5 ways to get Spanish Nationality

Have you ever wondered if you would like to be a Spanish Citizen one day?

Have you thought of the ways you could acquire Spanish nationality? 

Have you had trouble thinking if you can qualify to apply for the Spanish Nationality?

Are you having thoughts of owning another nationality besides your present nationality? Or if you could have both? 

Macarius Legal is here to guide you on the direction to take and to answer most or all of your questions.


In general “Ius Sanguinis” continues to serve as the basic principle for determining nationality, this means “the right of blood” having nationality based on biological grounds of being born to a Spanish man or woman. But there are other means to acquiring Spanish nationality and they include (See Articles 17, 18, 19 of the Spanish Civil Code):

  1. Nationality by residence
  2. Nationality by nature charter
  3. Nationality for Spaniards of Origin
  4. Nationality by possession of a State
  5. Nationality by choice


You can apply for Spanish citizenship by residency. If you have lived in Spain legally for ten years (10 years) continuously and immediately before the request, you have a right to apply for Spanish Citizenship. There is however a procedure to apply for nationality by residency. If you are above 18 years old, you will need to write two stages of nationality exams and pay an amount for the exams. Exemptions for not writing the exams is if you have schooled in Spain to an ESO level, and you have certificates to prove, then you are exempted.


The nature of acquiring this type of nationality is subject to the general rules of administrative procedure. The Government by Royal Decree has the right to grant or deny this application after assessing the occurrence of exceptional circumstances.


The first question is, who are Spaniards of origin? Spaniards of origin are:

  • Those born to a Spanish father or mother.
  • Those born in Spain when they are the children of foreign parents and if at least one of the parents was born in Spain.
  • Those born of foreign parents, but whose parents are diplomats do not qualify.


The nature of acquiring this nationality is granted to a person who has used and possessed this nationality for ten years (10 years) in good faith based on a Civil Status Certificate (without knowing the real situation, that he/she is not Spanish).


The Spanish Legislation offers a foreigner a choice to acquire Spanish nationality due to certain conditions by choice. The conditions are:

  • People who are below 18 years old and who are subject to the parental authority of a Spaniard.
  • Those whose father or mother was Spanish and was born in Spain.


  1. Agencia Estatal – Jefatura del Estado. (1954). Ley de 15 de julio de 1954 por la que se reforma el Titulo Primero del Libro Primero del Código Civil, denominado “De los españoles y extranjeros”. (pp. Páginas 4831 a 4834 (4 págs.).
  2. Ministerio de Justicia. Spanish Civil Code (2016). Madrid.

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