In 2022, the Spanish Senate approved the Democratic Memory Lawan extension to the 2007 legislature that opened the doors so that the children or grandchildren of Spaniards who had to emigrate due to the Civil War, the Franco dictatorship or for having married foreign citizens before 1978, can obtain the citizenship of the Iberian country.
LOOK: ‘Law of grandchildren’: what is the rule by which thousands of Argentines will be able to obtain Spanish citizenship
The news was well received in Latin America, one of the regions to which more Spaniards emigrated during the aforementioned periods. For this reason, in this part of the continent the measure has been known as the Grandchildren Law.
With its approval, however, various doubts have arisen about the options that citizens with Spanish ancestry who wish to apply have, the time that these procedures will last or if their immigration status will influence the response they obtain.
For this reason, Máchelin Diaz, a Spanish lawyer specializing in immigration, migration and asylum, decided to undertake a tour of six Latin American countries to offer workshops and conferences in which she will be able to clear up most doubts.
Their first stop was Peru, and Diaz agreed to answer five of the questions they asked. Trade identified as the most frequent in this regard on social networks.
1. How can I verify that my relative meets the requirements indicated by the Democratic Memory Law (LMD)?
Everything will be supported by documentation. Let us assume that we take paragraph 1 of the eighth additional provision of the law, in which we find that it speaks of sons or daughters of a father or mother, grandfather or grandmother, Spanish who have lost or renounced their nationality as a result from exile. So, we must verify who in our family would apply. If it is for the grandfather or the grandmother, the literal Spanish birth certificate of that person must be obtained and verify if he left Spain between 1936 and 1955 or from 1955 to 1978. To support it, they must present some proof of exile, very simple, I speak of a stamp of departure from Spain or of entry into the country to which he went, some immigration document or a naturalization. It is sought that the documents place that Spanish citizen outside of Spain.
– Could a photograph help?
If we have it dated, yes. The important thing, above all, are the dates.
2. Where are these procedures carried out?
We must be clear that the embassy is the representation of a country abroad, but the consulate is the access to that country for natural persons. Then, the application for nationality through the LMD must be made at the Spanish consulate in your city. For countries where there is no consulate, take into account that there will be a consular section inside the embassy. And that does not only apply to Peruvians, if there is a person with Colombian or Venezuelan nationality living in Peru, they must go to the consulate in Lima. The request must be made in the person’s place of origin or, if the person does not live there, in the place of residence.
3. This law has a deadline: October 2024. How long does this process take on average? And what if my process is still running when the deadline comes?
The LMD does not establish resolution times, that is quite interesting because in other processes a one-year term was stipulated; if no response was received after that time, it was considered a negative response. Regarding the time it will take, at best we could expect the process to take about 3 months to get a resolution. However, the resolution times will ultimately depend on the administrative pace of the consulate or, in this case, the Ministry of Justice. In the case of Lima, the consulate is not receiving large requests for the LMD compared to cases such as Argentina, Mexico or Cuba. But, based on his own management and experience with other procedures, we can say that the procedures at the Lima consulate take a long time, they follow bureaucratic procedures that do not exist in other consulates, so I estimate a delay of more than a year.
If there is still no resolution by the time the deadline has arrived, this resolution will still be pending, it is not without effect. The term indicates how long the petition can be submitted, the resolution may be after the law has entered into force.
4. What happens if I access nationality through the LMD as a grandson and then I want to nationalize my children? Is it possible if they are of legal age?
Yes. Minors go through a nationality procedure by option when they have a Spanish mother or father, the validity of the law does not matter there. In the case of adults, they must apply before the validity period of the LMD expires.
My recommendation is that you submit the applications at the same time, do not wait for the father’s application to be resolved to just submit yours because the deadlines may expire.
5. What happens to Peruvians who are in an irregular migratory situation in Spain or if they have been expelled from that country, can they still benefit from this law?
Yes. If the person was expelled and is already in Peru, they can start the process at the same consulate. For those who are in Spain in an irregular situation, they can apply as long as they are registered in the place where they live. This process is done at the City Hall and the application must be submitted at the Civil Registry office that corresponds to your place of registration. To apply for the LMD, criminal records will not be taken into account, being rejectable in the Schengen zone or if you have prohibitions to enter the country.
I would like to warn you, however, that there will be some exceptional cases. For example, if I am a Peruvian in an illegal immigration situation in Miami and I wish to carry out the process, the Spanish consulate in that city may require that the person have a legal residence permit. Those are interpretations that I have seen throughout my experience as a lawyer. What would have to be established through the Ministry of Justice of Spain would be what to do in those cases. One way out that has been found is that irregular migrants are not asked for residence, but some support that they reside in that area to confirm that they should be treated at that consular office.
I am Jack Morton and I work in 24 News Recorder. I mostly cover world news and I have also authored 24 news recorder. I find this work highly interesting and it allows me to keep up with current events happening around the world.