A Spain Short-Stay Tourist Visa is a permit that allows you to travel to Spain for the main purpose of performing touristic activities, like vacation, sightseeing and exploring. You can also visit your relatives once you are in Spain with this visa.
Whereas, a Spain Short-Stay Visitor Visa is an authorization to enter Spain under the main purpose of visiting friends or family members living in Spain. You can also go holidaying, sightseeing and exploring, while in Spain with this kind of visa.
Do I Have to Apply for a Spanish Tourist/Visitor Visa?
You will be exempt from the Spain visa requirement for tourism and visiting if you are a national of any of:
- EU member countries.
- The EFTA member countries.
- The 62 world countries under the Schengen visa-free regime.
- Or, you are residing in any of the Schengen countries with a residence permit, as long as your residence permit is valid.
However, if you are a national of any of the world countries not listed above will need to apply for a visa in advance, before taking a trip to Spain for any of these two purposes.
Please pay attention that if you are planning to apply for a long-stay visa to Spain, the list of who needs a long-term visa to Spain is different.
Spain Tourist/Visitor Visa Application
To apply for a Spain Tourist or Visitor visa you will need to follow a few particular steps. Each procedure for a Spain visa for tourism or visiting has certain rules and criteria you must meet.
Following find explained clearly all steps how to apply for a Spain visa for tourism or visiting.
Check Where You Need to Submit Your Visa Application
First, check where you need to submit your application for a Spain Visitor Visa or a Spain Tourist Visa. Note that the Spanish authorities are responsible for the admission and the processing of your application only if Spain is your main Schengen destination, which means:
- You will only visit Spain and no other Schengen country.
- You will visit other Schengen countries aside from Spain, but you will stay in Spain the longest.
- You will visit several Schengen countries and you will spend the exact same amount of days in each, but you will enter the border-less territory through Spain.
Once you make sure that Spanish authorities are the ones responsible for the admission of your visa application, check at which Spanish representation in your country you should lodge your application. This could be:
- The Spanish embassy or consulate in your country of residence.
- A Visa Application Center, to which Spain has outsourced visa processing in your country.
- One of the three listed above, located in a neighboring country, in the absence of them in your country of residence.
Apply on Time
Once you check what authority is responsible for the admission of your Spain Visitor Visa / Spain Tourist Visa, you should then check when the right time to file an application is.
According to the Short Stay visa rules for Spain, the earliest that you can submit an application is six months before the date of your planned trip to Spain, while the latest is two weeks in advance.
Appoint an Interview
After figure out the two things listed above, you should make an appointment for the submission of your visa application file and the interview.
You can make an appointment for a Spain Visa application through the website of the authority responsible for the admission of your application or through a phone call. In some countries, there is only one option available, while in others are both.
Fill-in the Spain Tourist Visa Application Form
As soon as you make the appointment, you should start collecting the documents required to present on the day of your appointment. Start with the application form.
There is one common visa application form for all types of short-stay visas, for every country in the Schengen territory. Complete this form, print it, and then sign it at the end.
After you complete the form, check if all your questions are correct and if you made any typo. Note that your answers in this form must comply with the information in the rest of the required documents for a Spain Visitor Visa or Spain Tourist Visa, whichever you are applying for.
Gather the Required Documents
Next, proceed collecting the rest of the documents required for a Spain Visitor Visa, or Spain Tourist Visa, according to your purpose of the application. The required documents for a Spain Tourist/Visitor visa are as follows:
- Two biometric photos. Identical and taken within the last three months according to the Schengen photo specifications.
- Passport. Valid for another three months beyond the date you plan to leave Spain. It should also have at least one blank page, in order to affix the visa sticker in it.
- Copies of passport pages. You also need to make a copy of all passport pages that contain information: the two main pages with your details and the pages with visa stickers and stamps.
- Flight Booking. You need to show proof of the dates when you plan to travel to Spain and then leave the country. This proof is a flight reservation, with your name, as well as the dates and places of arrival and departure in it.
- Travel Medical Insurance. It must cover not only the whole territory of Spain but also all of the other Schengen member countries and any incident or unforeseen illness with a minimum of 30.000€, including repatriation for medical reasons or in case of death. In addition, it must be arranged at least for 7 days even if you are planning to stay less than that, i.e. two days.
- Proof of Sufficient Funds. You need to attest owning the overall amount for duration up to 10 days that is representative of a 90% of the gross national minimum wage (636.93 €) that is 573.23€. On the other hand, if your trip is to last more than 10 days, the daily-required amount is 70.77€. To prove you have this money you should present
- Your bank account statements.
- A letter of support, if someone else is going to finance your trip. They should submit their bank statements alongside with the letter.
- Evidence of accommodation in Spain. Any of the following can be presented as proof of accommodation:
- Hotel booking, that contains your name, the dates of stay, and the details of the hotel.
- Invitation letter, if you will be staying over at friends or family members living in Spain. The letter should include your host’s details (address, contact details, intended period of stay, etc.). Note that photocopy is not acceptable! You can still submit a colored print.
- Rental agreement. If you will be renting a place for your stay in Spain, you should
- present the rental agreement with the owner of the premises. The document must state the area of the place you are renting, address and owner’s details.
- Proof of civil status (marriage certificate, birth certificate of children, death certificate of spouse, ration card if applicable).
In addition, you will also need to submit proof of employment status, according to your situation, as follows:
- If employed:
- Employment contract
- Current bank statement of the latest 6 months
- No-objection certificate from the employer
- Income Tax Return (ITR) form or Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary
- If self-employed:
- A copy of your business license
- Company bank statement of the latest 6 months
- Income Tax Return (ITR)
- If a student:
- Proof of enrollment
- Leave approval letter from school or university
- If retired:
- Pension statement of the latest 6 months
Attend Your Spain Visa Appointment
Once you make the appointment, and you have all the required documents ready, you should wait for the day of your interview.
When that day comes, make sure you show up at the Spanish embassy/consulate/VAC on time. Have all your documents with you, arranged in order. You will attend a meeting with a consular officer. The latter will ask you questions regarding your trip to Spain, the purpose of the application for a visa, and will ask you to hand the documents to her/him.
If this is the first time in the last 5 years that you are applying for your Schengen visa, you will also need to provide your biometric data – your facial image and fingerprint.
Pay the Fees
You will need to pay a fee of €80 to apply for a Spain Tourist Visa or a Spain Visitor Visa. The fee is required in order to cover the expenses that come out of the processing of your application.
Note that children under the age of 12 are subject to a fee of €40, while those under six are exempt from any fee for a Spain short-stay visa.
In addition, the nationals of a few countries and several other categories are exempt from paying a fee for a short-stay visa for Spain. Check here for a full list of these categories.
How Long Does it Take To Get a Tourist Visa for Spain?
Normally, the Schengen embassies, including the Spanish ones, are obliged to process visa applications for short-term visas for tourism and visiting within a period of 15 days. Yet, in some cases this period may be extended for 30 days, or even 60 days.
Such extension may happen at times when the embassy where you lodge your application is receiving many requests for visa application processing, or due to your specific case.
Spain Tourist/Visitor Visa Validity
A Spain tourist or visitor visa can be valid for a maximal period of three months within half a year. Yet, it is the authority that grants you the visa that decides on the validity of your visa, depending on how they see it reasonable.
While you can get a visa valid for three months, you can also get one valid for three days. When you receive your passport with the Spain visa sticker on it, pay attention to the following tags:
- FROM – stands for the first day you are permitted to enter the Schengen Area.
- UNTIL – stands for the last day when you will have to leave the Schengen Area.
- DURATION OF STAY – stands for the number of days you are permitted to remain in the Schengen Zone within the given dates near the “from” – “until” tags.
The visa sticker in your passport contains a lot of other information, as the countries in which you may not be permitted to enter, the permitted number of entries with that visa, etc. Check how to read a Schengen visa sticker to learn more.
In case of visa Rejection
If you receive a negative response on your Spain visa application, you will also get a letter with a reason why your application is being rejected. In this case, you have two choices:
- Move one and make a new application, by avoiding the previous mistakes and improving your situation.
- Write an Appeal Letter for Schengen Visa rejection, but only if you think that your application has been rejected by mistake or unjustly. You should have a strong basis to write this letter, and present facts that support your point.
Can I Extend my Spain Tourist/Visitor Visa
You can extend your Spain tourist or visitor visa only in some very specific cases as late entry, humanitarian reasons, force majeure, or other important personal reasons.
Can I Visit Other Countries With my Spain Visa?
A Spain visa permits you to visit all Schengen countries, as long as it is valid. Pay attention to your visa sticker if it contains the minus sign (-) and the acronym of any Schengen country, i.e. SCHENGEN STATES (-DK). This will mean that you will not be able to enter only that particular country, in our example Denmark.
Can I Work in Spain with a Tourist Visa?
Can I Join my Family Members in Spain With a Visitor Visa?
You can visit your family members in Spain with a Spanish Visitor visa, but you cannot settle and live with them. Instead, you will need to apply for a Spanish family visa.
I want to travel to Spain to visit my friends but also for tourism purposes. Should I apply for a Visitor or Tourist Visa?
You can apply for any of them, as long as you meet all the specific requirements. If you will be staying at a hotel, we advise you to apply for a Spain tourist visa. On the other hand, if you have an Invitation Letter from your friends/relatives in Spain, it is better for you to apply for a Spanish Visitor visa.