Spanish and British flag - Costaluz Lawyers

At a time when the British are discovering that having double nationality is more than advantageous after Brexit, it’s worth considering whether dual nationality is possible. In this blog post we look at the case for having British and Spanish passports and ask can you be British and Spanish at the same time?

First considerations

In general terms, you can have as many nationalities as you like and as a country’s law allows. This explains why some people have a collection of passports!

However, just because you have a passport, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s effective or that it lasts for your whole life.

What’s the situation for a British national who has Spanish nationality and lives in Spain?

When a British national acquires Spanish nationality, they must expressly renounce their British nationality to the Spanish authorities. However, despite its formality, this step has no binding effects in the UK and in practice, a British national can be Spanish at the same time.

What does this mean in practice?

In Spain, the British national with dual nationality will be considered Spanish and, in the UK, British. A situation that is very similar to a Spaniard with dual nationality living in the UK but with fewer formalities, as we explain below.

What about Spaniards with dual nationality and living in the UK?

If the Spaniard only uses their British passport and have not made a sworn declaration to keep their Spanish nationality or have formally renounced it, they will lose their right to Spanish nationality from 21 onwards.

How can a Spaniard with dual nationality living in the UK keep their Spanish nationality?

To avoid the above situation, the Spaniards should inform the Spanish authorities that they intend to keep their Spanish nationality for three years after they acquire British nationality.

What does this mean in practice?

For practical purposes, a Spaniard with dual nationality and living in the UK will be considered Spanish in Spain and British in the UK.

Is it easy to obtain Spanish nationality?

If you’re British and also wish to have Spanish nationality, you must fulfil a number of requirements, not least a minimum period of residence in Spain.

Find out all about getting Spanish nationality

In general terms, you must live in Spain with a residence permit for at least ten years, although there are exceptions to this. The shortest required period is one year.

How can I get advice about being British and Spanish at the same time?

Get in touch with our immigration team who advise you on how to obtain dual nationality and its implications.  

Maria Luisa Castro

Director and Founder
María founded CostaLuz Lawyers in 2006 and is the Firm’s Director. María is registered Lawyer number 2745 of the Cadiz Bar Association and is licensed to practice in all areas of law throughout Spain. Working closely with her team, María has developed the firm into one of the most highly regarded and trusted Spanish Law Firms acting for English-speaking clients with legal problems in Spain. We’re here to help. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation, initial legal orientation.
María Luisa De Castro - Costaluz Lawyers

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *