One of the main concerns of foreign citizens who want to apply for Spanish nationality by residence is to pass the exams that they must take to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the language and Spanish customs and institutions.

People with learning difficulties, elderly people, people without basic studies in their countries of origin, may find it very difficult to pass these tests. Taking into account these circumstances, the possibility of requesting "dispensation" or release from taking the exams has been established.

In the case of persons who cannot speak and write in Spanish but can speak in their mother tongue, the regulations provide for the possibility of a partial waiver.

This has to be requested before starting the nationality file by demonstrating, through a "notarial act" and with at least two witnesses, that they cannot speak and write in Spanish. If the request is accepted, these cases would be freed from taking the written test but would be obliged to pass the DELE A2 oral expression and interaction test, as well as the CCSE test, which will also be taken orally.

Another case of exemption is those people who have learning difficulties, either because of age-related cognitive impairment or because they have a disability equal to or greater than 65% that hinders learning. For these cases, the Spanish authorities require a specific medical certificate proving the learning difficulty in order to carry out the tests.

Finally, there is a third case that includes all those people who have attended school in Spain and have passed at least the Compulsory Secondary Education.

Spanish Citizenship: The Basics

After living in Spain for 5 years, you can apply for permanent residence. After 10 years, you can apply for Spanish nationality.

There are some exemptions that allow certain people to apply earlier. For example, people who are married to a Spaniard or the child of a Spanish parent can apply earlier. Both Spanish citizenship and permanent residence allow you to stay in Spain, but there are some differences between the two.

How do you get Spanish citizenship?

You can apply for Spanish nationality after 10 years of residence in Spain. Also, Spanish nationality may be acquired through marriage or birth, even if you were a father born outside of Spain.

All applicants must prove that they are a "good citizen".

What does this mean? The applicant must be financially stable and have no criminal record. In addition, the authorities must evaluate the applicant to determine whether he or she has a "sufficient" degree of integration into Spanish society. For example, he can speak Spanish and participate in social activities that are part of the Spanish lifestyle.

Applications for citizenship must be submitted to the corresponding civil registry office where you live in Spain. In addition, you should bring the required supporting documents for your application for Spanish citizenship, as well as a completed Spanish citizenship application form. If you are 18 or older, 14 or older with legal assistance, or with the legal guardian of a person under 14, you may apply for Spanish citizenship.

The process of applying for citizenship in Spain can be much easier with the help of experienced immigration lawyers who can help you through every phase of the process.

Note: The content of this page is only for guidance. Only the provisions of the regulations in force at the time of application apply.

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