Spain offers an excellent climate, affordable healthcare and low cost of living – Spain is undoubtedly an attractive place to reside. Spanish citizenship provides many more rights in Spain than Spanish residency. If your future is intended to be in Spain and you aim to be a Spanish citizen, being aware of the legal position surrounding obtaining Spanish citizenship and residing in Spain is strongly advised to enable you to achieve a smooth trouble-free application.
Here, we answer some common queries related to obtaining Spanish citizenship and subsequent residence in Spain:
Generally, Spain does not permit dual citizenship with another country other than with Iberian countries. If you obtain Spanish citizenship, you will have to renounce your original nationality. There are exceptions, including Spanish-American countries, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea or Portugal. Sephardic Jews and their descendants are also allowed to obtain dual citizenship with their home country. Read our advice page to find out your options for applying for Spanish citizenship.
You are able to apply for Spanish citizenship by descent if you can prove of any of the following:
1. You have at least one parent who is a Spanish national
2. Both your parents were born in Spain
3. You were adopted by Spanish nationals prior to your 18th birthday
4. You have Spanish grandparents
Applications through this route, you will require to be able to show documents that prove your Spanish connections through your Spanish relatives or adoptive by Spanish parents.
If you qualify for Spanish citizenship through descent, you should then take the following steps:
In Spain, there are three types of mortgages available from mortgage brokers:
The maximum term for a Spanish mortgage is between 20 and 30 years. Where possible, banks will tend extend the maximum 20 years. Some banks invoke age limits - for example, the upper age limit for someone applying for a mortgage may be limited to between 60 and 75 years.
Following Brexit on 01 January 2021, the Legal Regime for Foreigners now applies to British citizens, limiting the number of days they can remain in Spain. To enable residence and retirement to Spain there are two visas, the non-lucrative visa and the Golden Visa, that can be applied for that can enable permanent residence in Spain.
Spain’s non-lucrative visa allows non-EU citizens to live in Spain provided they are able to support themselves financially. This non-lucrative visa can be requested by third-country nationals who wish to reside in Spain for longer than 90 days but do not intend to work in Spain. This is a good option for individuals who own property in Spain, wish visit Spain for longer periods of time than 90 days, or are planning a retirement in Spain. Unlike the Golden Visa, there is no investment requirement.
The non-lucrative visa provides the following benefits:
A Golden Visa is an option that is ideal for investors and entrepreneurs who are interested in making substantial investments in Spain or purchasing real estate. Unlike the non-lucrative visa, an investment in property equal or greater in value than €500,000 must be made to qualify for a Golden Visa. The purchase must be free of any financial encumbrances such as a mortgage. Additionally, you must be able to provide evidence that you can meet the running costs of the property together with general living expenses.
Alternative types of investment to obtain a Golden Visa include:
The Golden Visa can be applied for if you already own a house in Spain, meeting the €500,000 threshold of investment, unencumbered by mortgages or any other financial liens. The Golden Visa could be an appropriate option for you if you plan to work in Spain.
There are many ways of applying to become a Spanish citizen, including through descent, naturalisation and marriage. Read our advice page on applying for Spanish citizenship to find out more.
Read our guide to applying for Spanish citizenship through descent to find out what steps you need to take.
Yes, you can apply for Spanish citizenship through marriage. Find out more about how to do this here.
Read our guide to applying for Spanish citizenship to find out what documents you need.
Spain charges a non-refundable fee to process your citizenship application. There may be price variations, and the cost can range from €60-€100, even if your application is rejected.
Read our full guide to applying for Spanish citizenship to find out what documents you will need.