Civil Register and Nationality

​Information about the formalities related to the registration of births, marriages and deaths in the Consular Civil Register; consular marriages; and acquisition, retention and recovery of the Spanish nationality.

11/29/2016
​On this page you will find information about the following formalities of the Civil Register related to Spanish citizens that can be done at the Embassy without appointment.
 
• Births
 
 
• Marriages
 
 
 
• Deaths
 
 
• Certificate of existence and marital status
 
- Obtaining a Certificate of existence (and marital status).
 
On top of this, at the Embassy it is also possible to carry out different formalities related to acquisition, retention and recovery of Spanish nationality.
 
Foreign nationals can carry out at the Embassy the formalities to acquire the Spanish nationality always that their case is included in any of the situations laid down by the relevant rules applicable in terms of nationality. For further information, please go to the appropriate link.
 
 
 
Spanish citizens are obliged in certain circumstances to declare their will to keep the Spanish nationality to avoid losing it. Visit the following link to know the situations when it is necessary to make a statement at the Embassy for retention of Spanish Nationality.
 
 
 
 
  
Requirements
 
To register the birth, it is necessary to submit the following documents:
 
1. Form duly completed and signed.
 
2. Local Birth Certificate of the child with issuing date not older than one year (original document) duly legalized by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs and translated into Spanish.
 
3. Parents Birth Certificates with issuing date not older than one year (original documents), legalized and translated into Spanish if any of them is a foreign national.
 
To get the Spanish Birth certificate, the interested party has to deal with the local Civil Register where his/her birth is registered. It can also be done through the Spanish Ministry of Justice website (with or without digital certificate). When the birth is registered in the Consular Civil Register of Riyadh, it won’t be necessary to submit the Birth certificate.
 
4. Spanish Marriage Certificate of the parents (original document), if married, and family book.
 
5. Parents passports copies and iqama copies.
 
6. A picture of the child’s face, in colour, size 3x4cm, featuring a frontal view, with white background and no date printed.
 
7. If so considered, you can request the child to be registered with the Consular Register and apply for his/her passport at the same time.
 
All documents written in a foreign language must be translated into Spanish and legalized so Saudi documents must be submitted duly legalized and have an issuing date not older than one year. If so considered, additional documents may be required.
 
Procedure
 
The required documents must be submitted at the Embassy of Spain in Riyadh by either the father or the mother indiscriminately. It won’t be necessary to come with the child.
 
 
 
 
Requirements
 
To register the marriage between two Spanish citizens or between a Spanish citizen and a foreign national held in Saudi Arabia, it is necessary to submit the following documents:
 
1. Form duly completed and signed by the parties.
 
2. Marriage certificate with issuing date not older than one year duly legalized by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs and translated into Spanish, and including marital status of both parties before the marriage (original document).
 
3. The Spanish citizen/s shall submit:
 
a. Spanish Birth Certificate with issuing date not older than one year (original document). This Certificate shall be applied at the Spanish Civil Register where the birth is registered. This can also be applied through the Spanish Ministry of Justice website (with or without digital certificate). It won’t be necessary to submit the Birth Certificate when being registered at the Consular Civil Register of Riyadh.
 
b. In the event of being divorced, the previous Spanish marriage certificate including the marginal note of the divorce (original document).
 
c. In the event of being widow/er, previous Spanish Marriage certificate and Death certificate of the spouse’s death.
 
d. Updated Certificate of existence and marital status with issuing date not older than 6 months, or an affidavit stating the marital status (this statement can be done at the Embassy the same day of appearance) (original document).
 
e. National identity card (DNI) or Passport (original document and copy).
 
4. The foreign national shall submit:
 
a.  Birth Certificate with issuing date not older than one year duly legalized through diplomatic channels and translated into Spanish (original document).
 
b. In the event of being divorced, the previous Spanish marriage certificate including the marginal note of the divorce (original document).
 
c. In the event of being widow/er, previous Spanish Marriage certificate and Death certificate of the spouse’s death (original documents).
 
d. An affidavit stating the marital status (this statement can be done at the Embassy the same day of appearance) (original document).
 
e. Passport (original document and copy).
 
5. Matrimonial property regime duly legalized through diplomatic channels (original document and copy) and translated into Spanish.
 
Saudi documents must be submitted at the Embassy duly legalized by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs and issuing date cannot be older than one year. If at the moment of a divorce settlement granted by a foreign Court one of the parties is holding Spanish nationality, he/she must get in advance the exequatur (the recognition of foreign judgments by the Spanish Court), a procedure that has to be carried out in Spain by the court representative and attorney. If so considered, additional documents may be required.
 
Procedure
 
To register the marriage between two Spanish citizens or between a Spanish citizen and a foreign national held in Saudi Arabia, the parties must appear at the Embassy to submit all the required documents.
 
During the process of registering the marriage, the Embassy can contact the parties for the hearing on the date that the Consular Civil Register decide in accordance with the provisions of the current legislation.
 
 
 
 
At the Consular Civil Register the Spanish citizens can marriage always that at least one of the parties is Spanish. For that purpose, the applicants must carry out in advance a marriage file in the Civil Register where any of the parties is domiciled. It is possible to carry out this previous file at the Consular Civil Register always that at least one of the parties is domiciled in Saudi Arabia.
 
Spanish citizens can also carry out the previous marriage file in the Consular Civil Register even if the marriage will be held at any other Spanish Civil Register if delegated by the Head of the Consular Civil Register. In order to carry out this procedure, it is necessary that at least one of the parties is Spanish and that one of them is domiciled in Saudi Arabia.
 
To carry out this previous marriage file, the applicants must submit at the Embassy of Spain in Riyadh the following documents any working day (Sunday to Thursday) from 9:00am to 1:00pm without previous appointment:
 
 
• Birth certificate of the parties with issuing date not older than 6 months
 
• Affidavit or statements of marital status
 
• Registration Certificate or Residence Certificate of the last 2 years of both parties
 
• National identity card (DNI) copies or Passports copies of both parties.
 
• In the event of being divorced, the applicant/s must submit previous Spanish marriage certificate including the marginal note of the divorce.
 
• In the event of being widow/er, the applicant must submit previous Spanish Marriage certificate and Death certificate of the spouse’s death.
 
• If the parties want to sign a pre-nuptial agreement, please visit the following link.
 
NOTE: All foreign documents must be legalized in the country where they’ve been issued and translated into Spanish.
 
 
 
 
Requirements
 
To register the death of a Spanish citizen occurred in Saudi Arabia, it is necessary to submit the following documents:
 
1. Form duly completed and signed.
 
2. Death certificate of the deceased person with issuing date not older than one year duly legalized and translated into Spanish (original document).
 
3. Birth Certificate of the Spanish citizens deceased (original document or copy) and if possible, national identity card (DNI) copy or passport copy. Spanish Birth Certificate can be requested through the Spanish Ministry of Justice website (with or without digital certificate). It won’t be necessary to submit Birth Certificate when the deceased person is registered at the Consular Civil Register in Riyadh.
 
4. Family book, if it exists.
 
5. DNI of the declarant (original document and copy).
 
Saudi documents must be duly legalized by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs and cannot have an issuing date older than one year.  If so considered, additional documents may be required.
 
Procedure
 
The declarant must submit all the required documents at the Embassy of Spain in Riyadh or at the Honorary Consulate of Al-Khobar.
 
IMPORTANT NOTE: Autopsy is not a common practice in Saudi Arabia, so this can mean an important delay in getting all the required documents above mentioned and needed to register the death as well as the repatriation process.
 
 
 
 
The Certificate of existence and marital status is the document proving that a person is alive as well as his/her marital status. Spanish citizens registered at the Consular Register can request, when needed, a Certificate of existence and marital status. 
 
Requirements to apply for a Certificate of existence (and marital status)
 
• Form duly completed (in capital letters) and signed.
• Original passport or national identity card (DNI) in force. In the event of not having any document in force, then it will be necessary to apply first for passport renewal.
 
Procedure to apply for a certificate of existence (and marital status)
 
To apply for a certificate of existence (and marital status) the applicant must appear in person at the Embassy. The applicants can submit the required documents any working day (Sunday to Thursday) from 9:00am to 1:00pm without previous appointment.
 
If due to health reasons the applicant cannot appear at the Embassy in person to apply for the certificate of existence, he/she could do it through a legal representative that should therefore submit on top of the required documents, his/her national identity card (DNI) in force, a supporting medical certificate and a witnessed signature before a Notary Public. The Embassy won’t accept medical certificates with an issuing date older than 15 days.
 
 
 
NATIONALITY
 
Information about how to acquire Spanish nationality by option.
 
As per Spanish Civil Code, Spaniards by origin are those born to a Spanish father or mother although born abroad – those whose father/s or mother/s were Spanish when they were born – and those minors under 18 adopted by a Spaniard or Spaniards at the time of the adoption.
 
Furthermore, as per above mentioned Spanish Civil Code, also foreigners shall be entitled to acquire Spanish nationality by option:
 
• Persons who are or have been subject to the parental authority of a Spaniard. The right to opt exists until the individual turns 20. If the applicant is emancipated under his/her personal law when he/she is 18 years old, then deadline for opting is two years after emancipation.
 
• Persons whose father or mother was Spanish and was born in Spain. The exercise of this right is guaranteed for life.
 
• Persons whose birth in Spain or parentage is determined (determination of parentage means establishing who a person's parents are) after they are eighteen years old. In this case, the deadline for opting for Spanish nationality is two years after the parentage or birth has been determined.
 
• Persons whose adoption by Spaniards took place after the age of eighteen. In this case, the right to opt exists for two years after the adoption has been formalized.
 
Follow this link if you are interested in getting more information about other ways to acquire Spanish nationality (Nationality via Residence, Nationality by Naturalization or Nationality via Possession of Status).
 
 
 
 
Information about lost and retention of Spanish nationality of Spaniards born and residing abroad and to parents also born abroad.
 
Spaniards born after 9th January 1985 and residing abroad whose parents were also born abroad, will lose Spanish nationality unless they declare their desire to keep it at the Consular Civil Register within a period of three years following their attaining legal age, what means when the individual turns 21.
 
In this section you will find different situations in which it is necessary to declare the will to keep Spanish nationality and not lose it, as well as deadlines and requirements.
 
Who has to declare the will to keep the Spanish nationality to not lose it?
 
Spanish citizens under these three circumstances:
 
• Born abroad after 9th January 1975;
 
• Born to a Spanish father or mother also born abroad; and
 
• Residing abroad.
 
Spanish citizens that, to acquire the Spanish nationality, have exercised the right to option under any of the situations covered by the Spanish Civil Code or in accordance with the provisions of Act 52/2007 (Historical Memory Act) don’t have to carry our this procedure.
 
When is it necessary to declare the will to keep the Spanish nationality to avoid losing it?
 
To keep the Spanish nationality it is necessary to declare the will to keep it when the individual turns 18 and, in any case, before turning 21.
 
How to exercise the option to avoid losing Spanish nationality?
 
Procedure is very simple. The applicant shall get an appointment through the Consular Section of the Embassy of Spain in Riyadh (emb.riad.sc@maec.es). The applicant has to be 18 years old and, in any case, always before turning 21 and shall submit the following documents:
 
• Spanish passport in force (original document and copy);
 
• Birth certificate, if the applicant has it (copy);
 
• Birth certificate of the Spanish father/mother.
 
• Residence certificate.
 
 
 
 
People losing Spanish nationality can commence a file for recovering nationality. Different situations are listed below:
 
• Spanish citizen born abroad to Spanish parents also born abroad who didn’t declare on time the will to keep the Spanish nationality
 
• Wife of a Spanish citizen (married before 25th May 1975) who lost Spanish nationality after using exclusively the nationality she had before marriage.
 
Click here to get more information about other alternatives to recuperate the Spanish nationality when lost (Spanish emigrant, born to a Spanish emigrant).
 
Saudi documents must be submitted duly legalized through diplomatic channels and issuing date cannot be older than one year.
 
The applicants shall get an appointment through the e-mail address of the Consular Section of the Embassy of Spain in Riyadh (emb.riad.sc@maec.es).

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