The Spanish citizenship status: Everything you need to know.

If you are living or planning to live in Spain for a long period of time, it might be a good idea to become an official citizen of Spain, by getting the spanish citizenship. The biggest benefit of this is to of course obtain the Spanish nationality, meaning that you will be able to live and work in Spain for the rest of your life.  Other benefits of this include the right to work and reside in Spain, overcoming the bureaucratic issues in the administrative processes such as less paperwork, having the right to vote in different kinds of Spanish and European elections, free movement across the European Union and getting a valid European Union passport. In this post, we give you all the details on how to become a Spanish Citizen and get a permanent residence in Spain.

How can I get the Spanish Citizen Status?

Bear in mind that there is a difference between being a permanent resident and being a Spanish citizen. In the first case, after five years of interrupted living in Spain, you are able to become a permanent citizen of Spain. In the second case, you have had to live at least 10 years in Spain to apply for a Spanish nationality. This route is also known as naturalization. However, both of these cases lead eventually to the outcome of obtaining a Spanish nationality status

Dual Nationality in Spain or Giving Up your previous nationality.

In order to become a Spanish national, the main rule is that you will have to give up your previous nationality. Nevertheless, there are certain countries that have signed a treaty with Spain, and citizens from these countries are able to apply for a dual-nationality. If you are from Andorra, Portugal, Equatorial Guinea, the Philippines or Latin America, you can apply for a dual-nationality status, and you will be able to keep your original nationality at the same time. However, in these cases, you still have to had lived in Spain for at least two interrupted years to obtain the Spanish citizenship status.

Should you choose permanent residency or Spanish citizenship?

Holding an EU long-term permanent residence permit enables you to remain on as an inhabitant in Spain while holding your own nationality and visa. As a Spanish permanent resident, you can take advantage of the greater part of the benefits that a regular spanish resident has. You should, nonetheless, satisfy certain conditions. This incorporates having the option to help yourself monetarily. You can move around the EU for restricted periods, and longer with consent.

In the event that you become a Spanish native, you should surrender your unique nationality and international ID, except if you meet all requirements for an exclusion. You will enjoy no different rights as other Spanish natives. Also, you will end up being a native of the EU, which means you are allowed to move around inside it. You can likewise cast a ballot in European decisions.

Exemptions of the 10 year rule to obtain Spanish Citizenship.

Do you have family living in Spain, who has a Spanish nationality status? If you are a family member of a Spanish citizen, meaning that you are married, or you are a child or grandchild of someone who is a Spanish national, and you were born in the Spanish territory, you are able to apply nationality status. Additionally, this applies also to children who are under 18 years old who have been adopted by parents, who are Spanish nationals. In this case, the requirement for interrupted living in Spain is only one year. In the last case, if you have arrived to Spain as a political refugee, you can apply for a citizenship status after you have lived in Spain for five years. 

Requirements for the Spanish Permanent Residence.

On the off chance that non-EU nationals have legitimately lived in Spain for five continuous years, they can apply for an ‘EU long-term residence permit’. This enables them to remain in Spain uncertainly working or something else, under indistinguishable conditions from Spanish natives.

So as to apply for a grant, you should have the option to demonstrate that you have satisfactory budgetary assets to accommodate yourself and your family (if material, for example, an annuity, grant or pay. You should likewise have confirmation of open or private medical coverage with an organization that is approved to work in Spain.

You might also have to submit:

  • A valid passport;
  • Proof of legal residence in Spain eg. a long-term rental contract or receipts for rent;
  • Criminal record certificate issued by the authorities in your home country;
  • Medical certificate (certificado médico), if not already supplied;
  • Proof that health assistance is guaranteed during your residence in Spain;
  • Marriage or divorce certificate or other papers relating to your marital status (translated into Spanish if required).

When you have the permit, you can work freely and enjoy social services and benefits in Spain. You can generally move between other EU member states for up to three months. This may be longer if it is for certain purposes and you are granted a permit to do so.

If you hold a Blue Card from another EU-member state, and have lived elsewhere in the EU for the same period, this also grants you long-term residence in Spain. However, you must have lived in the country for two years beforehand.

If you hold an EU long-term residence permit issued by another EU member state and want to stay in Spain, you will have to give up on your long-term residence status in the other countr and apply for an EU long-term residence permit from the Foreigner’s Office (Oficina de Extranjería) in Spain.

Requirements for the Spanish Nationality

There are certain documents and other requirements that have to be fulfilled before the acceptance or denial of your Spanish citizenship application. The documents include:

  • Complete passport
  • Residency card
  • Birth certificate
  • Criminal records
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Current census + historic of it
  • DELE A2 certificate (if applicable)
  • CCSE certificate
  • Proof of integration to the Spanish community (like a gym membership card, library, etc.)

The documents need to be submitted online or in person in the Civil Registry. You will also have to pay a non-refundable fee for your application that can vary between 60 and 100 euros. One should bear in mind that the whole process might take up to three years because of the bureaucracy. Even when the process is nearly completed and one has been granted the Spanish citizenship status, one has to take an oath to the King of Spain and constitution before getting the official Spanish passport

If you are interested in applying for a citizenship status, we recommend you to contact a professional to help you with the process. Filling up the documents and handing in the required information is quicker and easier with the help of a professional. AvaLaw’s Immigration Department have dealt since 2007  with these kinds of cases daily and are ready to help you to get your Spanish citizenship status. Our services include Blue Cards, Golden Visas, Non-Lucrative Visas and NIE Numbers for instance. 

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