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Obtaining Spanish citizenship by residency 🇪🇸

Obtaining Spanish citizenship by residency. 🇪🇸 Find out about the procedure and requirements.

If you are thinking of obtaining Spanish citizenship by residency, or you have been living in Spain for a while, this post is for you! We explain in detail everything you need and the steps for obtaining Spanish citizenship by residency

From Luxton Legal, we will guide you from the beginning, and we will accompany you step by step until you can get your Spanish passport and DNI. 

When can I obtain Spanish citizenship?🧐

One of the ways to obtain Spanish citizenship is by residency. As a general rule, you must have resided in Spain for ten years in a legal, and continuous manner immediately prior to the application.

🛑 Important notice! However, there are cases in which the required period of residence is reduced. In summary, you’ll be obtaining Spanish citizenship in less time if one the following situations apply to you.

– ✋Five years: if you have obtained refugee status.

– ✌️Two years: if you are a national of Latin American countries, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal, or persons of Sephardic origin.

– ☝️One year:

  • If you were born in Spanish territory.
  • If you did not duly exercise your right to acquire Spanish nationality by option.
  • If you have been legally under the guardianship (under the supervision of a guardian), curatorship or foster care of a Spanish citizen or institution for two consecutive years, even if you continue in this situation at the time of application.
  • If at the time of the application, you have been married to a Spanish citizen for one year and you are not legally or de facto separated.
  • If you are the widow or widower of a Spanish national.
  • If you were born outside Spain of father or mother, (also born outside Spain), grandfather or grandmother, provided that all of them had been originally Spanish.

👉 Obtaining Spanish citizenship by residency: the requirements

When obtaining Spanish citizenship, you must meet the following requirements.

  • Lack a criminal record both in your country of origin and in Spain.
  • Proof of legal and continuous residence for the required number of years of residence according to your case.
  • Integration and good civic conduct. 
  • Depending on your country of origin, you’ll have to take one or more tests.
    • CCSE (test of constitutional and sociocultural knowledge of Spain). These exams are held every month (except August and December). Official website (only in Spanish language).
    • DELE test (accrediting the degree of competence and mastery of the Spanish language minimum A2). 
  • Comply with the terms of legal and continuous residence in Spain. 

🛑 Regarding the requirement of continuity, in order to obtain Spanish citizenship you must take into account the following:

– For the continuity requirement to be met, you cannot have been out of Spain for consecutive periods longer than 6 months, in case you need 10 years of residence.

– Consecutive periods of absence cannot be longer than 3 months in all other cases.

What do I need to obtain Spanish citizenship? 📑

You’ll need the following documentation to obtain Spanish citizenship by residency:

  • Birth certificate from your country of origin
  • Criminal record certificate from your country of origin

Documents issued outside Spain must be apostilled in order to be valid in Spanish territory. Important: The validity of the certificates will be indicated on the document itself. In case it is not indicated, it will be 6 months from the date of issuance (not of the apostille). 

#LuxtonTip It is important that you contact the competent authorities in your home country to inquire about the application deadlines for the certificates and the apostille. This way you’ll be able to get an idea of the deadlines by which you’ll have to start the process in Spain. 

  • Certificate of criminal records from Spain
  • Certificate of census registration
  • Foreigners’ Identity Card – TIE (“Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjeros”), as proof of legal residence

The certificates can be requested either in person or online (through a digital certificate). Also, it is worth mentioning that you can avoid submitting these documents if you consent to the administration to make the corresponding verifications.

  • Complete passport (all pages). If you have changed your passport in the last few years, you must provide the old one in order to verify the continuity of your residence in Spain.
  • Certificate of having passed the CCSE test
  • Proof of payment of fee 790 code 026 (104.05 euros for this 2022)
  • In case you are not a national of Latin American countries, certificate of having passed the DELE A2 test.

The necessary forms are as follows:

  • Pre-oath form 
  • Spanish citizenship application form

In case a law firm will manage the submission and follow-up of your application, you’ll have to sign a Power of Attorney to manage your application. There is an official template so this would not have any additional cost.

Resolution deadlines 📅

Currently, there are several ways for you to submit your Spanish citizenship procedure. 

  • Online through the Ministry of Justice website (you’ll need to have a digital certificate).
  • Through the Public Registry, the Common Electronic Registry and the Electronic Registry of the Ministry of Justice.
  • By postal mail
  • Through the platforms enabled by the Bar Associations, Social Graduates, Attorneys, or professionals who have signed an Agreement for the electronic filing of the application for Spanish citizenship by residency.

Regarding the processing time, it will depend on the way you process it. The term of resolution is 1 year, however, in practice, it can be extended between 2 to 3 years. After a year, you can file a judicial appeal to expedite the process. 

Some professional associations have reached agreements with the Ministry of Justice to reduce the deadlines. For example, the Madrid Bar Association has agreed with the Ministry of Justice on a resolution period of between 6-12 months, which is faster than the other methods.

We clarify that these are merely indicative, but will depend on the way in which you initiate the procedure. Our advice: it’s a long process so be patient!.

🚀 Procedure

See below the steps to follow when obtaining Spanish citizenship by residency through the Madrid Bar Association:

  1. Submit the documentation to the platform of the Spanish Bar Association.
  2. Obtain an appointment and submit the original documentation for review.
  3. Submit the documents to the Ministry of Justice.
  4. Once you obtain a favorable resolution, you must take an oath in the civil registry.
  5. Register your citizenship in the Civil Registry.
  6. Application for DNI and passport
  7. Request a concordance certificate in order to make the changes (from the NIE number to the DNI) in all the administrations where you are registered with your NIE.

In another post, we will answer frequently asked questions on obtaining Spanish citizenship by residency.

Do you have any doubts? 👉 Contact us! 📩

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  1. Pingback: Obtain Spanish citizenship through "Grandchildren Law"👴🏻🇪🇸 

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