Please use the BOTH checklists.
Checklist A allows you to quickly see what documents are needed to obtain Spanish citizenship for adults and children. It specifies which documents need to be translated by an officially recognized translator and which ones need an apostille. Please note that currently ALL applicants are encouraged to receive two certificates of Sephardic heritage, one from us and one from the Jewish Federation of Spain (FCJE) or another approved Sephardic synagogue or organization.
Checklist B is a much more detailed document that fully describes the documents needed for an adult US citizen who wishes to obtain Spanish citizenship. It includes instructions on how that documentation should be obtained and presented.
DOCUMENTS NEEDED TO APPLY FOR SPANISH CITIZENSHIP AS AN ADULT NATIONAL OF THE UNITED STATES
Once you receive the apostilles, be certain to not remove the attached staples, as this renders the document invalid.
US Passport (all pages)
Please digitize all pages of your US passport to a PDF file. Scan four passport pages on each sheet in the PDF file, so as to save costs with the Notario in Spain.
The applicant must obtain a hard copy of his or her birth certificate, with an apostille at the Secretary of State’s office where s/he was born and then translate it into Spanish with a translator. Translations may be made by a sworn translator certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Spanish Government. (Note: New Mexican birth certificates are bilingual.)
Applicable only if the applicant is married. This document must be apostilled at the Secretary of State’s office of the US State where the applicant married his or her spouse. The document must be officially translated into Spanish as well.
FBI Background Check
The applicant must obtain his or her FBI background check, with an apostille in Washington D.C. or Virginia and officially translated into Spanish. Please note that this document is time sensitive, valid for just six months from its date of issue. (See FBI section)
State Criminal Background Check
The applicant must also obtain his or her criminal background check issued by the state where s/he currently lives. Again, the state criminal background check must be apostilled at the Secretary of State’s office and translated into Spanish. The US state criminal background check will be valid for just six months from its date of issue. Therefore, we suggest that the applicant apply for the state criminal background check only a few months prior to travel to Spain for signing the acta de notoriedad before a Notary Public.
New Mexican Applicants
For information on how to obtain a criminal background check in the State of New Mexico please see http://www.dps.state.nm.us/index.php/criminal-history-records/
Go to the Dept of Public Safety, for a Letter of Good Standing
4491 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe NM 87507, (505) 827-9181
For apostille information in the State of New Mexico please see http://www.sos.state.nm.us/Business_Services/Apostille_Information_Overview.aspx
Go to the Secretary of State’s office in the Roundhouse’s annex,
325 Don Gaspar, Suite 300, Santa Fe NM 87501, (505) 827-3600
Certificate of Sephardic heritage and special link to Spain signed by the President and Rabbi of the Jewish Federation of New Mexico (JFNM)
Spanish Law requires two documents proving the applicant’s Sephardic lineage and a special link to Spain. This one document signed by the president and rabbi of the JFNM contains three of the four documents requested by the Spanish law. Apply here, at SephardicCertificate.org!
Certificate of Sephardic origin issued by the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain (FCJE) or Or ve Shalom of Atlanta
After obtaining his or her certificate of Sephardic origin signed by the JFNM, applicants are encouraged to apply for an additional proof of Sephardic origin, which may be obtained from the FCJE, https://certificadosefardies.fcje.org or from an Orthodox Sephardic synagogue approved by FCJE. Also, Or veShalom Synagogue in Atlanta has processed many applications. They have an electronic system and one can apply at orveshalom.org
Second Proof of Special Link to Spain
The applicant must obtain a second proof of a special link to Spain. They are encouraged to sign up for any of the cultural activities available at Instituto Cervantes in Albuquerque. The Director of Instituto Cervantes may sign a certificate proving that the applicant took a cultural activity having to do with the Spanish history or culture. This document would serve as proof of a special link. For an online link to Spain, applicants can go to Cervantes.es and register for an Ave Global class. Once registration has been paid, s/he can contact Amada who works at the Albuquerque office, via email: email@example.com to request a certificate signed by the director. This letter does not require an apostille as the Instituto Cervantes is a part of the Spanish government.
Alternatively, the applicant may obtain a second proof of special link to Spain by opening a bank account at Banco Santander or BBVA, or by purchasing stock of any Spanish companies such as Telefonica, Endesa, ACS, Ferrovial, Iberdrola, Banco Santander, BBVA, etc. The applicant must prove that s/he holds stock in a Spanish company by means of a letter signed by his or her bank or trading (stock brokerage) company, which should be attested by a notary public and subsequently apostilled at the Secretary of State.
One may also prove a special link to Spain with the following documentary evidence:
- have a parent or grandparent with Spanish citizenship,
- speak Ladino (Judeo-Spanish),
- lived in Spain for three or more months,
- studied in Spain and present a certified transcript that has been translated with an apostille,
- studied Spanish literature, Spanish culture or Spanish history when going through high school, undergraduate or graduate studies, and obtain a certified transcript that has been translated with an apostille,
- own any asset (e.g. a house, stock) in Spain.
If any of the above-referenced ways of obtaining a second proof of special link to Spain are too complicated, one may make a monetary donation to a Spanish NGO. The applicant must get a certificate signed by the president and secretary of said Spanish NGO, so as to prove the applicant’s donation and special link to Spain.
Letter of Good Standing from School Principal (under age 18)
School-aged children must obtain a letter from their principal stating that they are well-behaved. The letter should be written in Spanish or have an official translation, and must be notarized so that an apostille can be issued. (See section about children.) Please include full legal name, birth date and passport number.
Certificate of having passed the CCSE (Spanish civics and culture) test (age 18-70)
Certificate of having passed the DELE Level A-2 (Spanish language test) (age 18-70)
Payment of the 101 Euro Spanish government filing fee
Payment of the 100 euro-Spanish Government filing fee
Take Form 790-026 to any Spanish Bank prior to signing your acta de notoriedad at the Notario’s office in Spain. The 100-euro Spanish Government Filing Fee Form 790-026 may be downloaded at