How to Obtain Spanish Nationality by Residence: Step-by-Step Guide

Table of Contents


What is it?

Spanish nationality by residence is granted to foreigners who have legally resided in Spain for a specified duration and meet certain other criteria. This pathway allows individuals to obtain Spanish nationality through continued legal residence.

Who needs it?

Foreign nationals who have been legal residents in Spain for a sufficient period of time and wish to attain Spanish nationality. Typically, this includes residents on work or study permits, people with family connections, or those who have been granted asylum.


  1. Determine Eligibility: Confirm that you have legally resided in Spain for the required period:

    • General rule: 10 years
    • Refugees: 5 years
    • Citizens of Ibero-American countries, Andorra, Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, or Portugal: 2 years
    • Individuals married to a Spanish citizen or born in Spain: 1 year
  2. Gather Required Documents: Collect necessary documents including, but not limited to, your passport, residence permit, birth certificate, proof of legal residence, criminal record certificate from your home country and Spain, and proof of sufficient financial means.

  3. Prepare for the CCSE and DELE Exams: Pass the Constitutional and Sociocultural Knowledge of Spain (CCSE) and, if your native language is not Spanish, the DELE A2 exam or higher.

  4. Complete Application: Fill out the nationality application form. Ensure all information is correct and every field is filled out.

  5. Submit Application: Submit your completed application, along with all required supporting documents, at the Civil Registry where you reside or online through the Spanish Ministry of Justice’s website.

  6. Attend an Interview: You might be called for an interview at the Civil Registry. Be prepared to answer questions about your residence, intentions, and integration into Spanish society.

  7. Wait for Resolution: After submission, wait for the resolution. This period can vary, but typically takes around 1-3 years. You can check the status of your application online.

  8. Oath of Allegiance: Once your nationality is granted, you must take an oath of allegiance to the King and the Constitution of Spain at the Civil Registry.

  9. Register as a Spanish Citizen: Finally, register your Spanish nationality in the Civil Registry to obtain your Spanish ID and passport.

Required Documents

  • Passport: Valid and up-to-date passport from your country of origin.
  • Residence Permit: Proof of legal residence in Spain for the required period.
  • Birth Certificate: Official birth certificate, duly translated into Spanish and legalized.
  • Criminal Record Certificates: From both Spain and your country of origin, translated and legalized.
  • Census Certificate: Proof of current address (Certificado de empadronamiento).
  • Proof of Financial Means: Documents proving financial stability.
  • Diplomas and Certificates: Proof of passing the CCSE and DELE exams.
  • Application Form: Completed nationality application form.
  • Marriage Certificate: If applicable, for those married to a Spanish citizen.

Providers that can do it for you

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Additional details

  • Language Requirements: The DELE exams to prove Spanish language proficiency are mandatory unless you are from a Spanish-speaking country.
  • Special Considerations: Some nationals might have preferential treatment or reduced residency period due to bilateral agreements between Spain and their countries.


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