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International Brigade Volunteers

Spain recognises the activities carried out in defence of freedom and the democratic principles by the volunteers that made up the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War.

This recognition made public in 1996, when they were granted the right, under the Royal Decree of 19 January, to obtain Spanish citizenship by letter of naturalisation. However, naturalisation via this procedure was subject to the individuals forfeiting their previous nationality, reason for which a large number of brigadists did not exercise their right to acquire Spanish citizenship.

Section 18 of Act 52/2007, known as the Historical Memory Act, once again recognises, in a specific manner, the work of the brigadists and extends their right to Spanish citizenship, eliminating the need to forfeit their previous nationality.


The new Royal Decree of 31 October, enacted to implement the Historical Memory Act, establishes two procedures with different requisites, depending on whether or not the application has already been submitted.

  • When the application has already been submitted

Those International Brigadists who were granted the right to Spanish citizenship under the Royal Decree of 19 January 1996 and did not exercise it, given that they did not wish to forfeit their previous nationality, may reapply without the need to provide any documentation whatsoever.

They will only have to submit an application with their personal details.

  • New applicants

Application Form

Brigadists applying for Spanish citizenship for the first time should apply using the official FORM, which may be downloaded here.

Other documents

The interested parties may provide whatsoever documents they consider appropriate to certify their membership of the International Brigades.

They shall also provide a literal copy of their birth certificate, duly legalised and, when appropriate, translated. Additionally, if they are married, they must supply the original of their marriage certificate, duly legalised and, when appropriate, translated and, if the spouse is Spanish, literal copy of the spouse's birth certificate.

Application submission deadline

The brigadists' right to apply for Spanish citizenship is not subject to any deadline.

Ways to request it

Interested parties may submit the application requesting Spanish citizenship:

  • In the Registry and Notary Offices Department at the Ministry of Justice (Plaza de Jacinto Benavente, 3. 28012 Madrid).
  • In the general registry of any Spanish administrative body.
  • At any Correos de España offices (post offices).
  • At Spanish diplomatic offices or consulates abroad.
  • At the Spanish municipal or consular Civil Registry Office corresponding to the applicant's place of residence.


The Spanish registration certificates required above may be obtained online through :