parental authority of a Spanish national or having been in the past
  • Demonstrating that the determination of who their parents are or their birth in Spain occurs after turning 18. The foreigner will have a period of 2 years to submit the application
  • Having been adopted by Spaniards after turning 18. In this case, the deadline for the application will also be 2 years from the date of adoption

Both minors and adults can apply for nationality, as long as their case fits the rules established by law. The following people can submit the application:

  • The legal representative of the interested party, if the person is under 14 years old
  • The interested party themselves, with the assistance of their legal representative, if they are over 14 years old
  • The interested party, if they are emancipated or over 18 years old. It is important to note that this option generally expires when the interested party turns 20 years old
  • The interested person with a disability, meeting the relevant conditions or assistance


What requirements must be met?


There are a series of basic requirements that the person must meet to initiate the application process, which are as follows:

  • The foreign applicant, provided they are over 14 years old, must swear allegiance or make a promise of fidelity to the King and obedience to the Spanish Constitution and laws
  • They must renounce their previous nationality, unless they are nationals of Ibero-American countries, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, or Portugal, or are Sephardic Jews of Spanish origin
  • The acquisition of nationality must be duly registered in the Spanish Civil Registry

The application must be made within the legally established deadlines, as in some cases there is a time limit.


Where can you apply for this?


Understanding where to begin the process of obtaining nationality for your children is crucial and depends largely on their place of residence:

  • If your child lives in Spain, you need to start the application process at the civil registry in your municipality within Spain
  • Conversely, if your child resides abroad, you should initiate the application process at the Spanish consulate in the country where they live

There is, however, an exception to this rule. If your child is under 14 years old, you may have the option to submit the application at your current place of residence as a parent.


What is the process like? 


Parents seeking Spanish nationality for their child must follow a structured process, ensuring the necessary documentation and legal steps are completed. Firstly, they must demonstrate their own Spanish citizenship through the presentation of a valid passport or ID. Additionally, they are required to provide a declaration, signed at a notary, expressing their intention to obtain citizenship for their child.

Subsequently, the child must schedule an appointment at the Spanish consulate, where a series of documents must be submitted: 

  • The child’s passport
  • The child’s birth certificate
    Notarial authorization from the parents
  • Records of migration movements if applicable 
  • If the child is under 18 years old, a power of attorney from the parents
  • Required forms filled-out 

It’s crucial to note that certain documents, such as the birth certificate, need to be legalized or apostilled to authenticate their validity. This step ensures that the documentation meets the legal requirements for obtaining Spanish nationality by option.

Navigating through the process of obtaining Spanish nationality for a child requires meticulous attention to detail and adherence to legal protocols. By fulfilling the necessary requirements and submitting the required documentation, parents can facilitate the acquisition of Spanish citizenship for their child, opening up a range of opportunities and rights within Spain and across international borders.

If you are looking for a professional who can assist you in the application and management of Spanish nationality by option in our immigration offices, you can contact the right person who will advise and inform you about all the procedures.

We will be happy to provide assistance. In addition, we will address any questions you may have about the information provided and your specific case.


Book a consultation with one of our lawyers and we’ll answer all your questions:


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