If you’re a foreigner residing in Spain, you can get a Spanish passport if you’re a citizen. This entitles you to additional benefits, such as being able to travel around the world as an EU citizen. Here’s a guide to the Spanish passport application process.
Welcome to Spain. Should you wish to stay here you might consider arranging Spanish citizenship. Once you do this, you may also be entitled to a Spanish passport, enabling you to travel throughout the EU whether this is for business in Spain or pleasure. This guide looks at topics such as:
- Spanish passport benefits
- Passport eligibility
- How to apply for a Spanish passport
- Renewing or replacing a passport
- Passport costs
There is also a section with links to useful websites with even more information on Spanish passports.
The Spanish passport
If you live in Spain with Spanish citizenship, you can apply for a Spanish passport. Getting a passport means that you can travel abroad as an EU citizen and enjoy any benefits overseas that this may bring.
The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperacion) issues Spanish passports. In 2006, Spain began issuing biometric passports with an electronic chip containing the key personal information of the passport holder. The standard biometric passport is a 32-page burgundy booklet containing the holder’s photograph, signature, key personal information, and unique passport number. Spanish passports issued today include the holder’s fingerprints.
There are 4 types of Spanish passports:
- Standard passport (Pasaporte ordinario), a biometric passport issued to citizens for ordinary travel
- Collective passport (Pasaporte colectivo), a limited passport with a validity of three months issued for occasions such as pilgrimages where a reciprocal agreement with the destination country is in place
- Diplomatic passport (Pasaporte diplomatico), issued to government officials and diplomats
- Official and service passports (Pasaporte oficiales y de servico), issued to officials representing the government on official business
It is possible to become a Spanish citizen without getting a passport. All citizens in Spain can apply instead for an identity card known as the Documento Nacional de Identidad (DNI). This acts as proof of nationality and enables travel around the EU, the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, as well as short-term visits to most of the rest of Europe.
Spanish passport benefits
Spanish passport benefits include the ability to:
- freely leave and re-enter Spain as often as you wish as long as your passport is valid
- travel around the world as a Spanish and EU citizen
- travel to 156 countries either visa-free or visa on arrival. Spain is ranked 3rd in the world on the Passport Index
You can have dual nationality and two passports if you’re from a Latin American country, Andorra, Equatorial Guinea, the Philippines, Portugal, or are of Sephardic Jewish descent. Nationals from other countries must renounce the citizenship of their home country in order to acquire citizenship and get a passport. See our guide to Spanish citizenship for more information.
Spanish passport eligibility
Passport eligibility is conditional on having citizenship. Ordinarily, you can apply for Spanish citizenship after 10 years of legal residence. There are certain circumstances (e.g., through marriage or having a parent with Spanish nationality) when the 10-year residency requirement doesn’t apply. To get Spanish citizenship, you must meet other requirements such as being able to speak the Spanish language and having no serious criminal record.
Applying for a Spanish passport
You can apply for a passport through any of the following places:
- Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Your local Spanish police station
- Spanish embassy or consulate if you are abroad
In order to make a Spanish passport application, you will need to provide valid ID (e.g., DNI) plus your previous passport if you are applying to renew your passport. You will also need to provide a recent color 36 x 22mm photograph. If applying within Spain, you need to make a prior appointment which you can do through this link.
Your passport will be issued to you at your appointment as soon as your documents have been processed if you are applying within Spain. The procedure if you apply through a Spanish embassy or consulate abroad will depend on the country you are applying from.
Renewing a passport
Passports in Spain are valid for:
- Two years for children under five
- Five years for those under 30 when the passport was issued
- Ten years for those 30 and above when the passport was issued
You can renew a passport when your existing passport has less than 12 months of validity left on it. The process you need to go through for passport renewal is the same as applying for a passport in general, except you will have to provide your old passport. If you have renewed your ID within the last two years, you won’t need to provide a new photograph of yourself.
If your passport gets lost or stolen, you need to contact the authorities immediately and apply for a replacement. A duplicate Spanish passport will normally be issued which will be valid for the same period that the lost/stolen passport was valid for. If the replacement passport is lost/stolen, however, any subsequent replacement passports issued may be limited to six months.
Spanish passport costs
The current passport cost is €26 which is a standard fee for the first passport, renewal, or replacement. This fee can be paid in cash at the office issuing your passport or through the telematic service (information available here in Spanish). Passports are free of charge if you meet certain conditions and qualify for beneficiary of large family status.
- Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, which is responsible for Spanish citizenship and passports and has information about both on its website
- Spanish National Police Body, which issues both Spanish passports and ID cards (DNI)