Spanish law provides for several paths to citizenship, the standard one being citizenship for those who have maintained legal residency for a continuous period of ten years.

However, there are also some exceptions granting shorter waiting periods:

  1. Five years: Spanish citizenship can be granted to people who have obtained refugee status.
  2. Two years: for citizens of Latin American countries, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal, or Sephardic Jews.
  3. One year for:
    • People born in Spanish territories.
    • People who didn’t properly exercise their right to acquire Spanish citizenship by choice.
    • People who have been legally subject to the guardianship (under the supervision of a counselor) or foster care of a Spanish citizen or institution for two consecutive years.
    • People who, at the time of application, have been married to a Spaniard for one year and are not legally or actually separated.
    • Widows or widowers of Spaniards if at the time of the spouse’s death they were not legally or factually separated.
    • People born outside of Spain to a Spanish father or mother (who was also born outside of Spain) and a Spanish grandparent, as long as they were originally Spaniards.

In addition, the applicant will need to prove good civil conduct and a sufficient degree of integration into Spanish society.

If you have any questions with regards to matters of citizenship not covered in the general rules described above, please contact us.