I am a Filipino student for four years in Spain. Am I eligible for Spanish citizenship or larga duración UE residence permit?

Question

I’m Filipino and I’ve been living in Spain for 4 years already with a student visa throughout those years. I am thinking of applying for Spanish citizenship after 2 years of residency since I’m from the Philippines (a former colony of Spain).

I read that I only need to stay here for 2 years before I can apply and I am also aware that the student visa is just an estancia so only half of that time will count. In my case, since I had 4 years on a student visa, I now have fulfilled 2 years toward residency. My question is, is my understanding correct, and am I eligible to apply for larga duración UE?

Answers

These are the answers of some Facebook group members:

“No. Larga duracion EU is achieved after 5 years of residency. You have been here for 4 years with student estancia, which as you said, counts for half when it comes to larga duracion EU. So from here, you would need to modify to a residency type (working visa, non lucrative visa, arraigo, etc) for 3 years before you’re eligible for larga duracion. But if your goal is to get citizenship, larga duracion is kind of pointless. To get citizenship as the citizen of a former Spanish colony, you need to have 2 years of residency in Spain. You have 0. Your student estancia counts for nothing towards the 2 year requirement. It only counts as half if you are pursuing larga duracion EU. So you first need to modify your situation in Spain to some residency type before you can pursue either long term residency or citizenship.”

Just no. The half year you earned for each year only goes towards residency but not citizenship. Since, you have been here for 4 years, you can now switch to Cuenta Ajena, Cuenta Propria, Arraigo social etc. As for citizenship, you need to spend 2 years more once you acquired any residency. I’m also a filipino, I did 1 year student visa and switched it to a residency, so now is my 2nd year in Spain as a resident and I will now apply for the citizenship. So all in all, I have been living in Spain for 3 years but only 2 years of those were considered for the Spanish citizenship.

In conclusion, it is not possible for a Filipino citizen who has been living in Spain for 4 years just on a student visa to apply for citizenship. Additional steps are required. According to the responses from the Spainguru’s Facebook group members, the individual must first modify their situation to a different type of residency, such as Cuenta Ajena, Cuenta Propia, or Arraigo social, before they can apply for citizenship. Additionally, it is important to note that time spent on a student visa only counts towards half of the time needed to apply for long-term residency (Larga duracion EU), which requires 5 years of residency.

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