Are you planning to start studying in Spain? Being to study a degree, masters or P.hD.; many non-EU citizens choose the Spanish territory to obtain their diploma. However, most of them are not aware of the legal procedure necessary to establish themselves in the country. In this article, we will solve all the doubts of these individuals. We will go over everything related to the authorization of stay for studies in Spain, as well as how to extend it and which are the options available once it expires.
WHAT IS THE AUTHORIZATION OF STAY FOR STUDY PURPOSES?
The authorization to stay in order to study is a visa that allows foreign students (non-European citizens) to study in Spain. We are talking about a permit regulated by the Law 14/2011, modified by the Royal Decree-Law published on September the 4th of 2018.
Until that date, this visa could only be requested at the consulate located in the country of origin of the foreign student (the applicant). However, after the modification, it is also possible to get the stay for studies after arriving as tourists to the country. This, for sure, as long as we initiate the application procedure within the 60 days before the end of the tourist visa (as the immigration office has 30 days to resolve it).
In that sense, this visa grants a residence card, which will coincide with the duration of the academic course. That’s unless the studies last for less than 6 months. In that case, the student will only keep the stamp in their passport, without receiving a card.
WHICH ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO GET THE STUDENT VISA?
Let’s go over the main requirements that any applicant must meet and prove to get their permission as a student in Spain. These are the following:
- First, a certificate of registration in the study center. That is to say, the registration that certifies that we have been registered an accepted to an educational institution. In this sense, any official center will allow us to obtain the student visa, as it is not necessary that it be a superior course. No matter if you enroll in a language course, a cooking course, or in a master, they are all valid. However, it can not be any kind of online course. And the center must be authorized.
- Second, we must provide the full passport, with a copy of the document.
- Accreditation of sufficient economic means, equivalent to € 7,000 per year (100% of the IPREM). Here, we must show that we have this amount in a bank account, or provide a document of financial responsibility in the case in which the parents are the ones who are going to maintain us economically in Spain. We must then attach the income obtained in that country of origin or a bank statement, in addition to making a declaration of responsibility in the notary. In the case of making a joint application and coming with a relative, we must provide an additional 50% of the IPREM for each family member of the student.
- Health certificate in accordance with the international health regulation of 2005 (RSI). We will show that we do not suffer from any contagious disease among those included in the regulation.
- Criminal background certificate if we are going to be in Spain for more than 6 months. In the case of staying for a shorter time, it won’t be necessary to provide this document.
- Private medical insurance with coverage valid throughout Europe, similar to the national health system. That is, the insurance requirements must meet:
-A minimum coverage of € 30,000
-Not having any shortages or co-payments. In this sense, the deficiency cannot exceed 6 months and the co-payment exceed € 600.
Important note. These points that we have just seen are the requirements that the immigration office provides as a reference, since the general law is not so specific. This is undoubtedly positive since, in those cases in which the application for a student visa is denied, subsequent remedies through administrative litigation are usually successful.
HOW TO EXTEND THE STAY FOR STUDY PURPOSES
Let’s imagine that you got your student visa for one year, but when it expires, you need to renew it, as your studies sum up a total of 2 years. How should you do it? What are the legal steps and procedures to extend your stay for studies?
The renewal is a totally simple process. You must start it from Spain, unlike the initial request we saw in the previous section. Thus, in order to request the extension, it is essential to:
- Provide the certificate of achievement, which demonstrates that you have completed your studies in Spain and that you have approved your previous course.
- You must also provide the new enrollment for the following course.
- Show proof of sufficient economic means in Spain
- That the studies you have already studied and the ones you will study in the next year are related to each other.
CAN I WORK WITH MY STUDENT VISA IN SPAIN?
The answer is simple: YES. However, when a foreign student works in Spain, she does not do so under ordinary work authorization.
She does so with a work authorization that is for holders of a residence permit, which is not the same. This means that any work contract that is found must be part-time, or full-time for a maximum of 90 days.
In addition, it will be essential that the work to be done is related to the studies that are being learned (same subject/discipline).
Important note. The income that the student obtains under this work authorization cannot be a source of financing used to demonstrate the possession of sufficient economic means (a requirement that we have seen above). The Spanish Immigration law does not accept that.
Thus, although it is true that as students we can get a work contract, it is also possible to get an internship agreement with the university, and that these is even paid. It will be equally important here that this work is related to the studies.
DOCUMENTS AND REQUIREMENTS TO GET THE WORK AUTHORIZATION
In order to obtain the work authorization for the legal stay to study, the application must be submitted to the Generalitat de Catalunya (or to the government of the autonomous community in which we are living in). It will be the company that hires the student (or a representative) who will initiate the legal procedure, providing:
- The job offer the student has applied to
- Demonstrate that the company has been operating for a minimum of one year
- A document certifying the lack of debts in the Social Security or AEAT
- Payment of the corresponding fees (€ 221 if the salary will be less than € 18,000 per year)
We must bear in mind that the response from the Generalitat may take between 1 month and a half or 2 months. In addition, it is essential to initiate this procedure with a minimum of 6 months prior to the expiration of the student card. Otherwise, the work authorization will not be granted since it will coincide with the end of the card.
WORK PERMIT AFTER 3 YEARS IN THE COUNTRY
When the student has been in Spain for 3 years under the student visa, there is the possibility of changing to a residence and work permit. That is, we can get a regular work permit in Spain thanks to having the student visa renewed twice.
The positive thing about this modification is that the national situation of unemployment will not be taken into account, something that does occur when applying for a work visa without having had the student visa before.
In this case, for the process to be valid, we must provide criminal records, the job offer we received and a document that shows that we have not been granted any scholarship from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
SEARCHING FOR A JOB RESIDENCE PERMIT
However, for all those students who do not want to wait 3 years to start working in Spain, there is a different option. Since the end of 2018 a law that allows the extension of the stay for studies for an additional year in order to seek for a job or start a new company was approved.
This is what is called the residence permit for students who look for a job. As for the requirements, it is essential that in order to apply for this residence permit the student has finished a master’s degree or similar 6 level course. What documents do they need to provide?
- EX-01 model
- Payment of the corresponding fee
- The certificate that shows how the student has passed a minimum 6 level course
- Demonstrate the availability of sufficient economic means
- Health insurance contract
But this is not all. Because not all universities and courses will be valid here. In order to apply for this one-year extension, it will be necessary that the university/course appear on this list.