The Spanish government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is saying they intend to pass a new law requiring all potential new Spanish citizens to take and pass Spanish language tests. The tests will be given to all foreigners applying for Spanish citizenship and will require them to be able to speak, read and write Spanish, although the government hasn’t as yet said at what level.
The draft bill they are working on will amend the Spanish Civil Code regarding requirements for Spanish nationality and, if passed, will go into effect later on in 2013.
Of course, this new law isn’t exactly a surprise to most Spaniards or to many foreign nationals living in Spain who plan to apply for Spanish citizenship. That’s because the Popular Party included the need for new citizens to be able to speak Spanish in their campaign platform before they were even elected.
Personally, I think requiring people applying for Spanish citizenship to at least be able to speak Spanish at conversation level should be law. Many countries around the world require new citizens to pass language tests before citizenship is granted, as they feel it makes life too difficult if citizens of the country can’t at least converse in the basic language, so why should Spain be any different.
By the way, if you’re one of those people who may be planning to apply for Spanish citizenship and doesn’t yet speak Spanish, I highly recommend the Rosetta Stone software program. I learnt much of my Spanish skills from it and it really was easy to use and learn with. Check out my review of it here.