Would you like to travel to Spain? Millions of people visit and immigrate to this country every year! Whether it’s to study Spanish or immerse yourself in the rich culture, you must first obtain a visa for Spain.
In this guide, we will provide you with all of the information and resources on visas for Spain. After reading, you will understand the requirements of each option and have everything you need to prepare for your trip. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!
How to Choose the Right Visa for Spain
Now that you know you will need a visa to travel to Spain, the question is “What type of visa?” This will depend on the purpose of your trip and how long you plan to stay in Spain. There are three main visas for Spain:
- The tourist/short-term visa, if you want to vacation and travel the country temporarily
- A student visa, if you plan to study or intern in Spain
- The long-term visa, which allows you to reside, study, or work in Spain for an extended period
Of course, there are other types of visas available, which we will explain more in detail as in a later section. First, let’s review the three most requested visas and their requirements.
Tourist Visa for Spain
The tourist visa for Spain, also known as the Schengen visa, is for individuals who want to vacation and stay in Spain temporarily. This visa grants up to a three-month stay. You can study in Spain under this visa, as long as the duration of the courses you take are no longer than three months.
Fortunately, if you’re a citizen of a country on Spain’s list of exempt nations, you can skip this procedure. Citizens from several countries of the European Union and Latin America do not need a tourist visa to travel to Spain, only a valid passport.
Requirements to Apply for a Tourist Visa
If your country of origin is not on the exempt list and you need to apply for a tourist visa>, it is important to have the following requirements:
- The visa “Schengen” application form– an original and copy of the completed form
- Proof of the appointment with the embassy or consulate, specifying the date and time
- Two passport-size photos (2×2, white background)
- A valid passport– it should have at least two blank pages and be valid for six months at the time of your application
- Proof of travel medical insurance– coverage must be at least 30,000 euros, guaranteeing you emergency medical attention and repatriation if necessary
- Reservation of your round-trip plane tickets for Spain
- Proof of accommodation– can present a hotel reservation or a confirmed invitation letter if staying with family or friends in Spain
- Financial solvency– when applying for your tourist visa, you must prove that you have the funds to cover your entire trip
Keep in mind these are the general requirements, which may have minor differences depending on your nationality. For information on requirements regarding your specific country of origin, you can visit Spain’s official website to learn more about the application process.
Student Visa for Spain
If you are considering studying in Spain, there are two other types of visas for Spain under which you can come as an international student. The deciding factor on which one to use depends on how the duration of your classes in Spain. Let’s examine each one.
For enrollment of study programs that are less than six months, you will need a short-term visa. Under this visa, you can study and participate in an internship program in Spain. You will need the general visa requirements as well as a few more unique to students:
- Certificate of admission verifying full-time enrollment for a degree or certification in an authorized school in Spain
- Proof of financial coverage of school fees and for the duration of your stay (bank statements, financial aid or scholarship, mention in the admission letter, notarized letter from parents or guardians)
- Request proof of accommodation through a rental contract and a photocopy of the tenant ID, a hotel reservation of at least 15 days, or a certificate issued by the school indicating the address of your home
This short-term visa for Spain is equally a student visa to citizens from the United States. If your study program in Spain exceeds six months, you must apply for a Foreigner Identity Card (TIE) within one month of your arrival. <This document certifies your legal residency in Spain for the duration of your study program.
Remember to check the Ministry of Foreign Affairswebsite for more information about the application process specifically for your country.
A long-term visacaters to individuals who wish to reside, work, or study in Spain for more than six months. Remember, if you are a citizen of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland, you will not need to apply for this visa.
Requirements for a long-term visa are the same as the general visa for Spain, in addition to the following:
- Medical certificate– a recent doctor’s statement (original document and copy) confirming you’re in good health
- Certificate of criminal record– a recent background check (original document and copy) solidifying you have no criminal history in the countries where you have resided in the last five years.
Individuals studying under a long-term visa also need to obtain a Foreigner Identity Card (TIE) within their first 30 days in Spain.
Courses You Can Take with a Student Visa
One of the advantages of studying in Spain is the country’s quality of education. Spanish universities receive international recognition for having top academics. Three of Europe’s 10 business schools are in Spain.
Also, more attractive to international students, tuition fees in Spain are among the lowest in Europe! This means there is a wide variety of study programs to choose from, all from unique subjects within reasonable budgets.
Other Types of Visas for Spain
So far, we have reviewed the most common visas for Spain. There are other types of visas that you should consider, depending on your plans for Spain after finishing your studies. Let’s take a look at the other three visas that allow you to work and live in Spain.
The non-profit visa allows you to live in Spain for one year. With this one, you have permission to study without needing a student visa! Unfortunately, you cannot work under a non-profit visa. You can, however, participate in an internship with a company with the possibility of receiving remuneration for your services.
Residence Visa to Work
This work visa for Spain allows you to get a job with an employer in the country. The difference is, you do not request this visa. The application for temporary residence must be made by your employer, who will present it along with your work permit at the Immigration office.
If you want to work independently in Spain, you must apply for a self-employment visa. With this document, you can develop a commercial project or a company in Spain as long as you meet the requirements. These include having proof of professional qualifications and sufficient investment to start the project. The self-employment visa is ideal if you want to start a business abroad in Spain.
Application Process of a Visa for Spain
To start the visa process, whether, for a short-term or long-term visa, you can acquire the applications two ways:
- Download the application free directly from the Government of Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website
- Request an application for free at Spain’s Diplomatic Missions or Consular Posts office in your country
Once you receive the visa application, you must complete it in person at your nearest Diplomatic Missions or Consular Post office. An exception to this rule is if you can demonstrate an inability to travel to the office, such as transportation difficulties.
You must complete your visa application within one month after requesting it. Afterward, the processing period can range anywhere between 15 and 45 days. Once all of your information is processed successfully, you will receive the issuance of your visa from the Diplomatic Mission or Consular post office. If your visa application is not approved, you will receive a letter notifying you of the reason.
Cost of Visas for Spain
The general visa fee for adults is 80 euros. Depending on the nationality of the applicant, however, prices of visas vary. Additionally, you may have to pay consular fees and services fees.
With this in mind, the best thing to do is check visa fees, application deadlines, and updates on payment methods directly on Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.