‘Grandchildren’s Law’ allows foreign-born citizens to obtain Spanish citizenship

Measure applies to those who are of Spanish descent or are family members of victims of the Spanish Civil War.

MW/Pixabay European citizenship of Spanish descent
Grandchildren of Spaniards born abroad can get European citizenship

Applying for Spanish citizenship will be easier for some people. This is because a new law, published in the Official Gazette of Spain on Thursday, the 20th, and officially called the Law of Democratic Memory, but which is being dubbed the “Grandchildren’s Law” by many media outlets, extends access to nationality to thousands of descendants of Spaniards born abroad, showed the BBC. This decision extends the conditions stipulated by the 2007 decree that established the possibility of acquiring nationality by children of a mother or father of Spanish origin. The benefit could also be passed on to grandchildren, as long as they were minors. However, with the change, the grandchildren of legal age and family members of victims of the Spanish Civil War and the subsequent military government of Francisco Franco can also benefit. The “Grandchildren Law” facilitates obtaining a Spanish passport for:

  • Children or grandchildren of those born in Spain who have lost or had to renounce their Spanish nationality for political, ideological, belief or sexual orientation and identity reasons;
  • Children of Spanish women who lost their nationality by marrying foreigners before the entry into force of the 1978 Constitution;
  • Children of legal age of Spaniards whose nationality has been recognized by virtue of this law or the seventh additional provision of Law 52/2007, of December 26th.

The new law was approved by the Senate with 128 votes in favor, 113 against and 18 abstentions. Prior to this change, grandchildren of Spaniards of legal age and born abroad had restrictions to obtain citizenship, such as: having been born before January 1985 and the father or mother, born outside Spain, having obtained Spanish nationality before of the child’s birth; be under 21 and the father or mother, born outside Spain, acquired nationality before the birth of the child; be under 20 years of age and the father or mother, born outside Spain, acquired nationality after the birth of the child, but before the child turned 18.

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