Before we describe the criteria and requirements for obtaining Spanish citizenship through birth, we would like to caution that you think twice before considering the Spanish passport for your child and later on for yourself. If you are a resident of a country that has not signed a dual citizenship agreement with Spain, obtaining Spanish citizenship would mean the automatic renunciation of the citizenship of your country of origin (with a very low chance for regaining it in the future).
Apart from Spanish citizenship through birth, one may also try to become eligible for citizenship obtained as a result of long-term stay in the country. This way of obtaining Spanish citizenship is also very popular, but the procedure itself is quite time-consuming. One must first meet all the necessary requirements for obtaining a residence permit and present this evidence to obtain the permit. After that, one may stay legally on Spanish territory for about five years, on a permanent basis. The procedure and conditions for obtaining Spanish citizenship are defined in articles 17-22 of the Civil Code of Spain.
As for obtaining citizenship for children born in Spain, one can point out several key rules and requirements. The following categories are eligible for Spanish citizenship immediately after the birth:
- A child born on Spanish territory, provided that at least one of his or her parents already has Spanish citizenship;
- A child born on Spanish territory, provided that at least one of his or her parents also was born in the country;
- A child of so-called “stateless persons.” In line with the laws regulating the citizenship questions of the children born in Spain, no child who was born on Spanish territory will be deprived of Spanish citizenship;
- A child whose origin is unknown but the first location of whom has been registered as Spain.
In the case that one of the parents of a newly-born child does not have Spanish citizenship but has a residence permit in Spain, the child will be able to qualify for Spanish citizenship after the first year of his or her life. In comparison with the period of time that is required to apply for citizenship based on the residence permit (that is, five years), this option appears to be quite attractive. If, at the moment of a child’s birth, neither of the parents is a holder of at least a residence permit in Spain, it will be problematic to obtain Spanish citizenship for the child in the future.
Requirements for obtaining Spanish citizenship by children born in Spain
For a newborn child to be able to obtain citizenship or qualify for a Spanish residence (в случае если таковой есть хотя бы у одного из родителей), it is of utmost importance to understand clearly the registration procedure for a child. According to the law on the citizenship for children born in Spain, the main document the parents must obtain immediately after a child’s birth is the certificate that testifies to the fact of the birth itself. As a rule, the birth certificate contains the basic information about the parents, the time, date, and place of birth, the child’s name, and the doctor who assisted in delivery. The next step is the verification of this certificate by the parents in the Regístro Civil. It is necessary to register in order to receive the birth certificate. It is worth mentioning that, according to Spanish legislation, this document is issued on a temporary basis only and is valid approximately for three months. However, when needed, one can request it at any time in the Regístro Civil. After the registration of a child, together with the birth certificate, the register issues a Libro de Familia (a “family book”) – a document that is extremely important for a child who will obtain Spanish citizenship in the future.
In order to obtain Spanish citizenship through birth, one must submit the birth certificate of a child and the Spanish passport of one of the parents (as a confirmation of Spanish citizenship) to one of the offices of the Regístro Civil. In addition, a family’s registration at their place of residence might be required (certificado conjunto de empadronamiento).
Should you have any questions about the nuances of obtaining Spanish citizenship through birth, the required set of documents, or the procedure itself, you are more than welcome to contact the specialists of INEEDSpain service center for a consultation.