canary islands

Almost 6,300 foreign nationals acquired Spanish nationality in the Canary Islands in 2022

According to the National Statistics Institute (INE), a total of 181,581 foreign residents in Spain obtained Spanish nationality in 2022. In the specific case of the Canary Islands, the number of individuals involved is 6,291.

According to the ‘Statistics on Acquisitions of Spanish Nationality by Residents’ report published by the National Statistics Institute (INE), a total of 181,581 foreign residents in Spain obtained Spanish nationality in 2022. This figure represents a significant increase of 26.1% compared to the previous year and is the highest recorded since 2014. In the specific case of the Canary Islands, the number of individuals involved is 6,291.

In terms of the proportion of foreign residents acquiring Spanish nationality, the Canary Islands rank near the bottom, alongside Andalusia, with only Extremadura having a slightly lower percentage (2.1%). Specifically, the 6,291 individuals in the Canary Islands account for 2.2% of the foreign resident population in the archipelago.

Out of the total number of individuals who acquired Spanish nationality in 2022, 30.3% had always resided in Spain, while the remaining 69.7% had previously lived abroad.

Among those who obtained Spanish nationality in 2022, the most common year of arrival in Spain was 2007, indicating an average duration of about 15 years to acquire Spanish nationality. Regarding the methods of acquiring Spanish nationality, 157,415 cases were through residence, while 23,558 cases were through option. The option method was particularly prevalent among individuals under 20 years of age, accounting for 95.7% of all acquisitions in this age group.

In terms of nationality of origin, the largest group acquiring Spanish nationality was from Morocco, with 55,463 cases. Nationalities from South American, Central American, and Caribbean countries were also prominent, with eight out of the top ten nationalities belonging to these regions. These include Colombia (11,125), Ecuador (10,845), Bolivia (9,016), Dominican Republic (8,100), Venezuela (8,036), Honduras (5,778), Peru (5,152), and Cuba (4,780). Among Asian countries, Pakistan stood out with 6,400 individuals.

The most common country of birth among those acquiring Spanish nationality was Spain, with 55,079 cases, primarily consisting of children (76.2% were under 10 years of age). Among those born outside of Spain, Morocco was the most frequent country of birth, accounting for 23,335 acquisitions of nationality.

Furthermore, 47.0% of foreign nationals who acquired Spanish nationality in the past year were male, while 53.0% were female. In terms of age, the largest group acquiring Spanish nationality was children under 10 years old, followed by individuals aged 30-39.


In 2022, Cataluña recorded 48,901 cases, while Comunidad de Madrid accounted for 41,456 cases, together representing 49.8% of all acquisitions of Spanish nationality. On the other hand, Extremadura had the lowest number of acquisitions with 760 cases, followed by La Rioja with 1,083 cases among their residents.

When comparing the acquisitions of Spanish nationality with the foreign resident population at the beginning of 2022, the regions with the highest intensity of acquisitions were Región de Murcia (4.7%), Comunidad de Madrid (4.5%), and País Vasco (4.0%). In contrast, Extremadura (2.1%), the Canary Islands (2.2%), and Andalusia (2.2%) had the lowest percentages.

It’s worth noting that starting from 2022, the Statistics on Acquisitions of Spanish Nationality by Residents report has been published annually in June, providing definitive results. Previously, provisional results were released in June, followed by final results in November, as per the information provided by the INE.


As of 19 October, the new Law of Democratic Memory has been enacted, replacing the 2007 Law of Historical Memory. This new law introduces significant changes, including granting the right to Spanish nationality to individuals born outside of Spain to parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents who were exiled for political, ideological, religious reasons, or due to sexual orientation or identity. It also extends this right to individuals born to Spanish women who lost their nationality after marrying foreigners before the 1978 Constitution came into effect.

Furthermore, adult children of those Spaniards whose original nationality was recognized under the 2007 law or who are recognized under the current law are also eligible to apply for Spanish nationality.

Popularly referred to as the ‘Grandchildren’s Law,’ this legislation has generated significant anticipation, particularly in countries with a substantial presence of Spanish descendants, notably in Latin America. In some cases, the demand for applications has exceeded the consulates’ capacity to manage it effectively. Since the implementation of the Law of Democratic Memory, a total of 26,477 individuals have been granted Spanish nationality during the first five months.

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