A Long Stay Visa for Spain is a permit to enter and remain in Spain for a period longer than three months. It enables its holder not only to reside in Spain, but also to perform several activities, which the Spain Schengen Visa prohibits.

Long Stay Visa for Spain is also known as the Spanish Long-Term Visa or the Spain National Visa (D Visa). In this article, you can learn everything you need to know to apply for a Spain long-term visa. Find below if you need this visa, all the application procedures, requirements and more.

Who Needs a Spain Long Term Visa?

If you are planning to travel to Spain and remain here for a period longer than three months within half a year, then you probably need to get a long-stay visa.

If you are from a country that is not located in the continent of Europe then you definitely will need a long-stay visa. Nevertheless, if you are a citizen of Europe, you may be exempt. Check our article on Who needs a Spain Visa to check this list.

Types of Spain Long Stay Visas

Once again, depending on why you want to stay in Spain for more than three months, there are a few visa types. The long-stay visa type you wish to apply for defines the process you need to follow to get a visa, and the documents you need to collect.

According to the purpose of your trip to Spain, you can apply for any of the following visa types, given that you meet the eligibility criteria.

  • Spain Student Visa. for those who want to study at an education institution in Spain for longer than three months.
  • Spain Work Visa. for persons who wish to engage in paid activity.
  • Spain Au Pair Visa. for young foreigners that want to get help a family with housework or child care in exchange for accommodation and board.
  • Spain Retiree Visa for retired persons who wish to live in Spain and have the means to finance themselves.
  • Spain Golden Visa for persons who can invest a particular amount of money in real estate in Spain.
  • Spain Entrepreneur Visa for those who want to establish or invest in a business in Spain.
  • Spain Working Holiday Visa for people who want to undertake employment during holidays, i.e. summer holiday.
  • Non-Lucrative Residence Visa for those who wish to come to Spain to apply for residence, and have the financial means to support themselves and their dependents.

How to Apply for a Spain Long Stay Visa?

Once you know that you need a visa for sure, you proceed with the application process for a Spain long-term visa. Yet, prior to that, we advise you to check several things in order to file your application correctly.

Before You Apply

Before you file your application, make sure you find out the following:

  • The type of visa you need to apply for. We cannot stress it enough how important it is to apply for the right visa type. The whole application process depends on it.
  • Pre-requirements you need to meet. Every visa type has some pre-requirements that you must meet in order to be able to apply. If you do not meet these pre-requirement and you still apply, your application will be rejected and all your work will go in vain. I.e. those applying for a visa must have an employment offer/agreement with an employer in Spain, or students must be accepted or enrolled at a university in Spain, etc.
  • Where you need to lodge your application. Depending on your country of residence you may have to submit your application either at the Spanish Consulate, or a visa application center to which Spain has outsourced visa submission.
  • When you should apply. Between three month to three weeks before the date that you plan to depart to Spain.

Application Steps for a Spain Long Stay Visa

Once you have found out the information specified above, you can then undertake concrete steps to apply for a Spain visa for long-term stays. Find these steps listed in order and explained below:

Complete the Spain national visa application form

There is one application form for short-stay visas and another for long-term stays. Make sure you fill in the right one.

Collect the required documents

You need to collect and submit a number of documents for a Spain Long-Stay visa. Aside from the common documents required for every visa as the application form, photos, passport, and copies of older passports and visas, you need to submit other documents as well.

This includes:

  • Proof of financial means. Depending on the type of visa you are applying for, this could be your bank statements, affidavit of support, scholarship, etc.
  • Police Record that shows you have not committed any crime in the past.
  • Medical insurance provided by an authorized insurance company in Spain.
  • Original medical certificate issued by a doctor, verifying you do not have any contagious diseases, and that you are free of drug addictions and mental illness.
  • Proof of enrolment at a university in Spain when applying for a student visa.
  • Work authorization and copy of employment contract when applying for a work visa.

Note that depending on your visa type, situation, country of residence, and a few other factors, you will need to submit additional documents. All the documents should be translated to Spanish by a recognized Spanish translator.

Make a visa appointment

Depending on your country of residence, you will have to make this appointment online or through a consular call center.

Attend the visa interview

On the day of the interview, you will need to attend a short interview with the visa consular.

Submit your biometrics

If your biometrics aren’t registered in the common EU system, you will need to give them on the day of your interview. This means you will have your facial image and your fingerprints taken.

Pay the visa fee

You will also need to pay a fee on the same day. The costs you need to pay depend on the Spanish long-stay visa type you are applying for.

The Spanish long stay visa fees are different from the Spanish Schengen visa fees. In particular, for American and Canadian applicants who are subject to higher fees compared to the nationals of other world countries.

The fees vary from €80 to about €674. Check our full list of Spanish visa fees for to see the prices.

In addition to the visa fee, if you submit the application at a visa application center as i.e. the BLS, you also need to pay a small fee to them.

Once you complete all these steps, you should then wait for the processing of your visa.

After You Arrive in Spain

Upon arrival in Spain, depending on the intended period of stay, you may have another one or two steps left to complete.

Note that if you are permitted to stay in Spain for a maximum of 180 days, then you do not need to complete any other procedures. On the other hand, if you will be staying in Spain for more than six months, then you should get a tarjeta de identidad de extranjero (TIE), which means Foreigner Identity Card.

Apply for a Foreigner Identity Card within one month of arrival in Spain, at the Foreigners Office in the area where you have settled.  You will need your passport with the Spanish visa in it, three photos, and proof of payment of the corresponding fee.

Note that those moving to Spain for employment purposes with a Spanish employment visa, need to register at the Social security scheme before applying for their identity card.

Spain Long Stay Visa Interview

After the required documents, the most important part of the application for a Spanish long-term visa, is the interview.

The interview should be appointed on time, since the consulates and visa application centers do not accept walk-in applications. On the day of your appointment, you will meet with a consular officer. He or she will ask you questions regarding to your intended trip to Spain.

You also need to submit the documents during this interview, one-by-one as required. Have them in order so you won’t have a mess in your hand when there.  The consular officer may ask you questions related to these documents. You need to answer each of them correctly.

Before or after the interview you will need to give your biometrics, if you have not done so before. When you arrive at the consulate, you will be informed on this process. Moreover, in some countries, you may need to pay the fee at the consulate on the same day.

Spain National Visa Processing Time

The Consulate in charge of processing your visas in your country of residence is obliged to process your national visa application within one month. In some specific situations, this period can be extended.