If you are thinking of visiting Spain, for which ever reason, you will need to get a Spanish Visa. Spain offers various types of visas for different travel purposes. While many nationalities are able to enter Spain without a visa for up to 90 days, there are others that are unable to.
A Spanish visa will allow you to enter and remain in Spain for a certain number of days. This visa typically comes in the form of a sticker, on your passport. This visa will also define what types of activities you are allowed to undertake while in Spain.
This article will tell you more about who needs to apply for a Spanish visa, the different types of visas which they offer and how to apply for a visa.
Who Needs a Visa?
There is a list of countries whose citizens are not required to apply for a visa if one is planning to stay in Spain for less than 90 days. These countries include: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong & Macao (China), Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Singapore, South Korea, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela.
Citizens who do not belong to visa-exempt countries will need to apply for a visa to enter Spain.
If you are a member of the Schengen agreement, you do not need a passport to enter Spain — a national ID will be enough. While if you are an EU citizen that are not part of the Schengen agreement, you will need to carry a valid passport in order to enter Spain. Further, if you are a member of the EEA, you will not need a special visa to enter in Spain, unless you are planning to stay in the country for more than 90 days.
Nationals who are intending to stay in Spain for a short term, you will need to apply for a Spain Short-Stay Visa, also known as a Schengen visa. This visa will allow one to stay in Spain for up to 90 days. Do note that you won’t be allowed to work in Spain while on a short stay visa.
If you intend to stay in Spain for longer than 90 days, or 3 months, you will need to apply for a Spain Long-Stay Visa.
Spain Schengen Visa
As mentioned above, the Spain Schengen Visa is a short term visa that allows it’s visa holder to enter, leave and remain in Spain for a maximum of 90 days. There are multiple Schengen Visas which you can apply for, depending on your reason for visiting Spain.
If you are just transiting through Spain, you will need to apply for either an Airport Transit visa or a Seamen Transit visa. An Airport Transit Visa will allow you to transit in an airport in Spain before reaching your final destination. A Seamen Transit Visa will allow you to disembark at a Spanish port, before reaching your final destination. Before applying for this visa, you should check if your nationality requires you to apply for one. There are only 25 world countries who need an Airport Transit Visa to transit in Spain.
You will need to apply for a Spanish Tourist Visa if you plan to visit Spain for leisure, tourism and similar purposes. If you are visiting Spain for the purpose of visiting a family member or friends who live in Spain, you will need to apply for a Spain Visitor Visa.
Apply for a Business Visa if you intend to travel to Spain for business related activities, such as conferences and work. While if you are going to study or train in Spain, you should apply for a Study or Training Visa. This visa only allows you to study or train in a course which lasts less than 3 months.
If you have a Spanish Residence Permit but have lost it overseas, you will need to apply for a Spain Visa for Missing Residence Permit to return to Spain.
You can apply for a EEA/EU Dependent Visa If you are a dependent of a national of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland.
Spain Long-Stay Visa
In the case where you will need to stay in Spain for more than 90 days, you will need to apply for a Long-Stay Visa. There are multiple different types of Long Stay Visas which includes, Spain Student Visa, Spain Work Visa, Spain Au Pair Visa, Spain Golden Visa, Spain Entrepreneur Visa, Spain Working Holiday Visa, and a Non-Lucrative Residence Visa.
If you intend to work or study in Spain for a long period of time, you should apply for a Spain Work Visa or a Spain Student Visa. Do note that these visas are long term visas, which should not be confused with its short-term visa counterparts. If you decide to do a summer job in Spain, you will need to apply for a Working Holiday Visa instead. Whereas if you will be working for a family in Spain, you will need to apply for a Spain Au Pair Visa.
A Non-Lucrative Residence Visa is for those who wish to immigrate to Spain and have sufficient income to support themselves. This visa will allow you to enter Spain as a residence. This visa will require you to have sufficient financial means to support yourself while in Spain, without needing to get a job. Once you have entered Spain on this visa, you should apply for a Residence Permit.
How to Apply for a Visa
When applying for a Spain visa, ensure that you have enough time to submit your application. The earliest you can apply for a Spain visa is 6 months before your planned departure. While the latest is 2 weeks before. Do give yourself at least 3 weeks before your departure to apply for a visa, to avoid potential delay in the embassy.
Depending on the country you are living in, you will have to submit your visa application either through a Spanish consulate or a Visa application centre, such as TLS Contact.
After you have completed the relevant visa application forms, you will need to make a visa appointment for a Spain visa through a phone call, online, or in person. How you make an appointment will depend on the regulations in your country of residence.
Remember to have all your required documents ready to go, before your appointment. Required documents include, your visa application form, 2 biometric photos, passport, copies of passport, flight reservation, proof of accommodation, medical insurance, medical certificate, and proof of financial means. The types of documents needed for you to apply for a Spain visa will depend on what type of Spain visa you will be applying for.
Once you have made an appointment, you will have to attend an interview as part of your visa application. All applicants will need to go through this process. During this interview, the interviewer will ask you questions on your background and reasons for visiting Spain.
To process your application, a fee is needed. Visa fees will depend on your age. Adult applications will need to pay €80 while children aged 6-12 will need to pay €40. Children below 6 are exempt from processing fees. Do note that there are some nationals from particular countries who are exempt from paying any fees at all.
After you have completed all the steps, all you have to do next is to wait for your application to be processed.
Extending Your Visa
If you intend to stay longer that 90 days on a Schengen visa, you will be allowed to extend the visa, permitted by the regulation of the European Parliament. However, whether your application to extend your visa past 90 days are dependent on your reasonings.
To extend your Schengen visa, you will need to make sure you do so by its expiration date. If you apply later than the expiration date, you will be deported for overstaying.
You can extend your Schengen visa at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation or at the Ministry of the Interior, located in Spain. When extending, do note that you will need some documents, including your passport, application form, one photo, proof of income, travel insurance and further documents to prove your situation.
There are multiple reasons as to why your visa could be denied, one of which is the lack of correct documents submitted. So do check if you have all your documents ready before applying.
If your visa is denied for other various reasons, you are also able to appeal the denial. The chances for success will depend on the reason for their rejection. To appeal, you will need to provide an appeal letter stating why you think your application was incorrectly processed.