Can I apply for Spanish Citizenship for my U.S. Children?

It is possible to apply for Spanish Citizenship for your U.S. citizen children through the process of ‘Citizenship by option,’ as written in Law 36/2002 (written on October 8, 2002).

Who is eligible to apply for citizenship by option?

The following categories of individuals may apply or ‘opt’ for Spanish citizenship:

  • Those under the tutelage of a Spanish citizen.
  • Those whose parent had been originally Spanish and was born in Spain (and subsequently lost Spanish nationality).
  • Those born in Spain to foreign parents if at least one parent was born in Spain.
  • Those adopted as adults to a Spanish parent after 2 years of adoption.

Spanish citizenship by option must be claimed within 2 years of the person’s 18th birthday or after ‘emancipation,’ regardless of age.

What are the required documents to apply for Spanish citizenship by option?

The applicant (your child) must provide an original and a photocopy of:

  • Their birth certificate, translated and apostilled.
  • A valid passport or driver’s license.
  • A naturalization certificate or permanent resident card.

The applicant’s parents must provide an original and a photocopy of:

  • The birth certificates of the applicant’s father and mother. If both were born in Spain then both Spanish birth certificates must be provided. If one parent was born abroad and their birth certificate is not written in Spanish, it should be translated and apostilled.
  • A marriage certificate.
  • Valid identity documents: passport, driver’s license, etc.
  • An Identity Sheet.

The mother or father may submit the required documents and start the application process on behalf of their child. Both the parents and child may be required to sign the application.