Bulls, wine, soccer, beautiful skin, a party lifestyle, rich history, and an accent could keep you listening for hours; these things and many more are the things that make up Spain and its people. So it’s no surprise when people want to visit Spain because this country truly has something for everyone. Unfortunately, however, you cannot get access to what Spain has to offer without a Spain Visa.
Therefore, this article will encompass all areas of the Spanish visa. We will discuss the different categories of Spain visas and cover which ones fall under. Furthermore, we shall help you determine whether or not you need a visa to visit Spain. When you finish, you can decide which of the visas you need based on your reason for traveling to Spain.
In this article
A Spanish Visa is a travel document the Spanish government issues to allow you legal entry into the country. Usually, the visa is affixed to your national passport as a stamp or a sticker.
You can get a Spanish visa by applying for one at a Spanish embassy in your country. The Spanish embassy represents the Spanish government in your country and, therefore, has the right to grant or deny you passage into Spain on the government’s behalf. If there is no Spanish embassy in your country, check for a consulate or a visa application center. It could also be a different country’s embassy to which Spain has outsourced some consular services.
Who needs a Spain Visa?
Everyone who wants to travel to Spain needs a Spain visa. That is, except for the select few who don’t. Who are those few?
A group of countries known as the Schengen area countries, which comprised 26 of the 27 countries in the European Union, made a visa-free travel agreement. Because of this agreement, citizens of the countries involved can travel with one another without a visa. The agreement also extended to the European Economic Area (EEA), Switzerland, and a few other countries like the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, etc.
Citizens of countries that fall within the categories above do not need a visa to go to Spain, except on special occasions when they have been denied entry without one.
Types of Spanish Visas
There are many types of Spanish visas. These can be categorized in two ways; visas based on duration and visas based on the purpose of visiting Spain. These two methods of classifying visas are not mutually exclusive.
There are two major Spain visa categories based on duration. They are;
#1. Spanish Schengen Visa
Other names for Spain Schengen visas are; short-stay and Type-C visas. This document lets you stay in Spain for up to 90 days out of 180, also known as the 90/180 rule. However, those whose countries fall under the Schengen visa-free travel agreement do not need to get this visa. The deal lets them stay in any Schengen country for 90 out of 180 days.
If you have any activity in Spain that will not take you more than three months to complete, this is the visa you need to apply for. Some of these short-stay Spain visas include;
Spain is one of the largest tourism centers in the world. It’s one of the perks of being a beautiful country with a rich history. Hence, those who want to visit Spain for tourism or mere vacation usually have to apply for this Spain visa.
Spain Transit visa is a short-stay visa that allows you to stop over temporarily at an airport or seaport in Spain before heading on to your final destination. Unlike other visas, holders of this visa cannot enter Spain freely. Those who come by air are only allowed to stay at the airport’s international area for up to 24 hours while they prepare to switch flights to their final destination. Similarly, those who come by ship can only disembark at the Schengen seaports and stay there no more than five days before moving on.
The Spain Medical visa is for those wishing to come to Spain for medical purposes. For example, you could be sick and need surgery or any form of medication requiring you to go to Spain for specialists. In such cases, this Spain visa comes in handy.
Spain provides a Spanish training visa for student internships or post-graduate training that will last no more than three months. It could be on- or off-the-job training. It could be a conference or something else that brings you to Spain. As long as it will not last beyond three months, you can apply for this visa.
The business visa is for those coming to Spain for business reasons. These reasons could range from sealing deals to scouting for partners. Like all other short-stay visas, your stay need not exceed 90 days.
The Spanish dependent visa is for children (18 and below) whose parent, guardian, or sponsor is an EU or EEA citizen. They can apply for this visa when visiting Spain.
Spanish Diplomatic Passport Visa
A diplomatic passport is a special passport a government gives its officials through their foreign affairs department. It grants unique benefits in whatever country you visit as it makes you a representative of your government to a certain degree. For example, those with this passport can apply for a special short-stay visa.
Missing Residence Permit visa
Suppose you have a Spanish residence permit, but you happen to misplace it in a foreign country. You can equally apply for this visa and sort yourself out when you return to Spain.
#2. Spain Long-Stay Visa
This is also called the Spanish Type-D visa. As the name implies, the Spanish long-stay visa enables its holder to stay legally in Spain for much longer. That is, at least longer than the short-stay visa in any case. The length of validity for a long-stay visa depends wholly on your purpose of visit.
With the Schengen visa, those whose countries belong to the European Union are exempt from the Spain long-stay visa. Therefore, they can come to stay in Spain and go about their business. But, first, they must register their address at the Centre of Foreign Nationals in Spain. They will also need to prove they have sufficient funds to live in Spain. If you fall in this category, good for you. The entire process usually takes 24 – 72 hours at most.
Long-stay visas in Spain include;
This is one of the most common long-stay visas. The Spanish student visa permits international students who wish to study in Spain. It has the advantage of letting these students work part-time (up to 20 hours per week) while in school.
As its name suggests, this visa permits foreign nationals to live and work in Spain for its validity period. The Spanish Work Visa covers both the self-employed and those seeking employment.
The Entrepreneur visa is quite similar to the Spanish work visa. However, it is for those who come to improve Spain’s economy as investors rather than as mere workers.
Au Pair Visa
The Spain Au Pair visa allows students between 18 and 30 to work as Au Pair with a Spanish family for an extended period. Such people must meet specific requirements, e.g., criminal record, experience with children, etc.
Working Holiday Visa
This particular visa allows you to work in Spain while on vacation. However, you’re not allowed to work for more than six months or with the same employer for more than 3. Most times, people get this for summer contracts in Spain.
A residence visa allows you to travel to Spain with your dependents to live there. If the visa is approved, you can get a 2-year-long residence permit in Spain.
How to Apply for Spain Visa
Applying for a Spanish visa isn’t a complex process, especially when you have all the requirements. It’s not easy either, but it’s a straightforward process.
- Obtain the Application Form: The first thing you do when applying for a visa to Spain is get the application form. There is the Spain Schengen visa application form for short-stay applications and the Spain National visa application form for long-stay. You can download the one you need, fill and submit it to the embassy.
- Book an Interview Session: You can book this session online or call the embassy over the phone. In some places, you can even book it in person. On the day of the interview, ensure you’re punctual and well-prepared. Your performance at the interview gives them an impression of you. It goes a long way in your visa approval or rejection. No pressure, though.
- Submit the Document and Pay the Cost: Once you’ve gathered the requirements, submit them with the application form. Be sure you do not forget any of them as each is as important as the last. You will also need to pay the visa fee. The fees differ based on the kind of visa.
Frequently Asked Questions
#1. How much balance must you have in your bank to obtain a Spain Visa?
To get a Spain Schengen visa, you must show that you have access to 3000 EUR over six (6) months. However, it doesn’t have to be your account statement; it could be that of a relative or a willing sponsor.
#2. How long do I have to wait before applying for my visa?
Different visas have different processing times; some are much longer than others. However, even the longest of them do not allow you to begin processing until six (6) months before the day you wish to travel. Therefore, the latest you can start processing your visa is two weeks before the travel date. Unfortunately, that is a risky move because if any delays occur, you may miss your travel date.
#3. Is vaccination compulsory for visiting Spain?
Yes. Before you visit Spain, you must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to ensure you don’t pose a health hazard to the citizens of Spain.
#4. Can I stay in Spain for over three (3) months with a Schengen visa?
No, you can’t. Suppose you’re traveling to Spain for any activity that should take beyond three months (90 days) to get done. In that case, you will have to apply for one of the long-stay visas, depending on why you’re traveling.
#5. Do UK citizens need a long-stay visa to visit Spain after Brexit?
No. UK citizens living in Spain or wanting to travel there do not need to get a visa. Instead, after Brexit, Spain created a new residency permit for UK citizens. This document grants them the same rights as EU citizens living in Spain.
Traveling to Spain is a dream for many, while for others, it is a step forward in their education, career, etc. Whatever the case, there is a visa for every reason you might want to travel to Spain. Ensure you apply for the right one, so your application gets approved, and you don’t face problems when leaving the country.