When applying for your Spanish nationality there many seem like a million and one things to remember. However, there are some things that you have to take into consideration before applying for Spanish Nationality which may even harm your chances of getting it. Here we explore the three most likely causes of refusal of nationality in Spain.

All applications for citizenship have to be completed correctly, as filling them in otherwise may result in refusal of nationality. The Spanish authorities are renowned for being meticulous with the application processes, so check, and check again and then check one more time.

If you present your documentation with the details vaguely filled in or incomplete, don´t be surprised if you are met with a direct ‘no’ or a severe delay in your application.

This process can significantly drag in this circumstance, and you can end up spending a long time waiting for a response from the Ministry of Justice.

Therefore, we would recommend those who are going to apply for Spanish nationality bear in mind these three grounds of refusal which can occur, and how best to evade them:

  1. Failing to Prove Your Stay in Spain.

As some of you may already know, it is necessary to demonstrate you have spent time as a legal resident in Spain, that is to say, with authorisation of residency for the last X number of years. This is completely dependant on the case which could be from 1 to 10 years.

This does not count from the actual date you entered Spain if you have had irregular circumstances, but counts from the day that you actually obtained the residence permit itself.


Another thing that is insignificant in this situation, and which does not count towards the time you have had residency, is if you have obtained a permit for your studies. You are only able to prove your residency status with a residence permit.

However, this is easy enough to prove. Your NIE card will have all of the information about when you actually registered as a resident.

Another thing that many people find very difficult, is to demonstrate that all this time they have remained in Spain, as it is one thing having a residence permit and quite another to have actually been residing in Spain as an actual resident.


This is therefore the reason the Ministry of Justice asks for a certificate showing movements concerning migration, which can be difficult to obtain as very few countries actually issue and can take a long time to get.

So remember, you must show by any and all means possible that you have been residing permanently in Spain. This is so your application is not rejected and that there can be no doubt about the credibility of your stay in Spain.


2. Failure to correctly present your criminal record and history

If indeed you do have a criminal history, it is recommended that you do not apply for Spanish citizenship.  The government is known to be strict in this respect, usually rejecting applicants with a criminal background.

If you don´t have any prior convictions or a criminal history, you will need to provide a certificate of your criminal record from your country of origin which must be in date, as it is deemed redundant if expired.

These documents must be stamped by an apostille, legalized and in some cases need to be translated. As well as this, you must also send off all documentation which, as you may expect, takes time. It can happen that in the time it takes to do all of these things, some documentation can expire so be wary of this. If this does happen, you will have to apply for a new piece of documentation, as rejections have been known to happen when using a criminal record that has been expired for just one day.

  1. Failure To Demonstrate Having Financial Means

You must be able to show that you have means of income whilst in Spain, which is necessary to be an integrated member of society. The idea is that if you wish to obtain citizenship you must show you are a functioning citizen with behaviour corresponding to this. This can be things like showing that you have adapted to the culture, the society and therefore being able to prove you have a livelihood here in Spain.

Whatever these means of income, they must be within the law. You are not able to apply for citizenship if you do not work or can’t provide support for your family.

However, if the applicant is married, the income of the spouse can be accepted as a means of support. If this means of income doesn´t exist, this can adversely affect the application which will most likely be rejected.

The same rule also applies for minors. Their application must show that financial support can be provided by their parents or by their rightful guardian who takes care of them.

This can be credited as a report of working life, a declaration of income, a contract of employment, or basically any piece of documentation or proof that supports your case.

There are many things to consider when making an application for Spanish nationality, but be aware of some of the things that may jeopardize your case and the best way to avoid them. If you have any other questions about applying for Spanish nationality or need help with your application, Carbray can assist you today.

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