Spanish 2-Year Citizenship via American Options

Given the Potential closure of Portugal Golden Visa, I’ve read some interesting articles about Spanish Citizenship.

Spain is normally a long process but they offer a special 2 year fast-track for people of former colonies/etc. including Puerto Rico, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile.

NOTE: You “may” need to be born there. The Law ( says “nacionales de origen” which many have interpreted as Citizen of Birth, e.g. born there. It’s a point where a Spanish Immigration Lawyer would be very useful. Some websites claim you just need to be citizens, others say these claims are wrong or even fraudulent (A scam to get you the other citizenship then you fail after several years living in Spain).

I mention these 5 specifically, because as an American resident, apparently in 1 year I can become a Puerto Rico “US Citizen” by moving their for a year, and then if the interpretation is simply Citizen and not Birth Citizen I am eligible to move to Spain for 2 Years and be a citizen.

The other 4 Countries seem to offer instant citizenship for children born there, and many offer Citizenship for parents in about 2 years, of course let’s add time for Bureaucracy.

I have further questions on Dual Nationality in Spain, it doesn’t allow it, but it seems to make exceptions for these “American” countries. I also hold Australian Citizenship, so not sure if they would make me renounce that if I’m also “American”.

Curious if anyone has done research, has some useful links, etc.

I love the idea of a low-cost option for people with access to these “American” citizenships which can then get them Spanish.


I have heard people talking about this ‘loophole’ on other forums and I’m curious to know if it actually works.

The big question is whether Spain accepts naturalized citizens of these countries or requires you to be have been born there.

According to a government of Spain website:

Two years: for nationals of Ibero-American countries, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal or people of Sephardic origin.

The law only mentions the word ‘national’ which may or may not refer to a naturalized citizen, depending on the definition. I would contact a Spanish lawyer who specializes in immigration/naturalization to have this clarified.

I would also want to know if this method has worked for others before I invest time and money into the process or enter the frustrating realm of Spanish bureaucracy.

Generally speaking, I wouldn’t want to try and loophole anything here.

I think everyone would like to have that information before going for and spending a year or more in Puerto Rico to do the loophole. I think you will hard pressed to find a bunch of people on the internet that have tried that and are here to tell you about it.

Even if you do get that information some questions I would have as the following:, how much can you trust it? Are you willing to take that risk of living in a place you might not want to go in order to do it or try it out? Might it also be a good idea to talk to an attorney who has assisted with that before and see what they think?

My source is wikipedia so do your own research, but according to the sources cited there you have to be naturally born into those places to qualify for the 2 year rule

I’m wrong. I saw a hint of this on various sites with varying credibility I usually trust or consider a good “first hint” that it is real (Sovereign Man & Quora)

But it seems there’s been so many sites saying American Nationals only require 2 years for Spanish Citizenship, BUT when you read the actual law and translate it, the words are “Nationals of Origin”, which I believe is birth. I haven’t seen any citations of case law showing this doesn’t mean birth so I’m going to assume it means birth.

Some people have also stated “de origen” should be translated to Birth.

Hi, am new to this thread, thanks to @louisz for pointing it out.

I am also interested in the possible path to Spanish citizenship after 2 years of legal residence in Spain for citizens of said countries. In my case it would - hopefully, eventually - be as a citizen of Portugal via the Portuguese GV. I know some say what’s the point of getting Spanish citizenship if you already have Portuguese/EU citizenship, but that’s another point for another day.

Interested in hearing experiences of anyone pursuing/who pursued this route, whether successfully or not, and what the pitfalls might be. For me two (or more) years living in Spain would be a positive experience in any case, regardless of whether or not it lead to citizenship. Citizenship would be the so-called icing on the cake.

Need to clarify -

  • whether the national vs citizen difference is an issue in going down this route,

  • whether Spain wants you to renounce any other citizenships you might already hold, if the application was specifically based only on the Portuguese citizenship.

(The other citizenships, and also the Portuguese citizenship, are all fine with dual/multiple citizenships. They don’t ask you to renounce anything. Also Spain seems fine if you hold Spanish and Portuguese (or Ibero-American, etc) citizenship. Just curious however as to whether Spain would want you to renounce the other citizenships if you apply for Spanish via Portuguese citizenship).

Any Spanish immigration lawyers reading this?

I agree; just read a web page in Spanish (Solicitar nacionalidad española con 2 años de residencia), couldn’t find the actual law, but it seems to refer to nationals by birth.

(I speak Spanish as native language)

The actual law is mentioned in this web page (Spanish citizenship for Filipino nationals in 2023)

I understand this text comes from the government source:

From scouring articles and actually reading the law, “National of Origin” sounds like Spanish for “National of Birth”

Thanks @michaelsmith @marianocorral - useful articles and seem to rule out Spanish dual citizenship after 2 years residence based on Portuguese citizenship by naturalisation!

You’re welcome.

Jumping on here, hoping you all may have some insight…

I am looking at the Spain GV to 2 years citizenship options. I am America, but I also have Argentina citizenship by DESCENT. My father and grandparents were born there. I’ve been told this allows me to go via the fast tracked 2 year route. However, I am not sure what, if any, citizenship I would have to give up? Would I be able to keep American and or Argentina?


Follow up - I am getting contradictory info on how long during the year I would need to live in Spain to apply. Most sites/info says 6 months per year, but now I am being told 9 or 10 months by some sources/companies/lawyers. Anybody got any experience here? Thanks!

There is no specific number of months mentioned in Spanish law. It just states that your residence prior to the citizenship application must be ‘legal and uninterrupted’. Lawyers will likely tell you to not be outside Spain for more than 2-3 months based on their experience or interpretation of the law.

You should just use your Argentinian details for the immigration process and not mention that you are a citizen of the US. That way you can likely avoid having to renounce.

Even in the case of having to renounce your US citizenship, it is not a strict requirement. The Spanish government apparently doesn’t check or know if you actually renounced.

1 Like

Spain offers a unique pathway to citizenship for nationals of specific countries, allowing them to apply for Spanish citizenship after just two years of legal residency, compared to the general requirement of ten years for most other nationalities. The countries that qualify for this accelerated process typically share historical, cultural, or linguistic ties with Spain. As of my last update, the countries whose nationals are eligible for this expedited pathway include:

  • Andorra
  • Portugal
  • Philippines
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Latin American countries (This generally includes all South American countries, Central America, and Mexico)