Spanish citizenship may be acquired by descendance or derived by acquisition.
Spanish nationality is passed on by ius sanguinis criteria, which, in latin, means blood right, being the most common one the origin nationality, which is passed on from mother/father to son/daughter. Therefore, children of spanish people will be considered spanish too. The Spanish Code differs spanish-born citizens from “foreign-born” spanish citizens. That means that spanish-born people, children of spanish citizens, will always be able to obtain spanish nationality, by origin or option. Meanwhile, descendants of spanish citizens who are born abroad will only have a right to spanish nationality if they are registered at the Spanish Consulate until they turn 21 years old. Besides that, spanish legislation, with the objective of avoiding stateless people (who have no nationality), also considers as origin spanish people who are born without a nationality. Therefore, the child’s guardians need only to solicit spanish nationality by presumption.
The spanish legislation, trying to avoid that citizens become stateless (when a person is born without a nationality), foresees the concession of the spanish nationality to the individuals who are born in spanish territory and whose parents originally from a country that does not pass on the nationality onto the children if they are born abroad, which is the case for Brazil. Brazilian children born abroad only become brazilian citizens when they are registered at the correspondent brazilian Consulate.
The grandchildren of spanish people may only acquire spanish nationality if they are under age. Still, when they turn 18 years old, they will have three years to manifest interest on keeping spanish nationality, with the risk of losing it. Grandchildren over 18 years old may only apply for spanish citizenship after a year of legal residence in Spain.
Brazilian people may also obtain spanish citizenship by living in the country. To do so, they must reside legally and continuously in Spain for at least two years. This period may be shortened to one year if they are married to a spanish citizen or are widowed by one. This is, without a doubt, the goal of many brazilians living in Spain. Children and grandchildren of spanish citizens may also apply for the citizenship after one year living in Spain in case they miss the legal period to apply for the nationality or fail to confirm their interest in having both nationalities (brazilian and spanish) once they turn 18.
In many cases, it is possible to opt for the spanish nationality, such as:
The spanish civil code foresees the possibility of losing the nationality, both for spanish-born citizens and naturalized spanish citizens, even though, in some cases it is possible to recover the nationality without residing in Spain.
The loss of spanish nationality will happen if, in three years term, after turning 21, the brazilian-spanish citizen does not declare their intention of keeping their spanish nationality at the Spanish Consulate in Brazil or Civil Registry Office in Spain.
Once a brazilian person loses their spanish nationality to recover it they must:
There is finally a law regarding sephardi jews. In june 11th the House of Representatives approved law number 12/2015, on giving spanish citizenship to spanish sephardi families. The new norm generated a non-official list of possible sephardi last names.
The necessary requirements to solicit spanish nationality through the new resolution are: