Obtaining a Student Visa for Spain

Category: Student Tips

Citizens from the European Union do not need a visa for Spain. With a valid Identification Card or passport, they can stay as long as they want. However, citizens from all other countries will require a visa stamped in their passport if they wish to remain in Spain longer than 90 days.

Regarding Visas, the Spanish Consulate in New York has posted this information in their Web site:

A student visa is mandatory for any foreigner wishing to study in Spain for 3 months or longer. Citizens of other countries can travel to Spain without a visa for tourist or business purposes for up to 90 days, after which time a visa is required. The visa is processed in your country of residence prior to your departure. You cannot get the visa in Spain, and you cannot have it sent to you. The visa is affixed in your passport before you depart your country, and must be presented at the border Officials upon your entry into Spain.

All student visas are valid for a period of 90 days from your entry day into Spain, during which time you must contact the local authorities to acquire a student residency card. This “Spanish Student Residency Card” is then valid for as long as you are enrolled in the program in Spain.

Due to the overwhelming demand for student visas, it is important that you allow enough time for the Consulate to process your visa. On specially busy days at the Consulate, it is occasionally impossible to attend to all the applicants, so it is best to arrive early. Personal appearance is required in order to submit the documentation. We understand that this is difficult for some students. You must present the following documents:

  • Passport valid for a minimum of 6 months. Make sure your passport is signed.
  • 4 recent pictures, passport size (stapled on each copy of the application)
  • Original letter addressed to this Consulate General verifying enrolment as a full-time student in an official University or School in Spain, and verification of full payment of tuition. This is not the letter of acceptance that says: “congratulations you have been accepted…..” This must be a separate letter directed to this Consulate General of Spain, verifying your enrolment and payment of tuition.
  • Medical certificate. This is a letter typed on your doctor’s stationary verifying that you are in good health, free of contagious disease, drug addiction or mental illness. These items must be specified in the letter, and a medical doctor must sign it.

You must also submit one of the following items to guarantee living expenses while in Spain:

  • Letter from the study abroad program assuming full financial responsibility for tuition, room and board for the student during his stay in Spain. For many students this information is included on the previously mentioned letter of acceptance.
  • An account in a Spanish bank with a minimum balance of $350.00 per month of stay in Spain.
  • Proof of having received financial aid or scholarship covering expenses for tuition, room, board, and personal expenses during the stay in Spain (minimum of $350 per month).
  • Letter from parents assuming full financial responsibility for at least $350 per month of stay in Spain.

Plan your trip ahead of time! Be advised that answer to your application might take several weeks depending on each case.

For more information see the Spanish Consulate in New York’s Web site at http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/NUEVAYORK/en/ServiciosConsulares/Pages/CSNewyork/Visas-New-York.aspx

Find the Consulates of Spain in your country.

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