Our new article deals again with Brexit and sworn translation. This time we will focus on the requirements for British citizens for obtaining the permanent residence permit and the procedure they must follow if they are interested in getting Spanish citizenship.


Requirements for obtaining the permanent residence permit


At present, due to the fact that the country belongs to the EU, UK citizens, as well as any other citizen from other member country, have the right to permanent residence if they have lived in Spain for a period of 5 years.  This is provided that they have registered at the Foreigner’s Office («Oficina de Extranjería»), have the Foreigner Identification Number («NIE») and have registered as resident («empadronarse») with the municipal council of their usual place of residence.


Fulfilling this requirement makes possible to apply for the document that grants the right to permanent residence. This document, although not compulsory, is very useful to carry out any administrative procedure.


And what do you need to apply for the permanent residence permit? You must fill in the application form and submit some supporting documents according to one’s economic situation, and also:


  • Passport or valid identity document. If the document is not in force, a copy of the same and the corresponding renewal application.
  • The document certifying payment of the fee for the issue of the certificate of permanent residence.
  • The registration certificate issued upon arrival in Spain.
  • Convincing proof of residence in the country, such as bills, rent or employment contracts.


That said, one can obtain the permanent residence in less than five years if:


  • If it is a retired person that has worked in Spain for the last year or has lived in Spain for the last three years. It is necessary to submit a working life certificate issued by Social Security.
  • One has lived in Spain for two years and is no longer able to continue working due to a disability or an accident at work (for this last reason, the years of residence are not taken into account).


Bear also in mind that the permanent residence permit can’t be requested if you have lived abroad for more than two years.


The family members of the person applying for the permanent residence permit will receive a permanent residence permit three months after the application of the holder. For this, they need to submit:


  • Their valid passport in force (or the application for renewal if it has expired)
  • All the supporting documentsduly translated by a sworn translator and bearing the ‘Apostille’ – about the family ties with the applicant, and three colour photos.
  • The document certifying payment of the fee for the permit issue.


The family members of a person that died at work may also apply for the permanent residence permit by submitting the documents mentioned above.


Obtaining Spanish nationality by a British citizen and sworn translation


Many British citizens currently residing in Spain are starting to think about getting the Spanish nationality to avoid the possible consequences of Brexit. But they need to take into account that becoming Spanish requires giving up their British nationality and their passport.


To apply for Spanish nationality it is necessary to have resided legally in Spain for a continuous period of ten years before submitting the application.


According to the guidelines of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, applicants must show that they are good citizens and that they are fully integrated into Spanish society, which means speaking Spanish and take part in social activities with Spaniards.


The application for Spanish nationality must be submitted at the Civil Registry of the city of residence, and once it has been approved, it is necessary to swear loyalty to the King and promise to obey the Constitution and Spanish laws.


Another way to obtain the nationality is by marrying a Spaniard. The application may be submitted after one year of marriage. Widows of Spaniards may also apply immediately for Spanish citizenship, as well as those persons whose parents or grandparents are Spanish even if the latter were born abroad. Likewise, persons born in Spain but with foreign parents, for example with British parents, are entitled to apply for Spanish nationality.


It goes without saying that all documents submitted (such as birth, marriage or death certificates) must be duly translated as official sworn translation by the appropriate translators. 








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