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How Can I Become A Spanish Citizen If My Family Came From Spain?

4 min read

How Can I Become A Spanish Citizen If My Family Came From Spain?

Like many other countries, Spain offers a path to citizenship for those who can prove their ancestry. This means that if you have a grandparent or great-grandparent born in Spain, you may be eligible to apply for Spanish citizenship.

Obtaining Spanish citizenship through ancestry can come with many benefits. It grants you the right to live and work in Spain without needing a visa. You'll also be able to travel within the European Union without a visa, and you'll be able to vote in Spanish elections.

It's worth noting that while the process of obtaining Spanish citizenship through ancestry can be relatively straightforward, it can also be time-consuming and require a significant amount of documentation. However, for those with strong ties to Spain, the benefits of citizenship may be well worth the effort.

 

You can live in Barcelona when you get your Spanish citizenship

You can live in Barcelona when you get your Spanish citizenship

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

In order to be eligible to apply for Spanish citizenship through ancestry, you must meet certain criteria. The most important of these is being able to prove your Spanish ancestry. You will need to provide documents showing your connection to a grandparent or great-grandparent born in Spain.

The specific documents required will depend on your individual circumstances. These may include your birth certificate, your parents' and grandparents' birth and marriage certificates, and any other relevant documents that can demonstrate your Spanish ancestry. In some cases, you may need to provide additional documentation, such as a certificate of no criminal record or proof of residence in Spain.

It's also worth noting that different regions in Spain have different rules and requirements for citizenship through ancestry, so it's important to work with a lawyer or a team of people familiar with the process to ensure resources are well-spent.

In addition, there may be a requirement for you to have a certain level of Spanish language proficiency. A knowledge of Spanish culture and history may also be expected, as well as a certain period of legal residence in Spain.

Overall, the eligibility criteria for Spanish citizenship through ancestry can vary depending on the individual case, and it's essential to consult with a lawyer or the Spanish consulate in your country to understand the specific requirements.

 

Related content: Ireland Citizenship By Ancestry

 

San Sebastian is great place to visit while in Spain

San Sebastian is great place to visit while in Spain

APPLICATION PROCESS

Once you have determined that you meet the eligibility criteria for Spanish citizenship through ancestry, the next step is to begin the application process. Here is an overview of the steps involved:

  1. Gather the required documents: As mentioned earlier, you will need to provide proof of your Spanish ancestry and other relevant documents to support your application. Double-check that all documents are valid, translated into Spanish, and apostilled if necessary.
  2. Submit your application: You must submit your application to the Spanish consulate in your country. You can either do this in person or by mail. Some consulates also accept online applications.
  3. Wait for a response: After submitting your application, you will need to wait for an answer. The processing time can vary depending on the consulate and the volume of applications they are currently handling.
  4. Attend an interview: If your application is accepted, you will likely be asked to attend an interview with a consular official. This is an opportunity for them to ask you questions about your Spanish ancestry, language proficiency and other relevant information.
  5. Naturalization process: After passing the interview, the next step is to complete the naturalization process. This may involve taking an oath of allegiance and renouncing your previous nationality if you are not from a European Union country.

It's important to remember that obtaining Spanish citizenship through ancestry can be time-consuming and may take several months or even years to complete. It's also important to note that the application fee may vary depending on the consulate and the applicant's situation.

 

Related content: The Basics Of How To Get A Second Passport Or A Second Residency

 

Having some proficiency in Spanish is essential for your naturalization process

Having some proficiency in Spanish is essential for your naturalization process

NATURALIZATION PROCESS

After completing the application process and accepting your application, the next step is the naturalization process. This process is meant to help the applicant fully integrate into Spanish society and become a Spanish citizen. Here is an overview of the requirements for naturalization:

  1. Residency requirements: To become a Spanish citizen, you must have lived in Spain for a particular period of time. The specific time required will depend on the laws of the region where you apply, but it can range from 2-10 years.
  2. Language proficiency: You will also need to demonstrate a certain level of proficiency in the Spanish language. This may involve taking a language test or providing proof of completing a Spanish language course.
  3. Cultural integration: You will be expected to understand Spanish culture and history well. You may be asked to take a Spanish culture and history test or provide proof of completing a course.
  4. Good conduct and allegiance: You will also need to demonstrate that you have good conduct and that you are willing to pledge allegiance to Spain. This may involve providing a certificate of no criminal record and taking an oath of allegiance.
  5. Renouncing former nationality: 

If you are not from European Union, you will have to renounce your previous nationality to acquire Spanish citizenship unless you are a citizen of the following countries:

It's worth noting that the naturalization process can take several months or even years to complete. It's also important to note that it is possible to lose your Spanish nationality if you do not reside in Spain for more than two years.

 

Cala Santanyi, Mallorca, Spain

Cala Santanyi, Mallorca, Spain

CONCLUSION

Obtaining Spanish citizenship through ancestry is a process that can grant many benefits, but it can also be time-consuming and require a significant amount of documentation. It is a multi-step process that includes proving eligibility criteria, submitting an application, passing an interview, and completing the naturalization process.

In summary, obtaining Spanish citizenship can be valuable if you have a strong connection to Spain through your ancestry. It can open up many doors for a living, working, and conducting business in Spain, granting you the right to vote in Spanish elections and travel within the European Union.

 


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Mikkel Thorup

Written by Mikkel Thorup

Mikkel Thorup is the world’s most sought-after expat consultant. He focuses on helping high-net-worth private clients to legally mitigate tax liabilities, obtain a second residency and citizenship, and assemble a portfolio of foreign investments including international real estate, timber plantations, agricultural land and other hard-money tangible assets. Mikkel is the Founder and CEO at Expat Money®, a private consulting firm started in 2017. He hosts the popular weekly podcast, the Expat Money Show, and wrote the definitive #1-Best Selling book Expat Secrets - How To Pay Zero Taxes, Live Overseas And Make Giant Piles Of Money, and his second book: Expats Guide On Moving To Mexico.

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