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Spain Visa Policy

As part of the European Union, the visa policy for Spain varies depending on where you are from in the world. If you live in one of the Schengen countries, you can travel to Spain without needing to obtain a visa.

However, for visitors from elsewhere in the world, you’ll need to ensure you apply for your visa in advance of your trip. Let’s take a look at the visa policy for Spain and everything you need to know ahead of your business trip or vacation here.

History and Future of Spain Visas

The Schengen Visa allows tourists visiting from elsewhere in the world to enter Spain. Spain is considered part of the Schengen Area and shares border policies with the other countries in this agreement.

This means that if you are visiting Spain, you aren’t always issued a visa just for that country if you are visiting for tourism purposes. However, if you are looking to live in Spain or work in the country, you will need to apply for a specific visa for this country. It’s important to note that from 2022, a new policy revision will come into effect in the Schengen Area.

This will require that anyone entering the country which is exempt from a visa has to pre-register on the ETIAS system before entering Spain. If you are planning a trip next year, make sure you are aware of the changes to the rules and regulations at the time of your vacation.

Common Visas for Spain

As we mentioned above, when it comes to tourism visas, these are usually granted by way of a Schengen Visa. Some countries are visa-exempt for the Schengen Area and can visit for up to 90 days in a 180 day period.

However, if you are traveling for business, medical treatment, or other purposes, you’ll need to research the type of visa you need for this trip. Citizens from over 150 different countries who wish to stay in Spain for a longer period of time will need to apply for an embassy visa. 

The most common types of visas that are granted for Spain include a tourist visa, business visa, and work visa. On top of that, there are also visas that are available for students and transiting through the country.

If you are looking to reunite with your family in Spain or marry someone in the country, there will also be separate applications for these reasons. The period of time you are allowed to stay in the country for will depend on the visa you are applying for. Where you are traveling from may also impact whether you are given a single or multiple entry visa.

Medical visas are offered for visits to Spain, and you’ll need to confirm the date of your appointment at the hospital or medical center. If you are working on a sporting event, film, or traveling for religious purposes, there is a visa for cultural visits, which requires an invitation letter to apply.

Members of official delegations can apply for a Spain visa, as can anyone entering the country for research and internships. If you have an underage child applying for a visa, they will require information about the parent’s income and their travel consent. 

Applying for a Spanish Visa

If you are ready to apply for a Spanish Schengen visa, you’ll need to visit your local Spanish embassy or consulate. Make an appointment ahead of time to ensure you can visit the embassy at this current time, as their opening hours and rules may be different from pre-COVID times.

Some nationalities are required to submit biometric identifiers, including fingerprints and a digital photo, as part of this application process.

We always recommend you apply at least two or three weeks before your trip to allow enough time for your visa to be processed and returned to you.

In order to apply for the visa, you’ll need to complete an application form with your personal and passport data. You’ll bring this with you to the interview and will also need to state the length of your trip and why you intend to visit Spain.

The supporting documents that are required alongside this form are dependent on your nationality. You will need to share why you are visiting and potentially show travel insurance, economic resources, and information about your accommodation in the country.

For any application, ensure you have at least six months remaining on your passport following your entry date to Spain. For specific details about your application, speak to your local embassy, who will be able to guide you through any additional paperwork you may need. 


While many citizens can enter Spain without a visa currently for tourism, next year, all visa-exempt citizens will have to pre-register online before they travel to Spain. You will receive an ETIAS visa waiver, which offers you multiple entries and a stay of up to 90 days within Spain and the other Schengen countries.

The ETIAS will be valid for three years upon its approval, so you don’t need to keep applying for a new one for each trip. This online application form is likely to be similar to other online applications for ETAs and ESTAs.

If you are traveling next year, make sure you apply for your ETIAS online as soon as possible to avoid any issues with entering the country. As it’s valid for three years, there’s no reason not to apply as soon as the system goes live.

As with traveling anywhere in the world at the moment, we encourage you to check out the vaccination and health requirements for visiting Spain.

This will ensure that you have no issues entering the country, whether you are traveling on a visa or not. Spain is a beautiful European country which has so much to offer visitors, and if you are planning a trip here, you’ll definitely not be disappointed. Make sure you apply for your visa well in advance of your trip, and you’ll be ready to explore everything Spain has to offer.

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