How to apply for a student visa in Spain

After the last change in the Spanish Immigration Law, you can now apply for your student visa while in Spain with your tourist visa. The application time must be 90 days before beginning your studies in Spain.

Spanish Student Visa

A Spanish Student visa is a Long-Stay Visa that allows you to stay in Spain for more than three months and engage in education-related activities.

You can get a Spanish Study Visa to engage in any of the following activities:

  • Take or extend studies in an authorised college, university or teaching centre to obtain an official degree.
  • Carry out research or training activities.
  • Participate in exchange programs for students in educational or scientific, public or private, officially recognised centres.
  • Perform non-work placements.
  • Carry out volunteer services as a student.

How to Apply for a Spanish Student Visa

The application process for a Spain Study Visa can often be complicated and requires a lot of energy, time and documents to be collected. Even if you have everything ready but apply too early, too late, or at the wrong place, the outcomes will not be good.

Do I Need a Spain Study Visa?

If you are an EU or EEA national, you do not need a visa to study in Spain. Instead, you can move to Spain, settle here, complete the procedures required in Spain, and begin your studies.

If you are a non-EU/EEA national, you need a visa to study in Spain. Citizens of the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea, are some of the countries that can enter Spain without a tourist visa. However, you can only stay in Spain and the EU for 90 days. Therefore, if you want to study and work in Spain, you must apply for a student visa, which must be done within your allowed legal stay of 90 days. You cannot apply for a student visa after 90 days have elapsed.

Make Sure You Complete the Pre-Eligibility Criteria for a Spanish Study Visa

If you do not meet the pre-eligibility criteria, your chances of getting a visa are zero. In addition, you must meet one of the following to be able to apply:

  • You are officially enrolled or have been accepted to an accredited educational institution in Spain.
  • You are admitted to an officially recognised research or training centre in Spain.
  • You have an agreement signed with a public or private body or entity, a vocational training centre or an organisation where you will volunteer.

Complete the D Visa Application Form

The application form for a Spanish Student Visa is the first document you should obtain/complete. This form should not be confused with the Schengen Visa application form since they are different.

The application form for a long-stay study visa contains questions about your identity, intended period of stay in Spain, the purpose of the visa application, and other questions about your background.

Ensure all the information you give in this form is correct and identical to the information found on your other documents.

Collect the Supporting Documents to Apply for the Spanish Student Visa

Get the required documents to apply for a Spanish student visa. You must submit additional documents besides the application form, your valid passport, photos, and photocopies of previous visas and passports.

First, submit the documents needed to show that you need a student visa:

  • Studies: Admission letter issued by an educational institution (Spanish language school/college/university). This document must contain the start and end dates of the course.
  • Research or training: Admission letter issued by a research or training centre officially recognised in Spain.
  • Non-labour practices: An agreement signed between you and a public or private body or entity or an officially recognised vocational training centre.
  • Volunteer service: An agreement signed between you and an organisation in charge of the program. The document must list and describe the activities you need to perform and the available resources to cover your trip, food, and accommodation during your stay.

Then you need to submit documents regarding your stay in Spain. These documents are:

  • Proof of economic solvency. In 2022, about €550 is required for each month of stay in Spain to cover subsistence expenses. In addition, you will have to submit one or more of the following:
    • Bank statements for the last three months.
    • Scholarship award.
    • Documents prove you paid for your studies, such as school receipts.
    • If your parents pay the expenses, a notarised document must be presented and signed, stating their commitment to cover the costs of your studies and living expenses while in Spain. In addition, you will need to submit a copy of your parents’ banking history for the last two months, a photocopy of their passports and your birth certificate.
  • Medical Insurance. You must purchase 1-year medical insurance with an insurance company authorised to operate in Spain. Travel insurance is not accepted.
  • Proof of accommodation. In the case of accommodation in a private residence, you must present a letter from the owners stating that they agree to your stay in their home. This could also be a rent or student residence agreement or a letter from the Spanish school, college or university indicating the accommodation details. 

If the duration of the requested stay is more than six months, it is also necessary to provide:

  • Official medical certificate. This document must not be older than three months. It should be duly apostilled, with a translation into Spanish.
  • A certificate of criminal record issued in the country where you have resided in the last five years. This document, too, must not be older than 90 days, be duly apostilled, and be translated into Spanish. 

Make a Visa Appointment & Attend the Interview

Depending on where you are in Spain, you could have your interview at the “Policia”  or the “Oficina de Extranjeria”.

Spanish Student Visa Fees

When you submit your application for a Spain Student Visa, you will also need to pay a certain fee. The fee is required to cover the expenses for processing your application. The amount of money you need to pay depends on your nationality, as given below:

  • US citizens will need to pay a fee of €141 to get a Student Visa for Spain.
  • Canadian citizens have to pay a fee of €83.
  • Applicants of other nationalities have to pay a fee of only €80.

Spanish Student Visa Validity

If you get a Long-Stay Student Visa for Spain for a maximum of 180 days, you cannot stay in Spain a day more.

On the other hand, if you get a Spanish Student visa that does not mention such a restriction, you will have to obtain a Foreigner Identity Card (TIE), valid for one year. After that, you can renew it five times, as long as you continue your studies.

Can I Work with a Spanish Study Visa?

If your Spanish Student Visa is valid for 180 days, then you cannot work in Spain. However, if your student visa is for one year, you can get your Foreigner Identity Card (TIE), which allows you to get work authorisation.

Your Spanish residence permit entitles you to work either part-time or in a temporary position. The company that employs you is responsible for applying for work authorisation for you.

You will be permitted to study, as long as your job does not interfere with your studies. NOTE: If asked at the interview what your primary source of income in Spain would be, your job in Spain while studying cannot be your first source of money.

Can I Bring My Family Members to Spain with a Student Visa?

Your family members – your spouse or registered partner and dependent children under 18 – can join you while you are studying in Spain.

You must prove you have the financial means to support them. Their intended period of stay must be at least six months. They are not permitted to work while in Spain as dependents of a student visa holder.

IMPORTANT: This article is for general information only. It is NOT legal advice. If you need legal advice, contact a lawyer.