Do you want to apply for Spanish nationality? Do you know the requirements to obtain it? We will tell you everything you need to know about Spanish nationality by residence.

The Spanish nationality can be obtained by different ways, either by residence, refugees or marriage. Of all of them, the most common is to obtain the nationality by residence and the terms vary according to the country of birth of the person who wants to obtain the nationality. We tell you the differences.


Esther Sánchez Páez

7/30/2021 2 min read

To obtain the nationality by residence, the person who applies for it must have resided in Spain in a legal and continuous way. If such person has stayed in Spain during a previous period as a student or with another type of stay through a visa, such period does not count as a period of legal residence.

The period of residence is 10 years in general, except for people coming from Latin American countries, Andorra, Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal or people of Sephardic origin, which residence must be at least 2 years. In order to prove that the residence has been fulfilled, a certificate must be requested before the General Foreigners Police Station, since such period must have been fulfilled prior to the filing of the nationality application.

In addition to this requirement, it is necessary to demonstrate good conduct. For this it is important to request a certificate of criminal 

record and in the case that these exist, to verify the possibility of canceling such record. It is important to know if there has been any type of problem, either by a simple police record. The CNI usually delivers a report with the applicant's data and if there is any possible criminal indication it is possible that the nationality file does not come to a good end.

Finally, an integration test will also be requested, which consists of several multiple choice questions about social, culture and constitutional matters and, in addition, in the case of non-Spanish speaking applicants, they will have to certify a minimum level of Spanish (A2 certificate).


For several years now, the procedures must be carried out telematically, so it is possible for a lawyer to process the nationality of any Spanish citizen without having to reside in the applicant's own city of residence. The Civil Registry does not collect any documentation, so it is a mistake to go to it for the application.

Once all the documentation has been obtained, the fee has been paid (currently 103.02 euros) and the application has been registered telematically, the Ministry of Justice will have a period of one year to grant or deny the nationality. In the event that no reply has been received within this period, it will be understood as denied and the applicant will have to file an appeal for reconsideration and subsequently a contentious-administrative lawsuit before the National Court.

It is very common that no response is received within this period, therefore it is important to carry out the application formalities in a detailed, clear and correct manner, since in many cases the applicant has to proceed to sue the Ministry of Justice.

In the case that the nationality is obtained, it will be necessary to make the "Nationality Oath", which can also be made before a notary.

If you need us to carry out the procedures to obtain the nationality or you want us to take care of all the steps to obtain the Spanish nationality, do not hesitate to contact us. If you have already taken the steps and you still do not receive an answer, we will review your file in order to advise you and file a lawsuit in case the file is correct.


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