Spanish Nationality law – What is it?

Spanish Nationality law – What is it?

Spanish nationality law refers to all the laws of Spain concerning nationality. Article 11 of the First Title of the Spanish Constitution refers to Spanish nationality and establishes that a separate law is to regulate how it is acquired and lost. This separate law is the Spanish Civil Code.

There are four main ways in which you can obtain Spanish nationality:

  • By having lived enough years in the Spanish country (citizenship by residency)
  • By marrying a Spanish national (citizenship by marriage)
  • By being a descendant or grandchildren of a Spanish citizen (citizenship by descent)
  • And through your children (citizenship by option)

Spain is one of the European countries that offers several pathways to citizenship. Among these, naturalization, investment and marriage are the most used. However, for those with Spanish ancestors, citizenship by descent in Spain is a good option.

When it comes to the timeframe for the different procedures, here is what those interested should know:

  • citizenship by naturalization can be obtained in 2 to 10 years, depending on the nationality of the applicant;
  • citizenship by marriage can be obtained in 1 year provided that certain conditions are met;
  • citizenship by descent can be obtained in 1 year after filing the documents, therefore without any additional waiting period.

For “Seven reasons to get Spanish nationality (and four not to)” have a look at this interesting article from The

For more information on obtaining Spanish citizenship look at our other article:

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