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Simplified procedure for obtaining Spanish nationality

The acquisition of Spanish citizenship, once a long and arduous process, has now been greatly simplified by the recent Regulation on Spanish Citizenship via Residency, which was passed by the Council of Ministers on the 6th of November.

Those foreign residents in Spain that wish to acquire Spanish citizenship will remember that this process entailed a series of steps, some of which were not clearly established in the law, and that could take several years to be completed. It was common for applicants to have difficulty in checking the status of their application, since many of the internet-based tools employed by the Spanish Ministry of Justice had not been sufficiently developed. Especially controversial was the possibility of having to pass through a face-to-face interview, whose contents was difficult to foresee and, therefore, to prepare for.

The difficulties described have motivated the Spanish Government to better regulate the situation of citizenship applicants, who, with the new guidelines, are better equipped to file their application and achieve a successful conclusion.

Checking the status of your application

Among the reforms bought in by the new regulation is the obligation on the part of the Ministry of Justice to digitalize the applicant´s documentation, filing the application in an electronic format. It is hoped that this measure will go a long way towards streamlining the application process, as well as allowing prospective Spanish citizens to check the status of the process.

There will also be a clearer regulation of those exams that applicants will have to undertake in order for their request to be successful. On the one hand, a diploma in the Spanish language will be necessary, this being the internationally recognized DELE certificate, organized by the Cervantes Institute. This certificate will be issued by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport and the exams must be passed at a minimum level of “A2”. Those applicants with the nationality of a Spanish-speaking country shall be exempt from this test.

Another exam, this time testing the applicant´s knowledge of the Spanish Constitution and Culture (CCSE) will also be required. It is expected that course books will appear, instructing applicants on how to pass this important test.

If you are a foreign national, living in Spain, you may be eligible to apply for Spanish nationality. Lexland has great experience advising foreign residents on a range of issues relating to residency and citizenship and would be delighted to advise you in a free initial consultation.