The Philippines and Spain have had a rough relationship in history, but in the present day, these 333-year-long ties take a different form—a quicker route to acquire Spanish citizenship.
As a former colony of Spain, citizens of the Philippines are able to gain status as Spanish nationals in a shorter timeline compared to others. Stated in Article 22 of the Spanish Civil Code, citizens by birth of the Philippines, Latin American countries, Andorra, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal, and Sephardic Jews can apply for citizenship after two years of permanent residency, as opposed to the usual timeline of 10 years.
But how exactly do you start the process? Here’s what you need to become an official Spanish citizen.
What are the requirements for Filipinos who want to become a Spanish citizen?
For Filipinos eyeing Spanish citizenship, the go-to route involves residing in Spain for at least two years following the legal guidelines—it's all about establishing that physical link. Here, three crucial things need to be proven:
1. Continuous legal residency before the application
The individual must have been a resident in Spain for a specific duration. Legitimacy is key, meaning residency permits or authorizations under immigration legislation are the golden tickets for a legal evaluation leading to nationality acquisition. The residency requirement only counts the time spent as a permanent resident for a continuous two years or more, so it’s best not to take long chunks of time in other countries.
2. Good civic behavior
The authorities will look for evidence that the applicant is a law-abiding citizen. This includes presenting a clean criminal record from their country of origin, backed up by reports issued by relevant Spanish authorities.
3. Integration into Spanish society
As a Spanish citizen, knowing the language and culture are a must! The applicant must pass tests set by Instituto Cervantes, including the DELA A2, a Spanish language test demonstrating the basics of the language, and the CCSE, a multiple-choice exam about Spanish culture, the country’s geography, and constitutional knowledge.
What are the documentary requirements in applying for Spanish citizenship?
National identity card (NIE) and number
DELE A2 and CCSE certificates
Proof of application payment (€103,20 or approximately P6,177)
Resident register (empadronamiento)
Historic census (histórico de empadronamiento)
Proof of sufficient economic means
Background records from the Philippines or your country of origin (e.g. birth certificate)
ID of spouse and marriage certificate, if any
Birth certificates of any children who wish to get Spanish citizenship later on
How long does it take to become a Spanish citizen?
After submitting the application online or at their province’s Civil Registry Office, authorities will have to thoroughly review it, which will take a considerable amount of time. Usual cases may take one to three years after submission.
Once the applicant gets a favorable response, they must take the oath of the Spanish constitution done before a notary at the Spanish consulate or at the Civil Registry.
What happens to a Filipino citizenship after becoming a Spanish national?
Good news: Filipinos don’t have to renounce their original nationality to become a Spanish citizen! Following the code’s adherence to former Spanish colonies and other selected countries, Filipinos will be able to hold dual citizenship.