Personal Case of Applying
for Spanish Nationality
My grandfather left Spain around 1919 for economic reasons and went to Cuba. He married my grandmother and
had three children, one of which was my father. At the time of my father’s birth, my grandfather was still a
Spanish citizen. It was not until 1941 that he had to relinquish his citizenship and become a Cuban
citizen. That occurred during the Civil War and he could not return to Spain.
Since my father was born while my grandfather was still a Spanish citizen, under Spanish law my father was
considered a Spanish citizen as well since my grandfather did not relinquish it until later years.
That’s where the Historical Memory Law comes in. It is their view that had my grandfather not had to
relinquish his citizenship, I too would be considered a Spanish citizen. Thus, as a way to compensate those
that relinquished their citizenship, children and grandchildren have the opportunity to reclaim their
nationality. In my case, I will be reclaiming my Spanish nationality through my grandfather.
That’s where the Certificate of Citizenship comes in. It
is the proof that is required by the Spanish government to show that my grandfather was still a Spanish citizen at
the time of my father’s birth and that he had to relinquish his Spanish citizenship for political and economic
Of course, proof of lineage has to be provided through legalized birth certificates as well.
The benefit of this in my case is that since my children are still minors, I will be able to claim their Spanish
nationality through my application. As a Spanish national you are entitled to study for free at state
universities. Should my children wish to study abroad in the future, they will be able to do so for free in a
state university. Since Spain is part of the EU, all countries that comprise the EU have a reciprocal
agreement whereby if your original country offers it for free, then so will the other countries. In essence,
they can go study in Italy, France, UK, Germany, etc. should they desire as a Spanish national.
Due to the number of applications that the Spanish government has received, they had to extend the deadline for
Spanish Nationality applications to December 29,