Are you looking to enrol as a student and study in Spain at one of the many great universities?
If you are and currently reside in a country outside of the European Union, you will need to apply for a student visa for Spain.
Spain is a popular destination for those wishing to broaden their horizons and study here while enjoying everything this fabulous country has to offer.
With some of the world’s best universities, historic cities, great nightlife and the opportunity to learn the language while immersing yourself in the Spanish culture, it’s easy to see why Spain is so appealing.
If you are set on coming to Spain to study for more than 90 days, you will most definitely need to apply for a Spanish student visa.
Below we outline everything you need to know about student visas for Spain including:
What is a Spanish student visa and who is it for?
The Spanish student visa is a long-term study visa for third-country nationals from outside of the European Union.
The visa also acts as a residence permit which allows non-EU/EEA and Swiss citizens to stay in Spain for more than 90 days while undertaking their studies in a public or private educational facility which will lead to a degree or certificate of study.
You will need to apply for a student visa if you are looking to enrol in any professional education program, postgraduate, masters, P.hD or a bachelor's degree.
The visa is also for those who wish to undertake research activities, participate in a student exchange/mobility program, work as an unpaid intern or carry out volunteer work in Spain.
Do I need a student visa to study in Spain?
This will depend.
If you are only studying for up to 90 days, you will not need to apply for a student visa. This is regardless of whether you usually reside in the EU or not.
This is because the majority of those from outside of Spain may stay in the country for up to 90 days without a visa, however, this may change in 2022 with the introduction of the ETIAS visa scheme.
For those who wish to study in Spain for up to 90 days and who do not have visa-free access, a Schengen tourist visa may be required which will also allow access to the 26 Schengen countries.
If you are a non-EU citizen and wish to study for more than 90 days, you will need to apply for a study visa.
How long does a student visa for Spain last?
There are two types of Spanish student visa and which one you apply for will depend on the length of your course.
If you are studying in Spain for longer than six months, you will need to obtain a type D student visa and a TIE residence permit (Tarjeta de Identitad de Extranjero) within 30 days of your arrival.
The TIE can be acquired from your nearest foreigners department or national police station and must be renewed every year up to five years.
Can I work in Spain while studying?
If you are studying for longer than six months and have your TIE card, you will be permitted to carry out part-time work for up to 20 hours per week, although the money should not be used to support yourself during your studies. (See income requirements below).
Your employer will need to obtain a work permit for your employment which must not exceed the duration of your student visa.
Note that the student visa is not a permanent residence visa. It only allows you to legally stay and carry out temporary employment in Spain for the duration of your studies.
Can I bring my family with me?
Yes, family members including your spouse, registered partner and dependent children under the age of 18 can join you while you are studying.
In order for them to stay in Spain, they will need to also apply for their TIE (see below) and you will need to provide proof that you will be able to support them financially during your stay.
What are the income requirements?
You will need to provide proof of sufficient funds to sustain yourself and if joining you, your family members.
In order to demonstrate that you have sufficient means, you will need to provide proof of the following monthly income amounts to cover the duration of your stay.
For the main applicant, you must prove that you have 400% of the IPREM (€564.90 for 2021) received monthly into your bank account to cover your living expenses unless you can prove that the accommodation has been paid for in advance for the entire duration of the stay.
For the support of their family members in charge, monthly, for the first relative 75% of the IPREM, which would be €423,67, and for each of the additional family members 50% of the IPREM, which is €282,45, unless you can prove that the accommodation has been paid in advance for the entire duration of the stay.
How to get a student visa for Spain?
Once you have received an acceptance letter or certificate from the university that you will be attending, you can then begin the student visa application process.
First, you will need to apply for your student visa at your nearest Spanish Consulate or Embassy in the country where you live. Ideally, you will need to allow around three months before travelling to Spain to allow sufficient processing time.
The following page provides an interactive map where you can find your nearest Consulate or Embassy in your home country.
Below we show the procedure for those applying from the UK. For other countries, the process will be almost identical.
There are three main consular regions in the UK which are covered by London, Manchester and Edinburgh.
You will need to email one of the following addresses below stating in the subject line which visa you are applying for.
In the SUBJECT line, you must specify the type of residence visa you wish to apply for.
Within your email, you will need to include the following:-
Your appointment time and date will then be confirmed via email.
Applications will be accepted through a representative with a notarised authorisation. In the case of minors, through their parents or legal guardians.
If your application is successful, you must collect your visa within two months from the date of being notified. If you fail to do so, it will be taken that you have renounced your visa and the procedure will be closed.
Note that only one person may attend an appointment at a time. If family members wish to also apply, they will each need to book an additional appointment.
If you are only studying in Spain for less than 90 days, depending on your nationality, you may need to apply for a Schengen Tourist Visa via the BLS International Visa Management Agency. https://blsspainvisa.com/
You can only apply for a student visa up to 90 days before the desired date of entry into Spain.
You are advised to make an appointment at the Consulate at least 30 days in advance, due to the need for mandatory consultation with the Subdelegación de Gobierno of the place where the studies are going to be carried out.
Required application documents
What documents will you need to submit in order to become a legal student in the country?
** Bear in mind that all the documents must be properly legalised and translated into Spanish.
Applying for your residence permit
If you will be studying in Spain for more than six months, you will need to apply for a student residence permit (TIE - Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero) via your local Foreigners Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) or national police station.
You will need to book an appointment online at the following web address.
You must also do this within 30 days of your arrival in Spain.
You will need to take the following documentation with you to your appointment:
You will also need to pay the €15.92 fee at the following web address.
The following page explains the process of applying for the NIE and TIE perfectly. https://www.citylifemadrid.com/applying-for-a-nietie-in-madrid/
Private health insurance is a requirement
Note that it is a requirement to take out private health insurance cover from a company operating in Spain.
Please contact us here at Health Plan if you would like us to recommend the most appropriate insurance for your visa application or see the list here.
If you will be living in Spain for six months or more, it is recommended that you register yourself on the padron (Padron Municipal de Habitantes) at your local town hall.
It's not obligatory to register if you are staying in Spain for less than six months, however, if you want to obtain your TIE residence card, apply for state healthcare, get a drivers licence or carry out other administrative tasks, you will need to register.
Registering yourself on the padron provides you with a number of benefits and allows the local government to receive the correct level of funding from the central government.
Although it is not a strict requirement, if you want to benefit from better public services for yourself and others in your community, you really should take the time to register.
You can read more about registering on the padron here.