Can you claim Spanish citizenship based on your family name?

There are many benefits to holding Spanish citizenship. First of all, you can work, live and vote in this country. Secondly, Spain is part of the European Union, which means you can travel freely and even obtain residence in any country that is a member. There are different ways to apply for Spanish nationality. The most straightforward one is by descent, but this does not mean you can obtain citizenship based solely on your family name. You will need to prove that either of your parents and/or one of your grandparents were Spanish.

Another way to get Spanish citizenship is by residency. If you have lived legally in the country long enough, for example holding a visa, you can apply for Spanish nationality. The period of time will vary depending on what country you are from and your circumstances. The standard time immigrants have to reside in Spain to obtain citizenship is ten years. There are some exceptions in place, for example, if you are from any Latin American country, Portugal, Andorra, the Philippines or Equatorial Guinea you have the right to qualify for citizenship after just 2 years. If you hold refugee status, you will be eligible after five years. Lastly, you can apply for Spanish nationality after one year if your spouse is Spanish.