How to Get Your Student Visa in Spain (Requirements and Application Process)

Yordan

May 16 • 4 minute read

Once your acceptance letter for your studies in Spain, research or academic activities as a non-EU citizen arrives, it's time to take care of the top item on your relocation checklist: your student visa in Spain.

There are three different types of student visas in Spain:

  1. Schengen Student Visa
  2. Short-Term Student Visa
  3. Long-Term Student Visa

As the student visa implies that you’re enrolled in a study programme, its validity depends on the duration of your studies.

Keep reading to find out the requirements, application procedures and costs for each type of student visa!

What are the types of student visas in Spain?

International students from the EU/EEA/Schengen areas enjoy one benefit: they don’t have to go through the complicated visa application process. All they need is just a residence card by registering with the local authorities.

All non-EU/EEA/Schengen students must meet a list of requirements, varying by the type of visa they’re applying for.

Schengen Student Visa (Less Than 3 Months)

If you’re not from the EU/EEA/Schengen and want to take a course or work on academic research in Spain, you must apply for the Schengen visa.

The document allows you to spend up to 90 days in the country within a 180-day timeframe. Besides that, you’re also permitted to freely travel between the 26 Schengen countries. This type of visa doesn’t give you the right to apply for a residence card.

Make sure to keep count of the days you spend in the country as you’d face legal consequences if you exceed the period listed on your visa.

This type of visa typically can’t be extended. Instead, you’d have to return to your home country and apply for a long-stay study visa.

Requirements

You have to submit the following documents for the Schengen Student Visa:

  • Visa application form
  • A valid passport
  • Two passport-sized photographs (3 x 4 cm)
  • Travel itinerary showing the flight dates and the entry and exit points in the Schengen area
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Proof of accommodation, signifying where you’d be staying during your time in the Schengen area
  • A bank statement signifying that you have sufficient funds to cover your stay in the country
  • Proof of university or college enrollment

Application procedure

  1. Prepare all required documents
  2. Submit your correctly filled in application form at the local Spanish embassy
  3. Get an interview invitation
  4. Attend the interview
  5. Pay the visa fee
  6. Wait for the application to be processed

Costs & Required Processing Time

The costs for the Schengen student visa vary based on your country of origin. You can expect it to be ~€ 80.

Submit your application as early as 3 months or as late as 15 days before your trip to Spain. Apply no later than 4 weeks before your intended travel date to make sure the embassy has time to process your request.

Work prospects

The Schengen Student Visa doesn’t give you the right to work on the territory of Spain during the period of your stay.

Short-Term Student Visa (3-6 Months)

With a short term student visa, you can pursue your studies in Spain for up to 180 days.

Similarly to the Schengen visa, the Short term student visa doesn’t give you the right to apply for a Spanish residence card.

Requirements

  • Completed Visa application form
  • Passport photo
  • Original and photocopy of your passport or an equivalent travel document
  • Proof of admission from the establishment you’re going to be studying at indicating the start and end dates along with an official stamp or signature
  • Proof of health insurance by a provider authorized to operate on the territory of Spain
  • Payment of the visa application fee

Application procedure

  1. Prepare all required documents
  2. Submit your properly filled in application form at the local Spanish embassy
  3. Pay the visa fee
  4. Wait for the application to be processed

Costs & Required Processing Time

Be ready to pay ~€ 60 for your visa application form. Although your visa application can be processed within 15 days, the process may take up to 3 months. File your application 2-3 months before your intended travel date.

Work Prospects

Since the short-term student visa doesn't give you the right to apply for a residence permit, you can’t legally work in Spain during the period of your stay.

Long-Term Student Visa (Over 6 Months)

As the name suggests, this type of visa grants you the right to study in Spain for periods longer than 6 months.

Unlike the other two student visa options, with the long term student visa you have to apply for a TIE card (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjaro) within 30 days of your arrival in Spain.

Requirements

These are the requirements you have to fulfil for your long-term visa:

  • 2 correctly completed application forms.
  • Your passport.
  • Your identification card (ID card).
  • Two recent passport photographs.
  • Letter of admission from chosen university.
  • Proof of health insurance provided by a company authorized to operate in Spain
  • Proof of sufficient funds ***
  • Proof of enrollment
  • Proof of fee payment.
  • Medical certificate.
  • Certificate of criminal record (at most three months old)

Proof of sufficient funds is done through providing 1 of the following documents:

  • Bank account statement
  • Proof of financial aid/scholarship
  • Notarized letter from parents/legal guardian signifying they are financially responsible for you

Application Procedure

The application process varies depending on your country of origin. Check with your local Spanish consulate office before starting your preparation.

The general application process is as follows:

  • You get admitted to an educational institution in Spain
  • You receive proof of enrollment from your education provider
  • Prepare all of the required documents
  • Book an appointment at your local Spanish consulate
  • Provide all required documentation during your first appointment
  • Your application is reviewed and approved if everything is in line with the requirements
  • You receive an invitation to collect your Long term student visa

Possibility to work

Unlike the other two types of student visas, with the long term student visa you receive a residence permit. In other words: you can work up to 20 hours per week.

Also referred to as a foreigner identity card (TIE), you must apply for it within a month of your arrival in the country. You file the application for this document at your local Foreigners Office (Oficina de Extranjeros).

Present the following document to apply:

  • Passport or ID from your country of origin valid for at least 6 more months
  • A completed TIE application form (provided by the Foreigners Office)
  • Photocopy of the passport stamp given to you at the time of entry in Spain
  • Proof of enrollment from your education institution
  • 3 passport photos
  • Proof of residency (empadronamiento) in Spain (available at Spanish police stations upon presentation of your passport and rental contract).

As with everything, the procedure for acquiring a student visa varies based on your country of origin. Always double-check the student visa requirements on the website of Spain’s ministry of foreign affairs.

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