Differentiation in the Naturalisation of Immigrants in Spain (DNIs)

The DNIs project analyzes the effects of the naturalization policies in Spain. It aims to understand the mechanisms by which the procedure creates a differentiating situation both among immigrant collectives as well as within the collectives themselves.

Project number: OR2014-13583 Duration: septiembre 2014- abril 2015 (Closed ) Budget: $29.989 (dólares estadounidenses).



The results from the ‘Access to Citizenship and its Impact on Immigrant Integration’ (ACIT) project, which compared and evaluated citizenship laws, their execution, and impact in the integration process of immigrants in the 27 member states, highlighted the perception of discriminatory behaviours and acts in the process of naturalisation in Spain.

In this context and considering the importance of naturalization in the integration process for immigrants, particularly in the European Union, emerged the need for further research into how this discrimination is and what are the consequences it has.

Under this framework, the study seeks to understand the mechanisms by which the procedure creates differentiating situations within the immigrant community, what are its effects and what kind of discrimination is occurring (origin, gender, age, education). The DNIs project aims to analyse the legal issues behind this situation, and in turn consider the administrative and bureaucratic mechanisms that may, also, be responsible for discriminatory practices in this process.

The main objectives of this project are:

 - Determine what are the elements that condition the process of naturalization and that create situations of discrimination

- Develop a clear mapping of discrimination grounds.

- Find possible improvements in the current system and make political recommendations

- Generate debate and raise awareness around the issue of access to nationality, with the objective of influencing the improvement of these policies

This study’s research is based on the analysis and comparison between the results previously collected within the framework of ACIT project and the results obtained during this project. The new data mainly comes from conducting focus groups and in-depth interviews (in Andalusia, Catalonia, Madrid and the Basque Country).

Investigadores responsables:

The project is coordinated by Elena Sánchez-Montijano and Gemma Pinyol-Jiménez, and has been conducted with the support of Anna Bardolet Dilmé.


 The main results of this research will be published in various formats, to raise awareness on this topic in Spain and provide policy recommendations. Furthermore, this project also aims to integrate this issue in the debate on naturalization that is taking place in many other European countries. Finally the results will be presented in two acts: in Madrid and Brussels. 

Co-financed by Open Society Foundations

DNI's Leaflet 

Researchers involved in the project:

  • Anna Bardolet
  • Gemma Pinyol
  • Elena Sänchez-Montijano
Research areas:
La Vanguardia - May 28, 2015

Un estudio denuncia las dificultades para obtener la nacionalidad española

Un total de 1.109.322 inmigrantes residentes en España han obtenido la nacionalidad española entre 2003 y 2014, pese a la complejidad y los tiempos de espera disuasorios, según un estudio coordinado por el Centro de Estudios y Documentación Internacional de Barcelona (CIDOB). La investigación, titulada "Diferenciación en la Naturalización de los Inmigrantes en España (DNIs)", coordinado por el CIDOB, con el apoyo de la Fundación Ortega-Marañón, y cofinanciado por el Open Society Foundations, ha analizado los efectos de la política de naturalización en España y de los mecanismos por los que el procedimiento crea diferencias tanto entre colectivos de inmigrantes como dentro de los colectivos mismos.