The Sahrawi people and access to Spanish nationality


The Ombudsman’s Office welcomes the fact that the Committee on Justice at the Congress of Deputies (the lower house in the Spanish Parliament) has passed a motion enabling the Sahrawi people to obtain Spanish nationality in two years, instead of ten.

In 2015, the Office recommended the Ministry of Justice to alter sub-section 22.1 of the Civil Code to include the Sahrawi people among the beneficiaries of the shorter period of two years in which to obtain nationality on the grounds of residence.

In the Office’s opinion, the people of the Sahara fulfill the requirements to enable them to benefit from the shorter period of time in which to gain access to nationality provided for nationals of Latin American countries, Portugal, Andorra, Equatorial Guinea, the Philippines, and for Sephardis. They all have special historical ties with Spain.

The Ministry of Justice accepted this recommendation but pointed out the difficulty in implementing it, owing to the fact that the legislature was drawing to a close.

The Ombudsman’s Office welcomes the fact that the Justice Committee of the Congress of Deputies has approved this initiative unanimously and hopes that once there is a government it can be put into practice.

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