Spanish citizenship refers to the legal status granted to individuals by the Spanish government, making them recognized as citizens of Spain. It confers a range of rights and responsibilities to the individual. Spanish citizenship can be acquired through various means, including birth, descent, residence, marriage to a Spanish citizen, or naturalization.

Benefits of Spanish citizenship

Obtaining Spanish citizenship can provide various benefits and rights. Here are some of the advantages of acquiring Spanish citizenship:

  1. Freedom of Movement: As a Spanish citizen, you have the right to live, work, and study in Spain without any restrictions. You can also freely travel within the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) countries.
  2. Voting Rights: Spanish citizens have the right to participate in all national, regional, and local elections in Spain.
  3. Access to Social Benefits: Spanish citizens have access to provided by the Spanish government social benefits like healthcare, social security, unemployment benefits, and education subsidies.
  4. Passport and Consular Protection: Spanish citizens can seek assistance and protection from Spanish consulates and embassies when abroad.
  5. Dual Citizenship: Spain allows dual citizenship, which means you can retain your original citizenship while also being a Spanish citizen.
  6. EU Citizenship: By acquiring Spanish citizenship, you also gain EU citizenship.

How to Get Spanish citizenship

There are several ways to acquire Spanish citizenship. Here are the main ways to obtain Spanish citizenship:

  1. Residence: You can apply for citizenship after legally residing in Spain for a certain period. The standard requirement is ten years of continuous legal residence.
  2. Marriage to a Spanish Citizen: If you are married to a Spanish citizen, you may be eligible to apply for citizenship after one year of legal residence in Spain.
  3. Birth: If you were born in Spain and at least one of your parents was also born in Spain, you can acquire Spanish citizenship by birthright.
  4. Origin: You may be eligible for Spanish citizenship if you have a direct lineage to a Spanish parent or grandparent, even if you were born abroad. This way is known as “citizenship by origin” or “citizenship by descent”.
  5. Naturalization: If you have Spanish-speaking parents or grandparents, you may be eligible for naturalization without the requirement of residence.
Spanish citizenship by descent

Spanish citizenship by descent, also known as “citizenship by origin” or “citizenship by ...

Spanish citizenship by investment

Spain does not offer direct citizenship by investment program. However, it does have a residency by investment ...

Spanish citizenship by naturalization

Spanish citizenship by naturalization is the process through which a foreign national can acquire Spanish ...

Spanish citizenship by marriage

For foreigners who marry Spanish natives, obtaining Spanish citizenship by marriage is a possible route to do so. ...

Spanish citizenship by birth

Regardless of the parents’ nationality or immigration status, acquiring Spanish citizenship exclusively ...


How long does it take to become a Spanish citizen?

In general, if you are eligible through residency, the standard requirement is ten years of continuous legal residence in Spain. Other ways of getting citizenship are significantly faster.

Can I hold dual citizenship with Spain?

Yes, Spain allows dual citizenship. This means you can retain your original citizenship while also being a Spanish citizen.

Is knowledge of the Spanish language required to obtain citizenship?

Yes, as part of the citizenship application process, you are generally required to demonstrate knowledge of the Spanish language.

Can I pass on Spanish citizenship to my children?

Yes, children born to at least one Spanish citizen parent are generally eligible for Spanish citizenship by birthright, regardless of the place of birth. The parentage must be proven, and there may be additional requirements depending on the circumstances.


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