Due to a shortage of sufficient staff, Spain's General Consulate in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is struggling to complete petitions for Spanish citizenship based on the Law of Grandchildren on time, resulting in long delays for many of the applicants.
Despite the increased number of shifts implemented last month in an effort to enhance capacity, the embassy is still unable to keep up with the amount of applications.
According to the Argentine publication Perfil, applicants are waiting months for a response from the consulate on their petitions for citizenship under the Grandchildren law, despite the fact that five offices in Córdoba, Bahia Blanca, Rosario, Buenos Aires, and Mendoza manage such applications.
However, it is not only candidates for citizenship in Argentina who are experiencing procedural delays.
"It is happening throughout Latin America, but the consulates of Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico and Argentina are especially swamped. Since the Democratic Memory Law went into effect four months ago, there has been a flood of nationality requests and consultations, but there have been no reinforcements," Pablo Puertas, general counsellor for Spanish citizenship abroad for the Independent Trade Union and Officials Central, told Perfil.
The Spanish Democratic Memory Law, passed in 2007, aims to help individuals and their families who were victims of the Spanish Civil War and the Franco regime. The Law of Grandchildren was proposed on October 5, 2022, in an effort by Spanish officials to strengthen familial links between descendants and inhabitants of both countries.
Applications for Spanish citizenship under this law will be accepted beginning October 21, 2022 and will be accepted until October 21, 2024.
According to this law, "sons and daughters of legal age whose nationality of origin was recognised by virtue of the right of option in accordance with the provisions of this law or the seventh supplementary provision of the Law 52/2007, of December 26" are eligible for Spanish citizenship.
There is no upper age limit for candidates, who must present proof that they are the offspring or grandchildren of people born in Spain who were exiled during the Franco period.
According to DNM statistics, more than three thousand persons left Argentina for Spain in the first six months of 2022, between January and July, whereas more than 32,000 Argentinians emigrated to Spain in 2021.
According to the Grandchildren Law, roughly 700,000 persons may be eligible for Spanish citizenship.
On the other hand, reliable records suggest that almost two million Spanish residents fled the country during the civil war, between 1886 and 1915.
By fLEXI tEAM