Overview of Spanish Citizenship by Residency
In order to be considered for citizenship in Spain, you will need to provide evidence that you have continuously resided in the country for a period of 10 years.
Simply enter Spain with your residence permit in hand, renew it as necessary, and when the time period necessary for your condition has passed, you will be given citizenship.
All naturalisation routes result in a person’s registration in the Spanish Civil Register. After a person has been registered, they are eligible to apply for a passport and a national identification card under the Spanish government.
- Overview of Spanish Citizenship by Residency
- How Long Does It Take to Get Spanish Citizenship by Residency?
- Who is Eligible to Apply for Spanish Nationality by Residence?
- Requirements to Get Spanish Citizenship by Residency
- Required Documents
- Application Process
- Payment Fee for Spanish Citizenship Application
- How Long Does It Take to Obtain Citizenship by Residency?
- How to Speed Up The Application process?
- Benefits of Having Spanish citizenship
- Reasons Why Your Application Is Rejected
- Is It Possible to Lose Spanish Nationality?
- How Can IAS Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does It Take to Get Spanish Citizenship by Residency?
Any foreigner who has continuously resided in Spain with a valid residence permit for a period of ten years is eligible to apply for Spanish citizenship through the residency route. This is the general norm. This rule applies to everyone who does not qualify for privileged exceptions.
The candidate cannot leave Spain for more than six months in the past 10 years. But, depending on the circumstances, the administration may implement even more stringent time constraints.
However, if you fall into one of the following categories, you may get citizenship in a much shorter amount of time:
- Five years: for people who are refugees.
- Two years: for people who are originally from Portugal, the Philippines, Andorra, any nation in Latin America, or Equatorial Guinea.
- One year:
- For persons born in Spain.
- For individuals who have not utilise their choice to get Spanish nationality by option.
- Persons who have been legally subject to the guardianship (under supervision of a guardian) or foster care of a Spanish citizen or institution for two consecutive years, regardless of whether they are still in this situation at the time of the request.
- Individuals who have been married to a Spanish native. This path to citizenship is referred to as citizenship by marriage.
- Individuals who have lost their spouse who was Spanish and who have not divorced or legally separated at the time of the death of the deceased spouse.
- For persons born outside of Spain to a father or mother, or grandfather, or grandmother provided all were originally Spanish.
Who is Eligible to Apply for Spanish Nationality by Residence?
You can apply for Spanish citizenship by residency with these specific requirements:
- Interested people older than 18 and without dependents.
- Those above the age of 14 are accompanied by their legal guardian.
- The legal guardians of children less than 14 years old.
Requirements to Get Spanish Citizenship by Residency
In order for the years spent to count for the nationality, you must ensure that the following conditions are met:
- You have now reached the maximum number of years that may be spent with a valid residence permit since the moment you received your very first card.
- Those years are spent without interruption. This basically implies that you cannot leave the nation for an extended length of time, nor can you depart often.
- The number of months following the expiration of a tourist visa or a student visa does not count toward citizenship. Those are not considered to be periods of legal residence.
The applicant must also exhibit adequate integration with Spanish culture. This is determined by two distinct citizenship tests:
- You must pass the A2 Spanish language exam if you do not originate from a Spanish-speaking nation.
- Additionally, you must pass the CCSE cultural test. This exam is often taken by any foreigner who has not completed high school in Spain.
Each examination is administered by the Instituto Cervantes.
The last aspect that determines whether or not your application will be granted is your behaviour during the previous several years.
It is essential to act in a responsible manner. The police and your criminal history will be checked by the authorities to determine if there is any contradicting conduct. Getting citations for speeding or renewing your ID late might be detrimental in this situation.
The documents needed to apply for Spanish citizenship by residency are as follows:
- A birth certificate.
- Your NIE number (Foreigner Identity Number) and a current passport. NIE is your identity and tax number in Spain, required for all financial and administrative purposes. You need it to purchase a house, buy a vehicle, hire facilities, pay taxes, acquire a cellphone or utility contract, and make formal claims.
- Proof showing your legal right to live in Spain (usually ten years, unless you are qualified for an exception).
- Evidence of a clean criminal history The authorities will examine your police records to determine if you have a criminal history.
- Evidence proving you are covered by comprehensive health insurance.
- Any marriage and divorce records (if relevant).
- Evidence that you have passed the two language and culture tests: the A2 Spanish language exam (DELE) and the CCSE cultural exam. You will want a certificate to verify this.
- The paper proves that the Euro application cost has been paid.
- If you want your children to have the option of acquiring Spanish citizenship in the future, you also need to submit their birth certificates. If they fail to provide their birth certificates, their adult applications may be denied.
Send a printed copy of your application to the Civil Registry, or you can apply digitally through the Ministry of Justice’s website. You’ll get an answer (approximately) after one year online. The resolution specifies whether or not you were granted citizenship.
After getting a positive answer, you will have a total of 6 months to complete the procedure by taking the oath of loyalty at the notary or on the Civil Registry that corresponds to you based on your “empadronamiento.” Remember that you need to schedule an appointment for it.
You will get specific paperwork on that day so you may go to the police station and ask for your Spanish passport and DNI. Additionally, you can submit your “certificado de concordancia” application on that day.
After submitting your application, you may monitor its progress online using the “cómo va lo mo” site developed by the Spanish Ministry of Justice.
Payment Fee for Spanish Citizenship Application
In any event, the fee has to be paid prior to submitting the application, and the following methods are acceptable:
Payment using the Tax Agency’s payment gateway:
- Through a particular form available on its Electronic Headquarters, as established by the Resolution of the Undersecretariat of Justice dated January 10, 2008.
- The payment will be credited via the proof provided by the AEAT website or via the payment receipt of the bank, provided that it offers the electronic banking service for the payment of the aforementioned fee, which includes the Number of Complete Reference (NRC) and the “Exemplary for Administration” sheet of model 790- code 026.
Other payment methods:
- Payment using electronic banking systems: If you have an open account and an electronic signature to do business with any of the cooperating financial institutions, you may pay through your electronic services. To do this, you must first obtain model 790-code 026 from this site and submit your proof number in the appropriate portion of your online banking system.
- In-person in Spain: You may take the completed Form 790-Code 026 to a financial institution that works with the Tax Agency to pay the debt. The payment will be credited with the mechanical validation or approved signature of the financial company on the “Example for the Administration” copy of form 790-code 026 that must be submitted to the competent administrative body for the processing of the operation, together with the request.
You will need to pay € 102. Special attention should be given to correctly settling the amount of the fee since if it is made for the incorrect amount, the financial institution cannot return or compensate it, and the interested party must establish a record of repayment of unearned income if a refund is requested.
How Long Does It Take to Obtain Citizenship by Residency?
The full procedure, from the beginning to the finish, normally takes 3 years.
Keep in mind that it is totally doable to go out of the country when you are awaiting the conclusion of your issue.
Nevertheless, for most situations, there are a few things you can do to significantly speed up the process, and those things are listed below.
How to Speed Up The Application process?
You may get Spanish nationality in about one and a half years. It is very feasible. And all you have to do is follow one of these two suggestions:
First and foremost, get the application prepared by a lawyer. They have access to a special registry that allows them to process applications significantly quicker.
The second alternative is to apply online. You can apply for Spanish residency without being physically present. The internet is substantially quicker. Once you’ve submitted your application, the government has one year to respond.
If, at the end of that time limit, you have not received a response, you have the option of hiring a lawyer to make an appeal on your behalf. That’s because you received a “denied” application owing to bad administrative silence. You have the right to demand them since there is no reasonable explanation for the situation. They do not have the financial means to go to court, therefore they will hasten to provide their (positive) answer within three to four months.
IAS lawyers can help you to get Spanish citizenship by residency faster. Call us on (+44) 333 4149244.
Benefits of Having Spanish citizenship
Obtaining a permanent residence permit enables you to continue living in Spain while retaining your own nationality and passport.
As a permanent resident of Spain, you will be eligible for the majority of the same benefits as Spanish citizens, provided you meet certain requirements, such as being in the country for the minimum time required by the rules in order to renew your residence or permanent resident status. The other benefits are:
- Easier paperwork
You will have a much simpler time negotiating with the Spanish bureaucracy if you need to start any legal procedure if you apply for Spanish citizenship. This is because you will be a Spanish citizen. This will certainly save up a significant amount of your time.
- Getting the right to vote in Spain
The right to vote is something that may be of interest to foreign nationals who have made Spain their permanent home.
- Free movement
If you have Spanish nationality, you will have the right to visit 183 countries as long as you have your visa with you when you arrive at the airport.
- Acquiring a passport from an EU country
In addition to this, you will be given the freedom to live and work in any member state of the European Union that you choose.
Reasons Why Your Application Is Rejected
The most frequent explanation is when the government discovers that you have a criminal or judicial history.
Another is that you left Spain too often or stayed away from the country for too long during your residence years. This may help others realise that you no longer have any ambition to get citizenship.
The following is a list of some of the most typical explanations for why documents are rejected:
- The papers’ Spanish translation is inadequate.
- The approval of an application will be directly impacted if the proper documentation of Spanish residence is not provided.
- The absence of an NIE for identifying needs.
It is crucial that you start the procedure with all of your documents, identity, and other supporting materials readily accessible.
Being advised by a knowledgeable legal team is highly recommended. The immigration specialists at IAS can assist you at every stage of the procedure and help you avoid having your application denied. Call us on (+44) 333 4149244.
Is It Possible to Lose Spanish Nationality?
It’s also important to remember that once Spanish nationality by residence has been attained, it is completely possible to lose it.
If you relocate outside of Spain and do not go back to Spain within three years, the Spanish embassy will start the withdrawal procedure.
Because of this, it will be crucial to use it as soon as you acquire it and, if that is not feasible, to declare that you wish to preserve it in the same consulate.
Your Spanish nationality process involves more than just papers. It implies great prospects and the opening of doors. Having Spanish citizenship shouldn’t be complicated.
If you’ve spent many hours online researching the legal requirements for your scenario, comparing outdated material on anonymous websites, and wandering aimlessly in bureaucratic language, your quest may end here.
Since more than a decade ago, our attorneys have created a smooth, quick, and stress-free road for our clients. IAS will walk you through the whole procedure so that you can confidently take this significant step in your life, knowing that every detail has been handled by an expert.
Having assisted hundreds of applicants in obtaining Spanish citizenship, our attorneys have the connections and knowledge necessary to make the process absolutely stress-free for you. The IAS team will accompany you every step of the way so you can rest assured that the whole procedure is in the hands of professionals.
For more information about the services we offer and how we can help you with your Spanish test, required documents, or the Spanish citizenship application process, reach out to us on (+44) 333 4149244, or contact us online today.
Last modified on March 15th, 2023 at 3:27 pm
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You can get Spanish nationality after residing in Spain for 10 years.
The process to get Spanish nationality by residency takes approximately 3 years, but you can speed up the process to 18 months.
You are required to have all foreign papers properly translated and legalised via the appropriate consular channels.