Many people are unsure if it is possible for Spanish natives to hold dual nationality, or if they would have to renounce their Spanish nationality.

Article 24.1 of the Spanish Civil Code clarifies this:

“Emancipated citizens who habitually reside abroad lose their Spanish nationality when they voluntarily acquire another nationality or exclusively use the foreign nationality they were assigned before emancipation. The loss shall occur when three years have passed from the acquisition of the foreign nationality or from emancipation respectively. However, interested parties may avoid the loss if they declare their wish to retain their Spanish nationality to the Registrar within the timescale indicated. In accordance with this paragraph, acquisition of nationality of Latin American countries, Andorra, The Philippines, Equatorial Guinea or Portugal is not sufficient to lead to loss of Spanish nationality of origin”.

What does this mean in practice?

It is very simple. If you have Spanish nationality and have acquired a second nationality (e.g., British), you have a period of three years from the date on your Certificate of Naturalisation to follow the corresponding procedures before the Registrar (the Consulate if you live abroad), and avoid losing your Spanish nationality.  If you follow the procedures, you will maintain your Spanish nationality and your second nationality, and will therefore have dual nationality.

But what are these procedures?

You must check the website of the Civil Register where you habitually reside, which is where you must submit the documentation.

If you live in the United Kingdom, these documents are required (updated on 10/02/2023):

1) Application form duly completed in full and signed by the applicant (you can find the form by clicking on this link)

2) A certified copy of the applicant’s valid Spanish and foreign passports, at the Post Office or by any of these professionals.

3) The applicant’s full Spanish birth certificate (original), issued within six (6) months of the submission date of the documents.

4) A sworn translation of the Certificate of Naturalisation carried out by a Sworn Translator/Interpreter who is duly registered in Spain. Send me your certificate at rebeca@legalandsworn.com.

5) An apostilled photocopy of the British Certificate of Naturalisation. You must take your certificate (original and photocopy) to a Notary Public so that it can be certified (The Notary Public will seal the photocopy). Then you must send this photocopy to be apostilled using this link.

6) A “pre-paid Special Delivery Guaranteed” envelope on which your name and address are clearly written, so that the corresponding full birth certificate can be sent to your home, once the marginal note of retention has been made.

In recent years I have done sworn translations of the Certificate of Naturalisation for more than 250 people. It will be a pleasure to help with yours.