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Former colony residency and citizenship information - Spain


Thorn Tree Refugee
Posts: 3
Joined: February 3rd, 2007

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Tags: spain, Former colony
  • Added on: April 4th, 2009

I need a bit of information that I haven’t really been able to find on the net. I have heard about citizens of former colonies having the ability to get residency and citizenship in Spain easier and faster than non-eu citizens, but I need more information. Does anyone know where I can find any descriptive information? And does anyone also know if that extends to naturalized citizens of a former colony? My parents were born in mexico and a few years ago I became a naturalized Mexican citizen (I am a US citizen by birth.) and I was wondering if that still counted. TIA! :D


Extra Pages in Passport
Posts: 3454
Joined: November 19th, 2004

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  • Added on: April 4th, 2009
Spain Consuls in Mexico Gear Up for Citizenship Applications
Law of the grandchildren.

MEXICO CITY -- Spain's embassy here has geared up to deal with the hundreds of Mexicans applying for Spanish citizenship under the so-called law of the grandchildren, which took effect Monday.

The new law, signed last Friday by Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, extends eligibility for citizenship to children and grandchildren of Spaniards forced into exile between the beginning of the 1936-1939 civil war and December 1955.

A diplomatic source told Efe that the embassy's consular office was busier than normal on Monday, while a line of around 150 people could be seen outside the mission.

The consular office "has boosted human and material resources to attend to those interested" in obtaining Spanish citizenship, the source said, while noting that the law gives people two years to apply.

Among the most famous of the Spanish political exiles in Mexico were the "children of Morelia," children of Loyalist families who were given refuge here after Gen. Francisco Franco's forces won the civil war in Spain, establishing a dictatorship that lasted until 1975.

The number of Spanish citizens - plus their children and grandchildren - residing in Mexico is estimated at between 52,000 and 60,000.

http://www.laht.com/article.asp?Article ... ryId=14091

Mexico/Spain: Whether a Mexican citizen born in Mexico is entitled to Spanish citizenship if her or his grandmother is a Spanish citizen; whether this is a right with only procedural constraints or whether it is a discretionary matter; whether the individual, if entitled to Spanish citizenship, can sponsor her or his spouse and children who are also Mexican (July 2006)

A counsellor at the Embassy of Spain in Canada explained that having a grandmother who is a Spanish citizen does not entitle a foreign-born person to Spanish citizenship (21 June 2006). However, if the grandmother is a Spaniard and born in Spain, her children can obtain Spanish citizenship at any time, and if they do, her grandchildren are also eligible for Spanish citizenship up until the age of 20 (Spain 21 June 2006). The counsellor added that the right to obtain Spanish citizenship is not a discretionary matter (ibid.). The counsellor also noted that residency in Spain is automatically granted to the spouse and children of a Spanish citizen without an obligation to guarantee their support (ibid). The spouse of a Spanish citizen is permitted to reside in Spain as long as they remain married (ibid.). After one year of living together in Spain, the spouse of a Spanish citizen could apply for citizenship (ibid.).

According to the Website of Spain's Ministry of Justice (Ministerio de Justicia), the following individuals are Spanish citizens:

1. Those born to a Spanish father or mother.

2. Those born in Spain, when their parents are foreigners, if one of the parents was also born in Spain (except in the case of the children of diplomats).

3. Those born in Spain to foreign parents neither of [whom] has any citizenship (stateless) or if the legislation of [the] parents' country of origin does not grant any citizenship to the child.

4. Those born in Spain when their parents are unknown. Minors whose first known place of residence is Spain are presumed to have been born in Spain (n.d.).

The Ministry of Justice Website also indicates that Spanish citizenship may be acquired through residence (Spain n.d.). For persons born abroad whose father, mother, grandfather or grandmother was originally a Spanish citizen, the required period of residence is one year (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,, ... d67,0.html

More to the point:

Regarding citizenship: Latin Americans, along with citizens of Portugal, Equatorial Guinea, the Philippines and Andorra, can apply for Spanish citizenship after only two years of legal residence in Spain. For everyone else (who isn’t married to a Spaniard, is a refugee, etc.), it takes ten years.

http://www.maec.es/Consulados/SanFranci ... ionalidad/


That link doesn't seem to work, by the way. I do believe the last poster may have something, because there are a lot of legal immigrants to Spain from Latin America. Most of them seem to be looking for low level jobs like maids and such.

Contact the Spanish Embassy, any Spanish Embassy, and if you're lucky they won't lie to you. They lied to me.

Call two or three to make sure they just didn't give you a story to get rid of you. I am SERIOUS about this.


Thorn Tree Refugee
Posts: 3
Joined: February 3rd, 2007

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  • Added on: April 5th, 2009
Thanks! As far as I know, none of my grandparents were born in Spain. I believe one of my great grandfather's were but that's a bit too far off. I was mainly looking for more information discussing the citizens of a Latin American country, just more details. I want to attend Grad school in Spain in about another year in a half or so and if I can get my citizenship while studying for my masters, hey 2 birds with one stone :D I think I will call the embassy on Monday, thanks again :D

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