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Visiting Spain to Study | Visa and Application

International students have long regarded Spain as the best country to study abroad. Spanish colleges and universities are well-known and provide a wide range of options for prospective overseas students. 

What is a Visa to Study in Spain?

Overseas students can live in Spain while attending school if they have a Spanish student visa, also called a Spain study visa.

If an individual wants to study in Spain and is from a non-EU country, he/she must apply for a student visa. Once an applicant obtains a letter of confirmation from the university indicating they have been accepted, they can apply for a visa to study in the country.

Visa is required for stays longer than 90 days whether it is for volunteer work, internships, or studies. 

Eligibility for A Study Visa for Spain

Depending on how long prospective students plan to be in Spain for school, if they are a citizen of a country outside the European Union, they must make arrangements for their legal standing.

Students are allowed to stay in Spain for up to 180 days if they have a long-term study visa. In this instance, unlike a bundle of paperwork for a resident study visa, two certificates that typically cost a lot of time and money to process are necessary:

  • a medical certificate, issued no more than three months before filing for a study visa, accompanied by a translation into Spanish or signed by a Spanish official.
  • a recent, apostilled certificate of clean record translated into Spanish or prepared by an authorized translator in Spain with official recognition. It must have been issued no earlier than three months before applying for a visa by the appropriate authority of the country where the applicant has lived for five years before filing the application.

In Spain, this visa cannot be extended. If an applicant intends to study for a duration longer than 180 days, then they must apply for a resident study visa with one-year initial validity.

Activities That Justify a Student Visa

  • Pursuing full-time study (minimum of twenty hours every week) at a recognized university or other educational institution leading to a diploma, certificate, or degree.
  • Training exercises
  • D./Doctoral Programs
  • Exchange programs for secondary school students (high school or middle school) with a recognized institution of scientific or higher learning.
  • Internships or traineeships at organizations, whether private or public, that are ineligible for internship visas
  • Volunteer work for organizations addressing issues of general or public interest
  • Teaching Aides (auxiliaries de conversación)
  • Au Pair Programs

What Qualifies to be A Student?

To qualify as a student, an individual must qualify for higher education in Spain if they have successfully completed upper secondary studies (high school). Additionally, they must hold a valid high school diploma, and should also be eligible for continued-higher education in their home country.

However, prospective students should be prepared to demonstrate their proficiency in either Spanish or English.

In some circumstances, students may also need to complete additional prerequisite coursework or pass an exam at the school of their choice in order to satisfy the eligibility requirements.

If students want to be sure that the course that they are applying for requires such particular tests, then they should check with the Spanish institution.

Additional Information

Non-EU nationals who intend to study in Spain for a period longer than six months must apply for an "open" Type D study visa.

Once in Spain, the applicant must get the Student Residence Card for foreigners also known as TIE to reside there legally. This type of visa is valid for entry into the Schengen region for three months.

The TIE is a short-term visa that enables an individual to remain in the nation while they are enrolled in school. The card can be renewed every year until they complete their studies and has a maximum validity of one academic year. 

When renewing the permission, academic standing will be taken into consideration. The document grants a prospective student permission to legally stay in Spain while he/she pursues their studies.

A student visa is not required for those who plan to study in Spain for less than 90 days. However, the Spain ETIAS will be needed.

Up to 180 days can be spent in Spain for studies with a Type D visa. It is valid for a study period of up to six months. However, the Residence Card for International Students is not available with this sort of visa.

Study Duration of More than Six Months

After entering the European Union, prospective students have a maximum of 30 days to start the Student Residence Card application process. The flight ticket (boarding pass) or the passport stamp indicating the date of their entry into the European Union must be presented for this.

The local Spanish Embassy or Consulate is where one can submit a visa application.

Once an individual is in Spain, the visa that has been issued cannot be modified. When traveling to Spain, only the visa that was issued from a Spanish embassy or consulate is valid.


  • Non-EU nationality.
  • Be present in Spain regularly
  • If students have a short-term visa (90 days maximum), or if not, they are allowed 90 days of visa-free travel in the Schengen region, they must start the application process for a study permit within the first sixty days of their stay.
  • When a resident and work permit is available, the study permit must be applied for at least thirty days before the residence and employment permission expires.
  • Not have a travel ban prohibiting them from entering Spain.
  • Be accepted into a full-time program in a Spanish higher education institution. A minimum of twenty hours per week or sixty credits are taken into consideration for the case.
  • Possess ample financial resources.
  • Possess either public or private medical insurance from a business that is authorized to conduct business in Spain.

The following relatives can also apply for a visa to travel with the student:

  • A civil partner or spouse
  • Children who are underage or have special needs

Visas for family members of students don't count as a work permit.

Documents and Application for Study Visa Application

The following documents are necessary for anyone planning to pursue higher studies in Spain:

  • Duly signed and completed visa application
  • A passport that is valid for the duration of the intended stay and two passport-size pictures.
  • An acceptance letter from the Spanish university
  • Information regarding the study program, such as the degree's name and the number of hours per week of the study valid throughout the entirety of the academic career.
  • Evidence that the overseas students have the necessary funds to support themselves financially during their term of study
  • Certificates of good health and criminal history must be apostilled by MEA/HRD.
  • Evidence that the visa application fees have been paid.
  • Proof of lack of cases through a criminal record certificate

Top Universities in Spain

The majority of Spanish universities are among the best in the world and Europe. There are several universities in Spain, many of which are well-known abroad and consistently score high in global rankings.

Even though Spanish is the primary language of instruction at most Spanish colleges, a growing number of degree programs are now being offered in English. Some of the top universities in Spain are listed below:

  • Technical University of Madrid
  • Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
  • Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • University of Barcelona
  • Autonomous University of Barcelona
  • Polytechnic University of Catalonia
  • Pompeu Fabra University
  • IE University
  • University of Navarra
  • Complutense University of Madrid

Spain draws students with its world-class universities and affordable tuition rates, so it's not just the wonderful weather and stunning beaches that do it.

Price to Attend 

One of the most affordable countries in Europe for tuition is Spain. It is a reasonable choice for overseas students because the tuition cost for bachelor's programs is from 750 to 2,500 euros per year and from 1,000 to 3,500 euros for master's programs.

Private institutions determine their own tuition rates, which may top twenty thousand Euros every year.

Although the cost of living in Spain varies by region, it is often simple to do so while maintaining a high standard of living. Food is affordable and of great quality, and there are lots of places to buy affordable, stylish apparel. 

However, lodging in significant cities like Madrid and Barcelona can be pricey.

Budget-friendly locations like Valencia or Seville can be worth considering if an individual is on a tight budget.

Additionally, keep in mind that Spain's public transportation is both effective and affordable. So, wherever a student decides to base himself/herself, he/she will be able to explore everything the country has to offer.

Getting the School Application Started

Even if a person is not a resident of the consular district, the consular officer alone has the authority to accept visa applications from them if they regularly visit the district for the purpose of study or if they live there.

A study stay permit must also be applied for in addition to a study visa.

Who can Apply for a Spain Study Visa?

If the applicant is a minor, one of their parents must submit the application on their behalf. A duly authorized representative may also submit it on their behalf.

Timeframe for Applying for a Visa

The application must be submitted no sooner than 90 days before the anticipated departure date. Applications for visas must be submitted far enough in advance of the start of the relevant study programs because the process involves consulting with other authorities.

Submission Location

At the consular office, applications must be delivered in person. It is important to make an appointment.

Evidence of Delivery

The consular office will give the applicant evidence of receipt of the application along with a code that enables them to track the progress of the file.

Application Corrections

To process the application and make a decision, the Consular Office may ask the applicant to supply any missing documents or to give more information. A personal interview with the candidate may also be scheduled.

Decision Timeframe

Legally, a decision must be made within a month of the application's filing date. However, this window may be extended if an interview is scheduled or more paperwork is required.

Visa Collection

The visa must be picked up in person by the applicant or their agent (if the applicant is a minor) within a maximum of two months, beginning the day following the date the applicant is notified of a favorable decision. 

The application process for returning any other original documents and the passport will be explained to the applicant by the consular office.

Rejection of a Visa or Study Stay Permit

Rejections of a visa or study stay permit are always communicated in writing and include the reasons for the rejection.

Visa Plea

If a visa or stay permit for studying in Spain is denied, the applicant may file an appeal with the consular office for reconsideration. This must be done within one month of the day after they get the notice that their application was denied.

Within the two-month window commencing the day after the applicant receives notice of the visa refusal or the rejection of the reconsideration appeal, they may also submit a judicial review application to the High Court of Justice of Madrid.

Spain Study Visa Validity

The visa will be valid for the entire stay if the study period is no longer than six months, and a foreigner identity card is not required. If the length of the study stay exceeds six months, the visa is only valid for a 90-day stay.

The student must visit the Foreign Nationals' Office or the Police Station of the region where permission was obtained within one month of their admission into Spain to apply for a foreign identity card.

It can be challenging to apply for a student visa since applicants have to make sure they have all the relevant paperwork and can demonstrate that they have the necessary resources, such as health insurance or funds, among other things.

When an applicant has all the necessary information, the application process may be rather straightforward, making it simpler to get this kind of visa.

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