In this article we discuss what type of residence is required for Spanish nationality.
In this post we cover the following: (click any section to see its content)
Which type of residence is required for Spanish nationality:
- SPANISH NATIONALITY THROUGH RESIDENCY »
- RESIDENCY AND SPANISH NATIONALITY »
- TYPES OF RESIDENCY AVAILABLE IN SPAIN »
SPANISH NATIONALITY THROUGH RESIDENCY:
Essentially there are the following two options to obtain nationality in Spain:
You already know that the main requirement to apply for Spanish nationality by residency is that the applicant meets specific periods of legal and continuous residency in our country, prior to the application. But what type of residency is needed?
The first point to consider is the timeframes. In other words, it’s not enough to have legal residency; we must meet specific prior periods in Spain:
As a general rule, the period of continuous residency in Spain before applying is 10 years.
- 5 years are sufficient for those recognized as refugees.
- 2 years for nationals from Ibero-American countries, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal, or Sephardic individuals.
- A residency of just one year is sufficient for:
- Those born in Spanish territory.
- Those who have been legally under the guardianship, custody, or care of a Spanish citizen or institution for two consecutive years, even if they remain in this situation at the time of application.
- Those who, at the time of application, have been married to a Spanish citizen for a minimum of one year and are not legally or effectively separated.
- Widows or widowers of Spanish women or men if at the time of the spouse’s death there was no legal or de facto separation.
- Those born outside of Spain to a father or mother, grandfather or grandmother, who originally were Spanish.
RESIDENCY AND SPANISH NATIONALITY:
Now that we understand these timeframes, what type of residency do I need for nationality? Here, you must consider that not all cards or authorizations in Spain count towards obtaining Spanish nationality.
For example, the Non-Lucrative residence permit, this does count towards covering the necessary requirements and periods to apply for Spanish nationality, and then we have the Student-Visa Authorization, which does not count and cannot cover these periods.
I have a student card, does it count for Spanish nationality?
No, this is not possible. Here we should consider several things:
- In one instance, the Civil Code clearly requires that to apply for Spanish nationality, the applicant must have legal residency in Spain.
- On the other hand, the Immigration Law and Regulations clearly differentiate between the situation of a study stay and residency. Legally, these are not the same.
Therefore, the student card is a stay permit, not a residency, so it does not count for Spanish nationality purposes.
It is true that until a few years ago, the Ministry of Justice used to count or consider part of the time spent on a study stay for the applicant. However, as of today, it does not count towards obtaining nationality.
*Let’s see an example:
A non-European citizen comes to study in Spain in 2007 with a student visa, and after three years (2010), he changes his permit to a residence and work permit for employed work, which he has been renewing continuously until he reaches, in 2017, the 10 years since his entry and continuous stay in Spain. It is at this moment that he wants to apply for nationality, can he do it?
A non-EU citizen is required to have 10 years of legal residency in Spain, but in the example we are presenting now, the interested party does not acquire resident status until 2010 when he modifies his card. Since the time as a student is not counted, he will need about three more years as a legal resident to start his process of applying for Spanish nationality.
TYPES OF RESIDENCY AVAILABLE IN SPAIN:
- Golden-Visa Spain (Spain citizenship by investment)
- Non-Lucrative visa Spain (Spain visa non lucrative)
- Self-Employed visa Spain (self employed expats in Spain)
- Digital-Nomad visa Spain (remote worker in Spain)
OBTAIN SPANISH NATIONALITY:
Do you need legal assistance to obtain Spanish nationalty?
We are a Spanish Solicitor and assist our clients with all types of residency applications.
Permanent residency is obtained after 5 years of Spanish Residency through Self-Employed Residency or Non-Lucrative Residency, Spain or Residency through Investment. This followed by 5 years as a permanent resident and means you can then obtain Spanish Citizenship with a Spanish Passport.