With the referendum just around the corner, many British expats would like to know how this could affect them.
Common questions asked are: Will I be able to remain in Spain? Will I be able to work in Spain? Will I still be covered under the Spanish healthcare system. The answer may be to become a Spanish national.
Are you eligible to apply for Spanish nationality?
A British national can apply for Spanish nationality in the 4 following cases:
1. Spanish nationality from the moment of their birth
- Those with a Spanish birth-father or birth-mother.
- Those born in Spain if one of their parents was also born in Spain.
- Those born in Spain of foreign parents if the legislation in their country of origin does not give the child any nationality.
- Those born in Spain to unknown parents.
2. Spanish nationality by residence
Who can apply and what are the requirements? Any foreigner who has resided in Spain legally and continuously for at least 10 years can apply.
However, there are certain exceptions:
- Born in Spanish territory or married to a national: 1 year.
- Born outside Spain, with a father, mother, grandfather or grandmother, who were originally Spanish: 1 year.
- Those who have been legally subject to guardianship, custody or foster care of a Spanish citizen or institution for two consecutive years: 1 year.
- The widows/ers of a Spaniard, if separation does not exist at the time of death: 1 year.
The application for Spanish nationality by residence has to be lodged with the Civil Registry of the domicile of the applicant.
3. Spanish nationality by choice
This is a valid option for:
- Those that are or have been subject to the parental authority of a Spaniard.
- Those whose father/mother was of Spanish origin and born in Spain.
- Those whose determination of parentage or birth in Spain takes place after becoming of age.
- Those who have been adopted after becoming of age.
When will the option to choose expire? The option to choose will expire at 20 years of age, except for those who have Spanish parentage or were born in Spain. After becoming of age, and for those who have been adopted being over 18 years of age, the option to choose will expire after two years counted from the moment of establishing parentage or birth in Spain, or from the when the adoption is made official.
4. Spanish nationality for possession of the state
What is it and who can acquire it? The continued possession and use of Spanish nationality for at least 10 years, in good faith and based on a title registered at the Civil Registry, causes consolidation of nationality although the title annuls the original.
Must I take a written exam in order to apply for Spanish nationality?
Yes, there are currently two written tests that you must pass in order to obtain Spanish nationality:
- One of the exams consists of a Spanish Constitutional and Socio-Cultural Knowledge test (CCSE). You are required to answer 60% of the questions correctly to pass this exam. There are Constitutional and Socio-Cultural knowledge exams available online.
- The other exam is a Spanish language test (DELE A2). This exam consists of a four-part written test, an oral or speaking test, a hearing test and a comprehension test. You are required to pass 60% of the test in order to pass.