Have you received a favorable resolution for your nationality application? Congratulations! You are really close to your Spanish passport and ID card. The only thing left is the oath of allegiance, and in this article we will show you everything you need to know so you can go through this process easily.
The Spanish citizenship oath is the last step in the process of obtaining nationality in Spain, in which the foreigner swears or promises to respect the Spanish constitution, the king, and the legal system in general.
In Spanish it’s called “jura de nacionalidad”, and you may have already heard about it.
It is a formal and obligatory act (although quite fast and simple) that begins once you receive a favorable resolution due to your nationality by residency file being approved.
It will be at that moment in which you can register your birth in Spain and renounce your original nationality to take the Spanish one (unless you can have double nationality, as in the cases of many Latin American countries).
Differences between oath and promising
As we have just seen, the oath procedure consists of accepting respect for the Spanish laws and constitution.
However, there are two different ways to do this: you can swear that respect, or promise it.
What is the difference?
For practical/legal purposes, none. They have the same validity.
The only variation is that the oath has a religious connotation, while the promise does not. And that will be the double road you will have to choose on the day of the appointment.
How much time do I have to do this procedure?
180 days. Once you have been granted Spanish nationality and have received the notification, you will have a maximum of 6 months to carry out this procedure (getting an appointment with the Civil Registry, where you will take the oath).
It is important to note that you can only get an appointment for the oath once you have a favorable resolution on physical paper. In other words, even if you see a favorable resolution in the online platform “cómo va lo mío“, it is not enough and it will not help you to move forward. You will need to wait until you receive the document at home.
So don’t let time pass and ask for an appointment as soon as possible, because if you forget to do it in time, your file will be archived, and you will lose the possibility of becoming a Spanish citizen (you will lose your nationality directly).
However, you have 180 days to apply and get an appointment, not to complete the oath procedure. It is very common for the civil registry to be collapsed (you will most likely find yourself in this situation) and for them to give you a date after the allowed time.
Would anything happen then? No. In most cases, the appointment is enough to avoid legal problems.
However, we recommend that if you are given an appointment on a date later than the end of the stipulated period, you should request the suspension of deadlines and present it to the Civil Registry (something that is easy and free). This way you will make sure to avoid any kind of legal problem.
Where should I go?
As we have mentioned, the citizenship oath is taken at the Civil Registry located in the town/city where you are registered at that very moment (regardless of where you started the process).
That is, let’s suppose that when you submitted your application for citizenship you were residing in Galicia. It has been 1 or 2 years, and you have now received a positive resolution, but during this time you have moved to Madrid. Then you will have to make an appointment at Madrid’s Civil Registry.
It is now clear that you cannot take the oath just anywhere: it has to be in the municipality where you are registered (“empadronado”), regardless of whether you started the process online, at the public registry, or at the civil one.
Besides, it is important to mention that in order to go to the registry to formalize the oath of allegiance you will have to get an appointment first. How to do it depends on the registry, as in many cases they have an online platform available so that you can request the appointment online, but in other cases you will have to attend in person to ask for a day and time there.
What is done in the oath of Spanish nationality?
Many foreigners have plenty of doubts (and some others fears) regarding what exactly is done on the day of the oath of allegiance.
The truth is that it is a very fast and simple process, even though formal.
On the day of the appointment, the civil registry will verify that the notification you have received at home or by telematic means is valid.
For that, you must take a copy of the resolution with you, as there is a code (CSV – secure verification code) at the bottom of the page. The person helping you out will enter this code in the Ministry of Justice portal, and the web will automatically generate the same resolution as the one you have printed. That way it is verified that the concession is authentic.
Once you have presented the remaining set of documents (which we will analyze below) you must answer yes to the two questions you will be asked:
- If you swear to respect the Spanish legal system and its laws
- If you accept to renounce your nationality of origin in order to acquire Spanish nationality (in case you cannot have double nationality)
You will then sign this oath, and with the data declaration sheet that you will have to provide (along with your passport), the government clerk will proceed with your first birth registration with Spanish nationality. This is something that in some registers they do at the very same moment, while in other cases they send it to another clerk to finish it in a couple of days/weeks.
And that’s it!
After this registration is done, you can finally get an appointment at the national police station to obtain your ID card and Spanish passport (ideally on the same day). You can get that appointment here.
This is not an interview or a test whose result may affect the achievement of your Spanish passport. It is just another step in the process.
How long does it take?
It will depend on the exact registry and the government clerk who assists you that day, but it is possible to leave after just 20 minutes with the oath made and your birth registration done.
However, if, as we mentioned in the previous section, the birth registration is done on a different (later) day, the process could take several extra weeks.
Which documents should you submit for the Spanish citizenship oath?
Let’s now see which are the documents you must submit to complete this process successfully:
- Valid passport (original)
- Your valid and original residency card in Spain
- If you are in the middle of renewing your card at the time of application, you must use the slip document
- Certificate of registration or “empadronamiento”
- The birth certificate that was used at the time of the application for nationality
- Criminal record used in the application, duly legalized and translated
- Declaration data sheet, a document with important information for the birth certificate You can download it here.
- Resolution of the granting of nationality with the favorable response.
And what is the pre-oath ("prejura")?
So far so good. We understand what the oath is, what it consists of, and how this important process is carried out.
But then, what is the preoath or “prejura” in Spanish?
It’s the prior step to the actual oath, created to obtain relevant data from the foreigner that will be used later for the oath.
What date are we talking about? The information necessary for the subsequent registration of birth to the Spanish civil registry.
Although it is true that with the data declaration sheet you must submit all this information will be already included, on certain occasions this extra procedure is required.
And that is because not all civil registries require it, but the main ones in Spain (those the vast majority of foreigners use), do.
Thus, in this pre-oaht process you will need to sign a statement of data collection, providing your name, surname, where you were born, the name of your parents, etc.
If you would like to change your name, this would be the moment.
Therefore, if you have to make the prejura, you will have to go twice to the civil registry to complete this last part of the nationality procedure.
Ask for professional help to accompany you during the process
Even though it is true that this is a fairly simple process (as you have seen above), on certain occasions a foreigner who is about to become a Spanish citizen may encounter certain roadblocks.
Basically, these problems arise from the change in the nationality application procedure (which came into force in 2015).
Many civil registries and their workers are unaware of the small nuances of this new procedure and may try to notify you of the resolution themselves (when it is not necessary to do so).
Thus, in order to avoid legal problems so you can experience a simple oath of nationality, we recommend that you be accompanied by a lawyer.
At Immigration Lawyers Spain we are at your complete disposal for this purpose. You just need to send us an email using the link below and we will respond within 24 hours: