Spanish Student Visa Application and Requirements

Written By: Richard Nathan
Fact Checked By: Lamia Darwish

Jun 13, 2022

12 min read

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What You Need To Know About Your Spain Student Visa - A Quick Guide

Spain offers world-class study opportunities for students from all over. Educational institutions in Spain provide international curricula to ensure the success of their foreign students. Not only do students enjoy high-quality education, but they are also exposed to one of the most-talked languages in the world, Spanish. On top of high-quality education, students can enjoy everything Spain has to offer, from the white sandy beaches of Cala Agulla to the Alhambra and Generalife Gardens in Granda.

Your next question is probably "How can I get a student visa to Spain now?". You're in luck because, in this guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about your Student Visa to Spain.

In this post, you'll find

  • What Is A Spain Student Visa?

  • Who Needs To Apply For A Spain Student Visa?

  • What Are The Different Types Of Spain Student Visas Available?

  • What Are The Main Requirements For A Spain Student Visa?

  • What Are The Required Documents For A Spain Student Visa?

  • How To Apply For A Spain Student Visa?

  • How Do I Apply For A Student Residency Card In Spain?

  • Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A Spain Student Visa?

A Spanish Student Visa, also known as a Spain Study Visa, will allow you to live in Spain while partaking in educational activities. This includes studies at recognized educational institutions, conducting research, or engaging in training activities.

There are different types of Study Visas you can apply for. These types of visas will allow you to complete all educational commitments in Spain no matter the duration thereof. Later in this post, we'll talk more about the different types of Study Visas you can apply for.

Who Needs To Apply For A Spain Student Visa?

A student visa is mainly for non-EU, non-EEA, and non-Switzerland citizens who wish to live and study in Spain.

If You Are A EU/EEA/Switzerland Citizen

Citizens who reside in the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland don't need to apply for a Student Visa to study in Spain. If this is you, you enjoy the benefit of working, living, and studying in Spain visa-free.

If You Are An US Citizen

If you are a US citizen, you'll be happy to know that you enjoy visa-free travel for a duration that does not exceed 90 days. Meaning, you can study in Spain without applying for a visa, as long as your studies don't exceed 90 days. These studies usually include short courses like language studies. However, if the duration of your studies exceeds 90 days, you'll need to apply for a Study Visa.

If You Are A Non-EU/EEA/Switzerland Citizen

Unfortunately, non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens will need to apply for a Student Visa for study purposes in Spain. Not to worry, after this post, you'll be equipped with everything you need to know when applying for your Study Visa to Spain.

What Are The Different Types Of Spain Student Visas Available?

Before jumping into your Student Visa application, you must determine what type of Student Visa you need to apply for. Depending on the duration of your study purposes, you'll need to apply for one of the following types of visas:

Schengen Student Visa

A Schengen Student Visa will allow you to study in Spain for a period that does not exceed 90 days. Essentially it is the same as a normal Schengen Visa. The application process is rather simple and this type of visa is easier to obtain. A Schengen Student Visa is perfect for Spanish Language courses or other short courses offered by colleges/universities.

If you want to know how you can apply for your Spain Schengen Study Visa, you can check our in depth guide.

Note that if you plan to study for more than 90 days in Spain you'll need to apply for another type of visa.

Short-Term Student Visa

A short-term Study Visa will allow you to study in Spain for a period that exceeds 3 months but is less than 6 months. The benefit of this type of visa is that the application process is less complicated than that of the long-term Study Visa. Note that it's not possible to extend a short-term Study Visa.

A short-term Student Visa is perfect for Spanish language courses or other short courses provided by Spain universities and colleges.

Long-Term Student Visa

If your studies in Spain exceed 6 months, you'll need to apply for a long-term Study Visa. The application process for this type of visa is a bit more complicated than a short-term Study Visa. It requires you to gather additional documents, which we'll be discussing later in this post.

Note that if you apply for a long-term Study Visa, you'll also need to apply for a student residency card within a month of arriving in Spain.

What Are The Required Documents For A Spain Study Visa?

Now that you know about the different types of Study Visas you can apply for, we'll talk about the required documents you need to gather.

Note that depending on your country of origin, Spain might have different Study Visa requirements for you. We recommend that you contact your nearest Spanish Embassy or Consulate General of Spain and check your country-specific requirements.

What Are The Main Requirements For A Spain Student Visa?

Before starting your Student Visa application, there are a few student visa requirements you need to meet:

  • You're not an EU/EEA/Switzerland citizen.

  • You must be legally in Spain. Meaning you must apply for a visa that permits you to live and study in Spain.

  • You must have sufficient funds to support yourself for the duration of your stay. You should have at least €600 per month to qualify.

  • You must have medical insurance that provides medical coverage across the entire EU (more about this later).

  • You must show that you have been accepted to study at one of the educational institutions of Spain. This can be done by presenting the admission letter you received from a recognized educational institution in Spain.

  • You have a clean criminal record.

  • For short-term visa applicants, you'll need to have a return flight ticket that proves you plan to return to your home country after you have completed your studies.

  • If your study purposes in Spain include higher-educational studies, like a Ph.D. or master's, you'll need to provide a validated university degree you received in your home country.

What Are The Required Documents For A Spain Student Visa?

Depending on your student visa type, you'll need to gather the following required documents for your Spain Student Visa application:

The information you provide on your application form must be accurate and correct. Your Student Visa application will be denied if the information provided is false or inaccurate.

  • Your Valid ID card

  • A Valid Passport

Your passport must be valid for the entire duration of your stay. Ensure that it's in good condition, not older than 10 years, and has at least 2 blank visa pages available.

  • 2 Recent Passport Photos

Your passport photos must be in color and meet the following requirements.

  • Letter Of Admission

In order to obtain a Spain Student Visa, you'll need to be accepted by one of the recognized educational institutions of Spain. You'll need to submit a letter of admission you received from the institution. The letter must include your personal details, the course you'll be taking, and the duration of your studies. Without a letter of admission, your application will be denied.

  • Proof Of Health Insurance

Your medical health insurance must provide medical coverage across the entire EU. It must cover all medical expenses for up to €30,000. Also, it must be valid for the duration of your intended stay.

  • Proof Of Accommodation

You'll need to provide proof of where you'll be staying in Spain. Proof can include documents such as a rental agreement, homestay agreements, and campus accommodation. The university will need to add relevant documents if you'll be staying on campus.

  • Sufficient Financial Means

You'll need to prove that you'll be able to support yourself financially during your stay in Spain. You can expect to have around €600 per month to qualify. To prove you have sufficient funds you can add your recent bank statements, proof of financial aid (like scholarships), letter of support, or a letter from the university/school. Note that if you have a sponsor (like your parents or the university), they'll need to attach all relevant financial documents to the letter of support.

  • The Spain Health Control Form (FCS)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Spanish Ministry of Health has implemented a new health declaration form to ensure the safety of all visitors and residents. You must complete this form 48 hours before traveling to Spain. Once completed, you'll receive a QR code that you'll need to present to Spanish officials upon arrival in Spain. Check our guide for more information on the Spain Health Control Form.

  • Notarized Authorization Letter

You'll need to submit a notarized letter from your parents stating their approval of the application for the visa.

If you're planning to apply for a long-term Study Visa, you'll need to gather the above-mentioned documents along with these additional documents:

  • Medical Certificate

Your medical certificate should state that you do not suffer from any medical diseases that may threaten public health under the provisions of international health regulations.

  • A Clean Criminal Record Certificate

You must provide a clean criminal record of the previous 5 years.

How Do I Apply For A Spain Student Visa - Easy To Follow Instructions

It is important that you start your visa application as soon as possible, as there is a high demand for Student Visas in Spain. To avoid any delays that might influence your trip, you should start your visa application at least 2-3 months before your intended date of departure.

1. Accept An Offer

You'll need to enroll in one of the recognized educational institutions in Spain. Once you enroll, you'll receive a letter of admission that includes all your personal details, what you'll be studying, and the duration of your studies. The letter should also include the details of the educational institution.

2. Gather All The Required Documents

Now that you have been accepted to study in Spain, you can start gathering all the required documents for your Student Visa application. We recommend using a checklist when gathering your documents. Not submitting all the required documents could lead to your visa being denied, and you'll need to start the process from the start.

Ensure that the documents you provide are either in Spanish or English. If it's not in one of these languages, you'll need to get it translated and certified by a certified translator.

3. Start Your Visa Application Process

Once you have gathered all your documents, you must head over to your nearest Spanish Embassy or Spanish Consulate to start your visa application process. Here you'll fill out the visa application form and schedule an appointment for your visa interview. Ensure that the details on your application are correct. Any mistakes could lead to your visa being denied.

Note that depending on your home country, your Spanish Embassy may have different requirements and processes regarding your Spain Student Visa. We recommend contacting your nearest embassy before starting your application to ensure that you follow the correct steps.

4. Attend Your Appointment

You'll need to attend an in-person interview with embassy officials. Here you'll submit all your supporting documents and answer a few simple questions about the purpose of your trip. Be sure that you answer these questions honestly and to the best of your knowledge.

After finishing the interview, you'll need to pay the application fee and wait for your application to be processed and reviewed.

5. Collect Your Spain Student Visa

If your application is successful, you'll be contacted, and you'll need to collect your visa at the embassy you applied at. Congratulations, you are now on your way to complete your studies in Spain.

Note that applicants planning to study in Spain for a duration that exceeds 6 months will need to apply for a student residency card once they arrive in Spain. Next, we'll explain how you can apply for your student residency card in Spain.

How Do I Apply For A Student Residency Card In Spain?

Within the first 30 days of entering Spain, you'll need to start your application process for a student residency card. The student residency card, also known as the TIE or Foreigner Identity Card, is a temporary residence permit that allows you to legally live in Spain while completing your studies. To apply for your student residency card, you'll need to go to the local Foreigners Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) or police station and fill out the application form.

You'll need to submit the following documents with your application form:

  • A completed application form (available from the office)

  • Your passport or national ID

  • A copy of your passport stamp showing your entry into Spain

  • Your letter of admission/letter of acceptance that confirms you have been accepted into one of the recognized educational institutions of Spain

  • 3 Recent passport photos

  • A letter of residency or census registration (empadronamiento)

You can get a letter of residency at the local police station. There you'll need to present your proof of accommodation and your passport.

Once have completed the application process, you'll receive your student residency card that will be valid for 1 academic year. You can renew it every year for 5 years as long as you can prove that you are still studying.

Congratulations, you are now equipped with everything you need to know about your Spain Student Visa. If You have any questions you can check our frequently asked questions below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between A Spain Study Visa And A Spain Student Visa?

Essentially, there is no difference. Both the Study Visa And Student Visa are the same thing. The only difference is the name of the visa.

What Are The Top Spanish Universities?

Educational opportunities in Spain are endless, from Spain's elite schooling system to the high quality tertiary education institutions. Here are a few of the top universities in Spain:

  1. University of Barcelona

  2. University of Valencia

  3. University of Granada

  4. University of Salamanca

  5. Nebrija University

What Is The Student Visa Application Fee?

The Student Visa Application fee can vary depending on your country of origin. However, you can expect to pay around €132 per application.

Can I Study In Spain With A Tourist Visa?

Yes. However, you'll be able to study in Spain for a duration that does not exceed 90 days. Meaning, if the duration of your studies exceed 90 days, you'll need to apply for a different visa.

What Is The General Processing Time For My Visa?

The processing time of your student visa can be anything between 1 - 3 months. Note that in some cases you can receive your student visa after 15 days of completing your application. The time depends on the work load of the embassy you apply at. We highly recommend you start your Student Visa application at least 3 months before your intended date of departure to ensure you'll get it on time.

Can I Travel To Other Schengen Areas With My Spain Student Visa?

Yes. Students will be happy to know that they'll be able to travel to any one of the Schengen Countries for up to 90 days in any 180 day period.

Can I Work In Spain With My Student Visa?

Yes. You'll be able to work part-time jobs provided that they are compatible with your studies. However, before you work part time, you'll need to apply for a work permit at the Foreigners office (Oficina de Extranjeros) in Spain.

Note that if you are planning to work as an unpaid intern, you don't need to apply for a work permit. Unpaid interns only need to provide their student ID.

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