How and where to request Spanish nationality

The huge waves of migration in the last couple of years have provoked the forced displacement of thousands of people. More and more foreigners arrive in Spain looking for opportunities with the goal of making a new life and many of them ask how to get Spanish nationality. Spanish nationality recognises the belonging of a person to a country or state and doesn’t only award a series of rights but also a series of duties. To request Spanish nationality, it’s necessary that the person meets the requirements and presents the relevant documents before the authorities so the request can be formalised.

Given that this is a complex procedure as there are various types of nationality that exist depending on the circumstances of the immigrant, there is often confusion about how and where to go about it. If you don’t understand the process, don’t worry. At CBLingua we have prepared the following summary that should help to resolve your doubts.

Spanish nationality

Requirements for Spanish nationality

First, it’s important you know that not everyone can become a Spanish national in the same way. Adults, or those under 18 who have already been emancipated, may apply directly without intermediaries, while a number of conditions are required for the rest of the population. Those over 14 must be accompanied by a legal assistant and those under 14 must be represented by them. In the case of disabled people, the presence of a legal assistant will or will not be necessary depending on the disability of the person.

Bear in mind that there are various ways of getting Spanish nationality.

Eligibility for Spanish nationality

  • Nationality by residence, the most common, whose only condition is to have lived legally and continuously in Spain for at least 10 years.
  • Nationality by possession of a State, granted to those who have been registered in the Civil Registry for at least 10 years, provided that they behaved correctly in accordance with their rights as well as their duties.
  • Nationality by naturalisation card, which is used in exceptional circumstances.
  • Nationality by choice which is offered to those who have been under the parental authority of a Spaniard, to those whose father or mother was originally Spanish and born in Spain, those whose birth in Spain is determined after the age of 18 and those adopted by Spaniards who are of legal age.


Final Considerations

Now that you know all of this information, only the practical part is left: presenting your application to get Spanish nationality. For this, you will have to go to Civil Registry of your locality and bring with you a series of documents. These will vary depending on the type of nationality you are asking for. The best advice is to consult the Ministry’s website to check that you’re not missing anything. Don’t forget that all paperwork that isn’t written in Spanish will have to be translated as well as legalised. The authorities usually take 18-24 months to give you an answer so don’t give up hope. If you have presented all of the documents and you have respected all of the rules of the process, we’re sure that you will receive a positive answer!