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Refugees only wait five years and nationals from Spanish-American countries, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal and those of Sephardic origin only have to wait two years.

The Spanish government currently has a bill going through parliament that aims to change the law regarding those of Sephardic origin so that any applicant, Jewish or not, who can fulfil certain criteria such as having links to Sephardic culture or even knowledge of Ladino, the Judeo-Spanish language, may be offered instant naturalisation – so watch for updates.

Sephardic Jews and descendents can also maintain their original citizenship to have dual nationality.

You will lose your Spanish citizenship if you reside abroad and take up another nationality (or use your old nationality) for more than three years, unless within that three-year period you declare to the Civil Registry your will to keep Spanish nationality.

Both Spanish citizenship and permanent residency allow you to stay living in Spain, but some differences exist between the two.

Should you choose Spanish permanent residency or Spanish citizenship?

You may also be asked to submit: When you have this permit, you can work freely and enjoy social services and benefits in Spain.

The required period of residence for citizenship is just one year if you are born in Spain to legal foreign residents, married to a Spaniard, widowed from a Spaniard, or the child or grandchild (even if born outside Spain) of a Spanish national by birth or residence.

Descendents of expelled Sephardic Jews from Spain can also apply for Spanish citizenship without residing in Spain if they can prove special connections to Spain and pass tests on the Spanish language and history; applications must be submitted before 1 October 2018.

Fees and timeline Spain charges a non-refundable fee to process your citizenship application, which varies and can range from EUR 60–100 even if your application is rejected.

Fees may also apply to issue certificates and documents required for your application.

You may also be asked to submit: When you have this permit, you can work freely and enjoy social services and benefits in Spain.The required period of residence for citizenship is just one year if you are born in Spain to legal foreign residents, married to a Spaniard, widowed from a Spaniard, or the child or grandchild (even if born outside Spain) of a Spanish national by birth or residence.Descendents of expelled Sephardic Jews from Spain can also apply for Spanish citizenship without residing in Spain if they can prove special connections to Spain and pass tests on the Spanish language and history; applications must be submitted before 1 October 2018.Fees and timeline Spain charges a non-refundable fee to process your citizenship application, which varies and can range from EUR 60–100 even if your application is rejected.Fees may also apply to issue certificates and documents required for your application.If you want to live in Spain long term or even permanently, you will need to apply for either permanent residence or become a Spanish citizen.