Applying for Spanish citizenship: the Law on Democratic Memory and sworn translation requirements

Law20/2022 of 19 October 2022 on Democratic Memory and Direction of 25 October 2022 of the Directorate General for Legal Security and Attestation Authority on the right to opt for Spanish nationality established in the eighth additional provision of the Law on Democratic Memory provides for the application of Spanish citizenship if certain requirements are met.

This blog post explains the steps and sworn translation requirements for applying for Spanish citizenship.

Applying for Spanish citizenship. Sworn Spanish Translator.

APPLYING FOR SPANISH CITIZENSHIP: STEPS UNDER THE NEW LAW AND SWORN TRANSLATION REQUIREMENTS

Who is eligible for applying for Spanish citizenship?

The following persons are eligible for applying for Spanish citizenship under the new ‘Law on Democratic Memory’:

I. Those born outside Spain to a father or mother, grandfather or grandmother, who were originally Spanish, and those born outside Spain to a father or mother, grandfather or grandmother, who were originally Spanish and who, as a result of having suffered exile for political, ideological or belief or sexual orientation and identity reasons, have lost or renounced Spanish citizenship (Annex I).

II. Sons and daughters born abroad to Spanish women who lost their nationality because they married foreigners before the entry into force of the 1978 Constitution (Annex II).

III. Sons and daughters of legal age to those Spaniards whose nationality of origin was recognised by virtue of the right of option in accordance with the provisions of the Law on Democratic Memory (Law 20/2022) or the so-called ‘Law on Historical Memory’ (Law 52/2007) (Annex III).

Likewise, persons who, being children of a father or mother originally Spanish and born in Spain, have opted for Spanish nationality not of origin by virtue of Article 20.1.b) of the Civil Code, as well as the minor children of those who acquired Spanish citizenship by application of the Law of Historical Memory, who opted, in turn, for Spanish nationality not of origin by virtue of the exercise of the right of option provided for in Article 20. 1.a) of the Civil Code due to being under the parental authority of a Spaniard, may now also make use of the option provided for in the eighth additional provision of the Law on Democratic Memory in order to obtain Spanish nationality of origin (Annex IV).

Where, how and when should the application be submitted?

  • In person at the applicant’s local Civil Registry Office, together with a photocopy of the application, which will be stamped and returned to the applicant to serve as proof that the application was submitted on time. Interested parties who are domiciled in Spain must carry out the procedure at their corresponding Civil Registry.
  • Using the standard forms corresponding to each case, Annex I, Annex II, Annex III and Annex IV.
  • Within two years from 21 October 2022.

If, on presenting the declaration of option, the requirements are not accredited, the applicant will be obliged to complete the proof within thirty calendar days from the request made for this purpose.

To submit your application at this Consular Office, you must go in person to the following address with the application form (and photocopy) together with the corresponding documentation:

What documentation is required?

In addition to the documents listed below for each of the cases, the Consular Office may request additional information or documents when necessary to assess the file.

Except as provided for in international treaties, foreign registration certificates submitted must be duly legalised or apostilled, as the case may be. Likewise, an official translation made by a competent body or official must be provided in the case of documents not written in Spanish.

I. Those born outside Spain of a father or mother, grandfather or grandmother, who were originally Spanish, and those born outside Spain of a father or mother, grandfather or grandmother, who were originally Spanish and who, as a result of having suffered exile for political, ideological or religious reasons or for reasons of sexual orientation and identity, have lost or renounced Spanish nationality.

A. Annex I duly completed and signed.

B. Document accrediting the identity of the applicant.

C. Birth certificate of the applicant, issued by the local Civil Registry where it is registered.

D. Verbatim birth certificate of the applicant’s father, mother, grandfather or grandmother, who were originally Spanish.

E. If the application is made as the grandchild of an originally Spanish grandparent, literal birth certificate of the father or mother -whichever corresponds to the line of the Spanish grandfather or grandmother- of the applicant.

F. The accreditation of the exile status of the father, mother, grandfather or grandmother by providing one of the following documents:

a. Documentation that accredits having been a beneficiary of the pensions granted by the Spanish Administration to exiles that proves directly and by itself the exile.

b. Documentation from the United Nations International Office for Refugees and the Refugee Offices of the host States that assisted Spanish refugees and their families.

c. Certifications or reports issued by political parties, trade unions or any other entities or institutions, public or private, duly recognised by the Spanish authorities or the authorities of the host State of the exiles, which are related to the exile, either because their members have suffered exile, or because they have excelled in the defence and protection of Spanish exiles, or because they are currently working for the moral reparation and recovery of the personal and family memory of the victims of the Civil War and the Dictatorship.

The documents numbered b) and c) above will constitute proof of exile if they are presented together with any of the following documents:

  1. passport or travel document with entry stamp in the host country.
  2. Certificate of registration at the Spanish Consular Office.
  3. Certifications from the Consular Civil Registry proving residence in the host country, such as registration of marriage, registration of birth of children, registration of death, among others.
  4. Certification from the local Civil Registry of the host country that accredits having acquired the nationality of that country.
  5. Documentation from the time of the host country stating the year of arrival in that country or the arrival there by any means of transport.

Exile status will be presumed for all Spaniards who left Spain between 18 July 1936 and 31 December 1955, and in these cases the departure from Spanish territory must be accredited by means of any of the documents listed in this point.

Proof of exile status must be provided if the person left Spain between 1 January 1956 and 28 December 1978.

II. Sons and daughters born abroad of Spanish women who lost their nationality by marrying foreigners before the entry into force of the 1978 Constitution

A. Annex II duly completed and signed.

B. Document accrediting the identity of the applicant.

C. Birth certificate of the applicant, issued by the local Civil Registry where it is registered.

D. Verbatim birth certificate of the applicant’s Spanish mother.

E. Certificate of marriage of the mother to a foreigner contracted before 29 December 1978, issued by the Civil Registry where it is registered.

F. For marriages formalised between 5 August 1954 and 28 December 1978, both included, documentation accrediting the acquisition by the mother of the husband’s nationality and a document accrediting the foreign legislation on the acquisition of nationality by marriage in force on the date on which the marriage took place.

III. Sons and daughters of legal age of those Spaniards whose nationality of origin was recognised by virtue of the right of option in accordance with the provisions of the Law on Democratic Memory (Law 20/2022) or the so-called Law on Historical Memory (Law 52/2007).

  1. Annex III duly completed and signed.
  2. Document accrediting the identity of the applicant.
  3. Birth certificate of the applicant, issued by the local Civil Registry where it is registered.
  4. Literal Spanish birth certificate of the father or mother of applicants of legal age who opt for Spanish nationality, when their parents have been recognised as having Spanish nationality of origin by virtue of the right of option in accordance with the Law on Democratic Memory of 2022 or the Law of Historical Memory of 2007, when the application is presented in a Civil Register other than the one in which the birth of the father or mother is registered.

IV. Persons who, being children of an originally Spanish father or mother born in Spain, have opted for Spanish nationality not of origin by virtue of Article 20.1.b) of the Civil Code, as well as the minor children of those who acquired Spanish nationality by application of the Law on Historical Memory, who opted, in turn, for Spanish nationality not of origin by virtue of the exercise of the right of option provided for in Article 20. 1.a) of the Civil Code due to being under the parental authority of a Spaniard, may now also make use of the option provided for in the eighth additional provision of the Law on Democratic Memory, in order to obtain the Spanish nationality of origin that has been granted

  1. Annex IV duly completed and signed.
  2. The corresponding supporting documentation, depending on the case in question, in accordance with the provisions of Annex IV.

Where can Spanish registration certificates be requested?

Spanish registration certificates may be requested:

  • Online via the Ministry of Justice website www.mjusticia.gob.es, expressly stating that the certification is requested for the purposes of exercising the right of option provided for in the Law on Democratic Memory.
  • Using the standard application form for the literal certification of birth (Annex VI).

In cases where there is no birth registration of the parents or grandparents, the interested party may provide the baptismal certificate from the parish or diocesan archives, together with the negative birth registration certificate issued by the corresponding Register. In the same way, he/she can also file for the late registration of the birth, as provided for in the registry law.

What are the common requirements for the validity of the acquisition of Spanish nationality by option?

For the acquisition of Spanish nationality by option to be valid, it will be necessary:

  • That the applicant swears or promises allegiance to the King and obedience to the Constitution and the laws.
  • That the acquisition is recorded in the consular Civil Registry Office.

What recourse is available in case of refusal?

If the Civil Registrar refuses the option to acquire Spanish nationality for not fulfilling the requirements of the Law on Democratic Memory, the interested party will be formally notified so that he/she can lodge the corresponding appeal with the Directorate General of Legal Security and Attestation Authority of the Ministry of Justice.

Sworn translation requirements

All documents which were not originally issued in Spanish must be translated by a sworn Spanish translator appointed by the Spanish Government (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) for submission with your application.

If you need a sworn English-Spanish translation, send your documents here.

Applying for Spanish nationality. Sworn Spanish translator.

SOURCES

https://www.exteriores.gob.es/Embajadas/dhaka/es/Comunicacion/Noticias/Paginas/Articulos/Nacionalidad-espa%C3%B1ola-por-la-Ley-de-Memoria-Democr%C3%A1tica.aspx

https://www.boe.es/buscar/doc.php?id=BOE-A-2022-17470

https://www.boe.es/buscar/act.php?id=BOE-A-1889-4763

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