I'm a British citizen in possession of a British passport currently living in Spain and have been living here for 19 years. I have residencia here, an A4 piece of paper with my NIE with no expiry date (which I think is an indefinite permanent residency?)

From what I understand, I'd lose my residency if I left Spain to work in the UK and spent a year living there, however if I were to return in the future, would I still be able to get my residency back? I read somewhere that you can apply to "recover" it, so you don't have to meet the same requirements as someone requesting it for the first time

  • I thought you can get Spanish citizenship after ten years of residency and both Spain and the UK allows for dual citizenship.
    – chx
    Commented Mar 29, 2021 at 2:31
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    @chx I was under the impression that Spain only allows for dual citizenship if you're from a country that has a close relationship to Spain, like Latin American countries that used to be under Spanish Rule? I don't think that's an option for me here
    – Wazbat
    Commented Apr 6, 2021 at 0:06
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    @chx But doing so means I am forced to surrender my British nationality right? That isn't an option for me as I'm about to move to the UK. I want to know about when I come back
    – Wazbat
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 23:58
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    @chx On wikipedia Foreign nationals who acquire Spanish nationality must renounce their previous nationality, unless they are natural-born citizens of an Iberoamerican country, Andorra, the Philippines or Equatorial Guinea.
    – Wazbat
    Commented Apr 8, 2021 at 19:30
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    @chx I just linked wikipedia as it was in English and was the closest at hand. The Spanish government website says: No es necesario que renuncien a su nacionalidad quienes fueran naturales de países iberoamericanos, de Andorra, Filipinas, Guinea Ecuatorial o Portugal. which translates to: It is not necessary for those who are natives of Ibero-American countries, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea or Portugal to renounce their nationality. which matches the wiki
    – Wazbat
    Commented Apr 8, 2021 at 23:06

1 Answer 1


Yes, it's possible to recover your residency back. Anyway, you could apply for Spanish citizenship.

Yes, I am aware than Foreign nationals who acquire Spanish nationality must renounce their previous nationality. But this "renounce" is only in the oath, you don't need to present any certificate or formalize this in any way later. So in reality, it doesn't have any effect.

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