How to apply for a visa in Spain

Types and visa requirements

Types of visas in Spain:

Schengen or tourist visa

For those willing to visit Spain for a maximum of 90 days. Depending on your country of origin, applying for a visit visa will be required or not.

Work visa

Apply for a regular work visa both as a self-employed worker ("autónomo") or as an employee for a Spanish company, or get an entrepreneur visa.

Non-lucrative visa

If you are not going to conduct any kind of economic activity in the country, the non-lucrative visa is for you, the only requirement being to demonstrate sufficient economic funds.

Golden visa

For those willing to invest in Spain (being in real estate, government bonds or corporate shares), the investor visa can be the best alternative.

Family visa

Bring your relatives to Spain with you through the family member of an EU citizen visa, or through the family reunification process.

Student visa

If you are going to study (a degree, masters, or PhD) or conduct research, this visa will be the easiest path (with which you can later on apply for a work permit).

visas to spain

General immigration & visas information

Living in Spain can be regarded as paradise. A sunny weather throughout the whole year, a charming atmosphere, a delicious cuisine and tons of places to visit.

That is why it is one of the preferred destinations for expats worldwide who want to start their new life in a new country. But as non-EU citizens, they face the need to get a visa in order to live and work legally in the country. But, how to do it easily? 

How to apply for a visa in the country?

The legal procedure to get your visa in Spain is really simple. 

After analyzing your situation and defining which is the best permit for you, the first step will be to go the consulate or embassy of Spain located at your country of origin, and submit the required documentation. 

Be careful! Just those permits under the Entrepreneur Law (as well as the student visa) allow you to start the application process as a tourist in Spain. For all the other cases, you cannot be inside the country.

After submitting the required visa application form and all the other relevant documents, your file will be processed. After 3-4 months, you will receive a positive response, hence being able to travel to Spain and get your residence permit for one year. In this step, having your NIE number will be required. 

 

Visa requirements

Each visa has its own specific requirements. 
 
Nevertheless, there are some common generalities that will be applicable no matter the case:
 
  • It is necessary to demonstrate the absence of criminal records.
  • You must have full health coverage as if you were a Spanish national, either because you hire private health insurance or because you work for a company and have access to social security.
  • You must submit your full passport and a copy.
  • 3 ID-type images are also required.
  • All foreign documents must be legalized and translated into Spanish by a sworn translator.

Let us help you get your Spanish visa!

Send us an email detailing your situation (country of origin, why you want to get your visa, what you plan to do in the country and any other relevant information).

Together we will define the best way for you to get your visa, answering all your questions, making sure you fully understand how to proceed.

Our lawyers prepare all the documents and submit them to the competent authority​, so you don't need to worry about anything and your application gets accepted.

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Frequently asked questions when applying for a visa to Spain

Do you actually need a visa to enter Spain?

That depends on your country of origin. If you are from any European Union country, from Iceland, Norway or Switzerland; you don’t need a visa to visit, work or live in Spain.

On the other hand, non-EU citizens are required to get a tourist visa (if the plan to stay less than 3 months in Spain), or a residence visa for more than 90 days. 

How can I make sure my visa application gets accepted?

Even though the Spanish immigration office is more strict when it comes to certain visas, they key that will ensure a successful application is simple: preparation. 

You just need to carefully study all the requirements for your chosen visa, and make sure you clearly demonstrate its fulfillment on your application. 

Nevertheless, with the help of our specialized immigration lawyers, your chances of getting a rejection will be nearly 0. 

Should I legalize my documents?

Bear in mind that whenever you submit your application, you must have the attached documents legalized. That is the only option in which they will possess legal validity. 

How to do it? That will depend on your country of origin, as you are probably only required to apostille them. You can learn more about the differences between legalization and apostille here

What is a Schengen visa?

The Schengen visa, also called tourist, is the document you will have to apply for if you wish to visit Spain for tourism purposes.

The main characteristic of this visa is that it is not specific to one country: with it, you can enter and freely travel through all the countries that are within the Schengen area.

That is, there is no tourist visa just for visiting Spain, by obtaining a Schengen visa you would be granted the right to visit for a maximum of 90 days Spain, France, Italy and all the other countries within the area.

How can I get a visa to Spain?

The procedure is really straightforward. You will just need to study which of the different types of residency options best adapts to your situation, and check all its requirements. 

Then you just need to prepare all the required documents and submit them to the Spanish consulate at your country of origin. 

After reviewing your application and provided that you get a positive response, the visa will be stamped on your passport. You will then be able to enter Spain.

Which are the countries that don't need a visa to enter Spain less than 90 days?

In the following link you can find a list with all the countries that just require a valid passport in order to stay in Spain for a period of 3 months without the need to get a visa.

Which is the duration of a Spanish visa?

That entirely depends on the specific visa. Nevertheless:

  • Tourist or Schengen visas last a maximum of 90 days. After those 3 months, if you wish to stay in the country you must apply for a regular residence permit.
  • The other group of visas (like the non-lucrative visa or the work visa), which are actually residency permits, last for 1 year (and you have the possibility to renew them afterwards).
  • All visas under the entrepreneur’s law (like the golden visa) are for 2 years. 
  • The family member of an EU citizen visa is for 5 years.

Visa appointment

How can you get your visa appointment?

  • The first step is to find where the Spanish consulate in your country is located (usually that will be the country’s capital).
  • Then, you must visit its website (simply type “Spanish consulate” + the city on Google).
  • Then open the appointments tab, and you will find all the information regarding how to get your appointment.
  • On that day, you will be able to submit all your visa application documents.
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