Obtaining Spanish nationality by residence requires examining the period of residence of the interested party in Spain during the times established by law.


The general rule tells us that we can process Spanish nationality if we have been residing in Spain legally, continuously and immediately prior to the request for ten years.


This is the general rule, but there are exceptions in which the filing deadlines are shortened:

  • Five years: for those who have obtained refugee status
  • Two years: for nationals of Ibero-American countries, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal or people of Sephardic origin.
  • One year:
    – Whoever was born in Spanish territory.
    – Those who did not duly exercise their right to acquire Spanish nationality by option.
    – The one who has been legally subject to guardianship (under the supervision of a guardian), custody or foster care (the foster care that allows the reduction of legal residence to one year is the one in which there is a resolution of the public entity that has in each territory entrusted with the protection of minors and foster care that are legally recognized) of a Spanish citizen or institution for two consecutive years, even if they continue in this situation at the time of the request.
    – The one who, at the time of the request, has been married to a Spaniard for a year and is not legally or de facto separated.
    – The widow or widower of Spanish or Spanish, if at the time of the death of the spouse they were not separated, in fact, or judicially.
    – Those born outside of Spain to a father or mother (also born outside of Spain), grandfather or grandmother, provided that all of them were originally Spanish.
  • The interested party, by himself, provided that he is over 18 years of age or is emancipated.
  • Those over 14 years of age assisted by their legal representative.
  • The legal representative of the minor under 14 years of age.
  • The person with the capacity judicially modified by himself or the legal representative of said person, depending on what the incapacitation sentence indicates.

If you wish to process Spanish nationality by residence, do not hesitate to contact us at 628 37 90 16.

Anna Nicolàs Torán
Lawyer Dept. Nationality of Martinez & Caballero Lawyers