What is a Spanish student visa?

A Spanish student visa lets you stay in Spain for more than ninety days for your studies. Your studies must be with an authorised educational centre in Spain, in a programme that awards you a degree or certificate.

Authorised academic centres in Spain include

  1. Universities and colleges recognised by the Spanish Ministry of Education
  2. Cervantes Institute accredited Spanish language schools

What are the benefits of a student visa?

The Spanish student visa is a risk-free way of coming to Spain to study for up to one year and offers the possibility of part-time work (around 20 hours a week).

It is ideal for anyone outside the European community to enjoy Spain for a year and not worry about immigration police.

The student visa is also a renewable document. So after a year, you can renew it in Spain.

What are the requirements to get a Spanish student visa?

To apply for a Spanish student visa, you have to meet all of these conditions:

  1. You must not be a citizen of the collective European nations in the EU, the EEA and Switzerland.
  2. You must not be on the Spanish or international travel “black-list”.
  3. You must have sufficient financial means to cover your living costs and return ticket. Proof of financial means can be your savings or a letter of financial support from a relative, friend or another credible source.
  4. You must have health insurance to cover your stay in Spain.
  5. You must show confirmation of your course place with an authorised educational centre in Spain that meets the abovementioned criteria.
  6. If you want to study in Spain for more than six months:
    • you must show that you do not have a criminal record covering the last five years
    • you must show a medical statement that you do not have a disease that would cause a public health risk

Here is an example of the documents you must give when you apply. The document is for US applicants and may be different for other countries. Always check with your Spanish consulate or mission for exact document requirements.

Can I work in Spain with a student visa?

You can work with a Spanish student visa if the job meets these requirements:

  1. The work must be compatible with the completion of your studies and not conflict with your studies. For example, if you study Spanish during the day and teach English during the evening, there is no conflict.
  2. You must have the proper training and qualifications required for the job. For example, you meet this requirement if you have a Trinity CertTESOL.
  3. You cannot use the money you will earn to prove financial means when applying for a student visa.
  4. The student visa must be activated for work by a Spanish registered employer.
  5. The employer activates your student visa for work by registering you with the Spanish employment authorities.
  6. In addition, the employer must give you a signed, written contract for part-time work.
  7. Part-time has no specific hours, but the accepted norm is around 20 hours a week. Coincidentally, most English language teachers work about 20 hours a week.

How do I apply for a student visa?

Here are the instructions to apply for a Spanish student visa.

  1. You apply in person to your nearest Spanish diplomatic mission or consular office.
  2. When you apply, you must bring all the relevant documents.
  3. You pay the visa fee when you apply. Ask the mission or consulate for the fee amount.
  4. You get told your application result within a month of applying. If you do not hear anything and the one-month deadline has passed, the chances are that you got rejected.
  5. You have to pick up your visa within two months of notification. If you don’t, you lose your visa, and you have to start over again.
  6. Your student visa duration usually matches the length of your studies. So, for example, if you take our one-year Spanish programme, it is valid for a year.
  7. If your student visa lasts more than six months, you must personally apply for a foreigner’s identity card (TIE). You must apply for your TIE within one month of entering Spain. You apply for your TIE at the local immigration office or police station in the province that authorised your visa. For example, if you chose to study in Madrid, you would apply for your TIE in Madrid. To make life easy, you can apply for your TIE appointment online. The page is in Spanish so If you do not know much Spanish, use your browser to translate the text.