Spanish Citizenship and Visa Applications

Nationality is defined by the Royal Spanish Academy as the legal bond of a person with a State, which attributes the condition of a citizen of that State.

In Spain citizenship can be acquired in several different ways depending on your circumstances and requirements.

  • Nationality by Democratic Memory Law;
  • Nationality by Option;
  • Nationality by Residence;
  • Nationality by Naturalization Card;
  • Nationality by State Possession;

Nationality by Democratic Memory Law offers a limited window of opportunity for individuals to apply for Spanish citizenship. The law is designed to allow those who are children or grandchildren of Spanish-born nationals to apply for Citizenship. It is imperative to understand that you now only have one year to submit your application before time runs out and you will no longer have the opportunity to apply for your Spanish Citizenship.

To help you determine if you are eligible for Spanish citizenship under the Democratic Memory Law, we have created a brief test. 

Check Your Eligibility

Nationality by Option is a benefit that the Spanish legislation offers to foreigners under certain conditions so that they acquire Spanish citizenship..

An individual can apply for Spanish citizenship by Option in the following ways:

  • Individuals who are or have been subject to the parental authority of a Spanish citizen.
  • Individuals whose father or mother are Spanish and they were subsequently born in Spain.
  • Individuals determination of filiation (establishing who are the parents of a person) or birth in Spain established after the age of 18 years of age. In this case, the period of time after which an application can be made is two years from the date of filiation or birth.
  • Individuals whose adoption by Spanish nationals occurred after the age of 18 years. In this case, the right to citizenship by option exists until the expiration of two years from the date of adoption.

Nationality by Residence, which is one of the most common ways to acquire Spanish nationality, and is obtained through residency in Spanish territory for ten years, during which time the individual must reside in the Spanish territory legally and continuously prior to the application for citzenship..

However, there are some exceptions where shorter periods are permitted:

  • Five years for people who have refugee status.
  • Two years: for those who have the nationality of Ibero-American countries such as Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal or people of Sephardic origin.
  • One year for those who:        
    • Were born in Spanish territory
    • Were born outside the Spanish territory even if their parents were also born outside Spain and grandparents, provided that all of them were originally of Spanish extraction.
    • Are the widow or widower of a Spanish person, if at the time of the death of the spouse, they were not separated, de facto or legally.
    • Have been married for one year to a Spanish citizen, providing they are not legally or de facto separated.
    • Have been legally subject to the guardianship (under the supervision of a guardian), or foster care of a Spanish citizen or institution for two consecutive years, even if they remain in this situation at the time of the request
    • Have not exercised their right to acquire Spanish nationality by option.

In all these cases it is always a provision that the applicant has no criminal record and has a sufficient degree of integration into Spanish society.

Nationality by Naturalization Card is acquired in a particular way because in this case, the general rules of administrative procedure do not apply. This nationality is granted by the Spanish Government in a discretionary manner and is accessed by exceptional circumstances.

 Once you have acquired Spanish nationality by residence, by letter of naturalization or by the option you must:

  • providing you are older than 14 years and able to make such a declaration, swear or pledge loyalty to the Monarch and obedience to the Constitution and the laws.
  • declare that you renounce your previous nationality, except if you hold the nationality of an Ibero-American country: Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea or Portugal.

Nationality by State Possession can be acquired by individuals who have had this nationality for ten years continuously, in good faith, and based on a registered title in the civil registry. It is necessary that the subject has conducted themselves as if they have the nationality, enjoying the rights, and fulfilling their duties to the authorities of the Spanish State.

Visa Applications 

Giambrone's expert immigration lawyers are highly experienced in dealing with Spanish Visa applications and provide full support and guidance to ensure that your application is compliant and that there are no omissions that will result in rejection.

We assist in a wide range of visa applications that address the individual circumstances of each applicant.

Non-Lucrative Residency Visa 

This Visa can be requested by third-country nationals who wish to reside in Spain in retirement and do not engage in any work or professional activities. This is the best option for individuals who own property in Spain, and wish to retire to Spain as well as non-working individuals who would like to reside in Spain longer than 90 days, often choosing to enjoy the summer months in Spain,

The first permit is for ONE year period, renewals after this are for a period of TWO years until you meet the five years residency requirement to apply for Permanent Residency. 

Renewals are easily undertaken directly in Spain and can be converted into a Working Visa, if required, upon completion of the first-year validity, and upon completion of the renewal authorization process.

Golden Visa

This Visa Is the ideal option for Investors and Entrepreneurs who are looking into making substantial investments in Spain or purchasing or real estate

The Golden Visa requires the acquisition of property in Spain with a value equal to or greater than €500,000 Euros per applicant that must be free of any financial encumbrances such as a mortgage Other types of investment include one million euros in company shares or stock of Spanish capital companies that undertake business activity, One million euros in investment funds, closed-end investment funds or venture capital funds constituted in Spain or one million euros in bank deposits in Spanish financial institutions. 

Highly Qualified Professional Law 14/2013:

This visa may be requested by third-country nationals who already have the benefit of the rights of free movement and residence. The visa and authorisation valid for working and residing in Spain, including family members a highly qualified professionals who can be accompanied by their spouse or partner as well as dependent children under age the age of majority or older children who are economically dependent on the Visa holder

Residency Permit with Work Permit Exemption (for more than 90 days)

This visa allows non-Spanish nationals to perform artistic, teaching, cultural, religious, or scientific activities. Individual. Evidence will be required to support the application by way of invitation or contract of employment offered by the intended employer.

Giambrone's highly regarded immigration team of Spanish lawyers (Abogados) can advise you with all aspects of citizenship applications should you wish to acquire Spanish nationality.

Contact Us

If you require further information or advice from our team of specialist lawyers, please contact a member of our Client Relations Team by: