The documents needed to obtain Spanish citizenship by marriage

Securing Spanish citizenship provides lots of opportunities, and it’s an especially desirable status if you’ve married a Spanish national. Marrying a Spanish citizen decreases the time period concerning when you can apply for citizenship via residency. If you are familiar with the documents you need to provide and the steps you need to take, applying for Spanish citizenship can be a straightforward process.

Here, we’ll take a look at how you can apply for Spanish citizenship through marriage, what documents you will need and how to obtain them.

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The benefits of obtaining Spanish citizenship

If you’re living in Spain, visiting or working in Spain regularly or have family with Spanish passports, the benefits of applying for Spanish citizenship will quickly mount up. Firstly, it allows you to fully participate in the country’s democratic process, and you’ll be able to vote in elections. Holding a Spanish passport will also be helpful when it comes to travelling in the European Union as you will be able to live and work anywhere inside it.

couple walking along the beach

What are the requirements for applying for Spanish citizenship through marriage?

In order to apply for Spanish citizenship through marriage, you’ll need to have resided with your spouse for a minimum of one year in Spanish territory. You’ll also need to have a residency permit as the family member of a citizen of the European Union, and you’ll also have to take and pass the CCSE and DELE exams.

You can read our guide to preparing for the CCSE and DELE exams here.

The documents you need

You’ll have to provide numerous documents in order to progress your application for Spanish citizenship.

First of all, you’ll have to produce your birth certificate, and your spouse will also have to provide theirs. Your passport will also be requested, along with your marriage certificate. You’ll also be subjected to a criminal background check, with a certificate issued by your home country required. You may also have to provide proof of legal residency in Spain via a tenancy agreement, for example, and evidence of health insurance.

In addition to these documents, you will also have to demonstrate that you have sufficient financial means to support yourself. These funds may come from employment in the form of a salary, or from a pension, as well as moveable or immovable assets. It is worth noting that if you are an entrepreneur or have a significant amount of funds to invest in Spain, different immigration routes may be open to you, and it would be prudent to use a professional legal service, such as Giambrone, to explore this.

In some, but not all cases, you will also have to procure a residency certificate from the Spanish consulate.

Somewhat more abstractly, applicants must also be able to prove they have proficient knowledge of Spanish culture and are well integrated into Spanish society. As previously mentioned, Spanish authorities also require proof of a certain level of fluency in the Spanish language. You will be required to provide a document that proves you have passed the CCSE and DELE tests. You can find out more about how to prepare for these tests here.

An expert immigration service will be able to advise you on what supporting documents can help show you are integrated into Spanish society, for example, evidence of a library card or a gym membership might be a helpful addition.

It is also worth bearing in mind that, if you and your partner got married in a county other than Spain, you would have to register the marriage once you arrive back in Spain.

Why can documents for Spanish citizenship be rejected?

If your documents are not correct or acceptable, they will be rejected. Some common explanations for documents not being accepted include the submission of copies rather than original documents (where original documents are requested), the omission of key vital information and failure to facilitate the translation of documents into Spanish when required. Fiscal documents that fail to demonstrate sufficient regular monetary incomings may also be rejected.

How much does the application cost?

The application fee charged is non-refundable, and the price can be up to €100. However, it is likely you will encounter other fees for sourcing documents, and the exams you must take will also add to the costs of your application. Many people seek assistance when applying for Spanish citizenship in order to have the process clarified and to ensure that all their documents are collated and submitted correctly. At Giambrone, we are experts in the rules in this area, so if you are struggling with an application, arrange a call with us today.

Using a professional immigration service like Giambrone to assist with your citizenship application will minimise the chance of rejection and ensure any legal advice you require is at your fingertips. Giambrone can also provide you with multilingual experts who can help you in either English or Spanish. Find out more about how we can help you here.

Frequently asked questions

What steps do you need to take before applying for Spanish citizenship?

You need to hold a residence permit, and you need to think about what route you intend to use to apply for citizenship, for example, by residency, marriage or descent. You will also need to collect all the necessary paperwork.

How long does it take to get residency in Spain?

Permanent residence in Spain can be sought after living in the country for five years.

However, the whole application process can take several years. It’s a good idea to employ a legal adviser who can help to try and expedite your case.

How long does it take to get Spanish citizenship through marriage?

You will need to have lived with your spouse in a Spanish territory for a year in order to apply for Spanish citizenship.

Should you apply for permanent residency or Spanish citizenship?

The Spanish government doesn’t allow for dual citizenship for many countries, so it is worth bearing in mind that if you apply for residency then you can retain your original nationality, but if you apply for Spanish citizenship, this replaces your birth nationality. Spanish citizenship provides you with many more benefits than permanent Spanish residency, such as the right to vote in Spain.

What are the requirements for gaining Spanish nationality by residency?

You must have legally resided in Spain for ten years and have no criminal record. You must also have passed the A2 Spanish language test (DELE), and the cultural exam called the CCSE.

Related content

How to apply for Spanish citizenship through marriage

How to obtain Spanish citizenship through descent