The ultimate guide to every type of visa for Spain

Is it time to renew to renew your 12-month non-lucrative visa?. Image - MA8/shutterstock

Are you thinking of moving to sunny Spain but you’re confused about the type of visa you will need? Following Brexit, moving to Spain has been made increasingly difficult for British citizens, with many people being confused about the right type of documents they will need and which visa to apply for. That’s why the Euro Weekly News has put together this guide on the different types of visas you can apply for and the requirements for each.

Applying for a visa can be a stressful and time-consuming task, particularly after the Withdrawal Agreement, with so many documents to prepare, lots of appointments and various requirements. Third-country nationals, which British citizens now are, require a national visa when they are going to stay in Spain for more than 90 days (in any 180-day period) for the purposes of work, study or establishing their residence.

There are various types of Spanish visas based on the reason for visiting, nationality, and length of visit. Many nationalities can currently enter without a visa for periods of up to 90 days including the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, and Japan. Here, we take a look at each type of visa and their eligibility.

Please note that it is advisable that you have at least one copy of each document with you for appointments.

Visas and residency if you were living in Spain before 1 January 2021

If you have been living in Spain legally since before 1 January 2021, you and your family members have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. You must ensure you are correctly registered as a resident. Your children must also be registered with their own residency documents.


Types of visas in Spain

Short-term Spain visas (visado de corta duracion)

Known as the Schengen or C-type visa, for stays of up to 90 days for tourism or business travel. Some nationalities also require an airport transit visa for Spain (visado de transito aeroportuario). The visa typically costs €80 for adults and €40 for children between the ages of six and 12. However, the fees can vary depending on other factors, such as the purpose of the visit and your nationality.

Long-term national visas (visado nacional)

Required for non-EU/EEA citizens who want to stay longer than 90 days in Spain. For example, the combined residence and work visa (visado de residencia y trabajo) or the student visa (visado de estudios).

Residence-only visas

To stay long-term in Spain without working or studying, you will require a residence visa (visado de residencia no lucrativa). These are usually issued to people who want to live in Spain for family reunification or retirement.


Business Visa

A Schengen Business Visa is a special type of visa for travelling to the Schengen Area for business reasons.  Much like the tourist visa, it allows visitors to spend up to 90 days (of any 180-day period) in the Schengen Zone. Applicants will need to go to an embassy or consulate of the country where they wish to conduct business to apply for the business visa.

Every business person from a country which does not have a visa facilitation agreement with the EU needs a Business Visa for the Schengen Area to conduct business in the zone. This includes meeting clients and attending business fairs, for example.

How to apply:

  1. Check where you need to submit your application – This will usually be done at the Spanish Embassy in your country of residence, a Spanish Consulate in your country of residence or a visa application centre that processes business visas on behalf of Spain in your country of residence.
  2. Figure out when is the right time to apply – The earliest that you can submit your visa application for a business visa to Spain is six months before the intended date of your trip. On the other hand, the latest that you can do so, is two weeks before the day you plan to travel to Spain. It is recommended to apply at least three weeks in advance, in order to avoid any possible delay by the embassy.
  3. Schedule a visa appointment – You will not be able to just walk in and get a visa appointment, you will need to make an appointment online or by telephone.
  4. Complete the Spain Business Visa Application Form – Complete the application form for a Spain business visa, the application form for a Spanish visa is the same as for every short-stay visa to the Schengen area. Print the form, and then sign it. This document should be placed at the top of the file with the required documents.
  5. Collect the documents – You will need:
  • The Spain Business Visa Application Form
  • Two passport photos
  • A valid passport and copies of the pages
  • Proof of your flight
  • Your work contract or certificate
  • A letter of invitation from the company in Spain
  • Health insurance covering any incident or unforeseen illness with a minimum of €30,000
  • Means of substance proven with bank statements or a letter of support (You need to prove that you have enough money to support yourself while in Spain.)
  • Proof of hotel booking or accommodation
  1. Attend the visa interview – You will attend a short interview with a consular officer who will ask you questions regarding your trip to Spain and your background. You will have to submit the documents you have collected to this person, who will check them all.
  2. Complete the visa fee payment – On the same day, you will also need to pay the fee for a Spain business visa, which is €80. The nationals of several world countries pay a lower fee of €35.

How long does it take to be processed?

You should receive an answer on your Spain business visa application within two weeks of application, however, there are two cases when this period may be extended:

  • The Spanish authorities in your country are receiving too many visa applications at the time.
  • You have a complicated case, and your application needs further assessment.

In these cases, you may have to wait for around 30 days for an answer.

How long is it valid?

A visa can be issued with a maximal validity of 90 days within six months. Usually, you will be granted with a visa that is valid for the period you required, if this period is shorter than three months within half a year. However, the embassy may grant you a visa that is valid for longer or shorter than the required period.


Spain Work Visa

All qualifying people who wish to work in Spain must apply for this visa. Spain is a wonderful place to live and work, full of culture, history, gastronomy and beautiful beaches – the country is always in search of highly skilled professionals and has a list of shortage occupations.

If you’re travelling for business for up to 90 days in a 180-day period, you may be able to do some work-related tasks without needing a visa or work permit, such as attending business meetings. These are often covered by the Schengen visa waiver.

If you’re going for certain types of work you may need a visa, work permit or residence permit. Most non-EU/EEA citizens need a work permit and must have an employment contract before they can apply for one. UK citizens who want to live and work in Spain post-Brexit will also need residency and a work visa.

How to apply:

  1. Check where you need to submit your application – This will usually be done at the Spanish Consulate in your country of residence or a visa application centre. This varies from country to country so must be checked.
  2. Find out the right time to apply – You can apply three months before your departure for Spain.
  3. Collect the documents – You will need:
  • The Spanish D-Visa application form
  • Two passport photos
  • Work Authorisation from your employer that is less than a month old
  • Police record document proving that you have not committed any criminal activity in the last five years.
  • Medical Certificate issued by a physician that states that you are not suffering from any disease or that you may have a serious public health impact.
  • Proof of accommodation, this could be a hotel booking, rental agreement of letter of invitation
  • Proof of the professional qualification for the job you have been offered in Spain.
  • A work contract signed by your employee and you indicating your work conditions, including the monthly payment.
  • License or registration required to carry out the work in Spain.
  1. Attend the visa application appointment – You will need to provide all of your documents and pay the visa fee, this varies from country to country and must be checked (usually €80 for UK citizens).

How long does it take to be processed?

Most countries process your visa application within one month, some may take longer – you should make sure you apply well in advance, in order to avoid any possible delays.

How long is it valid?

A work permit is valid for one year and is renewable, as long as you fulfil the conditions. After five years, you can apply for permanent residence in Spain.


Spain Student Visa

This is a long-stay visa that allows you to stay in Spain for over three months and engage in education-related activities. These include if you will be taking or extending studies in an authorised teaching centre to obtain an official degree, carrying out research or training activities, participating in exchange programmes for students – public or private – performing non-work placements or carrying out volunteer services as a student.

How to apply:

  1. You must complete the pre-eligibility criteria – Failure to do so will mean you will not be accepted for a visa. You must meet one of the following criteria: studying in an accredited educational institution in Spain, attending an officially recognized research or training centre in Spain or have an agreement signed with a public or private body or entity, a vocational training centre or an organisation where you will be volunteering.
  2. Find out where to apply – You should submit your application at the Spanish consulate in your country of residence, or a third-party visa application centre, – this will depend on your country of residence.
  3. Collect all of the documents – You will need:
  • The D-visa application form
  • Two passport photos
  • A valid passport
  • Photocopies of any previous visas
  • An admission letter from the education or volunteer centre
  • Proof that you have the means to support yourself either via a bank statement or from the people who are supporting your stay
  • Medical insurance arranged with an insurance company authorised to operate in Spain with a validity of one year
  • Police record document
  • Proof of accommodation.
  1. Attend the visa appointment – Bringing with you all of the relevant signed documents, you will then have a short interview and will need to make the fee payment which varies from country to country (UK fees are usually €80).

How long does it take to be processed?

Usually, it takes about a month for your application to be processed. Once you get the visa, you can freely travel to Spain!

How long is it valid?

There are three different types of student visa with different lengths of stay, these are a student permit for less than three months, a short-term visa between three and six months and a long-term visa for six months. The student must apply for a Foreigner Identity Card within a period of 1 month from their entry into Spain if staying for more than six months.


Spain Au Pair Visa

You can apply for this visa if you will be working for a family in Spain, under certain conditions. Au pairs from the UK who will be staying less than 90 days in Spain can travel to Spain without a visa. However, it is necessary to have the correct documentation for the duration of the stay in Spain.

For stays of more than 90 days, British au pairs can apply for a student visa. To obtain the student visa, the au pair must enrol in a Spanish course before arriving in Spain (the host family must do this for him/her) and complete at least 20 hours of classes each week. The school where the au pair takes the course must be an accredited centre.

How to apply:

  1. You must meet the following conditions – You must be between 17 and 30 years of age, speak Spanish, English, French or German, know at least basic Spanish, must not have children and secure a host family before application.
  2. Find out where you need to apply – You must make sure you submit your application on time. The earliest you can apply is 90 days before your departure to Spain, it is advisable to apply at least five weeks before your trip, in case of any possible delay in processing by the embassy. You will need to apply at the Spanish Consulate or Spanish Embassy in your country of residence. In some countries, may need to apply at a visa application centre that Spain has outsourced for visa applications in your country.
  3. Gather the relevant documents – You will need:
  • The D-visa application form
  • Two passport photos
  • A valid passport
  • Copies of any old visas
  • A document of agreement with your host family
  • Proof of financial means
  • A medical certificate provided by a doctor
  • Proof of medical insurance for the duration of the stay from an insurer recognised in Spain
  • Police record document
  • An invitation letter from the host family in Spain
  1. Attend your visa appointment – Bringing with you all of the relevant signed documents, you will then have a short interview and will need to make the fee payment which varies from country to country (UK fees are usually €80).

How long does it take to be processed?

Usually, it takes about a month for your application to be processed, however, this could take longer depending on any documentation issues or backlogs.

How long is it valid?

The au pair visa is valid for three months. For longer stays, the applicant must apply for a student visa and undertake Spanish lessons.


Spain Golden Visa

This is a residency by investment programme. You can move to Spain on this visa if you invest a certain amount in real estate. You qualify to apply for a golden visa if you have proof of having made one of the investment options, you are over the age of 18, you have valid health insurance in Spain, you have enough financial means to provide for yourself and any family members, you have a clear criminal history in any of the places you have resided, you are not on Spain’s list of undesirable people and you have not previously been rejected for a Schengen Visa.

If you qualify, there are lawyers and professionals who can assist and guide throughout the process of obtaining a Golden visa.

You must have made one of the following investments to be eligible:

  • Investment in real estate property of €500,000 or more
  • Investment in shares in a company or deposit in a Spanish bank of €1,000,000 or more
  • Investment in the Spanish public debt of €2,000,000 or more

You should begin the application procedures after you have invested the required amount of money in Spain. The earliest you are permitted to apply is three months in advance of your intended trip to Spain.

How to apply:

  1. Check where you need to submit your application – This will be at the Spanish Consulate or Embassy in your country of residence.
  2. Gather the relevant documents – You will need:
  • The Spanish long-stay visa application form
  • Two passport photos
  • Your valid passport
  • Proof of your country of residence
  • Proof of your investment or intention to invest as well as the origin of the funds
  • Police record document
  • Proof of financial means
  • A medical certificate provided by a doctor
  • Proof of medical insurance
  1. Apply for the Golden Visa – You should submit your application at the Spanish Embassy within three months of making the investment. You can apply yourself or through a legal representative.

How long does it take to be processed?

The processing time for a Spain Residency Golden Visa is between two to three months.

How long is it valid?

The Spain Golden visa is initially valid for one year. Then, you can apply to convert your visa into a residence permit for investors and get a two years valid residence permit.


Spain Entrepreneur Visa

This is a visa for entrepreneurs who wish to invest in Spain. An Entrepreneur Visa for Spain is a long-stay visa which enables its holder to live in Spain for more than three months and engage in paid activity. The visa is aimed at entrepreneurs, highly-skilled professionals, researchers and workers performing inter-company business operations.

The Spanish Entrepreneur Visa allows its holder to live and work in Spain in their field of expertise, favouring applicants in professions – or with start-up ideas – in line with the general interest of the Spanish economy.

Depending on your occupation and the reason why you are applying for the Spanish entrepreneur visa, you can apply for one of the following:

  • Visa for Entrepreneurs and Business Activities (REM). This is a visa for investors with a solid business plan and one which is in the general economic interest of Spain. A significant capital investment is required for this type of visa.
  • Visa for Highly Skilled Professionals (TAC). This visa is for highly-skilled foreigners that have a job offer in Spain in a management position, highly-qualified staff at large businesses/corporates, and SMEs in certain sectors.

How to apply:

  1. Find out whether you need a visa – Anyone that meets the eligibility criteria can apply for an Entrepreneur Visa for Spain, however, nationals of EU member countries and the four non-EU Schengen members can move to Spain for these purposes without a visa. Do not confuse the entrepreneur visa for a visa that enables you to travel to Spain for business purposes.
  2. Check when you need to apply – Apply at most three months before the date of your intended departure to Spain and no less than one month before departure.
  3. Find out where to apply – This will usually be done at your Spanish Consulate.
  4. Collect all of the relevant documents – You will need:
  • Your visa application form
  • Two passport photos
  • Your valid passport
  • Copies of any previous visas
  • Police record document
  • Proof of sufficient funds to support yourself
  • Proof of medical insurance from an authoriser recognised in Spain
  • A favourable report which confirms that the business project or the innovative entrepreneurial activities are of general interest to Spain
  1. Attend the visa application appointment  – Bringing with you all of the relevant signed documents and pay the fee (this is usually €80 for British citizens).

How long does the process take?

After you fulfil the legal requirements, you can receive your visa within ten days.

How long is it valid?

The visa is valid for 1 year. The visa accredits residence in Spain during its validity period, making it unnecessary for the entrepreneur to obtain a Foreigner Identity Card.


Non-Lucrative Residence Visa

Of course, not everyone who moves to Spain intends to work. If you wish to immigrate to Spain and you have sufficient income to support yourself and your family/dependants you can apply for a non-lucrative residence visa -as of 2021, this means that you can prove that you have at least €27,115 in your bank account plus €6,778 for each dependent. Note that it is illegal to carry out any work activities on this visa. 

This visa is categorised as a long-stay visa and the application process is quite similar to other long-term Spain visas. Of course, if you are a citizen of an EU/EEA country this does not apply to you.

How to apply:

  1. Find out when and were to apply – You should apply at your Spanish Embassy, Spanish Consulate or a third party company that deals with Spanish visas. This should be completed at least five weeks before your intended trip to Spain.
  2. Collect the documents – You will need:
  • Your visa application form (Spanish national visa form)
  • Your two passport photos
  • Your valid passport
  • Copies of any previous visas
  • Medical certificate from a doctor
  • Private health insurance recognised in Spain
  • An NIE number
  • Proof of sufficient funds
  1. Attend the visa application appointment  – Bringing with you all of the relevant signed documents and pay the fee (this is usually €80 for British citizens).

How long does the process take?

It could take up to three months for your visa to be processed, though most countries take two to five weeks.

How long is it valid?

The visa will be valid for 90 days. Once in Spain, a Foreigner Identity Card must be applied for within a period of 1 month from the applicant’s entry into Spain, at the Foreign Nationals’ Office or the corresponding Police Station.

You can apply for a two-year residence visa once in Spain.


Digital Nomad Visa

A digital nomad is someone who works online on projects or business ventures and is usually either an entrepreneur or freelancer who works on their laptops almost everywhere they go around the world.

A digital nomad is very much like a freelancer but not completely the same. A freelancer works for different companies based on set terms, however, digital nomads are constantly moving from one place to another looking for work opportunities.

How to apply:

Currently, you cannot apply for the digital nomad visa in Spain, and will need to wait a little longer. Assuming that everything goes as planned, we could see the Spain DNV launch latest September 2022.

  1. Check the requirement for the digital nomad visa – These are:
  • You are a non-EU citizen
  • Your job can be done remotely
  • You’re not working for a Spanish company
  • You’ve been working for the same non-Spanish company for at least three months before the application
  • If you’re a freelancer, you need to have at least 1 client that is not in Spain, for at least the previous three months
  • Less than 20 per cent of your income should be from Spanish companies
  • You must meet the minimum income requirement (Generally, this can be anywhere from €1,000 – €3,000 per month).
  1. The documents you will need – These will be much like the required documents above, including proof of employment and sufficient funds, a valid passport, passport photos, health insurance, a police document etc.

*Remember – If you’re going to live and work in Spain for over 183 days in a year, you’ll be seen as a Spanish tax resident.


Permanent residence and citizenship

After five uninterrupted years of temporary residence in Spain, you can apply for a long-term or permanent residence. A long-term residence permit allows you to stay in Spain indefinitely. Permanent residency affords you most of the same rights as Spanish citizens, with the exception of voting in elections.

Within 30 days of arriving in Spain, all non-EU/EEA and Swiss citizens staying for longer than three months must apply for an identity card (tarjeta de identidad de extranjero or TIE). You have to apply at the Foreigner’s Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) or a police station in your province.

Documents you will need include:

  • A valid passport
  • Two passport photos
  • Completed application form
  • Proof of payment of the card fee
  • Proof of social security registration
  • Proof of healthcare cover

Registering on El Padron

You should also get a certificado de empadronamiento by registering on the population register called the padrón at your local town hall or municipal office.

Accessing healthcare in Spain

After you are registered on the social security system, you can apply for a healthcare card (tarjeta sanitaria individual or TSI card) which will enable you to access Spain’s free public healthcare. Keep in mind that state healthcare does have exclusions, such as dental work. Many expats look for private health insurance to cover these gaps.

 


Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories. Remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

FacebookTwitterRedditWhatsAppTelegramLinkedInEmailCopy Link
Go Back
Written by

Euro Weekly News Media

Share your story with us by emailing [email protected], by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EuroWeeklyNews

Comments


    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published.