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How to get Spanish nationality


Obtaining Spanish nationality implies:

  • Freedom of residence: You have the right to reside anywhere in Spain, and any country in the European Union.
  • Right to Vote: Nationality carries with it the right to vote in elections.
  • Right to be elected in elections
  • Right to education, to public health
  • Right to be protected and security
  • Obligation to defend Spain
  • Fiscal and tax obligations, etc.

How to access Spanish Nationality?

It is accessed in THREE WAYS:


It is what is acquired by being born in Spanish territory.

It is also acquired in the event that the parents are of Spanish origin, the father or the mother.

Other modalities of obtaining nationality by origin:

  • In the case of foreign parents, when at least one of them was born in Spain.
  • Stateless: When one is born in Spain by parents who lack nationality.
  • Those born in Spain whose paternity is not recognized
  • Adoption: Children adopted by Spanish nationals.


  • Children of Spanish immigrants can opt for Spanish nationality at any time in their lives.
  •  Those subject to the parental authority of a Spanish national.


In general, the right to opt for Spanish nationality is acquired when one legally resides in Spain for a period of TEN YEARS.

However, there are some cases in which nationality can be achieved before the age of ten:

  • For refugees: Five years
  • For Ibero-Americans, Andorra, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal and the Philippines and Sephardim: Two years
  • One year, in the following cases:
    – Birth in Spanish territory
    – Those placed under guardianship, custody or foster care for two consecutive years
    – After being married to a Spanish national for a year
    – Widower of a Spanish national not legally separated
    – Foreigners with parents or grandparents of Spanish nationality

Is it necessary to renounce the nationality of origin to access Spanish nationality?

To access Spanish nationality it is necessary to renounce the nationality of origin, except for those countries with which Spain has treaties and agreements, among them the American countries where Spanish or Portuguese is officially spoken, as well as Andorra, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal or even the Philippines.

Do I have to change my name when acquiring Spanish nationality?

According to Spanish regulations, the Spanish national must have ONE NAME AND TWO SURNAMES.

When the applicant only has one surname, the same will be duplicated in order to formalize his or her registration as a Spanish national, unless the applicant expressly objects. In this case, he will register with a single last name.


The Residence Permit allows you to work in Spain and reside under the same conditions as the rest of Spaniards.

As we have seen, the way in which to obtain a long-stay residence permit is relatively simple compared to the temporary residence permit.

The reason for this is that the temporary residence permit requires accreditation of a series of economic conditions, etc., which will not be required with long-term residence. In the latter, you only have to prove that you have completed five years of effective residence in Spain, and that you have no criminal record.

However, what the Long Stay Residence Permit does not allow is:

  • It can deny approval in the event of having a criminal record.
  • Does not allow access to public charges or oppositions
  • To travel to other countries outside of Spain, the passport of the country of origin will be required, with the restrictions that the receiving country may have with respect to said countries.
  • You cannot vote in Spain for national elections, and sometimes even in local elections
  • You cannot reside in any other EU country



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