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Spanish Citizenship By Marriage

If you’re seeking Spanish citizenship and you have a partner or spouse who’s already a Spanish citizen, applying for Spanish citizenship by marriage is a realistic and fast-tracked route for you to take.

For all the information you need about securing Spanish citizenship by marriage, including potential eligibility, the application process, and advice that’ll help you get there faster and more efficiently, contact our legal advisers at IAS today. Call us on (+44) 333 4149244, or contact us via our website

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    Gaining Spanish Citizenship Through Marriage

    For people who are in a relationship with a Spanish citizen, gaining citizenship for themselves can be easier than faster than it would otherwise be.

    That’s the reason why applying for Spanish citizenship by marriage is known as a fast-track route to citizenship.

    It is important to understand that you don’t automatically obtain Spanish citizenship simply by marrying a Spanish citizen. That used to be the case but the rules changed in 1975. Even though the process might not be as easy as it once was to obtain citizenship through marriage, it remains one of the best and most accelerated paths that currently exists.

    Why Marrying a Spanish Citizen Makes Obtaining Citizenship Easier

    Despite the rules changing in 1975, it remains that marrying a Spanish citizen makes it easier and faster for you to obtain Spanish citizenship. If you are not married to a Spanish citizen, it can take up to ten years before you qualify for Spanish nationality.

    However, if you are legally married to a Spanish national and have lived together for a year in Spain, you can become a citizen after that year has passed.

    That’s why people often refer to citizenship by marriage as a fast track. As long as you and the person you’re married to have lived in Spain together for one year, you’ll qualify for citizenship.

    There are, however, certain requirements that need to be met before you obtain your citizenship in Spain.

    The Steps Towards Spanish Citizenship By Marriage


    There are some steps you’ll need to go through if you want to apply for Spanish citizenship by marriage.

    Each of the steps below is necessary before you can call yourself a citizen of Spain if you are looking to take a fast-tracked marriage route to citizenship.

    The first thing you have to do if you want to obtain Spanish nationality by marriage is actually get married. Your spouse will need to be a legal Spanish citizen, which they will be if they were born in Spain.

    You can marry in Spain as a tourist even if you don’t have residency or you could wed in your country of origin if you prefer.

    Applying  for Spanish Residency as a Family Member

    Once you’re married, you’ll need to apply for Spanish residency. This is something that is straightforward to do as the partner of a Spanish national.

    If you’re a family member, which includes spouses, of a Spanish citizen, you will qualify for a 5-year work and residency permit.

    You should apply for as soon as possible after your marriage is registered. If you’re an entrepreneur, you might also be able to secure a residence permit on that basis.

    After marriage and obtaining a residency permit, you’ll then need to spend a year living together with your spouse and to live in Spain. You need to show this in order to secure citizenship; it is one of the most important requirements for Spanish citizenship.

    As previously mentioned, this one year of residence in Spain is significantly less than the ten years that might be required if you weren’t married to someone with Spanish citizenship.

    If you’ve met all the requirements already mentioned and you’ve been living with your Spanish spouse in Spain for at least a year, you will be able to submit your citizenship application.

    Wait for the Application to be Processed and Approved

    The Spanish authorities will look at your application and let you know if there are any further documents or information that must be submitted.

    When they have all of the information and documentation they need, they’ll let you know if your application has been approved or refused.

    If your application results in a refusal, you will be entitled to appeal the decision if you feel it was made in error and that you do in fact meet the requirements for citizenship.

    Say ‘Si’ to a lifetime of benefits with Spanish citizenship! Explore your options and start the process now through marriage.

    What Are the Requirements and Necessary Documentation?

    Passing the CCSE and DELE Exams

    In order to gain citizenship in Spain, it’s necessary for you to show that you have sufficient Spanish language skills, as well as an understanding of Spanish culture.

    As such, you have to pass the DELE language exam at A2 level. There’s a series of tasks that comprise this language exam.

    The CCSE exam tests your knowledge of Spanish culture and the Spanish civil code. You must be able to show pass certificates for both as part of your application for citizenship.

    The exam will cover one section on Spanish Government, Law, and Citizenship and another on Spanish Culture, History, and Society.

    For the DELE A2 language test, you must score 60 out of a possible 100 points. The test is split between Reading and Writing Skills, and Speaking skills. You must score at least 30 on each. In total, this test takes 2.5 hours.

    To pass the CCSE exam, you have to score 15 or more out of 25. This test lasts around 45 minutes.

    A Full and Valid Passport

    You will need to show your passport as a form of ID when submitting your application. It should be a full legal passport from your country of origin or the country in which you are currently a citizen.

    Of course, you’ll also need to make sure that the passport is still valid. It is best to make sure there’s still at least a year before it expires.

    Necessary Certificates

    As you’ll be benefiting from being married to a Spanish person as part of your application, you’ll also have to show your marriage certificate.

    Your marriage should be registered in Spain. If the marriage took place in another country, it needs to be recognised and valid in Spain.

    As well as your marriage certificate, the Spanish authorities will also require both you and your partner to present your birth certificates as part of the process of submitting an application to become a citizen.

    Proof of Sufficient Financial Means

    In order to become a citizen in Spain, you must be able to show that you’re able to support yourself financially while living there.

    If you have lived in Spain for a while already, this is relatively easy to do. The Spanish system uses something called IPREM to assess your income, and to qualify for citizenship your IPREM score should be at least 150%.

    IPREM stands for Public Multiple Effects Income Indicator (Indicador Público de Renta de Efectos Múltiples in Spanish). It is a figure that’s calculated each year and acts as the minimum each person must generate in income on a monthly basis.

    For 2023, the figure stands at €600 per month. So for people applying for Spanish citizenship, 150% of the IPREM means that you must be earning €900 per month or more.

    If you can show evidence that you’re earning that much or more each month, the Spanish authorities will be satisfied that you have the financial means needed to support yourself once you become a full Spanish citizen.

    A Valid Residence Permit

    You need to have been living in Spain with your spouse for at least a year before you can become a full citizen.

    As such, it is necessary to have a residence permit. This permit will give you the right to live and work in Spain for five years, so should still be valid if you apply for Spanish citizenship after a year of living in Spain.

    If you delay your application, you will need to make sure that your residence permit is still valid when you apply. If it’s not or it is about to expire, you should renew it before applying.

    Registered Address

    You and your spouse must be living at the same address and registered together at that address at the City Hall in your place of residence.

    This is how the Spanish authorities can see that you have been living together for at least a year since getting married.

    Criminal Background Check

    Anyone looking to get Spanish citizenship must be able to show a criminal background check that shows any past convictions in prior places of residence.

    Application Fee

    To complete the process you must pay the application fee. The amount that you need to pay for the application will depend on your country of origin but it will typically cost around €100.

    Ready to say ‘I do’ to Spanish citizenship? Our team is here to help you navigate the process.

    How Can IAS Help?

    There is strong demand for Spanish residency permits and citizenship, and taking the fast-track route that’s offered by marrying a Spanish citizen is one of the most popular options out there.

    However, not all applications are successful if the relevant steps are not taken. There are certain requirements that need to be met in order to obtain Spanish citizenship by marriage.

    In order to avoid disappointment and to apply for citizenship as quickly and successfully as possible, you will need to make sure each part of the process is completed correctly in accordance with the rules set out by the Spanish authorities.

    Here at IAS, we can assist you with your residency and citizenship applications and everything that comes with it.

    We are professional, experienced, and understanding immigration advisers, and we have lots of experience working with clients to get Spanish citizenship by marriage.

    For more information about our services, how we can assist you with becoming a citizen, and how to make the application, reach out to us at (+44) 333 4149244, or contact us online.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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