Go to content

Main menu

Descendants of Spanish nationals

Law 52/2007, known as the Law of Historical Memory, acknowledges the injustice represented by the exile of many Spaniards during the Civil War and Dictatorship.

Consequently, the seventh additional provision of said Law allows the optional acquisition of Spanish citizenship of origin by persons whose father or mother was originally Spanish and by the grandchildren of those who lost or were forced to forfeit their Spanish citizenship as a consequence of the exile.

APPLICATION FOR NATIONALITY

There are three different applications for Spanish citizenship of origin:

  1. Persons whose father or mother was originally Spanish

    Spanish law already allowed persons whose father or mother was originally Spanish and born in Spain to apply for Spanish citizenship.

    The Law of Historical Memory extends the possibility of acquiring Spanish citizenship of origin to those whose mother or father was originally Spanish, even if they were not born in Spain.

    Documents that must be provided by the interested parties

    • Application on FORM I, which can be downloaded at this website. The form may also be obtained at the Spanish Embassy or Consulate General nearest your home External link.
    • Literal birth certificate of the interested party,, issued by a local Civil Registry Office abroad, legalised or with the apostille, where applicable. The foreign Civil Registry should inform on the legalisation and apostille formalities.
    • Literal birth certificate of the originally Spanish father or mother of the applicant.. This certificate must be issued by a Spanish Civil Registry, consular or municipal, or by a foreign Civil Registry.
  2. The grandchildren of those who lost or were forced to forfeit their Spanish citizenship as a consequence of the exile.

    This covers those persons whose father or mother was born after the exiled grandfather or grandmother lost their Spanish citizenship. Therefore, their closest Spanish ancestor is a grandparent.

    The Spanish grandfather or grandmother does not need to have been a Spanish citizen of origin.

    Documents que han d'aportar els interessats

    • Application on FORM II, which can be downloaded at this website.Spanish Embassy or Consulate General nearest your home. The form may also be obtained from the Spanish Embassy or Consulate General nearest your home External link.
    • Literal birth certificate of the interested party, issued by a local Civil Registry Office abroad, legalised or with the apostille, where applicable. The foreign Civil Registry should inform on the legalisation and apostille formalities.
    • Literal birth certificate of the applicant's father or mother - the parent corresponding to the bloodline of the Spanish grandfather or grandmother -issued by a consular or foreign Civil Registry. In this last case, the certificate must be legalised or with the apostille, as required. The foreign Civil Registry should inform on the legalisation and apostille formalities. For births before 1870, a Spanish baptism certificate may be presented.

      This certificate is solely for the purposes of linking the father or mother with the grandfather or grandmother.

    • Literal birth certificate of the Spanish grandfather or grandmother of the applicant, issued by a municipal Civil Registry in Spain. As in the previous case, if they were born before 1870, a Spanish baptism certificate may be presented.
    • Documentation that proves the exile status of the grandfather and grandmother. In order to certify the exile status of the grandfather or grandmother of the interested party, the law establishes three possibilities.
      • Documentation that certifies having been a beneficiary of the pensions granted by the Spanish Administration to exiled persons, which constitutes, in itself, direct proof of exile..
      • Documentation that certifies the exile, together with documentation that proves the departure from Spain or the arrival at or permanence in another country:
        • Exile status may be certified by means of:
          • Documentation issued by the United Nations International Refugee Office of the receiving countries that assisted the Spanish refugees and their families.
          • Certificates or reports issued by political parties, trade unions or other bodies or institutions, public or private, duly acknowledged by the Spanish authorities or from the receiving country of the exiled persons, which are related to the exile. Said certificates or reports must irrefutably refer to the documentary collections or historical archives of the entity.
        • Expatriation, departure from Spain or permanence in another country may be certified by means of:
          • Passport or travel pass with entry stamp issued by the receiving country.
          • Matriculation Register Certificate issued by the Spanish Embassy or Consulate.
          • Certificates issued by the consular Civil Registry that certifies the residence in the receiving country, such as marriage registration, registration of the birth of children, death certificate, etc.
          • Certificate issued by the local Civil Registry of the receiving country that certifies having obtained the nationality of said country.
          • Official documentation issued at the time by the receiving country that includes reference to their year of arrival in said country or arrival thereto by any means of transport.
        • The exile status shall be presumed in the case of all Spaniards who left Spain between 18 July 1936 and 31 December 1955. The departure from Spain may be certified by means of any of the above-mentioned documents.
  3. Those persons who have already applied for Spanish citizenship not of origin

    Those persons who have already applied for derivative Spanish citizenship because their father or mother was originally Spanish and born in Spain, pursuant to Article 20.1 b) of the Civil Code, may now also choose to apply for Spanish citizenship of origin.

    Documents that must be provided by the interested parties

    Applicants must present the application on FORM III, which can be downloaded at this website. This form may also be obtained from the Spanish Embassy or Consulate General nearest your home External link.

PRESENTATION OF THE APPLICATION AND DEADLINES

The interested parties must print and fill out two copies of the application form corresponding to their specific case. They must present these, together with the relevant documentation, at the consular or municipal Spanish Civil Registry corresponding to the address of the interested party. A stamped copy will be returned to them as a receipt of presentation.

Should the requirements not be fulfilled upon presentation of the application for citizenship, the applicant is obliged to complete the documentation within a period of thirty calendar days from the request to do so.

Following the Agreement of the Council of Ministers of January 22, 2010 (BOE No 72 of 24.3.2010), which extended for one year the original deadline, the application may be submitted until December 27, 2011.

APPEALS

If the person in charge of the Civil Registry should reject the application for Spanish citizenship of origin due to failure to fulfil the requirements established by law, the interested party will be formally notified for the purpose of filing the corresponding appeal at the General Directorate for Registries and Notaries of the Ministry of Justice: Plaza Jacinto Benavente, no. 3 - 28071 Madrid.

The appeal may also be lodged at Spanish diplomatic representations or consular offices abroad.