It is one of the least frequent procedures of Spanish nationality - perhaps more unknown. Below we explain what you have to do to request it successfully.

Nationality By Possession of State: What is it and What are its Requirements?

By definition, the Ministry of Justice of Spain establishes, “The person who has owned and used this nationality for ten years, on a continuous basis, in good faith (without having knowledge of the real situation, that is, that he is not really Spanish), shall be entitled to Spanish nationality. to a title registered in the Civil Registry. The Spanish nationality will not be lost even if the title registered in the Civil Registry is annulled. The interested party must have maintained an active attitude in said possession and use of Spanish nationality, this means that they must have behaved by having themselves as Spanish, both in the enjoyment of their rights and in the fulfillment of their duties in relation to organs of the Spanish state.”

This form of acquiring Spanish citizenship is regulated by Art. 18 of the Spanish Civil Code which stipulates that the possession and use of Spanish nationality for 10 years continuously, is cause for consolidation of nationality, even before the original title.

How do you apply for Spanish nationality for possession of state?

Undoubtedly, this is one of the procedures of Spanish nationality with fewer requests, because it is only possible for very specific cases or situations. To obtain the Spanish nationality by possession of state, the first thing is to initiate a file with simple presumption value in the corresponding Civil Registry or closer to your home, where it will also be processed and resolved.

Also, it will be essential to meet the following requirements:

  • In the Civil Registry, the title for which you have acquired Spanish nationality must be registered.
  • Have at least 10 years in possession of Spanish nationality, continuously.
  • All those people who are in the cases regulated in Art. 25 of the Civil Code are excluded.
  • Comply with the common requirements for the validity of the acquisition of Spanish nationality by option, letter of nature or residence described below, established in Article 23 of the Civil Code:
    1. That the person over 14 years of age be able to give a declaration, swear or promise fidelity to the King and obedience to the Constitution and the Laws.
    2. That the person renounces their nationality of origin, except in cases where the countries of origin appear in Section 1 of Article 24 of the Civil Code in which dual citizenship is permitted (Ibero-American Countries, Andorra, Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal).
    3. That the registration of the Spanish nationality has been made in the Spanish Civil Registry.

Can Spanish nationality be denied for possession of state?

Once, the corresponding resolution has been obtained, if there is a denial, an administrative contentious appeal may be filed before the National Court within the following 2 months, from the moment the resolution is received.

Finally, if the resolution is favorable, you will have to register it in the Civil Registry with names and two surnames (the first of the father and the second of the mother, unless option in common agreement of the parents, regulated in article 109 of the Civil Code. ) in accordance with Spanish Law, subject to minor changes to adapt the foreign language to Spanish languages.


The procedures to obtain Spanish citizenship are not something simple, so receiving advice can guide you throughout the process to make it easier and less tedious. You may also be interested in the following resources:

The process of legalization of documents can in some cases be complicated, lengthy and cumbersome for the people involved. Aware of this problem, we have enabled a telephone number (+34) 943-425-726 and an email address to answer questions. If you write an email, please include first name, last name and contact phone number.

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