The Spanish Civil Code provides for multiple grounds for applying for Spanish nationality. Today we are going to focus on the application for Spanish nationality by residence, setting out below some of the requirements and useful advice for this purpose:

1. BE A LEGAL RESIDENT IN SPAIN.
To apply for Spanish citizenship by residence, unless you are a national of one of the following Ibero-American countries: Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal or Sephardic countries, or you are in one of the exceptional cases provided for in Article 22 of the Civil Code, as a general rule you must have resided legally in Spain, continued and immediate at the time of filing, for a minimum period of 10 years.

2. BEING GOOD.
You must demonstrate good citizenship, which is broader than a lack of a criminal record. Don’t fight with your neighbor, don’t drink if you’re going to drive, don’t get in the middle of a fight when you’re at a club, don’t drive without a license, etc.  You must be an exemplary citizen, with no police or judicial problems.

3. DEMONSTRATE A SUFFICIENT DEGREE OF INTEGRATION INTO SPANISH SOCIETY.
In order to accredit a sufficient degree of integration into Spanish society, a knowledge of the Spanish language at least at level A2 is required, which is accredited by means of the DELE Diploma and, in addition, a knowledge of the Spanish Constitution and of the Spanish Social and Cultural reality, which is accredited by the CCSE Certificate.
However, since 12 October 2016, when an Order of the Ministry of Justice came into force (Order JUS/1625/2016 of 30 September), the waiver for examination of nationality has been applied in three cases:

  • Those who have studied and passed the Compulsory Secondary Education (ESO) in Spain.
  • Those who cannot read or write.
  • Those who have learning difficulties.

The latter means that if you are in one of the three cases provided for and as long as you can prove it, you will not need to take the exams for nationality.

4. SEE A LAWYER AND GET ADVICE BEFORE YOU START
Since June 30, 2017, the presentation of the application for Spanish nationality by residence is made only by telematic means, through a digital certificate. It is therefore advisable that your application for citizenship together with the relevant documentation be submitted and supervised by a lawyer.

At Zumaquero Abogados we will be happy to advise you and process your application for nationality from the beginning until it is resolved by the Ministry of Justice.

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