Processing of Spanish nationality for Cubans by new law

Processing of Spanish nationality for Cubans by new law

HAVANA, Nov. 13th To obtain Spanish nationality by the Democratic Memory Law (LMD), it is only necessary to demonstrate that the relative is “Spanish of origin”, regardless of where he was born.

Lawyer Ariel Fraga, a Cuban-Spaniard established in Barcelona, ​​and with an office in Miami, specializing in Spanish nationality for descendants, assures El Nuevo Herald that anyone who is the grandson of a Spaniard of origin, and can prove it, forget about the exile status of the grandparents, one of the most complicated tests to achieve that is no longer so useful since the definitive instruction was published in the BOE that opens the range of nationality to all grandchildren and children of Spaniards.

“Keep it simple. Do not get entangled in exile if the grandfather or grandmother is Spanish, especially in Cuba, where each procedure can take more than a month to resolve due to the collapse that will be generated by the number of files that are expected,” Fraga insists in an interview with the New Herald.

In the case of Cubans, Fraga emphasizes that it is necessary to focus on providing these three updated documents: the birth certificate or baptismal certificate of the grandfather, the birth certificate of the legalized father or mother, and the applicant’s birth certificate.

“It is likely that the Spanish consulate in Havana will require the presentation of the document that proves the marital status of the parents, at the time of birth of the person who is going to opt,” clarifies the Cuban-Spanish lawyer.

It is important to emphasize that the birth certificate of the Spanish family member must be current, “since he may have lost his nationality.”

Many Cubans, and other people of other nationalities benefiting from this law, who apply for Spanish nationality through the third assumption, the children of legal age who were left out in the previous grandchildren law, wonder how they can recover the documentation delivered in La Habana if you now live in Miami or any other city in the world.

Answers to doubts to process the Spanish nationality by LMD

The files are presented at the consulate or civil registry where the applicant resides, but “they are resolved and approved in the applicant’s place of birth, as happened with the previous grandchildren’s law, regardless of nationality,” explains Fraga.

▪ Cubans or Latinos of another nationality who live in Miami or anywhere in the world, when they present their file at the consulate or civil registry where they reside, if their Spanish father is registered in Havana, that file will be sent to the Spanish consulate general in Havana for processing.

In this case, Cubans do not have to provide the father’s birth certificate because “where the file presented goes is the same place where Spanish relatives are registered,” Fraga clarifies.

▪ If those who apply for nationality under this assumption are born in the US and the parent became Spanish for historical memory in Cuba and then emigrated to the US, their file does not go to Havana but stays at the consulate where the Spanish nationality is being processed. . “In this case, you do have to provide the birth certificate of the Spanish father,” he says.

▪ Cubans who do the procedure in Spain, the case is resolved there, and not in the place of birth. In this case, the files go to the Central Registry of Madrid, “applying the competence provided for in the previous law of grandchildren”, indicates the lawyer. “It’s a way to avoid collapse.”

Cubans, and other benefited people of other nationalities, who present their cases through the Civil Registries of their places of residence in Spain, “there are still doubts about the place to which their files will be sent to resolve,” says Fraga.
“In the last law they were sent to the Central Civil Registry of Madrid, according to the Instruction issued by the Ministry of Justice for this new law, it is possible that they will be sent to the Spanish consulates of the place of birth. It is something that needs to be clarified.”

▪ Minors always enter the parents’ file and are not subject to the two-year term.


Documents: Apostille, legalize and expiration of certificates

▪ The documents of those countries that belong to the Hague Convention are apostilled, the rest of the countries legalize documents.

▪ Cuba is not a member. Cubans in any part of the world, whose files are sent to Havana, legalize their documents through MINREX, the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the only recognized body on the island. For Cubans who were born in a foreign country, their documents must be legalized at the Spanish consulate of their residence.


▪ There is a dilemma about what validity each document should have. Many beneficiaries wonder if birth certificates are valid for six months, one year or do not expire. “The instruction does not say anything, we have to wait for them to instruct the Spanish consulates on the certifications,” says the lawyer Fraga.

Specialist lawyers like Fraga think that the Spanish Ministry of Justice should “determine the validity of each document so that there is no disparity of criteria in each consulate and everyone has the same opportunities.”

▪ “Cubans whose parents are registered as Spaniards at the Spanish consulate in Havana will have no problems,” Fraga assures. And if they are registered in a different consulate or in the Madrid registry, you must request the birth certificate so that it is updated.


▪ The lawyer reminds everyone that there is a wait of up to three months to get a birth certificate in a registry like the one in Madrid.


▪ If a file is archived, it can be resubmitted as long as it falls within the two-year period dictated by the LMD.

What to do so that children of legal age enter within the legal term?


The main obstacle for children of legal age is the established period of two years from entry into force. These must deliver their file separately, once the parents have registered and their files are resolved.


Many jurists doubt that they will have enough time to submit their files within the deadline, since “the same thing happened with the previous grandchildren’s law. Many were left out”, recalls Fraga.

“If they don’t make an effort to put more staff in the Spanish embassy in Havana, many files could be out of time,” predicts Fraga, who is convinced that a possible legal, legally viable solution is “with the protection of the father’s file , present the file of the older children. Then we’ll see what happens and how I confirm.”


Where to get evidence for the condition of Spanish exile in Cuba?


Those who decide to apply for nationality through exile must provide evidence within the period from 1936 to 1955, in addition to proof of filiation as a Spanish grandfather and that he lost his nationality for this reason.


▪ The Archivo Nacional de la República de Cuba, a central archive of documents in Old Havana, preserves the books of people who entered Cuba by boat.

“If you ask the archive to do a search for when your grandfather entered if they keep the data of such a certificate you can then legalize,” advises Fraga. “But, you also have to show that he lost his nationality because of exile.”


Fraga points out that the document on the exile of the grandfather can be presented, but “if this grandfather never became Cuban, he does not fall under the assumption of having lost his nationality. He is Spanish by origin.”


▪ To certify whether the grandfather or grandmother was born Spanish of origin, it is sufficient to have the birth certificate, which confirms that they were born in Spain, especially if they were born between 1889 and 1954.

Fraga emphasizes that “if the grandfather was born in Cuba, of a Spanish father, it must be proven that the Spanish great-grandfather did not lose Spanish nationality before the son (grandfather of the applicant) was born. For this, it is important to analyze if he could have been affected by the Paris Treaty or if the great-grandfather acquired Cuban nationality voluntarily”.


▪ You can get documents in Havana through the foreigner’s registry and the citizenship registry. It is requested in the office of the identity card of the municipality.


▪ In the case of women who lost their nationality by marrying a foreigner, the period is from 1889 to 1931, and then from the civil war to 1978.

▪ There is information on pensions at the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration.


▪ The PARES Registry, the official portal for Spanish archives, is useful for searching for documents from exile.


▪ Copies of the National Identity Document (DNI) and passport are requested at the Registry of the Central Archives of the Spanish National Police. Also photographs of the Spanish relative, including deceased persons.

More: The office of Cuban-Spanish lawyer Ariel Fraga is located in the same building as the Spanish Consulate in Miami: 2655 LeJeune Rd, Suit 805-4. Miami, FL 33134. Telephone 786-456 1907. Email: and