Spain and France Agree to Permit Dual Citizenship for Each Other's Citizens
In previous times, French and Spanish citizens seeking citizenship in the other countries
would be required to renounce the citizenship offered by their initial country. For example,
a French citizen who wants to take up Spanish citizenship would be required to renounce their
French citizenship first before acquiring Spanish citizenship and vice versa.
In March 2021, France
agreed to prevent their citizens from renouncing t
heir country of origin before adopting the second. This agreement would allow French citizens
to retain their French citizenship while earning Spanish citizenship and vice versa. This
agreement was then published in the Spanish Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE; "Official State
Gazette") on the 29th of March, 2022, and became active on the 1st of April - just two days after.
Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French Foreign Minister at the time of signing the agreement, referred
to the document as "a strong symbol." It is expected to represent and foster good relations
between Spain and France. The agreement is expected to remain effective until either party
decides to terminate the agreement. To terminate the contract, either party must notify the
other party through diplomatic methods or writing.
What does this mean for France and Spanish citizens?
French and Spanish citizens who want to gain citizenship in the other country do not have
to renounce their country of origin. This applies to new applicants of the scheme and to
those who have had to renounce either of their citizenships in previous times. All they need
do is to apply to gain their previous citizenship back, and they can now enjoy dual citizenship
again from the date of reapplication.
The development to allow French and Spanish citizens to retain their citizenship of birth
while gaining the citizenship of the other was termed an exceptional agreement. The agreement
affects 275,000 Spanish citizens living in France and more than 125,000 French citizens living
in Spain. These statistics were given by Arancha González Laya, the then Foreign Minister of
the Spanish Government, who was present at the signing of the agreement in March 2021.
While Arancha saw it as an exceptional agreement, Jean-Yves Le Drian, her French counterpart,
referred to it as a strong symbol between the two countries. It is especially because outside
Latin America, France is the first country to sign such an agreement.
Before now, Spain only had these agreements with Ibero-American countries and countries from
its colonial past. Some of the countries that Spain had this agreement in previous times
include Chile, signed in 1958, Peru in 1959, Paraguay in 1959, Nicaragua in 1961, Guatemala
in 1961, Bolivia in 1961, Ecuador in 1964, Costa Rica in 1964, Honduras in 1966, the Dominican
Republic in 1968, Argentina in 1969, and Colombia in 1979. Other countries include the Philippines,
El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Venezuela, Mexico, Portugal, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Andorra,
Uruguay, Cuba, and Panama.
In conclusion, the signing of this agreement between the French and Spanish governments
is significant on various levels - historical, cultural, human, and economical. It is
expected to open a new window of opportunity for professionals of both countries while
promoting a rich and dense relationship.
The agreement, however, does not affect the application process to gain Spanish nationality.
It will continue to take ten years for French citizens to gain Spanish citizenship.