According to a Eurostat report, one in four foreigners granted citizenship in the European Union obtain a Spanish passport. The European Union grants nearly one million citizenships every year, and figures for 2013 reveal that 225,800 (about 23%) people were given Spanish citizenship in that year, more than in any other EU member state.
The majority of Spain’s new citizens came from non-EU countries, and only 1% belonged to another European nation.
Columbians comprised the biggest group of people who were granted Spanish citizenship (17.2%), followed by Ecuadorians (17%) and Moroccans (13.4%). Spain is an especially popular choice for nationals of Latin America who are seeking citizenship in the EU. About 97% of Bolivians and 95.2% of Ecuadorians who applied for an EU citizenship in 2013 applied for a Spanish passport.
According to the Eurostat report, Spain was followed in second place by the United Kingdom which gave citizenship to 207,500 non-EU nationals. The highest acceptance rate for granting citizenships was recorded in Sweden, Hungary and Portugal, with each country granting citizenship to at least six out of every 100 foreign residents. Spain followed close behind, granting citizenship to 4.5 out of every 100 foreign residents.
Upon completion of ten years of residency in Spain, an individual qualifies for citizenship while those belonging to former Spanish colonies only require two years of residency to qualify for citizenship.
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