Spain is one of the 25 countries, which belongs to the Schengen area. Free movement from one country to another is allowed within the Schengen area without border controls. Visa must be applied for at the Spanish Diplomatic Mission or Consular Post of the residential district of the applicant. A non-refundable application fee (generally € 60) must be paid at the time of submitting the visa application form. Here are 10 things to consider while applying for a Spain visa:
1. Who requires a visa?
According to the Freedom of Movement Act, if a person is a citizen of any of the countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) or the European Union (EU), s/he doesn’t need a permit or visa to visit, study, work or live in Spain. All other nationalities need a visa, and the requirements for the visa vary according to the purpose, nationality, and duration of the trip.
2. Required documents for application
The following documents are essentially required for a Spain visa application:
- Completely filled visa application form
- Two passport photographs
- Valid passport
- Schengen Travel Insurance coverage of minimum €30,000 for whole Schengen area
- Proof of your health insurance coverage
- Proof of hotel booking and return air ticket
- Current bank statement
- A cover letter stating your purpose of visit
- Reference letter from your education institution/ employer
Extra documents may be required depending on the purpose of the visit.
3. Types of Visa
There are three types of visa which allow entry to Spain:
Airport transit visa
An airport transit visa allows you to enter the international transit zone in any Spanish airport. A transit visa can be applied through the Spanish embassy in your home country.
A short-stay Schengen visa allows you to stay for up to 90 days in Spain. You are not allowed to work during your stay. You can also stay in Spain for up to 90 days if you have a Schengen visa issued by another Schengen nation.
Citizens from the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia don’t need a short-stay visa to visit Spain. But if they want to stay longer than 90 days, they are required to apply for a long-term residence visa. After five continuous years of residence in Spain, you can apply for a permanent residence.
4. Time required to issuing a visa
Generally, short-term (Schengen) visa applications are processed within 15 days after the submission of the application. In certain cases requiring detailed examination of the application, this period may be extended to up to 30 days. The deadline to process an application cannot exceed 60 days.
5. Working in Spain
Every national, with an exception of EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens, need a work permit to work in Spain. It is the employer’s responsibility to apply for the working permit on your behalf. Once your employer has obtained the work permit, you can apply for a visa to work in Spain. The minimum age for working in Spain is 18 years. An employer’s contract is required to be submitted along with other documents while applying for the visa.
6. Studying in Spain
You can apply for a long-term visa if you want to study, or carry out an internship or research in Spain. Letter of admission as a full-time student from a recognized Spanish university and proof of financial aid for at least $12,000 per year for expenses would be required with the visa application. This visa will allow the students to travel in the Schengen area for a maximum period of 5 days.
7. After arrival in Spain
All non-EU/EEA citizens who want to stay for more than three months must apply for a residence card within 30 days of arriving in Spain. This allows you to stay in Spain for up to five years, and can be renewed afterwards. All foreigners must have a Foreigner’s Identity Number. This is essential for any financial transaction in Spain, like being paid by an employer, opening a bank account, and paying taxes.
8. Permanent residency in Spain
After living for 5 continuous years in Spain, you can apply for a permanent residence permit or long-term visa. A long-term residence permit puts you in the same bracket as Spanish citizens, allowing you to stay in Spain permanently irrespective of whether you are working or not. After a continuous residence of 10 years in Spain, you can apply for Spanish citizenship.
9. Fast-track visa
Highly qualified and powerful professionals like entrepreneurs, investors, and researchers can apply for fast-track visa, which offers preferential treatment to them. The benefits include a residence for the whole family with no limit on the number of days and free travel across the Schengen area. However, these benefits are subjected to certain conditions, for example, investors need to spend a minimum amount €500,000 on a Spanish property.
10. Visa for the spouse of a Spanish citizen
You can acquire a long-term visa or apply for Spanish citizenship if you are married to a Spanish national. For that, proof of Spanish citizenship and family record of your spouse, and your marriage certificate would be required while applying for the visa.
- Name: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain
- Address: 1, Sede Palacio de Santa Cruz, Plaza de la Provincia, Madrid-28071
- Website: http://www.exteriores.gob.es/
- Phone: 00 91 379 97 00
Have a good trip and travel!