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Spanish Citizenship By Birth

The parents’ nationality of a child born in Spain determines if the child becomes a Spanish citizen by birth.

If you’d like to know more about Spain’s citizenship by birth and how to become a citizen or ask any other questions about Spain citizenship, please get in touch with IAS. You may chat with us online or call us on (+44) 333 4149244.

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    Overview of the Spanish Citizenship by Birth

    The most typical way to become a Spanish citizen is by birth to Spanish parents. A newborn in Spain to foreign parents becomes a citizen of the parents’ country.

    However, there are exceptions to this, where the nationality and constitution of a child’s parents determine the citizenship, especially if both parents are not Spanish.

    In this situation, the parents’ country of origin does not recognise the nationality of children born in other countries. This is the right time for the child to obtain Spanish citizenship.

    Therefore, the procedure that will help the child obtain Spanish nationality is called Nationality by Presumption. Nationality by Presumption helps a child born in Spain to become a citizen by option. It was created in 1997 and regulated by Article 17.6 of the Spanish Civil Code.

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    Who Can Qualify for Spanish Citizenship by Birth?

    Apart from children born in Spain whose parentage could not be determined, there are other things that qualify your child to become a Spanish citizen. They include when the child is born:

    1. By parents who are not EU members.
    2. To an international couple where one of them is from Spain.
    3. By stateless parents.
    4. By non-residents of Spain.

    Child Born by Parents Who Are Not EU Members

    The Spanish law states that your child must live with you or your partner, who is legally residing in the country and then has the right to apply for citizenship.

    However, you should follow the steps below:

    • To get a birth certificate, register your child’s birth in the civil status office at the location from 24 hours to 8 days after childbirth.
    • Register your newborn at the Consulate of the newborn’s country of residence and a passport registration for your newborn.
    • Register a residence permit for one of the parents in Spain.

    Note that it is enough for just one of the parents of the newborn to have Spanish residence. After one year of the newborn’s legal residence in Spain, the resident parent will now apply for the child’s citizenship with their partner’s consent.

    But if the parents of a newborn have not yet applied for the child’s citizenship, the child can apply when he turns 18. However, this type of application is quite difficult because, as an adult, they will require them to pass a language proficiency exam, get a police certificate, etc.

    The exception to this rule is that it doesn’t apply to persons with a Student Visa. So, if both parents are students, they can’t apply for Spanish citizenship for their newborn.

    Born to an International Couple Where One of them is a Spanish Citizen

    In this situation, the parents won’t need to go through the processes mentioned above. Because one of the parents is a Spanish citizen, the child will receive Spanish citizenship upon birth. Besides that, as one of the parents is a Spanish citizen, even if you recorded the facts of your child’s birth outside of Spain, the child can rightfully apply for Spanish nationality.

    Born by Stateless Parents

    If parents of a child born in Spain have lost nationality to their countries, the law states that the child cannot remain stateless. Because of this, the child will be granted Spanish citizenship if the parents request it and prove their child could not get an alternative nationality.

    In this case, you must submit evidence of your place of residence at the local Civil Registry to declare Spanish nationality because you and your spouse are stateless.

    Born to Non-residents of Spain

    The child has the right to obtain citizenship if he stays legally in Spain for one year. Also, if the parents arrived on a tourist visa and decided to have a child in Spain, the child can obtain citizenship after one year of receiving a residence permit. This abides by an accelerated procedure for children born in Spain.

    However, it is essential to consider the nationality laws of the parents’ countries because some countries won’t grant citizenship to children born outside their borders.

    List of Countries that Can Opt for Spanish Citizenship by Birth

    The countries that do not grant nationality to children born outside of their borders include:

    • Argentina
    • Brazil
    • Cape Verde
    • Colombia
    • Costa Rica
    • Cuba
    • Guinea-Bissau
    • Panama
    • Paraguay
    • Peru
    • Portugal
    • Sao Tome and Principe
    • Uruguay

    Both parents of the newborn in Spain could come from one of these countries. Either because they are citizens of the same country, from different countries, or both are on the list.

    In addition, there are some exceptions to understand. These exceptions are:

    • If a Moroccan mother has a child and the father is a citizen of one of these countries listed, and both are not married, the child can apply for Spanish nationality by Presumption.
    • Also the case of Palestinians, however, is a bit more complex depending on the parents’ condition, the Palestine region, etc.

    For more clarifications on this, you may contact our lawyers at IAS.

    Our expert immigration lawyers can assist you with your Spanish Citizenship application. Contact Us

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      Required Documents for Listed Countries

      If you originate from any of the countries listed and want to apply for your child’s Spanish citizenship legally. You will need to provide these documents:

      • Certificate showing that you and your spouse are from any of the listed countries.
      • Document that shows the child has no nationality of any of the parents (Consular certificate).
      • Parents’ city registry in which the child must appear. You can get this from the town hall.
      • Birth certificate of your child legalised in the Spanish embassy or Consulate and coming from the Civil Registry of the country where the child was born.
      • Marriage certificate.
      • Birth certificates of both parents obtained at the Consulate.
      • Passport and copy of the father and mother.
      • Family book, and copy, in which the child appears.

      Required Document for Unlisted Countries

      In situations where parents are not citizens of countries listed above and the law of their countries does not recognise a child born outside their borders. The process of getting nationality for the child is a bit more complex.

      But the way to proceed is to apply for citizenship by residency after one year of living in Spain legally. These are the required documents:

      • Parents should be legal residents of Spain. It is essential because it will help the child apply for residency later on.
      • Parents have to register the child in the Civil Registry. This will help the child get a passport (with the parents’ nationality).
      • Residence permit (as an underage child of legal residents) must be applied for by the parents.
      • Parents will now apply for the child’s Spanish nationality after one year of obtaining the residence permit. With this, the child has the advantage of not taking any exams as an underage.
      Spain flag overlooking buildings

      Eligibility Criteria for Spain Citizenship by Birth

      If you would like to apply for Spanish citizenship for your child, you must meet the following criteria:

      • The newborn has legally stayed in Spain for one year. Usually, from the date the newborn’s birth was registered.
      • The parents must get a passport from one of their countries of origin.
      • A residence permit of one year.
      • The newborn whose parentage could not be determined.

      Find out how we can assist with your Spanish Citizenship application. Learn More

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        How to Apply for the Spanish Citizenship by Birth

        To apply for your child’s Spanish citizenship birth, do the following:

        • Register your child’s birth at the Civil Registry. You can do this at the hospital or a few days later at the Registry Office.
        • Register your child’s birth with the embassy or government of your country and apply for a passport.

        Applying for the Residency

        Once you have all your child’s nationality paperwork, you will need to apply for a residency card for your child with the same process you used to apply when you moved to Spain.

        Therefore, you’ll need to book a prior appointment at the police station to apply for TIE (a foreign identity card).

        The following are the requirements:

        • The child must not be a family member of an EU citizen or EU citizen.
        • Your child must have been born in Spain.
        • One parent must at least have a residence.

        To accomplish this, you will also need the following:

        • Your child’s birth certificate.
        • Your residency documents.
        • Documents (a passport) showing that the child’s birth is registered in your country of origin.
        • Padrón certificate from your town hall.
        • Your marriage certificates and passports.
        • A sworn translator will translate any documents not in Spain or a co-official language like Catalan in full.
        • You will fill out form EX-01 for temporary residence. Or Ex-11 for long-term residency.

        If you are a European citizen, you can apply for a special permit designed for children born in Spain to Spanish residents. Also, you can apply for this at the police station with your child’s birth certificate, nationality document and green residency card.

        It should take about one month for this application to be processed. Afterwards, take your newborn with you to collect their residency card.

        Applying for Your Child Born in Spain After One Year

        After a year of legal residence in Spain, you can apply for Spanish citizenship by obtaining a Judicial Order from the Civil Registry’s Judge to decide for a minor.

        To complete this process, you will provide the following:

        • Your child’s residency card.
        • Your child’s birth certificate.
        • Their passport from your country of origin.
        • Birth certificates and passports of parents.
        • Parents’ residency certificates.
        • Padrón certificate from your town hall.
        • Fee of €102.
        • Your marriage certificate might also be a possible extra requirement.
        Brown and grey building located in Spain.

        How Can IAS Help?

        Spanish citizenship is obtained in different ways. Different procedures are taken in situations where a child is born to foreign parents and to parents where one of them is Spanish.

        As a parent of a newborn in Spain, you might not really know how to obtain Spanish nationality for your newborn. Do not worry, our bespoke experts at IAS will help you.

        Our experts offer various services, including document review, legal research, drafting and legal advice. Our aim is to make the process of acquiring your child’s Spanish citizenship stress-free.

        If you have further questions about Spanish citizenship by birth, our lawyers are always available to answer them. All you need to do is to call us on (+44) 333 4149244 or chat with us online.

        Looking to register yourself or your newborn as a Spanish citizen? Get in touch with us today. Contact us

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