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The Law of Democratic Memory

The Law of Democratic Memory, as it is know officially, seeks to help Spain make some amends for its recent history. Its goals are obvious, the restoration, preservation, and propagation of that memory, which has been so severely damaged by 40 years of dictatorship. Additionally, “to foster soloidarity and cohesion among the many generations around the constitutional ideas, values, and freedoms.” 

The law offered Spanish citizenship to the children of Spanish exiles who had fled from the Franco regime. The 2007 Historical Memory Law had excluded children of exilies who had changed or renounced their Spanish citizenship; the new law entitled any descendant of Spanish immigrants born before 1985 – the year Spain changed its nationality law – to citizenship. This now included the grandchildren of people exiled under the Franco dictatorship, and the descendant of women who had lost their citizenship on marrying non-Spaniards. It is estimated that 700,000 people could be eligible for citizenship under the new “granchildren law”.










Spanish Citizenship by Ancestry Options

There are 4 primary Paths to obtaining Spanish CItizenship through Ancestry

  • Path 1: Spanish Citizenship by Birth:

  • You are Spanish by origin/birth and can apply directly for Spanish citizenship (where you do not require a residency period) if you were:

  • If one of your parents is a Spanish citizen born in Spain,

  • Born in Spain to foreign parents, if at least one parent was also born in Spain.

The exception is children of diplomats and consuls accredited in Spain;

  • Were adopted by a Spaniard and are under 18, or are over 18 and were adopted within the last two years;

  • We’re born in Spain to foreign parents whose identity is unknown or their country of origin is undetermined (stateless or refugee status). This also applies if neither parents’ nationality could be legally passed on to you

  • Path 2: Spanish Citizenship by Descent

  • You have a grandparent who was a Spanish citizen or a Spanish parent born outside of Spain.

  • Grandchildren of Spanish women who were born in Spain and married to non-Spanish citizens before 1978.

  • Grandchildren of Spanish nationals who received nationality from another country after leaving Spain before their children were born (which means their children at the time of birth were not Spanish citizens).

  • Grandchildren of citizens of Spain who did not apply to become Spanish citizens before 18 years of age (and lost the automatic privilege)

  • Path 3: Spanish Citizenship by Residency

    • The length of time you must wait before applying for citizenship may differ based on where you are from and your family ties:

  • The standard rule is ten years.

  • If you are a refugee, you will be detained for five years.

  • If you are from Latin America, Andorra, Equatorial Guinea, the Philippines, or Portugal, you can stay for two years.

  • One year for people married to a Spanish national or their children/grandchildren born in Spain.

    • Other criteria include:

    • You must have lived without interruption for the required number of periods. This means that you cannot leave the nation for extended periods of time (more than three months).

    • Authorities will investigate your criminal history and police records.

    • The year count begins when your initial residency card is valid.

    • Any time spent in Spain on a tourist or student visa will not be counted because these are considered stay periods.

  • Path 4: Spanish Citizenship by Option

    • You have a spanish born parent, you were born outside of Spains and are under 18 years of age

    • You are over 18 years of age and qualify under the new Let de Nieto Law

Free Spanish Citizenship
Eligibly Assessment

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Application Processing Time: 1-4 Years

Step 1: Member onboarding

Kick-off call
Complete Pedigree Tree

Step 2: Vital Records Retrieval

Cuba, Puerto Rico & USA

Step 3: Vital Records Prep


Step 4: Application Preparation

Consular Appointment

Step 5: Citizenship Approval


Step 6: Passport Approval

Citizenship Certificate
Oath swearing at local consulate
Spanish Passport



We recommend checking out sephardim.com. If your surname pops up on a list there, it’s a good sign that you have the required ancestry.

The FCJE is a good starting place to find a proper authority – the Fedeacion de Comunidades Judias de España.

Spain has dual citizenship agreements in place with a number of Latin American countries and former colonies (see list above). If your country is on this list you will not need to give up your passport.


Free Spanish Citizenship
Eligibly Assessment

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