Dual citizenship in Spain

Dual citizenship implies that a person's status in two countries is recognized. In the country of residency, the individual pays taxes and serves in the military. Dual citizenship is only available to citizens of countries that have signed a dual citizenship agreement.

The advantages and disadvantages of dual citizenship might vary. You should consider all the details involved in such a situation before making such a decision. You must be aware of the advantages of dual citizenship, how it can be obtained, and whether it is even financially advantageous for those who wish to obtain it.

Dual citizenship has several benefits, including:

  • Getting the opportunity to enjoy all the rights that exist in both countries.
  • Cross-border travel is unrestricted and free.
  • The chance to simultaneously get diplomatic assistance from both countries in the event of issues in a third country.
  • Subsidies, social benefits, and conducting business are all concurrently permitted in both countries. Dual citizenship alone does not require a member to lose entitlement to retired pay.
  • Any other advantages and benefits that both countries can offer.
  • When traveling to the country where you were granted second citizenship, you are not required to show your foreign passport.

Citizens of both nations are referred to as dual nationals. A dual national is a person who has citizenship in two or more countries. The UN Charter initially included a reference to dual citizenship following the Second World War, when many people were compelled to migrate.

Which nationals are eligible for dual citizenship with Spain?

Here you can find the complete list of all the countries with special treaties with Spain that allow them not to renounce their former citizenship when obtaining the Spanish one:

  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Ecuador
  • Philippines
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • El Salvador
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • France

If your country is not on this list, you must first get rid of your original citizenship in order to obtain the Spanish one. The foundation for such a strategy is that future Spanish citizens should be culturally and historically similar to Spaniards and be native Spanish speakers. It is claimed that this method makes it easier to "naturalize," which is the primary reason for granting citizenship.

The Law makes the acquisition of Spanish citizenship possible for the Sephardic Jews that are descendents of those expelled from Spain in the 15th Century without renouncing their current citizenship and without requiring residency in Spain.

Spanish citizenship requirements

To be eligible for Spanish citizenship, you must have a permanent residency permit (due to work, education, marriage, real estate ownership, or other legal reasons), know Spanish, and demonstrate integration into Spanish society. Each case is evaluated on its own merits, and there is no absolute assurance that a foreigner will be granted citizenship.

Spanish citizenship for investment

Spain offers visitors a residence visa in exchange for making an economic contribution; this government initiative is also known as a "Golden Visa." If all program requirements are completed, the investor can acquire a permanent residency visa after five years and apply for Spanish citizenship through naturalization after ten years of staying in Spain.

Naturalization

Foreigners who have lived in Spain legally for ten years can apply for citizenship. You must have a permanent residency permit (due to work, education, marriage, real estate ownership, or other legal reasons) in order to get Spanish citizenship. You must also know Spanish and demonstrate integration into Spanish society. Each case is handled individually, and there is no assurance that a foreigner will be awarded citizenship.

The completed document package is submitted via an online form on the Ministry of Justice's website.

Spanish citizenship through family reunification

A Spanish citizen or a foreigner with a residency permit in Spain may convey family members to the country. To reunite with your family, you must apply to the migration department for a special permit. However, in this case, we are discussing obtaining a residence permit rather than obtaining citizenship. A resident moving relatives must have lived in Spain for at least a year, have housing (owned or rented), and a high permanent income.

Spanish citizenship through marriage

Foreigners who marry Spanish natives are initially granted a residence permit. It can be changed to citizenship after a year under the accelerated program. Before marriage, both spouses must be interviewed to ensure that the marriage is genuine. The interview is normally done by a notary, a court clerk, or a local government official.

Spanish citizenship for refugees

Migrants with refugee status in Spain can apply for citizenship after five years in the country. You must have a refugee certificate issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs' Department for Asylum and Protection to do so.

There is an option under the Spanish Civil Code—the choice to renounce previous citizenship and obtain Spanish citizenship. The citizens listed below have this right:

  • Individuals who were or are under the supervision of Spanish citizens.
  • Individuals with a Spanish father or mother who were born in Spain.
  • Individuals who were adopted by Spanish nationals and have the option to choose citizenship within two years of the date of adoption

Is it possible for a US citizen to have dual citizenship?

Although there is no particular statute forbidding dual citizenship between the United States and Spain, the United States declares that dual national US citizens "owe allegiance to the United States and are expected to observe its laws and regulations."

Is it possible for a French citizen to have dual citizenship?

With the implementation of a new agreement that took effect on April 1, 2022, French citizens can now get Spanish citizenship without giving up their French citizenship and vice versa. France is the first country outside of Latin America to sign such an agreement with Spain.

Is it possible for a UK citizen to hold dual citizenship?

Many countries, including Spain, do not recognize dual citizenship. As a result, you must proceed cautiously and conduct thorough research about the rules and laws of the country in which you desire to apply for citizenship. Simply put, Spain does not now recognize Spanish and British dual citizenship, and it only recognizes dual citizenship from a few nations that meet the standards outlined in the Spanish constitution and Spanish nationality law.

If I have dual citizenship, do I have to serve in the army?

If countries have signed a treaty on dual citizenship, they recognise the rights and responsibilities of a dual citizen in relation to each other.

A man with dual Spanish and Colombian citizenship lived in Spain, so he served in the Spanish army and contributed to the Spanish budget.Having moved to Colombia, he begins to pay taxes there, but his military service no longer needs to be served.

Tax obligations for people with dual citizenship

In particular, it is possible to have tax residences in two or more countries in addition to Spain. This circumstance may result in further taxation because it is difficult to avoid paying double taxation unless you get competent tax counsel.

In general, Spain will use the following rules to determine which country you must pay taxes in:

  • The first criterion is to designate your tax residency as the country in which you live permanently. If you are a dual resident, your tax residency is the country with the stronger personal and/or economic ties.
  • If the first criteria is not met, your tax residency is determined by the country in which you normally reside.
  • If you live in two countries, you are considered a tax resident in the country where you were born.
  • If you have dual citizenship and none of the above three requirements apply, your tax residency will be determined by the appropriate tax authorities.

Can Spanish citizenship be revoked?

Spanish citizenship can be revoked in several cases. Adult Spanish citizens who live permanently in another country:

  • Voluntarily surrendered citizenship in exchange for new citizenship in another country;
  • They have reclaimed their previous citizenship, which they hold until the age of 18 (in the case of foster families).
    After three years, beginning with the acquisition of another citizenship or renunciation of Spanish citizenship, the loss of citizenship is deemed complete.
  • According to the preceding, acquiring citizenship of a Latin American country does not imply the loss of Spanish by naturalization. In particular instances, it is possible to voluntarily renounce Spanish citizenship at the request of individuals.
  • Voluntary renunciation of citizenship in exchange for acquiring a foreign one, if the individuals have a different nationality and live in that other country permanently.
  • Citizens cannot renounce their Spanish citizenship while the country is at war.
  • People who have obtained Spanish citizenship but did not receive it by right of origin lose it in the following circumstances:
  • Due to a willful violation of Spanish law, the court stripped them of their status.
  • When people willingly join the army or assume important political posts in another country, which the Spanish government forbids.
  • In circumstances where people who have lost their original citizenship and obtained Spanish citizenship continue to enjoy the benefits of their prior civil status for three years.
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