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Spanish Nationality by Option, an Expedited Route to Obtain Citizenship

Spanish Nationality by Option, an Expedited Route to Obtain Citizenship Publicado: 22-04-2024

What is nationality by option? 

nationality by option is one of the pathways allowed by Spanish legislation to acquire citizenship, provided that one of the circumstances outlined in Article 20 of the Civil Code is met, all related to filial relationships, without the need for effective residence in Spanish territory.

Who can apply for nationality by option? 

Foreigners who meet any of the following conditions may access nationality by option: 

  • Those who are or have been subject to the Parental Authority of a Spanish citizen
  • The expiration period is 2 years from reaching the age of majority emancipation 
  • When any of their parents, grandparents, or grandmothers were Spanish and born in Spain. In this case, there is no age limit to exercise the right of option
  • Individuals whose filiation or birth in Spain occurs after turning 18. The deadline to apply is two years from the determination
  • Individuals adopted by Spaniards after turning 18. The deadline is up to 2 years after the adoption is formalized

What are the benefits of Spanish nationality obtained by option? 

Acquiring Spanish nationality by option provides new Spanish citizens with a range of benefits, including: 

  • Possession of the world`s third-best passport
  • Free access to the Schengen Area
  • Ability to work, study, and reside in any European Union country 
  • Access to pensions and one of the best healthcare systems

What is the procedure for applying for nationality by option? 

When the nationality applicant is under 14 years old, the application must be made by their Legal Representative. If they are over 14 years old, they will do it themselves assisted by their Legal Representative. If emancipated, the interested party will proceed on their own. 

Procedure must be carried out at the Civil Registry of the applicant`s domicile or that of their representative, depending on the case. Once the application for Spanish nationality by option is submitted, the minimum processing time for the file is 3 months from its submission. 

Until what age can nationality by option be requested? 

The possibility of applying for nationality by option expires when the interested party turns 20, unless, according to their personal law, legal majority is not attained at 18, in which case it will be 2 years from acquiring legal majority.

What documents are required to apply for nationality by option? 

The documents required to apply for Spanish nationality by option are generally as follows: 

  • Birth certificate of the applicant
  • Valid passport of the applicant
  • Literal birth certificate of the Spanish father or mother. If both are Spanish, both certificates will be requested
  • Birth certificate of the foreign father or mother
  • Parent`s marriage certificate

Is it necessary to renounce other nationalities to apply for Spanish nationality by option? 

To effectively acquire Spanish nationality by option, it is necessary to: 

  • Swear allegiance to the King and obedience to the Constitution and laws
  • Renounce previous nationality unless the current nationality of the applicant is from an Ibero-American country, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, or Portugal. 
  • Registration in the Spanish Civil Registry of nationality acquisition 
  • Submit the application within the established deadlines in each case

At Gentile Law, we understand the importance and complexity of the process of applying for Spanish nationality by option. Our team of experts in Immigration Law is dedicated to providing our clients with specialized and personalized advice at every stage of the process. With our experience and knowledge, we work to ensure that the application for Spanish nationality is carried out safely and efficiently. 

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