A user shares her account of traveling to Spain as a solo female traveler, and the anxiety and fear that accompanied her trip.
Last Updated : Jan 22, 2024
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If you are looking for the ultimate European vacation that includes a delicious meal of paella Valenciana, a day trip to Girona and Costa Brava, or an exciting drive through Mallorca in your own car, then Spain is the destination for you. However, before planning your perfect vacation, there are a few things you need to know about the travel requirements to Spain. In this guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about the Spain Tourist Visa and how to apply for it.
Every year, thousands of applicants waste 5 hours on average when applying for a Schengen Tourist Visa to Spain. That's not even considering the sheer confusion you have to deal with during the application process and the anxiety-causing uncertainty when you have to wait for your visa approval. The entire process puts the "pain" in Spain, don't you think?
But don't worry. At Atlys, we've examined these obstacles and worked tirelessly to provide our users with an alternative. So, if you want to simplify international travel, check out our easy-to-use app. On the other hand, if you only want more information on Spanish tourist visas, read on!
In this post, we'll look at:
Spain forms part of the Schengen Area, and as such, a Spanish Tourist Visa is known as a Schengen Tourist Visa.
Citizens from countries outside the EU may need to acquire a Schengen Visa before traveling to Spain. EU, US, & UK citizens do not need a Schengen Visa when traveling to Spain for 90 days or less.The main details of this visa are as follows:
Spanish Schengen Visa Fees: Spanish Schengen Visa Fees differ from country to country, but for most countries, it's EU 80.00.
Spanish Schengen Visa Processing Time: In normal circumstances, a Spanish Schengen Visa can take up to 15 days. However, the processing time can take as long as 30 days, depending on the number of applications being processed.
To visit Spain for tourist or business purposes, you'll need to apply for a specific visa. If you're planning a trip to Spain for tourism purposes, you'll need to apply for a Schengen Visa also known as a short-stay visa or short-term visa.
Quick Note: In this post, we'll be using the terms Spain Schengen Visa and Spain Tourist Visa Interchangeably, as they are the same type of travel authorization.
This type of visa will allow holders to travel to Spain for a duration not exceeding 90 days, every 180 days. To extend your stay, you will need to apply for a specific Long-Stay Visa.
You can now save over 15 hours and use Atlys to apply for a Spain Schengen visa in under 5 minutes on Atlys. Download the Atlys app, put in your travel details, and let Atlys handle all the paperwork for you.
Before you apply for your next Spain Tourist Visa, you'll need to understand who needs a Schengen Visa to Spain. When using Atlys, you'll automatically be informed of the type of visa you require depending on the country you are from.
Citizens from the EU or EFTA countries don't have to apply for a Spain Tourist Visa or any other specific visa to travel to Spain. As a result, citizens from these nations may enjoy the benefits of tourism, working, and living in Spain visa-free.
Although citizens from these countries enjoy visa-free travel, they'll need to apply for and complete the Spain Health Control Form (FCS) to enter Spain.
Citizens who reside in the US will be happy to know that they don't require a specific visa to travel to Spain for tourism purposes.
Certain agreements between the European Union and the United States allow US citizens to enjoy visa-free travel to the Schengen Area, including Spain. However, US citizens must meet the specific travel requirements before departure.
Another mandatory document US Citizens will require is the Spain Health Control Form (FCS).
If you want to know how US citizens can travel to Spain right now, check out our easy to follow guide.
Unfortunately, US Green Card holders do not share the same visa-free travel benefits as US citizens. Therefore, if your country of origin does not enjoy visa-free travel, you'll need to apply for a Tourist Visa to travel to Spain. Later in this post, we'll discuss how US Green Card Holders can apply for their Spain Tourist Visa.
Unfortunately, citizens who are not nationals of a European country need to apply for a Tourist Visa to visit Spain. This is the same for countries that do not enjoy the benefit of visa-free travel to the Schengen Area.
Pro tip: Contact your nearest Spain Embassy or Consulate to determine if your country is exempt from acquiring a Tourist Visa to visit Spain.
Those who enjoy visa-free travel to Spain without a specific visa will need to meet the following requirements before traveling:
A Valid Passport
Your passport needs to have a validity of at least 3 months beyond your intended departure date. Ensure that your travel document/passport is well before its expiration date.
A Return Flight Ticket
You will need to present a return flight ticket to prove that you'll return to your country of origin before the initial 90 days. Use the Atlys flight itinerary tool to get one!
Proof Of Sufficient Funds.
While traveling to Spain, you'll need to be able to financially support yourself during your stay. Therefore, officials may ask that you provide proof of funds for the duration of your stay. The amount of funds needed per day is around €70.77. Multiply the €70.77 with the number of days you wish to stay to calculate the required funds. Documents you can present include bank statements, payslips, and a letter from your sponsor. Note that if you have a sponsor, they'll need to attach relevant documents to your letter.
Visitors will need to get valid health insurance that provides medical coverage across the EU. Your health insurance should provide at least €30,000 in medical expenses.
If your country does not enjoy visa-free travel, you'll need to apply for a Tourist Visa and ensure that you meet the visa requirements before visiting Spain. Luckily the process is relatively simple and easy to follow. We'll break it down into 2 categories; the Required Documents for a Spain Tourist Visa and How To Apply for your Spain Tourist Visa.
Quick note: You can complete your application online through Atlys. Not only will Atlys generate a few required documents for you (like proof accommodation), but you'll also receive a checklist of the documents you already have; as well as the documents you still need to collect. Furthermore, Atlys will get your appointment sorted in no time. This means minimum effort from your side.
If your home country requires you to apply for a Tourist Visa to visit Spain, you'll need to collect the following documents:
A Completed Visa Application Form
You'll need to head over to your nearest Spain Embassy or Consulate and collect a Schengen visa application form. Once you have filled in the visa application form, you will need to add your signature. You can also opt to fill out the form online and submit it at the embassy.
A Valid Passport/Travel Document
Your passport should be valid for 3 months after your departure back to your home country. It should be in good condition and not older than 10 years. Ensure that there are 2 blank pages available in your passport for your visa.
These passport photos shouldn't be older than 6 months and must be in color.
Proof Of Accommodation
You'll need to provide proof of accommodation during the application process. Proof of accommodation includes confirmed hotel reservations, AirBnB bookings, rental agreements, or a Letter of Invitation if you're planning to live with a family member or friend. Use the Atlys hotel itinerary tool to get one for free!
Proof Of Sufficient Funds
You'll need to prove to Spanish authorities that you have the financial means to provide for yourself during your stay in Spain. Proof of sufficient funds includes bank statements, payslips, or a letter of support. Note that if you have a sponsor, they'll need to attach all relevant documents to your sponsor letter. You'll need to have around €70.77 per day to have sufficient funds. Multiply this with the number of days you wish to stay in Spain to give you a clear picture of how much funds you would need.
A Return Flight Or Flight Itinerary
You must prove that you'll be returning to your country of origin and not exceed the stay limit. For example, your Spain Tourist Visa application might be denied if you do not provide a valid return ticket.
Due to the ongoing global pandemic, COIVD-19, all visitors must have valid health insurance. Your health insurance should provide medical coverage across the entire EU for a minimum of €30,000. Also, it must be valid for the duration of your stay in Spain.
Proof Of Civil Status
Proof of civil status includes a marriage certificate, birth certificate of children, and so on.
The Spanish Health Control Form
The Spanish Ministry of Health has implemented a new health declaration form to ensure the safety of all visitors and residents. It is mandatory that you 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. Check our guide for more information on the Spain Health Control Form.
There are other additional documents you will require. For example, you'll also need to provide proof of your employment status which we'll be looking at now.
Bank statements of the last 6 months
Permission of leave from your employer
Income Tax Return (ITR) form or Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary
A copy of your business license
Your company's current bank statements from the last 6 months
Income Tax Return (ITR)
Proof of enrollment at a recognized educational institution
A reference letter from your school or university that states your educational information, such as your major and graduation date. The letter should also include that you are approved for leave.
A pension statement of the lastest 6 months
Now that you know the required documents, you can start your application process. Your Spain Tourist Visa application process may take some time to complete, making it a tiring and stressful experience. We recommend using Atlys to complete your application for you. Atlys will ensure a stress-free application process and doesn't require you to take time out of your busy schedule to start your application process.
First, you'll need to travel to your nearest Spain Embassy or Consulate-General and collect the Spain Tourist Visa application form. You can also opt to fill out the form online and submit it at the embassy. Next, fill out the form and include all the required information. Ensure that the information you provide is accurate and truthful. Check our guide to learn more about the visa application mistakes you should avoid.
Once you have filled out the application form, you will need to schedule a date for your interview with the embassy officials. You can schedule your appointment while you are at the embassy, or you can contact your nearest embassy. Ensure that you set a reminder for your appointment. You do not want to miss it or be unprepared for your interview.
After you have filled out your Tourist Visa application form and scheduled your appointment, you'll need to collect the required documents. Ensure that you have copies of all the documents and that all documents are in English or Spanish.
When applicable, ensure that your documents have an official Apostille stamp. For example, you'll need to get an Apostille stamp for your documents when public documents are being transferred between countries that are a party to the Hague Apostille Convention of 1961.
Pro Tip: When collecting your documents, we recommend using a checklist to ensure you gather all the correct documents in one go. Also, we recommend that you start gathering your documents ahead of time as some documents may take time to collect.
You are now ready for your interview at the embassy. On the day of your appointment, you will need to travel to the Spain Embassy or Consulate. Here you'll be attending an interview with an embassy/consular official. During your interview, you're required to submit all supporting documents for your visa application, answer a few questions related to your trip, and, lastly, embassy officials will collect your biometric data.
Pro Tip: Remember to answer all questions honestly and to the best of your knowledge. Also, it is a good idea to add extra documents to prove the purpose of your trip. Supporting documents can include a travel itinerary, booked tours, or other relevant travel plans.
After your interview, you'll be able to pay the fees for your Tourist Visa application. You can expect to pay around €80 per application. For applicants younger than 12 years, you can expect to pay around €40.
In the unfortunate event that your visa is denied, you can always appeal the initial visa decision. There are many factors why your visa may be denied. Some of these are usually something small, like missing documents or incorrect information. That is why it's highly recommended that you always double-check that you filled out the correct information and gathered all the required documents for your application.
Provide basic information such as your name and passport details. If you're wondering what a national identity number is - you can leave it blank or put your passport number in.
Next up, continue entering basic details.
You need to check residence in a country other than the country of current nationality.
The permit number is the unique number associated with your Green Card / H1B/ F1/ J1 visas.
While this is self-explanatory, most people don't remember if and when they got their fingerprints. A good rule of thumb is that you got your fingerprints if you got a Schengen visa after 2016 since it was impossible to obtain a Schengen visa otherwise.
This can expedite your visa processing since the authorities can pull your fingerprints from a central database. As per the EU:
Frequent travelers to the Schengen Area do not have to give new finger scans every time they apply for a new visa. Once finger scans are stored in VIS, they can be re-used for further visa applications over 5 years.
Spain requires information on your intended travel dates. Please do not provide dates for the sake of getting a visa, as, more often than not, your visa granted would be +/- 15 days of your intended arrival date. We suggest always opting for a multiple entry visa but know that it's unlikely you'll get one.
In addition, Spain requires your contact information - Surname and first name of the inviting person(s) in the Member State(s). If not applicable, name of the hotel(s) or temporary accommodation(s) in the Member State(s). For most travelers, this is the contact information of their hotel/Airbnb. The name has to match the establishment's name in your itinerary and hotel reservation.
Finally, you've to present evidence to prove that you can support your stay in Spain. You can select the option that works best for you, with a balance equivalent to €70.77 x the number of days in Spain. For example, a traveler visiting Spain for ten days should show a minimum balance of €707.7 ( €70.77 x 10 days). You can select multiple options, but evidence of each is required.
After completing the application, make sure to sign it. You do not have to affix your photo on the application.
Children require a Schengen visa to travel to Spain. In addition to all the standard documents, you've to provide the following:
Application form signed by both parents
Birth certificate of the child
If a child is traveling alone, a notarized parental authorization is signed by both parents or guardians.
If the child travels with one of the parents, then a notarized permission letter must be issued from the other parent. In case of the parents' absence (divorce, death, etc.), a relevant official certificate (i.e., divorce, death and etc.) must be presented. Additionally, copies of IDs of parents are also required.
While not required, it is preferred that for children who go to school - a reference letter from the relevant school: address and contacts of the school, signature, stamp of the person in charge, and reference to the Embassy should be noted in the letter.
Because most Schengen countries provide public healthcare, travel insurance is required to obtain a Spanish Schengen visa, so visitors don't become a financial burden on Spain's health system in unforeseen issues. The insurance should explicitly meet these requirements:
Coverage of at least EUR 30,000.
Be valid in all 26 Schengen States: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
Cover medical emergency expenses and anything connected with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent health attention, and/or emergency hospital treatment or death.
For those hoping to get a longer-term Schengen visa, it is advisable to provide travel insurance that lasts the whole year as per the EU directive:
"Applicants for a uniform visa for more than two entries (multiple entries) shall prove that they are in possession of adequate and valid travel medical insurance covering the period of their first intended visit. In addition, such applicants shall sign the statement, set out in the application form, declaring that they are aware of the need to be in possession of travel medical insurance for subsequent stays."
Pro Tip: Check if your employer provides mandatory travel insurance coverage. That works if you present a letter/insurance card and coverage details highlighting the coverage amount.
If you still have some questions about your Spain Tourist Visa, check the most frequently asked questions by travelers planning to visit Spain.
Your Spain visa application will have a processing time of 15 calendar days. However, there are some cases where you might need to wait more than 15 days to receive feedback.
In extreme cases, you'll need to wait 30 - 60 days. There are a few reasons that can cause such a delay. These reasons can be due to political unrest, new political regulations, or a sudden demand for Spanish Visas.
Pro Tip: We recommend applying for your visa at least 2 months before your intended date of departure. Doing this will ensure you have enough time to fix and resolve any unforeseen events that may impact your visa application.
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