Ley de Nietos or Grandchildren law

Haven’t you been eligible for Spanish citizenship through  Ley de Nietos or Grandchildren law before? Were the rules so strict? 

Unveiling the Grandchildren Law for Spanish Citizenship by Descent

Ley de Nietos or Grandchildren law

Get happy—here is some good news for you! The government of Spain has designed new laws to make your path to Spanish citizenship easy.

The new Ley de Nietos, or Grandchildren law, effectively expands the list of relatives eligible for Spanish citizenship by descent. Thus, the children and grandchildren of ancestors who lost or renounced their citizenship will now be able to obtain Spanish nationality.

This new law allows children and grandchildren of Spaniards to obtain Spanish nationality directly, without the need to live in Spain for any minimum period!

In this article, we’ll provide details about the amended laws for grandchildren and how you can acquire Spanish citizenship through it.

The Earlier Framework of Citizenship Through Lineage

In the past, eligibility for obtaining Spanish Citizenship through descent was quite limited. Individuals born to a Spanish mother or father could acquire it without question. That was clear.

There were also other scenarios, such as adopted children under 18 or those born in Spain to foreign parents if one parent was also born within Spanish territory.

This defined citizenship by origin.

But what about the grandchildren of Spanish nationals? 

They were previously excluded.

However, the list of relatives eligible for citizenship by descent has now broadened. This change is attributed to the enactment of the Grandchildren’s Law.

The Revised Law On Citizenship For Grandchildren

If you previously couldn’t acquire Spanish Citizenship due to what is known as historical memory, you will now meet the requirements under the new regulation.

The Revised Law On Citizenship For Grandchildren

So, what does this updated regulation involve?

It’s straightforward: now grandchildren can also obtain citizenship, with certain conditions. 

But wait a moment.

Not all descendants will meet the criteria. 

The new regulation envisions granting citizenship only in three distinct situations. Let’s examine this in more detail.

Could You Be Eligible For Benefits Under Spain’s Grandchildren Law?

As outlined in the final directive officially published in the BOE (Official State Gazette), there are three categories of individuals who will qualify for this law:

1. Grandchildren of Spanish Women Married Before the 1978 Constitution:

This category includes grandchildren of Spanish women who were born in Spain but lost their Spanish citizenship due to marrying non-Spanish individuals before the 1978 Constitution came into effect.

As a result of these marriages, they lost their Spanish nationality. Now, their grandchildren can apply for Spanish citizenship under this law.

2. Children of Those Acquiring Spanish Nationality through Historical Memory (Law 52/2017):

Another qualifying category encompasses children of individuals who obtained Spanish nationality through the Law of Historical Memory (Law 52/2017). 

These children could not acquire Spanish citizenship when the law was enacted because they were under 18 years old at the time. 

Although they could not apply for Citizenship by Option when their parents gained nationality through historical memory, they can now seek Spanish citizenship under this new law.

3. Children or Grandchildren of Spanish Exiles:

The third category comprises children or grandchildren born outside of Spain to a Spanish father, mother, or grandfather/grandmother who was forced into exile due to political, ideological, or religious reasons or reasons related to sexual orientation and identity. 

These individuals subsequently lost or renounced their Spanish nationality. Under this law, these descendants of Spanish exiles are now eligible to apply for Spanish citizenship.

So,these three categories provide pathways for individuals with specific family backgrounds to obtain Spanish citizenship under the provisions of the law as outlined in the Official State Gazette (BOE).

How do you acquire Spanish citizenship through descent?

To acquire Spanish citizenship through the new Grandchildren Law in Spain, here are the steps you should follow:

Gather Required Documentation:

  • Your birth certificate.
  • Birth certificates of your parents and grandparents (Spanish citizen’s descendants).
  • If applicable, please provide any documentation proving the marriage of your Spanish grandmother to a non-Spanish individual before the 1978 Constitution came into effect.
  • Proof of your grandparents’ exile, loss, or renunciation of Spanish citizenship due to political, ideological, religious reasons, or reasons related to sexual orientation and identity.
  • Documents demonstrating your parents’ acquisition of Spanish Nationality by origin under Law 52/2017, if relevant.
  • Any other relevant documents supporting your case.

Prepare Application:

Fill out the necessary application forms. The Spanish consulate or the online platform designated for this purpose will likely provide these.

Submit Your Application:

  • If you are away from Spain, submit your application to the Spanish consulate in your country of residence.
  • If you are currently in Spain, submit your application to the Central Civil Registry.
  • If an online platform is designated for these applications, follow the instructions to submit your application online.

Wait for Processing:

The authorities will review your application. This process may take some time, so be patient.

Notification of Decision:

You will be informed of the decision regarding your application. If approved, you will receive instructions on the next steps to finalize your citizenship.

Take Oath of Allegiance:

If your application is successful, you must take an oath of allegiance to Spain. This can be done at the Spanish consulate or another designated location.

Receive Certificate of Spanish Citizenship:

Upon completing the process, you will receive a certificate of Spanish citizenship, officially recognizing you as a Spanish citizen.

Receive customized legal support to apply for the Grandchildren Law at Marfour Law Firm

Those interested in learning more about the latest updates on Spanish citizenship can find further details here.

Moreover, if you feel that specialized legal support is necessary to obtain your nationality in Spain, you’ve come to the right place.

We are ready to assist you

Our team of immigration lawyers at Marfour Law firm in Spain is ready to assist you.We have experts immigration lawyers. 

Send us an email, and we will

Determine your eligibility for Spanish Citizenship under the Grandchildren Law.

Guide you through the entire legal application process. You’ll only need to sign, and we’ll handle the rest.

Becoming a Spanish citizen might be more attainable than you realize. Just one click away!


Here are some important FAQs:

1. What is the Grandchildren’s Law (Ley de Nietos) in Spain?

The Grandchildren Law is a legislation in Spain that allows grandchildren of Spanish citizens to apply.

2. How long does the application process take?

The application processing time can vary, but it often takes several months. Factors such as the volume of applications and completeness of documentation can impact the timeline.

3. Do I need to renounce my current citizenship to become a Spanish citizen?

Spain generally allows dual citizenship, so in most cases, you do not need to renounce your current citizenship to become a Spanish citizen.

4. Who is eligible to apply for Spanish citizenship under the Grandchildren Law?

Eligibility is generally extended to:

Grandchildren of Spanish women who married non-Spanish individuals before 1978 and subsequently lost their Spanish citizenship.

Children of those who acquired Spanish Nationality through historical memory laws but could not become citizens at the time.

Descendants of Spanish citizens who were exiled for political, ideological, religious, or LGBTQ+ reasons, leading to the loss or renunciation of their Spanish citizenship.

5.  When is my dealdine for applying for the Ley de Nietos?

According to the last law modification, the Spanish government has extended this law till October 2025.


The implementation of the Grandparents Law (Ley de Nietos) in Spain presents a profound opportunity for descendants of Spanish citizens to reclaim their heritage and a legal bond with their ancestral homeland.

This legislation offers a clear pathway to Spanish citizenship for grandchildren of Spanish nationals, bridging generational divides and honouring the resilience of past generations.

For applicants, it is a chance to embrace a new chapter of belonging, with access to the European Union and the various opportunities that come with citizenship. Ultimately, the Grandparents Law serves as a beacon of hope, and unity for you if you seek to honor your roots while embracing the future.

The new Ley de Nietos or Grandchildren law effectively expands the list of relatives eligible for Spanish citizenship by descent, meaning that now the children and grandchildren of ancestors who lost or renounced their citizenship will be able to obtain Spanish nationality.


assisted Clients


satisfied clients


    • Birth certificate of the applicant.

    • Birth certificate of the Spanish parent.

    • Documentation of accreditation of exile status for case A.

    • Marriage certificate of the parents celebrated before 29 December 1978 for case B.

    • APPLICATION: civil registry of the consular office from the country of origin or place of residence or from the civil registry in Spain.

    • Application period: 2 years, with an option for a one-year extension by the Council of Ministers.


Applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

Case A)  People born outside of Spain to a parent or grandparent who would have originally been Spanish but lost or renounced their nationality due to exile for political, ideological, belief, or sexual orientation reasons can now obtain Spanish nationality. This change means that the children and grandchildren of ancestors who lost or renounced their citizenship are eligible to apply for Spanish nationality.

Case B)   Children born abroad of Spanish women who lost their nationality because they married foreigners before the entry into force of the 1978 Constitution.

Case C)   Children of legal age of Spaniards whose nationality of origin was recognized by virtue of the right of option in accordance with the provisions of the present Law 52/2007


I Thank to Marfour I was able to apply for Ley de Nietos for my relatives.  They are very professional and clear from the beginning they told us which documents we will need for the process and how the application will be. Thank you very much to the entire Marfour Team.


Ley De Nietos

Marfour helped me thank advantage of the Grandchildren Law. Thank you very much.

Alessio Patricio

Ley De Nietos


Contact us, and Marfour International Law Firm will assist you with taking advantage of the LEY DE NIETOS – GRANDCHILDERN LAW. One of our specialized English-speaking lawyers will contact you immediately to help and advise you. Do not hesitate to send us your enquiry.

Phone: +34 698 917 840
Email: info@marfourlaw.com
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