Kubo’s impossible task to obtain Spanish citizenship

24 Jul 2020

Takefusa Kubo‘s future at Real Madrid remains unclear, not least because of his nationality.

The Japanese international, who has spent the 2019/20 season on loan at Real Mallorca, could take up a non-EU spot in Zinedine Zidane‘s squad if he were to stay with the first team next campaign.

Real Madrid are only allowed three non-EU players in their squad at any one time, with Kubo one of the top priorities at the moment.

Players, especially from South America, can obtain Spanish passports fairly quickly in order to free up these spots, but it’s not so easy for Kubo.

Japanese law doesn’t allow for dual citizenship, meaning the 19-year-old would have to choose between his Japanese passport and a Spanish one.

Japanese citizens are only allowed to have dual citizenship under these three conditions:

1. They had dual citizenship before January 1, 1985, when the country’s Nationality Law was passed.

2. They have a parent who isn’t a Japanese citizen, or they were born in a ‘land law’ country with at least one Japanese parent. If they qualify for this, they have to choose one citizenship before the age of 22.

3. They acquire another citizenship inadvertently. For example, if they marry a citizen of another country.

In order to get a Spanish passport himself, Kubo must legally live in Spain for 10 years, but this period can be shorter in these circumstances:

1. Five years: for those who have obtained refugee status.

2. Two years: for those from Ibero-American countries, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal or those of Sephardic origin.

3. One year: for those that have got married to a Spanish citizen.

If Kubo does acquire Spanish citizenship one way or another before the age of 22, he has two years to decide whether he wants to keep his Japanese passport, or substitute it for a Spanish one.

In the meantime, there are plenty of offers to take Kubo on loan for another season after his impressive displays for Mallorca.

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