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Can I leave Spain if I have applied for Spanish nationality?

There are many people who are processing their Spanish nationality by residence, and they have many doubts about this procedure. One of the most frequently asked questions is, once you have applied for the nationality, whether you can travel outside of Spain.

Can I travel outside of Spain if I am already processing my Spanish nationality?

The answer is yes, you can travel with your Spanish nationality in process. At the moment, there is no limitation in this regard. However, some things need to be taken into account.

You can leave Spain without any inconvenience, but it is necessary to have an existing legal and continuous residence in Spain, but in regards to the residence card and conditions as a resident.

General Regime for Foreigners

Periods of stay in Spain, without affecting the residence:

  • Six months outside of Spain in the period of one year: for temporary cards, for example when you have a residence and work permit of 2 years, a family reunification, or a non-profit residence.

  • One year on a continuous basis outside the European Union for long-term or EU-long term cards.

Community Regime

For cards regulated under the Community Regime:

  • Six months within one year for initial Community Family Residence Cards. This period of validity shall not be affected by absences of longer duration from Spanish Territory due to the fulfillment of military obligations or, which do not last more than 12 consecutive months, and which are due to pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, serious illness, studies, vocational training or transfers of a professional nature to another Member State or third country.

  • Two years continuously outside of Spain for a Community Permanent Card.

Irregularity in the Nationality File

The ministry of Justice has indicated that such departures after the request should not affect the nationality, just as it would not affect an unexpected irregularity.

What is the resulting irregularity?

The irregularity is the situation of irregularity that occurs when we have the nationality in process. It may be that once the nationality has been processed, at a later time, the person remains in an irregular form in Spain.

The situation, as we say, should not affect the nationality process, and is not at present a cause of denial of nationality, since the important thing was to have legal residence in Spain at the time of the application for the Spanish nationality.

Here it is important to have legal residence both before and during the application and process of the Spanish nationality.

For more information, please contact us at

Rashel Segal


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