The Spanish Passport:
If you are a foreign resident in Spain with Spanish citizenship, you will be able to apply for a Spanish passport. Getting a passport will mean that you can travel abroad as an EU citizen and enjoy any benefits overseas that this may bring.
Spanish passports are issued by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación). 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 a unique passport number. Spanish passports issued today also include the holder’s fingerprints.
There are 4 types of Spanish passports:
- Standard passport (Pasaporte ordinario): This is a biometric passport issued to citizens for ordinary travel.
- Collective passport (Pasaporte colectivo): This is 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 diplomático): This is issued to government officials and diplomats.
- Official and service passports (Pasaporte oficiales y de servicio): These are 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 will enable 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: You can travel in and out of Spain as often as you wish as long as your passport is valid.
- Travel around the world: You can travel around the world as a Spanish and EU citizen.
- Visa-free or visa on arrival: Spanish passport holders have the privilege of traveling to 156 countries either visa-free or with the option of obtaining a visa on arrival. Spain is ranked 3rd in the world on the Passport Index, which reflects the strong global mobility of its passport holders.
You will also be entitled to dual nationality and have two passports if you are from a Latin American country, Andorra, Equatorial Guinea, the Philippines, or Portugal, or if you are of Sephardic Jewish descent. Nationals from other countries will have to renounce the citizenship of their home country in order to acquire Spanish citizenship and get a passport. For more information on obtaining Spanish citizenship, you can refer to our guide to Spanish citizenship.