Can I leave Spain while waiting for citizenship?

Can I travel outside Spain while waiting for my citizenship?

There are many foreigners who have applied for Spanish nationality and who are in the midst of waiting for a final resolution. Unfortunately, the whole length of this process can be extended for more than 2 years, and hence many of these foreigners have many doubts about whether during this period of time they will be able to leave the country.

Thus, in this article we definitively resolve one of the questions we receive most frequently at our offices: Can I leave Spain and travel while my nationality is being processed? What happens if I receive my resolution when I am abroad?

It is entirely possible to travel and leave the Spanish territory once you have initiated the nationality process and are waiting for a response.

You can travel, go on vacation, or visit your family in your home country. Occasional and short-term trips will not affect you at all.

Even if you travel frequently due to working reasons, you may be able to justify that, and there will be no problem at all.

But you should be careful with these trips.

Because while you are in Spain waiting for your citizenship resolution, you are still a legal resident with your residence permit, and being the holder of your residence implies certain obligations that you must fulfill.

We have already seen in other articles how each type of residence card implies a set of requirements, for example:

Therefore, when deciding whether or not you can leave the country (and for how long), you should not worry about your citizenship application that much, but about your residence card and the requirements to renew and maintain it. 

Thus, in order to be able to finally obtain your nationality successfully, the most important thing is to demonstrate continuous residence (without leaving the country for more than 3 months) before applying for it. But, once the application is already being processed, these departures would not directly affect the resolution (but your residency).

In addition, the supervening irregularity (becoming an irregular citizen once you have already applied for nationality and you are waiting for a response) does not currently influence the process either.


Do you have any doubts up to this point? Ask our lawyers here or read on for more information:

Consequences of being abroad more than the allowed time

And why should you worry about residency if you are applying for nationality? Shouldn’t you stop worrying about it since citizenship implies many more rights and facilities for the foreigner?

No. And we recommend you to be careful on this point.

If you exceed one of the deadlines that we have seen in the previous section with your trips, you may lose your card. 

And, although this would not directly affect the result of the nationality process that is being processed (as long as you were a resident at the time of the application, being a resident or not, later on, is not a factor that is taken into account), if, for example, you receive an unfavorable resolution at the end, you would be left without residency and would have to leave the country.

In addition, there is another fundamental point to consider.

If you are left without residency, when the time of the oath of allegiance arrives you could also have problems, and therefore difficulties in obtaining your birth certificate and DNI as a Spaniard.

Hence, the best thing to do is to respect the departure deadlines allowed by your particular type of residency card.

And what happens if I receive my citizenship resolution while I am abroad?

In principle, there will not be any kind of problem if you are outside.

The notification, either telematic or by mail, you will receive anyway (something that you can check online through the platform “cómo va lo mío” to know if you have already been granted citizenship or not and find there your favorable resolution).

What you should keep in mind is that once you receive the resolution, you have a period of 180 days to appear before the civil registry to finish with the oath of allegiance.

That is why if you are traveling for a short period of time, there will be no problem.

But if the trip is long and you are out of Spain for a long time, keep in mind that these deadlines are essential to finally get your Spanish passport; and not carrying out the oath of allegiance within these 180 days would mean losing it.

Do you need our team of immigration lawyers to legally guide you step by step?

Get in touch with our lawyers and let us guide you step by step:

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Can I travel outside Spain while waiting for my citizenship?

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