A total of 205,880 foreign nationals obtained Spanish nationality in
2014 according to figures published on Friday December 4 by the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE).
The majority of those who have become new Spanish citizens come from Morocco (34,807). Latin Americans formed
the next biggest groups, with migrants from Ecuador and Colombian
accounting for the largest numbers, followed by Bolivians, Peruvians, the Dominican Republic and Argentineans.
10 per cent of the new citizens were actually born in Spain. 79 per
cent of the successful applicants had lived in Spain for 10 years or more.
In the first half 2015, 66,454 foreigners received Spanish citizenship, a significant decline on the 2014 figure.
A foreigner must usually renounce his former nationality in order to gain
Spanish citizenship, although there are exceptions to this with nationals of Portugal and Latin American countries. The UK however doesn ́t recognise renunciation of citizenship, irrespective of where a UK citizen has taken up a different passport.
However, because EU nationals can live and work in any EU State, applications from countries such as the UK and Ireland are low.
Potential Spanish citizens have to take an official examination that includes questions on Spanish history, politics and culture.
The questions can be difficult even for many Spanish people, one example being
“in what year did Madrid become capital of Spain?”