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Spanish citizenship by descent (process)
Posted: 26 February 2010 12:15 AM  
Just Landed
Total Posts:  21
Joined  2010-02-25

Here´s the deal, I qualify for Spanish citizenship after only one year of legal residence, because my grandmother was originally Spanish. We have this confirmed by a consulate of Spain in the US. My mom could be Spanish tomorrow by option, if she wanted. As I understand this, it wouldn´t really be ‘‘recovering’’ Spanish nationality for me, but more like facilitated naturalization.

Let´s say I´m already an EU citizen and do not need a residency visa for Spain. Don´t ask me why I´d want two EU passports. raspberry Anyway, in none of the government sites, mtin, maes, mir, or mjusticia have I been able to find exactly how this process works. I wouldn´t want to work while I´m there - just live. I am self-employed and would work for clients in other countries via the Internet. So, step by step:

1) I arrive, in Bilbao, for example. Rent an apartment/house. Which office would I go to change my residency to that locale? Would they would give me some sort of residency card? Do I need to apply for an NIE before this happens? If so, where would I go to do that? What documentation is necessary to make this happen? How long would it take for this step?

2) Wait a year.

3) Apply for citizenship. What documents are necessary in this case? I have my grandmother´s birth certificate (original, apostilled), my mother´s birth certificate (original, apostilled), and my birth certificate (original, apostilled). I can translate the latter to into Spanish, if necessary - or does this need to be done by an official translator and then that translation be legalized somewhere? What other documentation is necessary?

How long would it take to process the citizenship application?

Now, it´s not very likely that I would do this anytime soon. I´m just concerned with what documents are necessary to apply so some of them can be collected and prepared now. For example, some documents in the US can be a pain to get (New York State death certificate, for example) if you´re not the child of the deceased. I would just like to have this as an option.

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Posted: 28 February 2010 12:13 PM  
Expatriator
Total Posts:  453
Joined  2008-12-30

perejil,
1 -  when you get your residence visa, you can fly to spain, rent a flat.
2 -  then you register that you are living in that flat (empadronarse) in the junta municipal of that area.
3 -  then you go to tesoreria de seguridad social handling your area to apply for your social security number.
4 -  then you go to the centro de salud of your district to apply for your health card.
5 -  then you go to the police station handling the issuance of residence and work permits in your area, and apply for your residence card.
6 -  they will tell you when you come back to take your finger print, and when you can get the card, the card includes your nie number.
7 -  you can start working as an employee with the just the residence and work visa.

then nie number may be given to you when you receive the letter granting your residence or you may ask for it at the police station when you apply for your residence card.

before you complete a year of residence you apply for the renewal of the card.

when you have completed a year residence (normally when you get the new residence card), you can apply for spanish citizenship.
you can download the form for citizenship application and it also includes the requirements.
one of the requirements is your being employed.

from your country you only need your birth certificate and police record (authenticated or apostilled, and officially translated, ask about this matter at the spanish consulate) the rest include your moms and grannys spanish birth certificates and others you can collect here in a matter of days.

after submitting the forms at the civil register of your area, the police will summon you between six months to a year to interview you on the veracity of the documents.

they will send their findings back to the civil register and if everything is ok, they will send you a letter granting citizenship and informing you to schedule yourself to swear allegiance to the king and the constitution and renouncing your previous citizenship ( you lose it depending how your country grants or revokes citizenships)

you will then register yourself in a new spanish birth certificate and when this is issued to you, you can apply for your dni card and passport.
when you have these you will have to go to the banks, tesoreria, junta municipal, hacienda, etc phone companies, etc to change your nie number to a dni number

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Posted: 01 March 2010 04:57 PM  
Administrator
Total Posts:  1697
Joined  2005-12-05

Wow Aritz, nice post! Very comprehensive!

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Posted: 24 March 2010 12:30 AM  
Just Landed
Total Posts:  21
Joined  2010-02-25

Aritz, that was awesome!! Thank you very much for taking the time to write all that out. Requesting sticky!

Edit: I was also wondering, if you have the time, how this process would be different for an EU citizen.

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Posted: 25 March 2010 12:33 AM  
Expatriator
Total Posts:  453
Joined  2008-12-30

perejil,
an eu citizen does not need a visa to enter spain.
just follow the steps i ennumerated on 28 feb 2010.
you can skip or modify some of them.
when you arrive, you get a flat, then you just start from step number 2.
when you get to number 5 you get your certificate of registration as an eu citizen from the police station handling this matter.
the certificate of registration will also show your nie number (necessary for tax purposes).
your employer will require you this number.

by the way, what passport or passports do you hold right now?

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Posted: 25 March 2010 04:56 AM  
Just Landed
Total Posts:  21
Joined  2010-02-25

Excellent. I knew step 1 was unnecessary and got confused when i got to step 5 and was reading a municipality´s site and they didn´t say anything about a residence card for EU citizens. Thanks for clearing that up. I have been putting together a document based on what you wrote, with direct links to one municipality´s site which has all this information for when i might need it. Now, i´m just doing the time line of how long everything takes and the costs involved in each step. I got down to step 4 before i was not able to find the specifics.

I read in another thread that you also became a Spanish citizen. How long did it take to schedule yourself to swear allegiance to the king? Were there any costs involved with naturalization?

Are steps 3 and 4 necessary, if i´m not interested in collecting a pension one day or using the public health care system? I work for myself (online) for clients abroad. I just want to make sure that i would do everything correctly and not skip a step that could hold up the naturalization. This document is also for someone else who is also considering the same procedure.

Currently, i have a US passport.

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Posted: 26 March 2010 12:56 AM  
Expatriator
Total Posts:  453
Joined  2008-12-30

perejil,
US citizens, unless they are puerto ricans, must accumulate 10 years residency before they can apply for spanish citizenship.
ask the spanish consulate if you are entitled to spanish citizenship by having a spanish born grandmother.
if i am not mistaken, the law granting citizenship to exiled spaniards grandchildren due to the civil war ends this year.
they can extend this law for another year i think.
if you are NOT entitled to it you may be given a “busqueda de empleo visa”. as a grandchild of a spaniard to come over and look for a job for a 3 month period.
once you get a hired you can apply for your residence card
if in your mothers spanish birth certificate she is classified as spaniard by origin, you only need to accumulate 1 year residency before you can apply.
one of the requirements is having a job. that means you must apply for your social sec number and the health card.
if you are working as self employed you will have to submit the documents showing you are contributing to the sss and paying your taxes.

when you submit the application and requirements, the police will interview you after about 6 to 12 months after submission to see if you are working, if you are living in the right address, if you speak spanish, if you have a clean rpolice record,etc.

after 6 to 12 months the ministry of justice will get the police report and if everything is in order, they will send you a letter granting the citizenship and requiring you to swear allegiance within the next 6 months, to do this you go to local civil registry and get yourself scheduled. once you have done that, you fill in a new spanish birth certificate and once you are issued a copy you can apply for the passport and dni in a matter of minutes. you then go to the bank the sss the irs to change your nie to dni.

now this is how long it takes in madrid, where there is a lot of immigration, small towns may not take as long.

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Posted: 26 March 2010 07:12 AM  
Just Landed
Total Posts:  21
Joined  2010-02-25

The consulate said that i´m not. Back then, Spanish women lost their nationality when marrying a foreigner. She lost hers this way before the birth of my mother, who was then not born originally Spanish. My mother can become Spanish tomorrow, if she wants, by option, being the child of someone who was originally Spanish. I qualify under the civil code as the grandchild of someone who was originally Spanish, and just have to do one year of residence. We don´t get in under the Historical Memory Law either as my grandmother was born before all that stuff happened.

I would be interested in hearing more about this “busqueda de empleo visa” as a grandchild of a Spaniard, because i have not heard of this category before and searching online didn´t yield much. Thanks for following this thread. I see you have a similar interest in citizenship laws as i do. We´re looking at Bilbao as a place to live for two or three years.

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Posted: 28 April 2010 02:31 AM  
Tourist
Total Posts:  6
Joined  2010-04-28

I have a followup question:  My grandparents were Spanish citizens and my father was born outside of Spain in the US (before they had to renounce their Spanish citizenship), and as a result my father should be considered Spanish by origin, correct?  He never obtained Spanish citizenship and is no longer alive.

If this is the case, wouldn’t I be eligible for Spanish citizenship without residency requirement since by definition my father is an “original Spaniard”? 

Thanks.

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Posted: 28 April 2010 11:30 AM  
Expatriator
Total Posts:  453
Joined  2008-12-30

pzck,
right now you are a us citizen. you have to gather your grandparents spanish passports and dni.
check with the consulate if they officially renounced their citizenship.
are your grandparents still alive?

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Posted: 29 April 2010 09:57 PM  
Tourist
Total Posts:  6
Joined  2010-04-28

Aritz,

Thanks for the information.  My grandparents are no longer alive.  I believe my aunt has their passports, and I need to ask her if they renounced their citizenship.  They came to the states in the 1920s but returned to Spain temporarily in the 30s after my father was born (which leads me to believe they must have been Spanish citizens after his birth).  They lived and worked in the states until their deaths in the 1990s, and I am quite positive they naturalized at some point.  Would they have DNI numbers if they were born around the turn of the 20th century?

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Posted: 30 April 2010 12:01 AM  
Expatriator
Total Posts:  453
Joined  2008-12-30

pzck,
if they returned to spain before the civil war and left spain during or after the civil war, you may be eligible for citizenship according to the historical memory law. it is a two year process and may be extended a year or so. the dates or their arrival in the usa would be reflected in their passports.
if they went to spain after your father was born, he may have been registed as a spaniard in the spanish consulate.  your father needed a passport ( either a spanish or american)  to travel with them or his name would have been written on one of the pages of your grandparents passports and you can deduce what this means.
the dni number was used as a passport number until the issuance of the machine readable passports recently.
if they officially renounced, this would be anotated in their birth certificates or with the consulate.
i would assume then that your father was born when they were still spanish citizens in the usa, so he would be by birth both american and spaniard.

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Posted: 26 June 2010 09:30 PM  
Tourist
Total Posts:  3
Joined  2009-03-21

Hello perejil,
I am a US citiizen (by birth in US) and my father was a Spaniiard by origin and I was born while he was still a Spanish national. I was able to obtain my Spanish passport at the Consulate here in the US last year.  It was a 2 year process for me; howver my brother’s application was handled more quickly.  Both my brother and I could “recover the Spanish nationality”.  My sister was born after my father becuase a US citizen and she is applying under the Historic law thing and it is taking a bit longer, but it looks good.  My brother’s children are also obtaining their Spanish passport by virtue of their grandfather living in exile since civil war.
It is quite a process at the Consulate (and not always pleasant), but it certainly has been worth it at the end for all of us.

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Posted: 10 August 2010 08:20 AM  
Just Landed
Total Posts:  21
Joined  2010-02-25

I´m in the process of collecting documentation on my family for when i move to Spain. Obtaining my grandmother´s birth certificate is proving to be a very lengthy process. I´m wondering what is the list of documents required when one obtains citizenship as the grandchild of an original Spaniard. Is it birth/marriage/death certificates for everyone in the chain, or are some of those not required? I´m wanting to put this documentation together now so i will have it for later when the time comes.

Thanks!

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Posted: 10 August 2010 08:28 AM  
Expatriator
Total Posts:  453
Joined  2008-12-30

perejil,
you can get your grandma’s birth certificate on line if you know her date of birth and place of birth in spain. the rest of the documents will be coming from the usa.

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Posted: 16 August 2010 08:18 PM  
Just Landed
Total Posts:  25
Joined  2008-06-25

i was just about to ask this question myself for someone else in france who has spanish parents and grandparents (alive now)

her parents are in the french military though, denounced their spanish citizenship

how ever, her grandparents are living in south of france and go between to visit relatives in Leida

i hope im not annoying by asking this after reading through this thread but are you all saying your relative with a spanish status can also be valid after death as well, i thought you needed a living relative no?

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