Before we moved here from the US, we had applied for Spanish citizenship for our kids through the San Francisco consulate. When we decided to move, we (very stupidly as it turned out) told the consulate to give back our paperwork since it was taking too long and we would be out the country by the time they were done.
About two years ago we made our first attempt at getting a Spanish passport for our kids. The passport officer told us that our birth certificates were no good, and that we would need a birth certificate that was acceptable in Spain. I (incorrectly) assumed this meant we needed an Apostil version of the birth certificate and dutifully sent off the birth certificates back to the US to be certified.
The second attempt didn’t go much better, but at least the officer told us that what we really needed was the “literal” birth certificate that was on file at the consulate in San Francisco. We had had very bad luck with the consulate’s inefficiency, so we were expecting to wait a couple months. Imagine our surprise when the certificates arrived one week later.
Our third attempt was very short, when we walked in and were told that we needed an appointment. We phoned the number and got a date about one month later.
Our forth time we had everything in order:
- 2 literal birth certificate from the Spanish Consulate
- 2 fresh empadronamientos from Sant Cugat
- Libro de familia
- DNI of one parent
- Two kids fighting over one iPod
We found the office in Cerdanyola pretty easily (it was probably the only building in Cerdanyola with a Spanish flag at the front) and we were called quickly, despite the large crowd of people that was already gathered. The first kid got through unscathed (after about 10 attempts at getting a fingerprint), but then we hit a shift change and got a stubborn officer who insisted that the place of birth of our kid should be listed as “San Francisco”, since that is where the consulate is (he was actually born about 2000 km away from there). There is some kind of rule in Spain that your place of birth doesn’t have to be where you were actually born, but is where you were first registered. After arguing with her for about about fifteen minutes she got tired of it and just put the right place. I was impressed by the fact that they were able to print out the DNI and passport on the spot. I hope they guard those blank passports pretty carefully.