By Euro Weekly News Media • 21 July 2022 • 9:31
Is it time to renew to renew your 12-month non-lucrative visa?. Image - MA8/shutterstock
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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:
In these cases, you may have to wait for around 30 days for an answer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Usually, it takes about a month for your application to be processed. Once you get the visa, you can freely travel to Spain!
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.
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.
Usually, it takes about a month for your application to be processed, however, this could take longer depending on any documentation issues or backlogs.
The au pair visa is valid for three months. For longer stays, the applicant must apply for a student visa and undertake Spanish lessons.
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:
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.
The processing time for a Spain Residency Golden Visa is between two to three months.
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.
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:
After you fulfil the legal requirements, you can receive your visa within ten days.
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.
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.
It could take up to three months for your visa to be processed, though most countries take two to five weeks.
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.
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.
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.
*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.
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:
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.
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.
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