The Law of Democratic Memory, also known as the Law of Grandchildren because of the impact it will have on increasing the number of people who will be able to apply for Spanish nationality, is close to its final approval. The Spanish Parliament has already completed its processing.

As from its approval and this is the most relevant point of the new law, at least from the migratory point of view certain persons who were born outside Spain and have an original Spanish father, mother, grandfather or grandmother may apply for Spanish nationality. They will do so, of course, through the bureaucratic channels provided by the Spanish Government.

Who benefits from this law?

The first step is to know who will be affected by this new law. It must be said that the right to apply for Spanish nationality by option was reserved, until now, to those persons whose father or mother "had been Spanish and had been born in Spain", and to those who "had been subject to the parental authority of a Spaniard", among others, as specified in the website of the Ministry of Justice.

The Law of Grandchildren comes to expand the cases under which a foreign person can apply for Spanish nationality. These are closely related to the objective of this legislative process, which is none other than to dignify the memory of the victims of Franco's regime:

  • Thus, any person born outside Spain and who has an original Spanish father, mother, grandfather or grandmother -who had lost or renounced it as a consequence of an exile for political, ideological, beliefs or sexual orientation and identity reasons. Although it is mentioned that it is necessary to prove the exile and that the person must have lost or renounced the Spanish nationality, the final text does not seem to ask for it, but it will be one more piece of information that will serve to prove that there was an exile by that person who emigrated and acquired the nationality of the host country, when one wants to prove this circumstance.
  • The descendants of a Spanish woman who lost her nationality because she married a foreigner before the entry into force of the 1978 Constitution will also be eligible.
  • And the adult sons or daughters of Spanish citizens whose nationality of origin was recognized with the Law of Historical Memory of 2007, by virtue of the right of option, and even the children of those who have acquired Spanish nationality with the new law of Democratic Memory.

So far it is easy, isn't it? Anyone who is part of one of the above groups can apply for Spanish nationality, since the Law of Democratic Memory has already been approved.. Improve your chances of successfully processing the Grandchildren's Law with these three tips.

What is the timing of this law, and what documentation will be requested?

In order to benefit from the Grandchildren's Law, there will be two years to carry out the procedure from the moment the law is passed (until October 2024), although there is the possibility that the term may be extended for another year.

It is also worth mentioning that the necessary documentation will be few, simple and will not require strenuous bureaucratic processes or long waits. This will consist of:

  • The birth certificate of the interested party.
    The birth certificate of the father, mother, grandfather, or grandmother, issued by a Spanish civil registry, which may be substituted, if born before 1870, by a Spanish baptismal certificate, although in this case a negative certificate from the civil registry must be provided (for cases where the birth certificate has been destroyed as a result of war, among other reasons).
  • And the documents, which will have to be analyzed in each particular case, proving the reasons that led to the exile or migration, in addition to the loss or renunciation of Spanish nationality. 
  • Other documents that allow the correct registration of the applicant's birth.

Conclusion and the precedent of the Historical Memory Law

And to demonstrate that these processes always seem much more complicated than they appear, an example: that of the Law of Historical Memory of 2007. In the three years that this law had granted to apply for Spanish nationality through another extension of the cases, the number of descendants of Spaniards who opted for it was 446,000.

It would be totally impossible for almost half a million people to comply with a bureaucratic procedure if it were too complex or aimed to exclude as many people as possible. And, like its predecessor, this new Grandchildren Act will meet the condition of being accessible to anyone. However, it is true that there were some Consulates that took more than 10 years to respond to applications under the 2007 Act and that communication with them was very poor in many cases.

To go through its few bureaucratic twists and turns you will only need some time, patience, and the help of a professional who can shorten the processing time. And at Echeverría Abogados, with years of experience in immigration matters, we are ready to give you that extra help you need.

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