Dual Nationality - British/Spanish Questions

(14 Posts)
elisuca Fri 03-Jan-14 15:08:01

Hi All,

My daughter was born in Spain last August with a Spanish Mum and an English father. We live in England, at the moment, but will probably move to Spain at some stage in the future. We would like our child to have dual nationality and I was wondering if anyone could point us in the right direction about how to go about this?

Ideally we would like her to have both passports and be able to choose which country to live in later in life. I know that under current EU rules this would not be a problem at the moment, but if one country 'opted out' it could be later in her life.

Thank you!

GoodtoBetter Fri 03-Jan-14 15:14:09

As I understand it, dual nationality does not exist between Britain and Spain because Spain does not recognise it. You are Spanish or you are ot, you cannot be Spanish and simulatneously something else.

To explain...

I live in Spain but am British. My husband is Spanish. We have two children (2yo and 5yo), both born here and their births registered here. They both have British passports too.

They are Spanish because they live here, were born here and their father is Spanish. As far as Spain is concerned, that's the end of it. As I am British, they also have the right to a British passport. But they do NOT have dual nationality. It's more a case of what Spain doesn't know can't hurt it, iyswim.

There are some countries that do recognise dual nationality, like Britain, Turkey, the USA...if both countries recognise it, you can have dual nationality (and it says so in your passport) but Spain does not.

GoodtoBetter Fri 03-Jan-14 15:16:26

Did you register her and get a libro de familia when she was born? If so, she is Spanish and I would just move back and use the libro de familia and later get her a DNI without renouncing her GB passport if she has one. She can be both because nobody ever links the two things and then she can decide later what to do.

hereagain99 Wed 08-Jan-14 09:50:10

Hi,

DD was born in Britain and has a British passport. I have recently contacted the Spanish consulate wishing to register her in the Registro Civil Espanol.

What Spanish Consulate told me:

She can hold both passports as she has an English father and a Spanish mother. When DD is registered they will give us "el libro de familia" and then we can apply for a Spanish passport. DD won't have to choose between being British or Spanish.

I know that if you live in Spain things are different as I have an English friend living in Spain and married to a Spanish man. When she tried to do a British passport in Spain she was told that it was not possible for the same reason that Good to Better has said.

However if you live in England things are different and you can get a Spanish passport for your children. This will help as if you decide to return to Spain and your children have only British passport you will struggle to register them at the doctors. I also have a friend married to an English man but she is Spanish. Her first daughter was born in Spain and her son was born in England. When they went back to Spain after her son was born (having only British passport), she found it very difficult to get him registered with the doctors as he is a foreigner. They are now considering registering in England as a Spanish citizen as it is easier than doing it in Spain.

My advice to you would be to call the Spanish Consulate and talk to them. I found them very helpful and explained to me every thing.

Hope this helps.

GoodtoBetter Wed 08-Jan-14 09:59:16

I know that if you live in Spain things are different as I have an English friend living in Spain and married to a Spanish man. When she tried to do a British passport in Spain she was told that it was not possible for the same reason that Good to Better has said

I think you have misunderstood me. I am English and live in Spain, married to a Spaniard. The children have British passports which I applied for from Spain and there was no problem at all.

People confuse dual nationality with having two passports. Dual nationality is a specific legal thing which some countries recognise and others don't. If you are dual nationality it says that in your passport. Another thing all together is being entitled to both Spanish and British passports by right of birth and holding them simultaneously.

"However, once you have acquired Spanish citizenship you must declare that you renounce your prior citizenship, unless your case is one where you are entitled to dual citizenship. This includes Latin American countries and others such as Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea and Portugal. It is possible to have two nationalities, if your existing country does not allow citizens to renounce their citizenship (e.g. the UK)."

from:http://www.expatica.com/es/essentials_moving_to/essentials/How-to-become-a-Spanish-national_18245.html

marcopront Sun 12-Jan-14 13:05:20

My daughter has dual nationality, not with Spainish as one of them though, she has two passports and in neither of them does it say she is a dual national. When we applied for her British passport, in her father's country we discussed dual nationality and they never mentioned putting it in her passport.

GoodtoBetter Sun 12-Jan-14 19:27:29

Fair enough, I'm not a lawyer, I had a friend at uni who was a dual national (UK and Turkey) and I saw his passport (the UK one I think) and it DID say dual British and Turkish nationality in it.
But my point is that dual nationality afaik is a legal concept and is different from simply being entitled to 2 passports by birth or parentage and holding them simulataneously iyswim.

AuntieStella Sun 12-Jan-14 19:33:18

A British passport would never mention whether the holder also had citizenship of another county as well.

OP: what passport does DC have now?

A passport is simply a document which is used as proof of identity and nationality. Your DD is entitled to be both or either nationality, and it should be easily possible to 'activate' whichever she needs when she needs it.

lljkk Sun 12-Jan-14 19:44:43

Gosh that is complicated.
Deffo call Spanish consulate if you think it matters (not sure it does as long as EU, anyway).
Normally you "acquire" citizenship, that means you are naturalised. Which is different from when citizenship is a birthright.
Typically if you acquire citizenship you are told to renounce other nationalities. Whereas if citizenship is a birthright, then it's a birthright that can't be taken away without gross acts of treason.
So I can only suggest, check carefully what "acquired" means in the relevant country's legislation.
Also, whether being born in Spain to a Spanish mother confers citizenship as a birthright (it probably does).
Born abroad to an English father (gained thru his own birthright) married to the mother would usually confer citizenship to the baby, too, as a birthright.

lljkk Sun 12-Jan-14 19:45:35

ps: may be talking rubbish on last line, I just realised, one to double check!

GoodtoBetter Sun 12-Jan-14 19:58:34

Well, it must have been the Turkish one then as it DEFINITELY said dual nationality in it, I can even picture the green pages.

TJE88 Fri 19-Dec-14 21:24:38

Sorry to come in late and off-topic to this post, but I was wondering if anyone might have the time to chat: I'm an English guy with a Spanish (Galician) partner and we have been talking about having children - we live in London and we aren't quite sure about whether we would prefer torhave pur family in the UK or Spain.

Lots of things to consider as the pace and possibly general quality of life is almost certainly more attractive in Spain, but my partner and I probably have better career prospects here and I do put a lot of value in certain British traits. The kids would havw grandparents in both England and Spain.

It would be really nice to hear from anyone with similar experiences, where you ended up and why, etc.

Many thanks,
Tom

FiveLittlePeas Mon 22-Dec-14 06:10:22

Hi,

As to dual nationality UK/Spain, I am not sure how it works. As far as I know, you cannot have two EU nationalities,.. I have dual nationaliy (neither is UK) and I have two passports from two different countries (one EU), neither of which says anything about dual nationalities.
My kids were born in Spain to a British father and me, and they do not have neither dual nationality (we have not registered their births in the UK consulate) nor Spanish nationality, although we DO have a Libro de Familia, a NIE and the lot. Since they were born here, they can choose to be Spanish at some point, but I think they would have to renounce their current nationality, because their other nac is also EUropean. SPAIN DOES RECOGNISE DUAL NATIONALITY with Latin American countries, We are considering making our kids British, but that would rule out the other EU nationality they hold at the moment, for the reason stated above: you cannot have two EU nationalities at once.

FiveLittlePeas Mon 22-Dec-14 06:18:11

TJE88, why not open your own new thread to discuss this? I would take part in it, but I think it has little to do with this one...

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