Most of the applications for Spanish nationality for residence in 2014 have already been resolved. It is estimated that between 10 and 15% of these have been denied by the Ministry of Justice.
The most common reasons why they deny Spanish nationality by residence are those that we expose below.
Possess a criminal record in Spain or in the country of origin
As we know, it is a fundamental requirement not to have a criminal record. Although said antecedents should “disappear” after a time of serving the sentence, sometimes this does not happen.
For this reason, you must verify that they have been eliminated and, if not, expressly request it before submitting the application for Spanish nationality by residence (in case you had them).
Possess a police record in Spain
Although it is not a requirement expressly established by the nationality regulations, having a police record in Spain is considered by the government as a “civic misconduct”, which is a cause for express denial.
This background includes any report or police report in which you have been involved, even if the matter was filed and did not even reach the courts (for example, a discussion with neighbors, a local administrative infraction for consuming marijuana on public roads, etc.). ).
You also have the right to have the police records removed, after the corresponding procedure.
Present criminal records, from the country of origin, expired
This is one of the most common reasons why they deny Spanish nationality. There may be two situations, that the certificate indicates an expiration date or not. In the latter case, the Spanish regulations give a validity of six months to process the Spanish nationality by residence.
Not accrediting the residence time in Spain
As we know, it is an essential requirement to reside legally in Spain for a certain time in order to apply for Spanish nationality by residence.
This period of time depends on various circumstances: it is required, in general, 10 years; 5 years for those who have refugee status, 2 for citizens of Ibero-American countries, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea and Portugal, as well as for Jews of Sephardic origin. And a year for anyone born in Spain, people married to a Spaniard, or born outside Spain of parents or grandparents originally Spanish.
Confuse the stay with residence
On the one hand, the residence has to be legal. That is, the years that you have been in an irregular situation are not counted. But neither are those who are in a stay situation, that is, as a tourist or as a student.
In the case of students, it is common to make that mistake, especially because until 2012 the interpretation of some civil records was to compute the time of the study visa as legal residence. As of that year, this changed following a circular issued by the DGRN of the Ministry of Justice.
Interrupting the stay in Spain
In turn, the residence has to be continued. That does not mean that you can not have left Spain during the required time, if it is a sporadic trip or vacation.
But if you’ve been, for example, six months off, you’re likely to be denied citizenship.
The residence must be maintained during the processing period of the application.
Not being in a regular situation when granting citizenship
It is not enough to have a residence permit at the time of making the request, it must also be valid at the moment of the concession.
If the residence permit in Spain expires before you are granted citizenship, you must renew it in a timely manner. Otherwise, not only will you be denied the request, but you can be deported.
Do not pass the Spanish language exams (DELE) and the constitutional and sociocultural knowledge of Spain (CCSE)
The new regulation introduces this additional requirement, although in the case of the CCSE exam it is a positive change as it replaces the somewhat subjective examination that civil registrars did to the best of their knowledge and understanding, and that lent themselves to many unfair situations.
Read also: Who is exempt from the exams to obtain Spanish nationality?
These are the most common reasons why they deny Spanish nationality by residence. If for some or some of these reasons they have denied you, we remind you that you still have the option of filing a replacement appeal within a month or repeat the process, These actions should be evaluated with the advice of a lawyer specialized in immigration.