Who and how can apply?

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(CNN Spanish) — Spain opens the doors as of this October 27 so that Latin American citizens, among others, of Spanish descent can obtain Spanish nationality, through the Democratic Memory Law.

This law, which entered into force this Thursday, expands the options to obtain Spanish nationality for those born outside of Spain and whose parents or grandparents have lost or renounced Spanish nationality for various reasons.

The law recognizes and expands the rights “and measures are established in favor of those who suffered persecution or violence during the Civil War and the dictatorship,” says the Ministry of Justice.

The Democratic Memory Law addresses the legacy of the Spanish dictatorship between 1939 and 1975, as well as the three years of civil war that preceded it. With this law, in addition, all convictions for political, ideological, religious or sexual orientation reasons during the civil war and the Franco period are annulled, Reuters reported.

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

It is expected that from Argentina, where the largest Spanish community in Latin America is, more requests are received to obtain Spanish nationality, a Foreign Ministry source told CNN.

Who can apply for Spanish nationality?

Under the Democratic Memory Law, the children or grandchildren of Spaniards who lost their nationality for political, ideological, belief or sexual orientation reasons may claim their Spanish nationality. It also applies to children of Spanish mothers who lost their nationality by marrying a foreigner before December 29, 1978.

It also applies to those of legal age whose parents had their nationality of origin recognized by the Democratic Memory Law.

How to apply for Spanish nationality in this case?

Interested parties must provide certificates that can demonstrate the link 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 Civil Registry where they are registered.
  • Birth certificate of the father, mother, grandfather or grandmother of the applicant, who were originally Spanish.
  • In the event that the applicant applies for nationality because his or her grandfather or grandmother is originally Spanish, the birth certificate of the parents that corresponds to the line of the Spanish grandfather or grandmother must also be presented.
  • Documentation proving the exile status of the father, mother, grandfather, grandmother who were Spanish.
  • Marriage certificate of mothers who married a foreigner before December 29, 1978.
  • Proof of exile status of the applicant’s parents or grandparents. They can be certifications from political parties, the person’s passport or registration registration certificate from the Spanish Consulate.

The civil records of people who were originally Spanish can be requested at the Spanish Civil Registry, either in person or through the website of the Ministry of Justice.

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