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Thread: UK Citizens, Baby born in Spain, Can the baby have a Spanish Passport?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default UK Citizens, Baby born in Spain, Can the baby have a Spanish Passport?


    We are both UK nationals and we live in Spain with no intention of returning to the UK. Our baby was born in Spain and the birth has been registered here. We were wondering whether or not he can have Spanish Citizenship. The research we have done is contradictory, some say that a child born here can be a Spanish Citizen after 12 months of continuous residency (and as a minor we can decide for him), other info say's that it is practically impossible without a Spanish relative? We were hoping that Spanish Citizenship (and a DNI and not an NIE) would make life a little easier for our little one. Anyone know what the Law really is?

  2. #2


    Hello Cabbages,

    The current Law about nationality, that you can read on articles 17 to 28 of the Civil code, establishes that a Spanish citizen is only regarded as Spanish by origin, if being born to Spanish citizens, or born in Spain to Foreign parents if at least one of them was born in Spain or if his/her parents´ nationality does not grant citizenship by birth to the child, leaving him/her in a stateless ( apatrida ) situation. As you are both british, your child is also British by birth, as UK Law recognizes as Uk nationals those born to British citizens abroad. As your child is not considered stateless ( apatrida ) he would only be able to apply for the Spanish nationality after one year of legal residence in Spain, based on the fact he was born in Spanish territory.

    You can check the Ministry of Justice nationality section to learn mor about the requiremetns and procedure.

    Patricia Martin
    Immigration Consultant at Lawbird | Contact Me
    Check My Profile

  3. #3


    So in that case what documentation would the baby need for return travel to the UK? British Passport? But the birth would be registered in Spain.

  4. #4



    The baby certainly needs an ID document to travel to the UK.

    I recommend you to approach the closest UK consular office in Spain to find out how to register the child´s birth and obtain his British passport.

    You can check information on how to proceed to register a child born to British parents out of the UK here.

    Here is some enlightening information bit from that link:

    You don’t need to register with the UK authorities but it means:

    the birth will be recorded with the General Register Offices or at the National Records Office of Scotland
    you can order a consular birth registration certificate
    You can still apply for a UK passport for your child even if you don’t register the birth in the UK.

    Patricia Martin
    Immigration Consultant at Lawbird | Contact Me
    Check My Profile

  5. #5

    Default ... to follow this thread.

    As we are 2 UK nationals and have just gone through this process and I wanted to write how it worked for us.

    1. We had to register our babies birth here in Spain.
    2. We then had to apply for a UK passport which we did on-line and it was straight forwards. The only thing was we need a full 'literal' birth certificate which is not what we received from the hospital (we had to apply on-line for a full copy and it cost €35).
    3. We then used our babies UK passport to apply for Spanish residency which was the same process we went through when we came here (plus a few Brexit surprises)
    4. We then received our babies residency and NIE number, and have now applied for his TIE card.
    5. In one year from the date we gained his residency and NIE number we will be able to apply for his Spanish citizenship and passport.
    6. We will have to then renounce his UK nationality. (There is a grey area for keeping his UK passport and this needs investigation both here in Spain and in the UK but I will update you in a year)

    Hope this helps for anyone going through this process. All of this has been done with the help of our friendly legal firm and cost us €240 not including the copy of the birth certificate and the €12 you have to pay when you go for the TIE card.


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