Who and how can apply?

(CNN Spanish) — Spain is opening its doors from October 27 so that citizens of Latin America, among others, of Spanish origin, can obtain Spanish citizenship, through the Law of Democratic Memory.

This law, which entered into force this Thursday, expands the possibilities of obtaining Spanish citizenship for those who were born outside of Spain and whose parents or grandparents lost or renounced Spanish citizenship for various reasons.

The law recognizes and expands rights “and establishes measures for the benefit of those who suffered persecution or violence during the civil war and dictatorship”, says the Ministry of Justice.

The law on democratic memory deals with the legacy of the Spanish dictatorship between 1939 and 1975, as well as the three years of civil war that preceded it. This law also annuls all convictions for political, ideological, religious or sexual reasons during the civil war and the Franco period, Reuters reported.

Those interested in obtaining Spanish citizenship have two years from the entry into force of this law to complete the process, according to the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Although the law says that the mandate could be extended for another year if the Council of Ministers so decides.

More applications for Spanish citizenship are expected to come from Argentina, home to Latin America’s largest Hispanic community, a Foreign Ministry source told CNN.

Who can apply for Spanish citizenship?

According to the Law on Democratic Memory, children or grandchildren of Spaniards who have lost their citizenship due to political, ideological reasons, beliefs or sexual orientation can claim their Spanish citizenship. It also applies to children of Spanish mothers who lost their citizenship by marrying a foreigner before December 29, 1978.

It also applies to those of legal age whose parentage is recognized by the Law on Democratic Memory.

How to apply for Spanish citizenship in this case?

Interested parties must submit certificates that can show a relationship with Spanish citizens and register them with the person in charge of the General or Consular Office of the Registry or the Ministry of Justice.

  • Document proving the identity of the applicant.
  • Birth certificate of the applicant from the register in which they are registered.
  • Birth certificate of the applicant’s father, mother, grandfather or grandmother who are of Spanish origin.
  • In case the applicant applies for citizenship because his or her grandparent is of Spanish origin, the birth certificate of the parent corresponding to the line of the Spanish grandparent must also be presented.
  • Documentation proving the exile status of father, mother, grandfather, grandmother who were Spaniards.
  • Marriage certificate of mothers who married a foreigner before December 29, 1978.
  • Proof of the exile status of the applicant’s parents or grandparents. These can be certificates from political parties, a person’s passport or a certificate of registration from the Spanish consulate.

Civil records of persons of Spanish origin can be requested at the Spanish Civil Registry, either in person or through the website of the Ministry of Justice.

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