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Children and grandchildren of Spaniards (the 2002 immigration law)
- For those who can show sufficient savings, or who receive a regular pension or annuity.
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Law 36/2002 went into effect on January 9, 2003, and amends the Civil Code with respect to nationality. It contains numerous changes to the immigration laws in Spain, including the following:
- Children of Spaniards (article 20): Any person whose father or mother was of Spanish origin and born in Spain may choose to become a Spanish citizen, without any age or time limit. However, such persons must renounce their previous citizenship, unless it was granted by an Latin American country, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea or Portugal.
- Grandchildren of Spaniards (article 22.2.f.): Persons who have a grandfather or grandmother of Spanish origin may request Spanish citizenship after one year of legal residence in Spain. This application is processed by the head of the Civil Registry of the person's domicile in Spain and is ruled upon by the Ministry of Justice.
- Loss and retention of citizenship (article 24): Spaniards residing abroad who voluntarily take on the citizenship of a foreign country can avoid loss of Spanish citizenship by declaring their desire to retain it during the three-year period following such acquisition of new citizenship, at a Consular Civil Registry. Such declaration of retention will continue to be unnecessary in those countries mentioned above.
Persons born abroad whose parents were also born abroad, lose their Spanish citizenship unless they declare their desire to retain it before a Consular Civil Registry within a period of three years following their attaining legal age. Otherwise, they lose their Spanish citizenship, even if their nationality is that of one of the countries mentioned above. This rule applies to those who attain legal age after January 9, 2003.
- Recovery of citizenship (article 26): Persons who have lost Spanish citizenship may now recover it without having to renounce previous citizenship.
For more information regarding obtaining Spanish citizenship for people with Spanish parents or grandparents, please contact us.