Digital Nomads and Babies: What Nationality Will my Child Have?

5 min readJun 22, 2022

By Federico Richardson Alborna, Spain Immigration Lawyer

Moving to another country with your loved one makes the expat experience even more exciting. After living how the locals live, many foreigners become familiar and comfortable in their surroundings, and this previously new place is actually home.

Typically, however, the longer that Digital Nomads live together, the likelihood of starting a family increases. This is a new, thrilling take on your remote work-life experience. Naturally, you’ll have questions that all young couples and families have, but with an added twist. Don’t worry, this blog will answer this question and more!

Having a child as a Digital Nomad is no longer the daunting prospect it could previously be. But unlike your friends and family at home, you’ll have a fresh set of challenges to encounter and overcome.

One of the benefits of being a Digital Nomadic family is that your children will have the opportunity to become multilingual from birth. And, depending on where you’ve come from, they will also benefit from a more affordable and higher standard of education.

It gets better. Even as they grow from child to teenager and get older, they can enjoy access to affordable world-class universities and higher education systems. Unlike the US or the UK, tuition fees are much more affordable across Europe and Asia.

With better weather, high quality of life, safer environments, and better prospects for your child, what’s not to like about becoming a family as a Digital Nomad.

Yet, before all of this, one of the main questions for your child is its nationality. It’s often one of the things that’s overlooked by Digital Nomads — their citizenship rights.

A person’s identity is shaped by their citizenship and nationality. It expresses their family heritage and cultural perspective on life, in addition to granting them certain rights, privileges, and duties.

Someone’s early experiences will play a significant role in shaping who they are and how much liberty they enjoy as they mature.

So the question “which nationality is my child” is complex to answer.

For example, in Spain, the laws around this topic changed in 2018 and many are still lost in translation. In Spain, nationality is determined in two key ways:

“Ius Sanguinis” and “Ius Soli”

Ius Sanguinis is right by blood. This means that children are automatically given the nationality of their parents, regardless of whether they were born in the country or not.

Ius Soli, however, is when citizenship is inherited from the country of birth. It ignores the parents’ nationality.

Different countries and legal systems usually apply one of these to determine citizenship.

How does this work in Spain?

Spain follows the right of blood or “Ius Sanguinis”. Individuals born in Spain typically acquire their parents’ nationality.

However, there are several exceptions that apply to this rule. So someone can be of Spanish origin if they are:

  • Born to a Spanish father or mother.
  • Born in Spain to foreign parents but one parent had also been born in Spain. This doesn’t apply to children of diplomatic or consular officials.
  • Born in Spain to foreign parents however neither nationality nor their country of nationality allows nationality for those born abroad.
  • Born in Spain and the parentage cannot be determined.

Will my child or children ever become Spanish?

Children born in Spain are granted the same nationality as their parents. Because of this, you must request nationality from either one of the parents’ countries if your child is born there.

A child can obtain Spanish citizenship after residing in the country for one year, if the parents apply.

A parent must obtain a passport from one of the countries where the parents are citizens in order for the child to qualify. After one year of residence, the parents may apply for nationality for their child on behalf of the child.

A child who is younger than 18 years old does not need to take the language or culture exams, so the process is made simpler.

A child born in Spain to a European parent can be given a special permit matching the parent’s, provided the parents are European citizens.

Having Spanish citizenship enables a child to receive protection from the Spanish government when traveling abroad and to vote. Being in possession of that right also allows them to live in Spain forever, which is not the case for all EU citizens living there.

This sounds great! Can we go and have a family now?

It is crucial to be aware of the nationality laws of the other countries involved. For example, Saudi Arabia does not allow children born outside of the country to become citizens. Spain, on the other hand, will grant the child with Spanish citizenship if this situation occurs.

Parents who are non-EU nationals with residence status in Spain are allowed to travel throughout the Schengen area, but they may not work there. If your child becomes a Spanish citizen, he or she will also receive EU citizenship.

Non-EU citizens are restricted to living and working in their home country, whereas EU nationals can live and work anywhere in the EU. This gives them more freedom and choice.

It’s crucial to work with an expert immigration and citizenship lawyer. An expert immigration and citizenship lawyer can help you determine if your child is a citizen and, if so, what rights he or she has.

For help with all aspects of life and work as a Digital Nomad, get in touch with Lexidy LegalTech Boutique today!

Do you seek more information about life as a Digital Nomad?

We’re prepared an article for you that will tell you everything you need to know about becoming a Digital Nomad, including how to obtain a visa and possible destinations! We also compiled a list of important aspects regarding insurance and health care for Digital Nomads.

Lexidy is a LegalTech Boutique wired differently to simplify the lives of its clients. A Sharp, dynamic, and digitally focused cross border immigration law and full service boutique.

This article is authored by David Planes, Immigration Lawyer at Lexidy Law Boutique

Federico is the Founder & CEO of Lexidy Law Boutique. His mission is to help people by translating legal complexities and breaking down barriers.

Connect with Federico and request a consultation to discuss your personal immigration needs.

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