If you have Spanish citizenship, whether through birth naturalization or other circumstances, then you can apply for a Spanish passport. Having a Spanish passport allows you to travel the world as an EU citizen and enjoy many of the benefits that come with it.
Spanish passports are officially issued by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación). The current Spanish passport is a biometric one with an electronic chip containing all the important personal information of the passport holder. Those biometric passports started coming into circulation in 2006. They are a burgundy book comprised of 32 pages, containing the holder’s signature, photograph, important personal information, and unique passport number. All new passports also contain the holder’s fingerprints.
There are currently four types of Spanish passports:
- The Standard Passport (Pasaporte ordinario): This a standard biometric passport issued to citizens for normal travel
- Collective Passport (Pasaporte colectivo): This is a limited travel document usually valid for only three months. It is issued if there’s a reciprocal agreement with the destination country, such as pilgrimages for example
- Diplomatic Passport (Pasaporte diplomático): This sort of passport is issued to diplomats and government officials
- Official and Services Passports (Pasaporte oficiales y de servicio): This type of passport is issued for representatives of the Spanish government on official business
As a Spanish citizen, you can also travel around the EU, EEA, and Switzerland with your Spanish ID card.
Spanish Passports Benefits
Spain has been a member of the EU since 1986. All Spanish citizens enjoy many benefits such as:
Spain is ranked fourth in the world on the passport index. The Spanish passport allows its holder visa-free, or visa on arrival, access to 187 countries around the world.
The Right to Live, Work and Study in The EU
The Spanish passport gives you the automatic right to reside, work, or study in any country in the EU, EEA, or Switzerland.
Access to Health Insurance throughout Europe
As an EU citizen, you can access public healthcare anywhere in Europe with your European Health Insurance Card or EHIC.
Eligibility for the Spanish Passport
In order to obtain a Spanish passport, you need to be a Spanish citizen. There are various ways you can obtain Spanish nationality. Usually, you can become naturalized in Spain after ten years of legal residence there. Alternatively, you can obtain Spanish citizenship faster under certain circumstances such as:
- Marriage with a Spanish citizen
- Having a Parent with Spanish nationality
- If you’re a Sephardic jew and can prove it
Keep in mind that there are other criteria you need to meet to obtain your Spanish citizenship. For example, you need to have a basic understanding of the Spanish language and have a clean criminal record.
Applying for a Spanish Passport
To apply for a Spanish passport you need to provide a valid Spanish ID. You will also need to provide a recent color passport-sized photograph. If this is the first time you are applying for a passport, you will also need to appear in person in the appropriate authority building to provide your biometric data.
Requirements for a Spanish Passport
In order to apply for a Spanish passport the applicant must meet all the following requirements:
- Be over 18 years old
- Possess a clear criminal record
- Not be on the nation’s list of undesirable people
- Hold valid medical insurance and an official health certificate
- Not have previously been refused visas or entry into the Schengen zone
- Have enough funds to reside in Spain
Where to apply
If you are applying from within Spain, you can apply for a passport at the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs or any local Spanish police station. If you are a Spanish citizen abroad, you can apply at the Spanish embassy or consulate in your current country of residence.
Costs of a Spanish Passport
Currently, the Spanish government asks for €26. This is a standard fee for the first passport, replacement, or renewal of the passport. You can pay this fee in cash at the office issuing your passport or through the “Telematic” service.
Methods of Acquiring Spanish Nationality
If you are born to a Spanish father or mother or were born, in Spain, to non-Spanish parents one of whom was born in Spain you can acquire Spanish nationality.
By Possession Of Status
If you possess or use Spanish nationality for ten years in a continued situation and in good faith, without realizing that you were not, in fact, Spanish, based on a record held by the civil registry. You may keep your Spanish nationality even if the civil registry is annulled.
There are some conditions where you can opt to have a spanish nationality or not, such as:
- Having a parent who is Spanish or born in Spain
- Determining of parentage or birth in Spain after reaching the age of eighteen
- Being adopted by a Spanish national after reaching eighteen years of age
- If you are or have been subject to the parental authority of a Spanish national
For this option, you need to have resided legally in Spain for ten years immediately before the application.
The Spanish Golden Visa
A very popular way to obtain Spanish Nationality by residence is the Spanish Golden Visa. This a residency by investment scheme which gives you the right to legal residence in Spain and can eventually lead to citizenship. You can read our Spanish Golden Visa Guide for more information.
Gaining Spanish nationality by naturalization is ex gratia. This means that it can be granted, or not, at the discretion of the Government by Royal Decree.
The Fast-Track Application for Former Spanish Colony Citizens
If you are a citizen of a former Spanish colony, you can get on the fast track to obtain Spanish citizenship. Citizens of Ibero-American countries( most former Spanish-speaking colonies in South America) Andorra, the Philippines, or Equatorial Guinea you only need two years of residence in Spain to obtain citizenship. During these two years, you need to meet the minimum stay requirement. The requirement is to travel to Spain every two-and-a-half months to three months, or eight times in total within a total of 730 days.
How Can I Get a Spanish Passport?
There are various ways to obtain a Spanish passport, such as by birth or naturalization. Check out the Methods of Acquiring Spanish Nationality section above.
How Can I Get a Spanish Passport by Investment?
The Spanish residence by investment scheme is known as the Spanish Golden Visa. Keep in mind that the Golden Visa is a residence visa, which can eventually lead to citizenship after ten years of residing there. There are various investments which can qualify you for a Spanish Golden Visa such as:
- €500k investment in real estate
- €1m bank deposit in Spain
- €1m investment in shares of a Spanish business or businesses
- €2m contribution to government bonds
- Starting a business in Spain which will generate employment there, contributes to technological or scientific innovation, or has a very strong socio-economic impact
Do I Need to Stay in Spain?
In order to get a Spanish passport, you need to fulfill a minimum legal stay requirement of ten years. In those ten years, you will need to have lived at least six months per year in order to qualify.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Spanish passport?
Having a spanish passport has many benefits such as visa-free travel in the EU/EEA/Switzerland. Check out our Spanish Passports Benefits section above.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Spanish Passport?
You usually need to reside for ten years in Spain to be eligible. Check out our Eligibility for the Spanish Passport section above.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Spanish Passport?
There is a standard fee of €26 for new Spanish passports.
How Can I Get Spanish Passport as A Sephardic Jew?
First, you’ll need to prove that you have Sephardic Origin, including the FCJE document. After that, you’ll need to have your documents notarized and apply online for status. This could be a complicated process, so we recommend that you ask the help of a professional to help you assemble the documents and make the right decisions. You can contact us with any questions you may have.
How Does the Spanish Passport Rank?
The Spanish Passport ranks fourth globally according to the passport index. It grants the holder visa-free access to 190 countries (as of 2021).