According to the Spanish Civil Code, you qualify for Spanish citizenship by birth if:

  • You were born to Spanish parents.
  • You were born to stateless parents.
  • You were born in Spain to foreign parents if at least one of them was also born in Spain.  This might be the case for second-generation immigrants, whose parents did not become naturalized Spanish citizens.

What does stateless parent mean? 

Spanish citizenship is primarily based upon the principle of jus sanguinis (right of blood), which means you can obtain Spanish citizenship through your parents, regardless of whether you were born in Spain or abroad.

This is different from countries like Colombia, for example, where citizenship eligibility is based on the principle of jus soli (right of soil).

If a person is born in Spain to foreign parents whose country recognizes jus soli instead of jus sanguinis, as is the case for Colombia, the Spanish Civil Code allows the child of foreign citizens born in Spain to apply for citizenship by birth, so that the child does not become stateless.

What are the required documents to apply for citizenship by birth?

Since the applicant for citizenship by birth is usually a minor, the applicant’s parents usually submit the required documents to the Spanish civil registry.

If you are registering yourself or your child for Spanish citizenship by birth, you will need:

  • An ID- Identity document.
  • The applicant’s official birth certificate.
  • The mother and father’s certificates of nationality.
  • A certificate of registration issued at the civil registry or local consulate.