If you applied to study in Spain and got a letter of acceptance, how do you get your student visa? The answer depends on which country you’re from! Student visas in Spain are usually easy to obtain after you get accepted into a Spanish university.
- Foreign (non-EU) students generally need a long term visa to enter Spain which can be requested from a Spanish consulate or embassy in your country of permanent residence.
- US students do not require a study visa if they plan on being in the country for less than 90 days.
Read on to find out if you need a visa to study in Spain and what documents to submit to get one.
Students from the EU and the EEA do not need a student visa in order to study in Spain.
If your stay in Spain will be longer than 90 days, it is mandatory that you apply for a residence permit or Foreigner Identity Card (TIE) within 30 days of arrival. This is done at your local Foreigner’s Office (Oficina de Extranjeros). You can find the full list of offices in charge of regions here and apply in person.
Make sure to bring a national identity card or passport, as well as a valid European Health Insurance Card with you in order to be officially added to the population register.
Obtaining a student visa to study in Spain for non-EU students is a bit trickier but it is usually easily obtainable after you’ve enrolled in a Spanish university.
The best practice is always to call or email the Spanish Embassy in your country and ask for specific information.
Usually, the requirements for a student visa consist of the following:
- A valid passport.
- Medical insurance that will cover any costs for the duration of your studying in Spain. Having student medical insurance is very important in case of a sudden illness or accidents.
- Proof that you have the financial resources and accommodation for the period for which you are requesting the visa, and where applicable, the funds to guarantee your return to your country.
- Bank statement that is proof you can support yourself during your studies
Unless you are doing a shorter course, your program will last longer than six months so you will also need:
- A criminal record certificate for Spain and your previous countries of residence in the last five years for crimes included under Spanish legislation.
- A medical certificate stating that you do not suffer from any diseases with serious repercussions for public health in accordance with the provisions of international health regulations.
It is important to know that you can’t enter Spain with a tourist visa and then apply for a student visa. You will have to return to your home country and apply from there.
Since the processing of documents can take time, make sure to apply in advance, preferably two to three months before traveling.
Visa Application for Family Members
Visa applications for a spouse, domestic partner, a child or children (under the age of eighteen or with a disability) are allowed alongside an application for a study visa. This means they can enter and live legally with you during the duration of your studies in Spain.
Working While Studying
If you are wondering: can I work in Spain with a student visa? - the answer is yes! Student visas in Spain are flexible and students can work along with their studies.
International students can ask for a work permit from local authorities to work 20 hours per week. However, you can only work while studying in Spain until the expiry of your student visa.
Due to overwhelming demand for student visas in Spain, it is important that you allow enough time before departing for your visa to be processed. Follow the rule of thumb and always apply at least a month in advance.
Learn more about studying abroad in Spain:
Overview of Spain
Over 60,000 international students choose Spain as their study abroad destination every year. Click here to learn why.
Want to learn about how the higher education system works in Spain? Spain is a popular study abroad destination for international students, given its laid-back lifestyle, high quality education, and its vibrant culture and history. Take a minute to find out more about the structure of the education system in Spain!
Housing & Living Costs
No matter where you study abroad, it’s important to create a budget in advance so that you’re prepared. Therefore, we’ve detailed average living and housing costs so that you can get a better idea of what you would be paying as an international student in Spain.
Tuition Fees & Scholarships
Tuition fees for degree programs in Spain may vary, but are amongst the lowest in Europe. To cover the rest of the costs, there are plenty of scholarship opportunities available.
Language & Culture
Spain boasts a rich history and culture. Find out more about Spain's famous vibrancy!
All countries have specific admissions requirements for students to gain acceptance into a university. Learn more about the ins and outs of admission to programs in Spain, and what you need to apply, depending on your citizenship.
Ready to look at education in Spain? Use our search engine to find and compare top programs in Spain today!