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New Spanish Citizenship Law Offers EU Possibilities
Dual Nationality

Dual nationality, a topic I frequently write about, simply means that a person legally is a citizen of two countries at the same time, qualified as such under each nation’s law.

Under American law this dual status may result automatically, as when a child born in a foreign country to a U.S. citizen becomes both a U.S. citizen and a citizen of the country where he or she is born. Or it may result from operation of law, as when a U.S. citizen acquires foreign citizenship by marriage to a spouse from another nation, or a foreign person naturalized as a U.S. citizen retains the citizenship of their country of birth.

Contrary to popular belief, Americans don't have to give up their U.S. citizenship or surrender their passport if they acquire a second citizenship. U.S. law and Supreme Court decisions support the right of an American to enjoy dual citizenship.

Historic Controversy

The new Spanish citizenship law covers the period from July 18, 1936, to Dec. 31, 1955, which includes the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939 and the first decades of Franco's rule which ended with his death in 1975.

The act is part of the "law of historical memory," a controversial law passed last year by the Socialist government of Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero aimed at encouraging Spain to resolve issues from its bloody 20th-century history. Many Spaniards oppose the law as a needless stirring up of old animosities.

This new law could produce many applicants because Spain is a member of the European Union. That means acquiring Spanish citizenship allows a person to live, work and travel in any of the 27 EU nations, giving them a free run of the continent.

Tough Older Laws

The new law is a departure from much stricter Spanish naturalization law.

Prior to this exception citizenship by naturalization could only be acquired with difficulty. Persons with no ties to Spain had to reside in the country for at least 10 years.

Persons who were nationals of Portugal, the Philippines, or certain South American countries need only reside for two years, a back door approach to quicker citizenship.

Persons who were born in Spain, who married a citizen of Spain, or who were born outside of Spain of a mother or father who was originally Spanish, needed only to reside in Spain one year before being eligible fort citizenship. These laws remain in effect.

The new law also creates an exception to the existing Spanish prohibition against dual citizenship.

Spanish law requires most naturalization applicants to renounce their existing citizenship and to swear an oath of allegiance to Spain. Dual nationality is recognized only if the applicant’s home nation has a dual nationality treaty with Spain. Currently, such treaties exist with Chile, Peru, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Bolivia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Colombia, and Venezuela. Those of Spanish-Jewish descent were also allowed to hold dual nationality.

Other Nations Grant Exceptions

The changes in Spanish law adds a new political category to the exceptional qualifications for obtaining citizenship imposed by some other nations.

For example, one also can secure dual citizenship and a second passport based on ancestry if your parents or grandparents were born in nations such as Ireland, Italy, Poland, Lithuania or even the United Kingdom. Jews are allowed to obtain Israeli citizenship based on their religion.

If one can afford it, one can also secure an immediate second citizenship (at a high price) from the only two nations that still offer "economic citizenship" -- the Commonwealth of Dominica and St. Kitts and Nevis, both in the Caribbean area.

Source: http://baumanblog.sovereignsociety.c...anish-cit.html
Category: Articles and News | Added by: janus (2009-05-21)
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