There are a few procedures you may need to complete before coming to Spain. One of these procedures is getting a visa.
A Spain visa is an authorization to enter Spain and remain there for a particular amount of days. It is usually in the form of a sticker, affixed to one’s passport. The type of visa you apply for defines the activities you can perform while in Spain.
To get a Spain visa you will need to meet several criteria, complete a few procedures and most probably pay a fee.
According to the length of your stay in Spain, there are two main Spanish visa types:
- Spain short-stay visas. Also known as a Schengen visa, this is a visa for staying in Spain for a period of up to 90 days within 6 months. This visa does not permit you to work.
- Spain long-stay visas. For staying in Spain for a period of longer than three months. Depending on the long-stay visa type you apply for, you may also be authorized to work in Spain.
What Is a Spain Schengen Visa?
The Spain Schengen Visa is a short term visa for Spain that gives the right to its visa holder to enter Spain, and remain there for a maximum of 90 days within a 180 day period.
According to the purpose of traveling to Spain, you may apply for one of the following main Spanish short-stay visas:
- Spain Transit Visa. This visa enables you to transit through Spain in order to reach your non-Schengen destination country. There are two types of Spain Transit Visas:
- Airport Transit. You can apply for this visa if you need to transit through an airport in Spain in order to change a flight to reach your destination.
- Seamen Transit. You should apply for this visa if you are a seaman and you need to disembark at a Spanish port, in order to take a vessel to a non-Schengen country.
- Spain Tourist Visa. Apply for a Spanish tourist visa, if you are planning to go to Spain for tourism, sightseeing, vacation, and other similar purposes.
- Spain Visitor Visa. Apply for this visa if you are traveling to Spain under the sole purpose of visiting family members or friends living in Spain.
- Spain Business Visa. If you need to travel to Spain to attend business-related activities, you should apply for a Spain business visa.
- Spain Medical Treatment Visa. A visa for applicants who wish to receive medical care in Spain.
- Spain EEA/EU Dependent Visa. If you are a dependent (spouse or child under 18) of a national of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland you should apply for this visa.
- Spain Visa for Missing Residence Permit. If you have lost your Spanish Residence Permit while outside the country, you shall apply for this visa in order to be able to return.
- Spain Study or Training Visa. If you have been admitted to a training or a study course that lasts less than 3 months in Spain, you should apply for a Spain Study or Training Visa.
- Spain Visa for Diplomatic Passport Holders. If you hold a diplomatic passport issued by your country you can apply for this visa.
How to Get a Schengen Visa for Spain?
If you need a visa to Spain, you should apply for one. Applying for a Spain visa, short-stay or long-stay is not a hard thing to do, though it may sound so. You just need to follow some procedures step by step and try not to make any mistakes.
To apply for a Spain visa follow the steps given below:
- Check if you need to apply for a Spain Schengen Visa.
- Know when is the right time to apply!
- Figure out what type of Spain visa you need.
- Find out where you should lodge your application.
- Fill in the right visa application form.
- Collect the required documents.
- Make a visa appointment.
- On the date of your appointment:
- Attend the visa interview.
- Submit your biometrics.
- Pay the visa fee.
After you complete all these steps, you shall wait for the processing of your visa. You will receive an answer to your application, as soon as the processing is completed.
Do I Need to Apply for a Schengen Visa to Spain?
If you are unsure whether you need a visa or not, then this is the first thing you need to check. The main factor that defines whether you need a visa or not, is the purpose of stay and the intended period of stay.
If you are traveling through Spain, in transit to get to a non-Schengen country, you should check the list of the nationals of the 25 countries that need a Spain transit visa.
If you traveling to Spain for a short-term stay for non-employment reasons and you are a national of the 62 countries under the Schengen visa regime, you do not need to apply for a Spain short-stay visa.
When to Apply for a Spain Visa?
As Spain is a member country of the Schengen area, it applies the Schengen visa rules to travelers seeking to enter its territory. Thus, when applying for a Spain visa, make sure you submit your application within the given time frame:
- The earliest: Six months before the date of your planned departure to Spain.
- The latest: Two weeks before the intended date of travel to Spain:
- Recommended: at least three weeks prior to your trip, so you can avoid any possible delay by the embassy.
Where to Apply for a Spain Visa?
Spain has a very strict system of visa submission and processing. As a result, visa submission is regulated by Spain in every world country. Thus, depending on the country you live in, you may have to submit your visa application at the:
- Spanish consulate.
- A Visa application center like TLS Contact, VFS Global or BLS International, to which Spain has outsourced visa submission in your country of residence.
Fill-in the Spain Schengen visa application form
Complete the application form for a Schengen visa. Note that the Schengen visa application form differs from the form used for a National visa. Do not confuse them.
Make sure you complete the right form. Answer to all mandatory questions with correct and clear information. Make sure you sign the form at the end after you print it.
Make a visa appointment
There are three ways to make a visa appointment for a Spain visa:
- Through a phone call
- In person
It all depends on how the Spanish authorities have regulated this procedure in your country of residence. You should check with them for more information in this regard.
Collect the documents
A very important part of your application process for a Spain visa is collecting the required documents. There are two types of required documents for every Spain visa applications.
- The standard required documents for a Spain visa, which are required for every visa type.
- The Spain visa specific requirements, which are required depending on the visa type you are applying for.
You can get a full list of the required documents for a Spain visa here.
Attend the interview
The interview for a Spain visa is a very important part of your visa application. All applicants, no matter what their purpose of the trip to Spain is, should attend a visa interview with a consular officer.
The interview should be scheduled in advance, as the Spanish authorities do not accept walk-in applications. On the day of your appointment, you will be meeting a consular officer, to whom you need to submit the application file that consists of your documents.
He or she will ask you a few questions related to your application for a visa, and your background. If you haven’t been to the Schengen territory in the last five years, you will need to give your biometric information – your facial image and fingerprints.
Pay the fees
You will need to pay a certain Spain visa fee for the processing of your Schengen application by the Spanish authorities. According to your age, the fee for a Spain Schengen visa is as follows:
- Adult applicants need to pay €80
- Applicants from 6 to 12 years old need to pay €40
- Applicants under the age of 6 are exempt from paying any processing fee
In addition, the nationals of a few countries, and some other categories depending on the purpose of application are exempt from paying the fee at all.
After you complete all these steps, you should wait for the processing of your visa.
How Long Can I Stay in Spain with a Schengen Visa?
The longest you can stay is 90 days within half a year. Note that the consulate of Spain decides how long you should be permitted to stay in Spain and the whole Schengen territory. They might issue you the visa with a maximal or minimal validity; it is all up to them.
When you get the visa, check the visa sticker for the following information:
- Duration of stay: The number of days you can remain in Spain and the Schengen territory together.
- Valid from – valid to: the day the visa becomes valid and the day it expires. You should use the number of duration of stay within these dates.
What If I Want to Visit Spain for Longer Than 90 Days?
If you want to go to Spain to With a long-stay visa you can travel to the country and remain there for a period longer than three months, as specified in your visa sticker. Depending on the long-stay visa you get, you may be permitted to work or study in Spain.
What Are the Types of Long Stay Visas for Spain?
The most common Spain visa types for long-stay are as follows:
- Spain Student Visa. If you want to attend a study course that lasts more than three months, you will have to apply for a Spain Student Visa.
- Spain Work Visa. All qualifying persons who wish to work in Spain must apply for this visa.
- Spain Au Pair Visa. You can apply for this visa if you will be working for a family in Spain, under certain conditions.
- Spain Golden Visa. This is a residency by investment program, through which you can move to Spain if you invest a certain amount in real estate.
- Spain Entrepreneur Visa. This is a visa for entrepreneurs who wish to invest in Spain.
- Spain Working Holiday Visa. You can apply for this visa if you want to go to Spain to do a summer job.
- Non-Lucrative Residence Visa. If you wish to immigrate in Spain and you have sufficient income to support yourself and your dependents you may apply for a Non-lucrative residence visa. Upon arrival in Spain, you can then apply for a residence permit for two years.
Visa for Lost or Stolen Spanish Resident Card
A Schengen Visa for lost or stolen Spanish resident card is for persons who have lost their Spanish resident card while outside Spain. They need a re-entry visa in order to be able to enter Spain again and apply to get another residence card. Also, they will have to provide the following documents:
- Proof of travel back to Spain.
- Disclaimer duly signed.
Quick facts about Spain
Officially known as a Kingdom, Spain is a continental European territory situated in the Iberian Peninsula. It is the only European country with a physical border with an African country. It also has two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea.
It has an area of 505,990 km2 and a population of 46,733,038. Spain is the second biggest country in the European Union, while Spanish is world’s second most spoken mother tongue.
The country has more than 8,000 kilometers of beaches, and 44 UNESCO heritage sites. Its most known cities are: its capital city Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Bilbao, etc.
Some of its top tourist attractions are Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia and Gaudi Sites, the Great Mosque of Cordoba, the Prado and Paseo del Artes in Madrid, and the Alhambra fortress in Granada.