Photo: Abogados Latinos
The Diplomat. 16/04/2018
In 2016, Spain was the second country in the EU that granted citizenship to highest number of foreigners, with almost 151,000 cases, 32% more than the previous year. At the head of the beneficiaries are Moroccans, who are also the non-EU citizens who have obtained the most citizenships in the Union as a whole.
According to the latest Eurostat data, about 995,000 people acquired the nationality of some EU Member State in 2016, well above the 841,000 of 2015. 12% of these people came from another Member State, with special attention to the United Kingdom, which in the process of the Brexit has increased by 165% (more than 6,500) the cases of change of nationality with respect to 2015 (almost 2,500).
In the case of Spain, in 2016, 150,944 nationalizations were granted, 78.2% by residence, according to the Eurostat report and the INE data. This represents an overall increase of 32% over the previous year.
The largest group in the EU as a whole corresponds to Moroccans, with more than 100,000 cases throughout the EU, 89% of them in Spain, Italy and France.
Apart, Spain was the EU country that granted more citizenships in 2016 to the Moroccans, 36.50%, and, at the same time, the Moroccans were the foreigners who acquired the Spanish nationality that same year, with 24.5 % of the total. According to data from the Ministry of Justice collected by the Efe agency, more than 200,000 Moroccans were Spanish nationalized between 2000 and 2016.
Spain is the country that has granted the most citizenships to Moroccans, the first group to benefit the entire EU
Bolivians are the second foreigners who were most nationalized in Spain in 2016, according to Eurostat data (10.5% of the total of naturalized in Spain and 94% of those who did it in a European country), followed by Ecuadorians (10.1% and 72.5%), Colombians and Dominicans (81% of these groups nationalized in some EU country opted for Spain).
The country that granted the most nationalities in 2016 was Italy (201,600, mainly Albanians, Moroccans and Romanians), followed by Spain, the United Kingdom (more than 149,000, a figure much higher than that of Britons who changed their own nationality of origin), France and Germany.