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Visa Requirements For Australians Travelling To Spain Expat Tips

If you are contemplating going to Spain from Australia, be it for work or study, you may require a visa. There are different types of visas available when travelling to Spain, to suit various situations. Whether you are going as a tourist or going to study or for employment purposes, there will be a set of requirements that you will have to meet before you are allowed to travel and during your stay.

Entry Requirements

There are entry requirements for entering any country, and Spain is no different. To get into the country, you must first of all be in possession of a valid passport or travel document. The passport or travel document must have been issued within the last ten years and must be valid for three months after you plan to leave the country. A child will require parental authorisation along with a national identity document. You will also need a visa.

Short-Term/Schengen Visas

A short stay visa can be issued to travellers from the Spanish Embassy. It will permit entry and a stay of 90 days. Some requirements must be adhered to in order for the visa to be granted. They are as follows:

  • The applicant must be present when making the request
  • The application form for a short stay visa must be completed in full
  • Two passport photos in colour must be provided
  • The passport must be valid for three months after the exit date with two pages free
  • The name of the applicant on a non-transferable/non-returnable reservation ticket for a return flight
  • A hotel reservation must be provided
  • Medical insurance to cover the applicant
  • Evidence of funds with bank statements to support
  • Proof of the applicant's background regarding work, studying, etc.

It is important to note that you cannot go to Spain on a short-term visa and then change your status while you are there. For example, you could not go originally as a visitor and then switch to a student visa while you are in Spain. You must return home and apply for a new visa from there if there is a change in your circumstances.

To get a short-term visa renewed you must visit your local Foreigner's Office or Police Station. You must be planning on staying for a total of fewer than 90 days.

Long-Term Visas

Long term visas apply to those who wish to live, work or study in Spain. An application for a long-term visa should be completed correctly and submitted in person.

There is a charge when submitting an application, and even if the visa application is denied, the fee is non-refundable. It will usually take a month for an application to be processed and the result to be known.

As an Australian looking to reside in Spain long term, you will need to provide the following:

  • The visa that you obtained from the Spanish consulate in Australia
  • Proof of financial means
  • Evidence to show that you have no criminal record
  • A medical certificate
  • A letter from the consulate
  • Health insurance that covers the applicant, their offices must be in Spain
  • Three passport photographs of the applicant
  • The applicant's passport and a photocopy of it
  • The payment required
  • A bank statement from a Spanish bank that proves income on arrival
  • Proof of accommodation – deed for a Spanish property or rental agreement
  • A fully completed application form.

If you have employment in place, you will need to provide evidence to support this through documentation relating to your employer.

There are tax advantages for being a resident in Spain, so it is important that 'residencia' is taken out by the applicant.

If you do not wish or cannot complete the application process yourself, you can hire a licensed administrative expert to assist you with it.

It can take a while to gather all the required documentation to support and process your application but once it has all been submitted successfully it should take between 4-6 weeks to have the visa approved.

It is imperative that all the documentation is gathered in full and the application is accurate. An incomplete or incorrect application will be rejected meaning the whole process must begin again.

The application must be submitted no more than 90 days in advance of intended travel to Spain, and on approval, the visa must be collected within a month of receiving notification.

Work And Holiday Visas

If you wish to work in Spain, the appropriate visa must be applied for at the nearest Spanish Embassy in Australia. Failure to apply for the visa outside of Spain will result in a standard short-term visa being issued on arrival. This will not permit you to work in the country. A person entering on a short-term visa will be unlikely to have a work permit issued.

Travelling to Spain from Australia as a tourist does not require a visa application being made before arrival in the country. A short-term (Schengen) visa will be issued on arrival and will allow for a stay of up to 90 days over the course of a six-month period. An application for an extension to the Schengen Visa can be made but are often not approved.

Studying In Spain

You will be required to apply for a specific student visa if you plan on going to Spain to study from Australia. The type of visa you will need is based on the duration of your studies.

An 180-days D type visa will allow you to study in Spain for between three and six months. A Student Visa Type D will permit studies of over six months.

The visa obtained will allow you to get the necessary Residence Card for international students (TIE). This is a temporary permit that is issued to cover you for one academic year, but it can be renewed on an annual basis until your studies are complete.

Bear in mind an application for a student visa must be made from Australia and not Spain.

Further details can be found at our other article, Studying in Spain.

Travelling Within The Schengen Area

The Schengen Area is an area that compromises of 26 European states that allow people to move freely through their mutual borders. When arriving in Spain on a Schengen Visa, you will be permitted to travel within the Schengen state area freely for 90 days in total.

The following countries are the Schengen States:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

Please be aware that travel is permitted for 90 days travel in total and not 90 days per state.