Decisions on granting Spanish citizenship to foreigners have increased by 300% since last August, government authorities in the Iberian country have announced.
According to the Spanish Minister of Justice, Pilar Llop, in these months Spain has gone from an average of 4,800 decisions per month to 19,000, thanks to the robotization of the system. “The system is working (…), more than 300% of cases are resolved compared to the previous situation,” she said.
The “robotisation” of the system is well operational. Llop explained that robots now perform some parts of the procedure, which were previously performed by officials. “It gives very good results,” she added.
The Minister explained that each year, some 125,000 nationality applications are received from residents, “a huge volume”, which covers a multitude of very varied cases”.
In addition, there are other procedures such as requests for exemption from the residence requirement for obtaining Spanish nationality.
Llop described as “successful” the plan adopted by the government in 2021 to lighten the processing of files in the civil status registers, rejoicing at its operability, since the number of cases resolved was greater than the number of cases received.
In August, the Spanish government launched a computer application to automate procedures, which made it possible to solve in one month around 35,000 cases, or 10% of the total.
“We believe that the application will continue to work and that we will be able to iron out this nationality situation, because people have been waiting for a long time,” the minister said at the time.
Until September, Spain had registered a cumulative of some 350,000 nationality applications from people living in the country, many of them immigrants from Latin America.
In 2021, 144,012 foreigners residing in the Iberian country acquired Spanish nationality, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics of Spain.
Morocco is the country whose citizens are the most numerous to have obtained Spanish nationality, with 42,000 applications satisfied. Next come three Latin American countries: Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia, with around 8,300 each. The Dominican Republic and Venezuela have counted more than 6,000 each.