DUAL NATIONALITY in SPAIN (for US natives)...RENOUNCE US Citizenship?!

So, I just reached the final step in the 6-year process of being approved for Spanish nationality.  I was filling out the online form to attend the "sworn oath" and when I reached the last of 4 steps, the button that says something like "I renounce my current nationality" and there is a YES / NO button choice, I saw that the "NO" button was disactivated ... I couldn't choose anything but "YES" ... so, before I clicked, I called ....

It turns out that there is no "convenio" (agreement) between Spain and the USA for dual nationality, (just like I learned for my driver's license and my university credits for my degrees) and hence the Spanish gov't requires you to renounce your US citizenship to acquire Spanish nationality.

So I called the US Embassy who passed me to the US Consulate in Barcelona where they informed me that "There is no law that prohibits US citizens from acquiring other nationalities ... and in order to renounce or abandon US nationality, one must enter the Embassy and state/claim that their wish is such." ... They went on to assure me that the "renunciation" on Spanish soil is only valid, in the eyes of the US gov't, in Spain ... and until a US citizen expressly renounces his/her citizenship in person and with that expressed intent WITHIN the setting of the US (Embassy/Consulate, etc) he/she remains a US citizen with all of his/her rights, privelages and obligations.

So ... I was wondering if anyone had any experience with this ... or if they've gone through the process ...

My little sister told me right away, "DON'T DO IT! WHAT IF LAWS CHANGE IN THE FUTURE AND YOU'RE STRIPPED OF YOUR US CITIZENSHIP FOR HAVING RENOUNCED IT IN SPAIN!!!"

I'm a little freaked by it ... and want to know if anyone has, perhaps, seeked legal advice on this one ... even though the people at the Consulate were more than assuring that it's just a legal formality.

Note:  My sister is residing in Italy where they don't require you to renounce your nationality.

2nd Note:  My children both have dual nationality, but that is because they were "born involuntarily" into the situation and THEY did not choose ... hence, they don't have to choose nor renounce.

I hope to hear from you all ....

The naturalization process in almost every country in the world requires one to "renounce any other citizenship" that they may have. This is strictly a pro forma declaration that has no validity in law outside that particular nation.

Speaking for the situation in the USA, you will NEVER lose your citizenship unless you formally renounce it in the USA.

The only thing the "renounciation" of your USA citizenship in naturalizing as a Spanish citizens it that under their laws you are always and foremost considered a citizen of Spain while in that country. You cannot thus excuse yourself from any of the resposibilities imposed on you under law by saying, ".... but, I'm an American". In Spain you're Spanish and only Spanish, outside of Spain you are whatever you want to say you are, American or Spanish.

In practical terms the loss of one's citizenship DOES NOT depend on the country in which one acquires any secondary citizenship, but rather on the nationality laws in their birth country. Some countries automatically cancel the citizenship of nationals when they acquire citizenship in another country. The USA IS NOT ONE OF THOSE.

Just ask the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if you lose your US citizenship by naturalizing anywhere else... they'll tell you flat out NOT ON YOUR LIFE!!!! You are required to file an annual income tax return no matter what your other citizenship or where you live in the world until such time as you officially renounce your citizenship to the US government and pay a mult-million dollar "Exit Tax", just like Tina Turner and other wealthies who've done so.

For more information about multiple citizenship see the following Wikipedia link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_citizenship

Cheers,
William James Woodward - Brazil & Canada Expert, Expat-blog Team

wjwoodward :

The naturalization process in almost every country in the world requires one to "renounce any other citizenship" that they may have. This is strictly a pro forma declaration that has no validity in law outside that particular nation.

That's not exactly true, just like the laws surrounding multinational children differ widely. In some countries you have to formally renounce other citizenships (Norway) before you can acquire, and give an oath of loyalty (USA). Others don't have such renouncing/oath requirements (Iceland).

These tiny variations can make a big difference. For example, there are lots of children with dual US-Norwegian citizenship here since children born to American parents are automatically considered US citizens. However, there are children born to Norwegian-Australian couples who have had their Norwegian citizenship revoked because the paperwork for registering the Australian children is an "application". The US registration is simply a "declaration" so the Norwegian government considers it differently.

in short, I think the OP should get some more local, legal advice about this (although probably not at the US embassy) before making a decision!

I have a Swiss fiend who took Spanish nationality.  She renounced her Swiss nationality, in Spain only.  She was told never to carry her Swiss and Spanish nationality papers in Spain, it would be a criminal offence if they discovered she had in effect lied about the renunciation.

My wife is Filipino. Being from a former Spanish colony,  she could legally have dual Spanish and Philippines nationality. 

I am English (British) but also have Irish nationality. It is legal in both countries, but I cannot have British and Spanish nationality. It would be OK for UK but not for Spain.

Hello nj_bcn,

I suggest you read the blog on the following link: nothemingwaysspain.blogspot.com.es/2013/07/becoming-spanish-from-expat-to-immigrant.html

He explains how his dual citizenship between USA and Spain works. It's not a big deal. You will not lose your American citizenship unless you officially renounce it in the USA.

Lavidabuena

I can't see a link, but in any case Spain do not allow it's citizens to have dual nationality (except in rare circumstances, former colonies etc)  so to keep one's nationality, whilst obtaining Spanish nationality would be illegal, albeit one could take the risk of not being caught. 

(But one could rob a bank and probably eliminate the need for dual nationality, following that route !!!  )

Johncar :

Lavidabuena

I can't see a link, but in any case Spain do not allow it's citizens to have dual nationality (except in rare circumstances, former colonies etc)  so to keep one's nationality, whilst obtaining Spanish nationality would be illegal, albeit one could take the risk of not being caught. 

(But one could rob a bank and probably eliminate the need for dual nationality, following that route !!!  )

Well hopefully a mod approves the link as many people ask the same question.

The link is from "nothemingwaysspain"'s blog. The article is titled "Becoming Spanish: From Expat to Immigrant". Google it :)

All of this sounds promising ... however, it's still a BIG and SCARY step.  I consulted with a lawyer (friend) who said that if it were her, she would not renounce the US citizenship before the Spanish authorities.  If it's a signed application it's a binding document.  She did say that if it were a verbal oath and renunciation, that could be a different thing.

I've seen that the guy in the blog nothemingwaysspain  sent to us by "lavidabuena" has, in fact, obtained his Spanish citizenship ... and probably has both his passports by now....

[at]Johncar:  I think that what you say about the legality of dual nationality is incorrect ... it's not a criminal offense, especially if you are a dual citizen BORN into your situation (as are my 2 children) ...

Now I'm wondering if there are any people who have:

OBTAINED SPANISH CITIZENSHIP (Having followed the procedure of "renouncing" their US citizenship before Spanish authorities)AND HAVE SUBSEQUENTLY HAD A CHILD(or children)IN SPAIN AND HAVE OBTAINED HIS/HER/THEIR REPORT OF OVERSEAS BIRTH FROM THE US AND ACQUIRED HIS/HER/THEIR US PASSPORT?

Does that make sense to any of you?

....Now I'm wondering if there are any people who have:

OBTAINED SPANISH CITIZENSHIP (Having followed the procedure of "renouncing" their US citizenship before Spanish authorities)AND HAVE SUBSEQUENTLY HAD A CHILD(or children)IN SPAIN AND HAVE OBTAINED HIS/HER/THEIR REPORT OF OVERSEAS BIRTH FROM THE US AND ACQUIRED HIS/HER/THEIR US PASSPORT?

Does that make sense to any of you?

Nj bcn
        I think that what you say about the legality of dual nationality is incorrect ... it's not a criminal offense, especially if you are a dual citizen BORN into your situation (as are my 2 children) ...

I am not sure the Spanish Gov.  agree with you.  Take a look at :-   http://www.mjusticia.gob.es/cs/Satellit … anica.html


This is just an extract from that page:-   

No es necesario que renuncien a su nacionalidad quienes fueran naturales de países iberoamericanos, de Andorra, Filipinas, Guinea Ecuatorial o Portugal. Se consideran países iberoamericanos a estos efectos aquéllos en los que el español o el portugués sean una de las lenguas oficiales.

(It is not necessary to renounce their nationality for those who were natural Ibero-American countries, Andorra, Philippines, Equatorial Guinea or Portugal. They are considered Latin American countries these effects to those where the Spanish or Portuguese are one of the official languages).

Son españoles de origen:

Los nacidos de padre o madre española.
Los nacidos en España cuando sean hijos de padres extranjeros si, al menos uno de los padres, ha nacido en España (se exceptúan los hijos de diplomáticos).

(fuente:   http://www.mjusticia.gob.es/cs/Satellit … talle.html  )



Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship by a Child Born Abroad
Birth Abroad to One Citizen and One Alien Parent in Wedlock

A child born abroad to one U.S. citizen parent and one alien parent acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under Section 301(g) of the INA provided the U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for the time period required by the law applicable at the time of the child's birth. (For birth on or after November 14, 1986, a period of five years physical presence, two after the age of fourteen, is required. For birth between December 24, 1952 and November 13, 1986, a period of ten years, five after the age of fourteen, is required for physical presence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions to transmit U.S. citizenship to the child.) The U.S. citizen parent must be genetically related to the child to transmit U.S. citizenship.

(source:    http://travel.state.gov/law/citizenship … _5199.html   )

"The concept of dual nationality means that a person is a citizen of two countries at the same time. Each country has its own citizenship laws based on its own policy. Persons may have dual nationality by automatic operation of different laws rather than by choice. For example, a child born in a foreign country to U.S. citizen parents may be both a U.S. citizen and a citizen of the country of birth."  (source:  US BUREAU OF CONSULAR AFFAIRS)

But I think that is USA law not Spanish.

The UK has no problem with it's citizens having dual nationality (I have British and Irish.  Ireland too has no problems).  As far as UK are concerned I could have British and Spanish. But Spain would not allow that. 

So as I see it, that USA say it's OK does not make it legal in Spain.

Hi nj_bcn,

I apologize for not writing back sooner. I think it is very admirable of you to take this dual citizenship concern seriously, though I'd encourage you to not agonize over it. There is a legal grey zone that nobody has an interest in clearing up, least of all the United States. (The last thing the U.S. wants, understandably, is for people to be signing up for dual citizenship left and right.) That does not mean that you shouldn't take the plunge, only that you will probably never get a clear green light on this question.

So here's my take on it. First, there was a lawsuit back in 1992 which established that taking an oath to a foreign nation wouldn't necessarily result in losing your U.S. citizenship. (In the case, an American "turned" Spaniard had committed a crime, and didn't want to face sentencing.) In other words, the U.S. government is not going to leave this decision in your hands just because it suits you (tax evasion, crime evasion, etc.). (This also means that if you become a Spanish citizen, but consider your U.S. citizenship still valid, you're still bound to U.S. citizen tax declaration laws abroad.) Second, I have a friend in Valencia who has been operating with dual citizenship for over a decade, and played for Spain's olympic basketball team, without ever giving up his U.S. passport (or American expat identity). Third, I consulted "off the record" with Valencia's Consul, who made it clear the Foreign Affairs office has much better things to do with its time than hunt down Americans who seek citizenship abroad.

So to clarify, I swore allegiance to Spain's Constitution, its King, and renouncing other oaths (i.e. U.S.) and I signed a paper to that effect. In a normal legal world this would be legally binding. But citizenship is a headache and heartache for officials, and once conferred, denying someone it is an extreme measure. I think nothing short of you committing a horrendous crime, or Spain and the U.S. going to war with each other, is going to open the question of what is _really_ your citizenship if you have both. Frankly, in my opinion, if either of those happened, where you'd possibly have to choose, you'd have bigger problems on your mind.

Which means that unless those happen, you could have, by default, dual citizenship. Thus, I took the plunge. Of course, I'm committed to it. It wouldn't be "so horrible" to lose my American citizenship. I'll always be an American, but I'm more than satisfied with being a Spaniard and European on paper.

Best,
Zach, a.k.a. Not Hemingway's Spain

P.S. Kids are a different story. They're born with dual citizenship, but often have to make a choice at the age of 18. And there are countries (I think Ireland), where there is absolutely no problem with dual citizenship. So each country is different, as is each manner of obtaining citizenship. As is the direction between countries, so any Spaniard reading this should know that Spain DOES NOT look the other way when Spaniards swear to the U.S., so your chances of keeping Spanish citizenship might be much lower.

thanks for the info, greatly appreciated

Zach:  " I swore allegiance to Spain's Constitution, its King, and renouncing other oaths (i.e. U.S.) and I signed a paper to that effect."

I would suggest that you never be found by the Spanish authorities in possession of your USA passport. 

I would assume under Spanish law, if you have not renounced your previous nationality, but said on oath that you have (lied) that must almost certainly amount to the equivalent of perjury.   It certainly would in UK and I cannot believe  in Spain, and in most other countries, it would not be the same.

PS      I have dual nationality  (British and Irish) but that is legal in both countries.

Hi,

This is topic is very important to me, and I appreciate any help anyone can give me. Can any American citizen who has acquired Spanish nationality please explain to me how we move through the airports and customs, traveling to/from Europe and the U.S. without getting caught with both passports by the Spanish government?

I´ve been in Madrid for over 10 years and am married.  I am fully integrated and applied some time ago for the Spanish nationality.  Now I have my juramento coming up soon.  I´m excited to acquire Spanish citizenship, but I am afraid Spain will catch me with both passports.  I´m getting cold feet.  I live in Spain and don´t want to have problems here. 

How can I travel?  For example, if I am going from Madrid to Chicago and later returning back to Madrid.

My general understanding is that in the U.S., I show American documents.  In Spain, I show all police, customs officers only Spanish documentation.  How can I get through the Spanish exiting police/customs showing my Spanish passport without their seeing any type of visa?  What about the return trip?  I will arrive in Madrid with no stamp in my Spanish passport.  How can I get back into Spain without having problems? 

Can anyone explain their experiences?

I appreciate all help.

Thanks...

The US Government actually has a web page about this very question.  The short answer is that no, getting naturalized in Spain and even saying (to the Spanish authorities) that you are going to give up your USA citizenship will NOT automatically put your US citizenship at risk.

The page is at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel … ality.html

The first section lays out the law (the "INA", Immigration and Naturalization Act) that controls these kinds of questions.

The section "Potentially Expatriating Acts" talks about the things that can be used by the government to take away someone's US citizenship.  BUT... as the INA says, someone has to do these things both voluntarily AND with the intention to relinquish citizenship.

Then they list the various things.  The only ones that really apply are #1 and #2, getting naturalized in another country and taking an oath of allegiance to another country.

The section "Administrative Standard of Evidence" is the one that is the big deal.  The US knows people get naturalized in other nations all the time, but that most of them do NOT intend on giving up their US citizenship, so it has to decide how to treat those actions.

What this section says is that the State Department acts on the premise that when someone does that, they intend on keeping their US citizenship.

So then the section "Disposition of Cases when Administrative Premise is Applicable" talks about what the US will actually DO if and when they find out someone got naturalized in another nation. 

It says two things- first, there's no requirement for the person to tell the government ahead of time that they're going to do it, because the US government will assume that they mean to retain US citizenship; and second, that if a US consular officer finds out that someone got naturalized in another nation, they'll simply ask that person "did you mean to give up US citizenship?"  If the person replies "no", meaning they want to remain a US citizen, then "the consular officer will certify that it was not the person's intent to relinquish U.S. nationality and, consequently, find that the person has retained U.S. nationality."

Bleeec Can any American citizen who has acquired Spanish nationality please explain to me how we move through the airports and customs, traveling to/from Europe and the U.S. without getting caught with both passports by the Spanish government?

That is tantamount to asking how you can get away with a criminal offence.

As you cannot get the law changed to suit what you want, I suggest you make up your mind within the law what nationality you want/need and stick to the legal requirements.

Or break the law. It's your call.

Johncar :

Bleeec Can any American citizen who has acquired Spanish nationality please explain to me how we move through the airports and customs, traveling to/from Europe and the U.S. without getting caught with both passports by the Spanish government?

That is tantamount to asking how you can get away with a criminal,offence.

As you cannot get the law changed to suit what you want, make up your mind within the law what nationality you want/need and stick to the legal requirements.

Or be¡break the law. It's your call.

Johncar, you are responding to a question last asked in Sept 2014, kinda old topic by an inactive member :)

He was asking for advice from American citizens, you indicated you are English/Irish.  Do you know for certain that it is a criminal offense in Spain to possess passports of multiple countries?  I'm not aware that it is illegal.  I don't interpret his question as asking how to get away with a criminal offense.

Let's be helpful here and not issue judgement based on assumptions.

Romaniac
Expat.com Experts Team

Let's be helpful here and not issue judgement based on assumptions. 

(Offering advice not to break the law I believe is helpful advice).

It is a criminal offence to commit perjury, 

As I have posted,  in the circumstances declared by the poster,  I believe it is a criminal offence in Spain to have a USA and Spanish passport. 

The poster asks how they can 'get away with it'  thus it would appear they believe they would be breaking the law.(not an assumption by me)

As you so correctly point out I am (thank goodness) not American, but I have lived in Spain 27 years and respect their laws.  As I did in USA when I spent 6 months there travelling, 20,000 miles,  in an RV. meeting a wide variety of USA citizens.

However, as the question relates to legality, or should I say illegality, in Spain, and the forum is  'Living in Spain'  , that I have worked wit the National Police Police here for 17 years, I thought I might be at least as competent to answer the question  as 'an American'.   

Apologies if that offends.

Johncar :

Let's be helpful here and not issue judgement based on assumptions. 

(Offering advice not to break the law I believe is helpful advice).

It is a criminal offence to commit perjury, 

As I have posted,  in the circumstances declared by the poster,  I believe it is a criminal offence in Spain to have a USA and Spanish passport. 

The poster asks how they can 'get away with it'  thus it would appear they believe they would be breaking the law.(not an assumption by me)

As you so correctly point out I am (thank goodness) not American, but I have lived in Spain 27 years and respect their laws.  As I did in USA when I spent 6 months there travelling, 20,000 miles,  in an RV. meeting a wide variety of USA citizens.

However, as the question relates to legality, or should I say illegality, in Spain, and the forum is  'Living in Spain'  , that I have worked wit the National Police Police here for 17 years, I thought I might be at least as competent to answer the question  as 'an American'.   

Apologies if that offends.

You have misquoted and misinterpreted bleec's post.  At no point in his post does he ask if he can "get away" with anything.  His concern was with traveling with both a US and Spanish passport, not knowing if it was legal or not.  A fair question.  It's unfair to impose a presumption of guilt don't you think?

As to your perjury claim (which applies to the oath of allegiance that you addressed to different member), it does not apply.  Unless the oath states that the applicant has taken definitive measures to renounce other citizenship with their respective governments and surrender their passport(s) or state that they will do so, it is not perjury.  The oath is merely symbolic and does not require the U.S to recognize her oath. 

Given the fact that Spain does recognize dual-citizens in limited cases, I would reasonably expect that possessing passports of multiple-nations is not illegal.  Again, I ask you, not based on your assumptions, but facts, is possessing passports of multiple countries a criminal offense?  If so, please refer to the legislation that states such, so we can be informed.  As you are neither Spanish nor American, you can show your competence, understanding of the law, and experience of working "with" police for 17 years by providing supporting facts.

Thank you

I do not see the point of repeating what has been posted and explained previously.   

However,  just one point. We are not talking about what the USA government thinks, does or says, the point is that in Spain when one swears allegiance to the King and says they have renounced all other Nationalities (or words to that effected quoted above  by someone who did it) that cannot be ambiguous in any way.  If they lie that is perjury.

I enquired of the police when a friend my mine told me, she has Swiss and Spanish Passports.  I posted the details on 25th Nov 15.  The police confirmed it was an offence to have two passport, unless one was covered by the clearly set out exceptions.  This is confirmed  by many pages on the internet.


Having a legal background and legal training, Romaniac, your interpretation of:- 

Can any American citizen who has acquired Spanish nationality please explain to me how we move through the airports and customs, traveling to/from Europe and the U.S. without getting caught with both passports by the Spanish government?

Leaves me speechless.

Johncar, having a legal background and legal training, you should know better than to rely on assumption and hearsay as evidence or support.  Since you can't or won't refer to any printed legislation, well it speaks for itself.

Did you urge the police to bring a case against your friend for perjury since she had two passports also?  :)

Did you urge the police to bring a case against your friend for perjury since she had two passports also?

Romaniac, If that is where you want this serious discussion to go, I will not waste my time suggesting yet again, that if you read the whole of the thread the question of the legality of having Spanish and another nationality has been fully covered.

The end

Hey everyone!

So I know that this an older post, but I thought you guys may find interesting what my lawyer in Spain said about the matter (I'm not going to translate the whole thing since if you are thinking of getting Spanish citizenship, there is a requirement to have an A2 in Spanish now...)

"Por último, algo que consideramos que debes tener en consideración es que el artículo 23 del Código Civil establece como requisito para adquirir la nacionalidad española que renuncies a la tuya. Así pues, establece:

Artículo 23
Son requisitos comunes para la validez de la adquisición de la nacionalidad española por opción, carta de naturaleza o residencia:
a) Que el mayor de catorce años y capaz para prestar una declaración por sí jure o prometa fidelidad al Rey y obediencia a la Constitución y a las leyes.
b) Que la misma persona declare que renuncia a su anterior nacionalidad. Quedan a salvo de este requisito los naturales de países mencionados en el apartado 1 del artículo 24 y los sefardíes originarios de España.
c) Que la adquisición se inscriba en el Registro Civil español.

Hemos estudiado lo que implica esta renuncia y a priori, según entiende la Dirección General de Registros y Notariado (DGRN) se trata de una mera declaración sin efectos en tu país de origen. Si bien, hemos realizado esta consulta en la embajada de EEUU y nos piden que sea el interesado el que la formule.  No obstante, sí te puedo pasar una consulta de la DGRN en este sentido pero lo interesante sería que lo corrobores en tu país:

EDD 2014/286246 Res. DGRN de 11 abril 2014. Registro Civil: “(…)la renuncia a la nacionalidad anterior que exige el artículo 23 b) del Código civil como requisito de validez de la adquisición de la nacionalidad española ha sido interpretada por la doctrina oficial de la Dirección General de los Registros y del Notariado como un mero requisito formal de "declaración de la renuncia ", con independencia de los efectos que tal declaración pueda desplegar para el ordenamiento jurídico extranjero respectivo, es decir, al margen de que dicha renuncia produzca o no de iure la pérdida de la nacionalidad a la que se declara renunciar , ya que lo contrario implicaría subordinar la adquisición de la nacionalidad española a la concepción propia sobre la nacionalidad del Derecho extranjero (vid. Resolución de 24 de septiembre de 1971)”."

Basically, the lawyer I consulted confirmed that since April of 2014, Spain even addressed this issue of what it means to renounce previous citizenship and said that they require the oath, but they do not check to see whether you have actually renounced the other citizenship.

Hopefully that will help settle the disagreement about the legality/"law breaking" fear that some people mentioned on this forum.

On a personal note, thanks for opening the discussion! I also am planning on applying for Spanish citizenship once I get the C2 (I know it is more than you need, but I like a challenge) and already declared "apta" for the CCSE requirement they now have. Since I am married to a Spaniard, I only have a resident requirement of a year and we are planning on residing in Spain after May of 2017 so I will let you guys know how it goes in 2018.

Interesting discussion. I am a USA expat living in Spain and I had always heard that I could only be a dual national if I was "offered" citizenship by another country, and that taking an oath of allegiance to another country would void my US citizenship ir reported to the USA, This discussion seems to discount this idea, however, I remain a bit worried about the Spanish question raised above. In particular, the Spanish government at present may turn a blind eye to people coming in with say, an unstamped passport, since they entered the USA with the American passport, but if a future government in Spain decided to clamp down, then one might have to go through an interrogation. So I am still holding off on making a decision.

https://www.parainmigrantes.info/renunc … de-origen/

Hi! :) This is an article from last summer in Barcelona. Extranjeria de Barcelona was forcing people (mainly Moroccan or Pakistani) to show a document that they had renounced when coming to the Jura. There is not too much testimonies on the internet about people's personal experiences. I found one Moroccan who commented on the link above that they made him do it recently but then other people who say they just had to swear and sign like you. Do you have any more recent stories from people you know around Valencia or other parts? I am looking into doing it but most likely not up for giving up my other nationality. Thanks

That's interesting because I haven't heard that. From what I have been instructed by my lawyer (and the US embassy, I reached out to them about this) is that I will have to swear that I renounce previous citizenships during the "jura", but that, from the US perspective, that doesn't have any legal impacts on US citizenship and, from Spain's perspective, they do not check to see if I have lost my US citizenship nor do they insist that I lose it. It could be that the people in the stories do not want to swear that they will renounce previous citizenships which is a problem because even though the Spanish government understands that renouncing previous citizenship may not actually mean losing it, there are people who do not want to do it and then run into problems; essentially, even if it cannot be legally enforceable in all cases (and is a "mero requisito"), it's one that everyone has to do with no exceptions.

My guess is (sadly) that it's a discriminatory action by a handful of funcionarios asking for proof that should not be asked for at all as they cannot force it (per what has been added in this conversation about nationality laws). In many countries, it's impossible for citizens to renounce citizenship (Middle Eastern countries and many African countries have this) and it would mean that Spain would be limited to conceding nationality to residents due to foreign law (which makes Spanish law inferior in Spain which cannot happen, according to the clarifications they have published in the BOE). Funcionarios cannot treat any foreigner different from another (ie a Canadian cannot be given preferential treatment over a Pakistani in Spain by the Spanish government, for example) so this would be considered discriminatory and they would have the right to appeal it as it's not acceptable.

I am somewhat surprised people seem to be happy tecommend others to lie on oath, that they have renounced their former nationality.  Incidentally, probably thereby committing a criminal offense   

The oath is not symbolic. It is a requirement under the law governing nationality

I have dual Irish and British nationalities. Neither country require an oath of allegiance nor any renunciation of one’s other nationality
 
NB  as I seem to have ruffled some feathers I have removed most of my post

Johncar, seriously, read my previous posts. It isn't lying, it's an oath that is written in a certain way to be said, but the SPANISH GOVERNMENT has published guidelines to state that it IS A REQUIREMENT to swear the oath and IT IS NOT an absolute requirement to give up previous citizenship; how would that be a criminal offense if the Spanish Government has specifically accepted it and published it in the Boletin Oficial del Estado which is considered to be legally valid. It has nothing to do with the fact that we are Americans talking about it, nothing to do with our supposed "truthfulness", "respect for authority", or "trustworthiness."

In fact, to-be Americans also swear to renounce all other nationalities when they become Americans and the US government doesn't care whether or not they do; it only depends on the previous nationality you hold (https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia … izens.html). So your last point that "I do think, say Americans, would like anyone to disrespect USA, albeit a fairly new country with a very short history, compared with Spain", is just blatantly false. In the US, we accept the practice of swearing to renounce previous citizenship while still allowing new Americans to conserve previous citizenship.

Also, not that it matters to the conversation about citizenship, you are wrong that the US has a fairly short history...unless you are only considering "real history" to be white people's history which is fairly racist of you. There have been people, civilizations, cultures, everything that could define history, in the area that is the US for over 11,000 years.

Please stop writing comments that are only meant to try to scare people (for the most part, Americans, because you seem to only write on those forums from what I can see) away from becoming Spanish citizens.

I don't say it is right to commit a crime but the idea of making someone renounce their previous nationality is absurd. And there isn't really any justifiable reason for making them do so when you have a neighboring country or many others that don't oblige you to. By doing so and there was a grave crucial reason for making people renounce but I don't see it. Once having dual as you know you can't be saved by your other nationality so you can't fall back on it. There is some right and wrong and bad and good but who decides that? God? Allah? The government? As you know such as marijuana laws and certain parking violations many laws are made (not all though by any means) to tax money out of the citizens. It all ads up. Nobody is saying they think badly or low of Spain or anywhere just saying that they want to have the nationality in their second home but not give up their birth nationality that made who they are. It's not making them some "criminal" I imagine there is loads of good people out there who do that who aren't criminals. But it takes a very specific, particular person to become a police officer. Then to not want to give up their birth nationality. You know how much unnecessary trauma and stress that probably causes to many people having to make that decision? I have heard of people crying and freaking out when being forced to do it here or actually having to go through with it. An absurd decision and unnecessary, one that they could simply....REFORM. They treat South Americans like shit when they are with out documents but when they are with documents they can obtain nationality quicker then anyone but not non ex colonies. How funny.

I think it's more symbolic to swear under oath to only serve the nation you are naturalizing to. You are swearing to renounce and serve only that country, in a oral and symbolic way.

And as far as authority goes who is to say you HAVE to listen to them? Half of people in police officer positions are POS. Bullied, psychologically strange people who want to power trip. I have absolutely no respect for police in my country and the manner they behave them selves. In case you haven't seen the news John in the US the last few years. Authority does not gain you respect and make you higher then any one else. You have to earn respect and a badge and a gun doesn't give you that, It doesn't give you S*** Just a chump with a gun and a badge with an ego ready to abuse it. Like I said it takes a very specific person to become a police officer. A person I wouldn't associate with....ever. Not saying there isn't some good and REASONABLE cops out there who can use their brain and not just go by the books always and ego trip but for the most part.

I won’t comment on most what has been posted however I do know if one who has renounced a former nationality is found to be in possession of a passport of that nationality after they have obtained a spanish one,  they are in trouble.

That Barcelona thing was apparently a single judge, and the courts put a stop to it pretty quickly. It is not occurring anymore.

Digging up this old thread. Just wanted to reaffirm what PapaLima said--there was one registro in Barcelona that was incorrectly demanding proof of the "renuncia".  The Registro Civil does not have the power to do this and it was quickly sorted out.  You can read about it here:

https://www.parainmigrantes.info/desblo … barcelona/

What no one has said here is that the Spanish government would never require you to denounce your prior citizenship before you acquire Spanish citizenship. This would render you stateless for a time and no country would create a situation that imposed statelessness as a condition for acquiring nationality. That would be EXTREMELY problematic from a diplomatic and human rights standpoint.

My partner just took the oath in Madrid and the renouncement means he must always present himself as Spanish on Spanish soil. If he doesn't, his nationality could be revoked (though in practice you would have to do something really egregious to make this happen). As far as Spain is concerned, he has promised to always be Spanish in Spain. This oath is not recognized by the US government and he will be considered American (and have to fulfill those requirements--tax, etc.) unless he files the paperwork, takes the formal oath of renunciation before a US consular agent, and--most important!-- pays the fees. The US does not require that he do that and he won't, because there's no point in doing so.

Also, if a naturalized Spanish citizen had children under 18 when they took the oath, those children can get citizenship "por opción," which is a very simple administrative process of registering them with the Registro Civil. It only takes a few months vs. the years that citizenship by residency takes. They must do it before they turn 20 years old. Our son is doing this now.

I went through the same thing here in Australia. Australia recognises dual citizenship but Spain doesn't (except with children under 18 ...and when they hit 18 they will need to choose Aussie or Spain).

We are moving to Spain shortly to live for 18months. So I agreed to renounce my Australian citizenship. Like you, until I complete a form and formally tell Australia it doesn't really mean much.

I am more confused about how to travel with both a Spanish and Australian passport ...I need to leave on my Australian passport but enter Spain on my Spanish passport....they have very different names (Aussie has my married name and Spanish passport sticks with the maternal name.)

I was super nervous as well...but like you, after all that effort and our upcoming travel plans, I went ahead.  Feeling better about it now.  I was born in Australia to 1 Australian parent and 1 Spanish parent (who later became Australian) ...so no matter what I think that counts for a lot.

This is from the Site 1040 Abroad

1. What is the difference between relinquishing and renouncing U.S. citizenship?
The difference between a “surrendered”, “relinquished”, and “renounced” U.S. citizenship:

Surrendered is not a term that is defined in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) or the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). It is casually used to describe people who gave up their U.S. citizenship, regardless of the method used.

Relinquished. These are people who perform an “expatriating act” with the intention of relinquishing U.S. citizenship. Common expatriating acts include acquiring another country’s citizenship, being a state worker for another country and joining the army of another country. They are listed in Section 349 of the INA. No formal notification needs to take place for the U.S. citizenship to be lost (for immigration purposes). That is not true, however, for tax purposes. If the expatriating act occurred after 2004, people will continue to be taxed as a U.S. citizen until they notify the Department of State and then file form 8854 with the IRS.

Practically speaking, this notification takes the form of going to a U.S. consulate, convincing them that the expatriating act occurred and then applying for a Certificate of Loss of Nationality. The fee to renounce U.S. citizenship is $2,350. Section 349 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1481), as amended, states that U.S. nationals are subject to loss of nationality if they perform certain specified acts voluntarily and with the intention of relinquishing U.S. nationality. Briefly stated, these acts include:

1. Obtaining naturalization in a foreign state upon one’s own application after the age of 18 (Sec. 349 (a) (1) INA).

2. Taking an oath, affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state or its political subdivisions after the age of 18 (Sec. 349 (a) (2) INA).

3. Entering or serving in the armed forces of a foreign state engaged in hostilities against the United States, or serving as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer in the armed forces of a foreign state (Sec. 349 (a) (3) INA).

4. Accepting employment with a foreign government after the age of 18 if (a) one has the nationality of that foreign state or (b) an oath or declaration of allegiance is required to accept the position (Sec. 349 (a) (4) INA).

5. Formally renouncing U.S. nationality before a U.S. diplomatic or consular officer outside the United States (sec. 349 (a) (5) INA).

6. Formally renouncing U.S. nationality within the United States (The Department of Homeland Security is responsible for implementing this section of the law) (Sec. 349 (a) (6) INA).

7. A conviction for an act of treason against the Government of the United States or for attempting to force to overthrow the Government of the United States (Sec. 349 (a) (7) INA).

Renunciation takes place when a U.S. citizen makes an appointment at a U.S. consulate and applies for a Certificate of Loss of Nationality. The fee for this procedure is $2,350.

Unlike the relinquishment, the loss of citizenship occurs there and then when the U.S. citizen tells the consulate employee, “I’m out of here.” In addition, the U.S. citizen doesn’t need to convince the consulate officer that an expatriating act has occurred, as the expatriating act occurs during the appointment at the consulate.

As for a relinquishment, one would need to file Form 8854 in order to no longer be a U.S. taxpayer. The relinquishment allows you to stop being a U.S. citizen at an earlier date. This could be advantageous in a few scenarios:

If the expatriating act occurred before 2004, then no further action is needed for tax purposes.
If the taxpayer has children born after the expatriating act and wants to keep the children out of the U.S. tax system. If the parent was not a U.S. citizen.
Either way, you will want to document your separation with the United States with a Certificate of Loss of Nationality, file form 8854, and certify that you were tax compliant for the prior five years and want a “clean break”.

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2. Who is covered and uncovered expatriate?
You are considered a covered expatriate and have to pay the related Exit Tax if you meet any of the following criteria:

You have too many assets: a net worth of $2 million or more
You have too much income: an average net U.S. income tax liability of greater than $162,000 for the five-year period prior to expatriation
You fail to certify that you have complied with all of the U.S. federal tax obligations for the preceding five years
Herewith, all property is subject to gift tax and all property where you hold a use right is included for purposes of the net worth test.

There are two exceptions to these rules:

People born with dual citizenship are still resident and subject to tax in their country of second residence and citizenship.
Those who relinquish before the age of 18 years and six months and haven’t lived in the U.S. for at least 10 years.
You are not a covered expatriate if both of the following conditions are true:

Your relinquishment of U.S. citizenship occurred before the age of 18.5
You have been resident of the U.S. for not more than 10 taxable years before the date of relinquishment
The Exit Tax that you, as a covered expatriate, would have to pay is calculated as if you have sold all of your assets at Fair Market Value on the day prior to your relinquishment, and the associated capital gains are subject to this tax. The Internal Revenue Code provides that the first $699,000 of this capital gain will not be taxed. The tax payment is due within 90 days after giving up your U.S. citizenship. Expatriation is considered to be effective for tax purposes, even if you fail to file the Expatriation Information Statement (form 8854). The exceptions from the main rule are certain deferred compensation items, specified tax deferred accounts, and non-grantor trusts.

If you want to relinquish the U.S. Citizenship or Residence, then you will need to do the following:

1. Get a second citizenship in another country.

2. Leave the U.S.

3. Appear before the U.S. Consul in that country.

4. File Form 8854, the Expatriation Information Statement.

5. Pay the due Exit Tax.

As a covered expatriate, you will be able to visit and even stay for a certain time in the United States; the mere fact of being an expatriate does not make you a U.S. tax resident. You can still become taxable in the U.S. under the normal U.S. tax rules if you continue to have U.S.-sourced income.

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In response to all the people who fear that taking Spanish Nationality will endanger their US Citizenship please note that there is a difference between relinquishing your Citizenship and renouncing it. Taking a foreign nationality and pledging allegiance to that country is considered one of the possible reasons for relinquishing your Citizenship, but please note the language that states "...perform an “expatriating act” with the intention of relinquishing U.S. citizenship."  In other words you have to go to the embassy or consulate and formally state that you have done it for the purpose or relinquishing your Citizenship. The US government does not go around looking for people who have become dual citizens so they can taking it away from them, nor is it interested in doing so because they want to control you and your money through taxes. That's why you must formally Renounce your citizenship in person and in writing and by paying the tax of $2,350. Then and only then will your Citizenship be taken away as well as your tax obligations to the IRS.

In conclusion, as mentioned above many times by others, the US Consulate in Barcelona has stated many times that they do not do anything to dual nationals vis a vis removing their Citizenship and are highly unlikely to suddenly do so unless there is some other issue of a criminal nature that might motivate it in a particular case. If you are an ordinary, law-abiding person who is not wanted by the police anywhere, the chances that they will decide to remove your US nationality are a tad higher than zilch.  Of course, in the present Trumpian reality, losing your US citizenship because you took the Spanish one is IMO more of a blessing than something to be feared.

Hi all,

Just a quick follow-up question for those who have gone through the juramento.  Did at any time were you asked to hand over your passport?  Or is this a bit of fear-mongering from other posters here?

Thanks for any information in advance!!

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