Democratic Memory Law was issued via Law 20/2022, of October 19, on Democratic Memory (BOE of October 20 and entry into force on 21 October) opening up the possibility to acquire the Spanish nationality to those:

  • born outside Spain whose father, mother, grandfather or grandmother suffered exile for political, ideological or belief reasons or sexual orientation and identity and due to this, lost or renounced their Spanish nationality.
  • born abroad to Spanish women who had lost their nationality due to marriage marrying before the entry into force of the 1978 Constitution.
  • Born and of legal age, sons or daughters of Spaniards whose nationality of origin was recognized by virtue of the right of option further to Law 52/2007 (7th Disp) pursuant to which measures are set in place in favor of those who suffered porsecution or violence during the Spanish Civil War or the Franco Dictatorship.

Those meeting any of the above will be suited to apply to the Spanish Nationality.

What to Prepare to avail of the Rights of the Democratic Memory Law?

  • Request to exercise the right of option. Preferably this request to exercise will be submitted at the Registry with jurisdiction and electronically to ensure being in possession of receipt allowing a productive follow up on the request and not getting bureaucratically stock at any registry or at the Ministry of Justice.
  • Appointment of Representative (this should be provided to you by expert counsel, as we provide our clients).
  • Document proving the identity of the applicant (copy of the attested valid passport).
  • Birth certificate of the applicant, issued by the local Civil Registry in which it is registered (legalized and/or apostilled).
  • Spanish birth certificate of the father or mother of applicants of legal age who apply for Spanish nationality, having recognized their parents as Spanish nationals of origin by virtue of the right of option in accordance with the provisions of the Provision eighth additional provision of Law 20/2022 or in the seventh additional provision of Law 52/2007, of December 26, when the application is submitted in a Civil Registry other than the one in which the birth of the father or of Mother.
  • Criminal record certificate: this is generally not listed but it may be recommended to enrich and make stand out applications.

The above will need to be adjusted to meet the different types of groups entitled to pursue the Spanish Nationality as per above 3 subgroups.

As readers will observe the requirements are not significant and they do not include CCSE nor DELE – language qualification courses (to date).


Timings & Deadline

We make a call to action to those that may qualify and have an interest to apply to the rights under the Democratic Memory Law. This is because earlier similar attempts have ceased to be in force with the ascension to government of Spanish right-wing parties.  An example of it is the earlier version of this Law which came into force in 2007 (Law No. 52 of 2007 of Historic Memory) that ceased  at the close of 2011.

In addition, the deadline to apply for Spanish nationality under the Democratic Memory Law is of two years from the approval of the Law in October 2022.

Links to Democratic Memory Law Resources

  • Official Publication in BOE (Spanish Official Bulletin) can be accessed here.
  • Instruction of 25 October 2022 on the Democratic Memory Law here.

We trust that this publication of general application is of assistance to grasp the new Democratic Memory Law making accessible the available resources to date. Evidently at disposal for specific questions and to assemble applications to ensure they are well organized, enriched and comprehensive.

For additional information published by our Firm kindly visit our Publications here.

*By any means this post however is deemed as legal advice and it is solely based on information publicly available on the topic.