Spain is one of the most visited countries in the world for both tourism and education. Its capital, Madrid, is a center of Spanish art and culture, while the seaside city of Barcelona is a major destination for fun-loving travelers.
You may need a visa to travel to Spain, depending on where you are from (nationality), the length of your trip (duration of stay), and your reason for travel (type of visa needed). There are numerous types of visas for Spain, which are valid for travel for specific purposes and times. Different Spanish visas have different Spain visa requirements and validity periods.
In general, Spanish visas can be divided into two main categories: short stay visas and long stay visas (a long stay visa for Spain is required for those looking to spend more than 90 days in the country).
Another main distinction relates to allowed entries: a single entry will allow you just one entry into the country; a multiple entry visa for Spain will let you enter and exit as many times as needed.
The below long stay visas to Spain allow you to remain in the country for over 90 days. They include the following:
The following documents are typically required for all visas to Spain:
Official, government-issued document, not older than 10 years, with the correct validity length (a minimum three months past the intended day of exit from Spain)
Your Spain visa fee will depend on the type of visa you are applying for, and possibly other factors, such as your age. Fees are generally non-refundable, even in the case of a denied visa.
Two recently taken photos of the applicant. Photos should be passport style (and have passport dimensions). You will likely upload these photos electronically; alternatively, you will be asked to submit physical copies
You will almost certainly have to submit additional documents on your Spanish visa application. Requested documents are typically those which help visa authorities confirm your identity, determine the truthfulness of your stated purpose of travel, and assess your financial state. The type of Spanish visa you apply for will determine your supplemental documents, which may include the following:
Identity documents, such as your birth certificate
Documents showing your finances, such as your bank balance
Information about where you will stay in Spain
Proof of university education, etc.
Please note that all documents may be required to be written in either Spanish or English (or accompanied by official translations into either).
Applicants for Spanish visas should follow these general steps, which may vary slightly depending on numerous factors, including visa type and application destination.
Choose your visa duration
Determine how long you intend to be in Spain i.e. what type of Spain visa you need: long, short, or airport. This will determine how you proceed with the subsequent application steps.
Select your Spain visa purpose
Choose your reason for travel (tourism, work, etc.)
Select your entry category
Your selection of the single-entry visa for Spain or the multiple entry visa for Spain will determine whether or not you may travel in and out of the country/Schengen area throughout your visa period. Consider that holders of the single-entry visa for Spain cannot return to the country after exiting.
Determine where to apply
Find the physical destination for your application (typically the Spanish Embassy/ Consulate or associated visa-application center where you live). For more information see “where to apply” for more info.
Access your main application form
Schengen visa applicants should access the universal Schengen visa form.
Long term visa applicants to Spain can find their specific visa application form online from the Spanish ministry of affairs website.
Gather the rest of your documents
Gather your required documents as well as the supplemental ones required for your specific Spanish visa type.
Scheduling a Spanish visa interview can take days, weeks, or even months. You should reach out to the embassy/consulate/visa application center directly (via email/phone) to make an appointment.
Almost all Spanish visa applicants, even those who apply online, must attend a visa appointment at their application destination (local Spanish embassy/consulate/visa application center). This is where you will submit your biometric information, pay your visa fee, be interviewed, and meet other requirements pertaining to your visa type. This is typically the final stage of the Spain visa application process; you will either be granted a visa upon the conclusion of your appointment, receive a rejection, or leave to await a decision.
Please note that certain visas may require subsequent steps (for example, if you are applying for a long term Spain Business visa or Spain Working visa you may need to apply for Spain Work Permit—other long term visas may require you to apply for a residence permit for Spain. For more information about whether your Spain Working visa application or Spain Business visa application will subsequently require you to seek a Spain Work Permit or a residence permit for Spain, make sure to research the specific visa requirements for your specific visa type.
Spain visa application processing occurs at Spanish embassies and consulates (and their associated visa application centers) around the world (this is called your application destination). Almost all applicants must attend a visa appointment at their application destination, in order to fulfill various in-person requirements. If you are outside of Spain and are applying for a Spain visa, you will apply through the Spanish embassy/consulate or visa application center where you live.
Applicants for short-stay visas to Spain are advised to submit their application a minimum of fourteen days before their intended trip. And while applying well in advance is recommended, applying too early (i.e. over six months before departure) is discouraged.
The Spain visa application processing time varies. Factors which determine how long it will take to get your visa include the following:
Depending on all of these factors, you could expect to receive a visa in days, weeks, or even months after you apply.
Depending on where you are from, you may need a visa to enter the country, regardless of how long you intend to stay. Some nationalities do not need a visa to travel to Spain. Regardless of your nationality, however, you will need a visa if you intend to stay in the country longer than 90 days and you are not an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen.
Get a travel document for Spain (visa) by submitting an application to your local Spanish embassy/consulate/visa application center, meeting the visa requirements, and paying your visa fee.
The amount of money you need depends on the Schengen country you are visiting. You will likely need to show several months proof of salary/bank statements in order to meet the Schengen proof of funds requirement.
Choose from among the various types of Spain visa you need to apply for by considering your reason for travel and how long you want to stay in the country. These factors will determine the type of visa you need. In addition to visa type, you should also determine how many entries you need i.e. whether you need a multiple entry visa for Spain or a single entry visa for Spain.
Rejected Schengen visa applicants can appeal the decision, reapply, or apply for another travel document for Spain (different Spanish visa, such as the Spain Tourist visa).