Spain is the second-largest country in the European Union by territory, with an area of 505,990 km2. It is officially known as the Kingdom of Spain and is located mostly on the Iberian Peninsula in Europe. 46,710,000 people live in Spain, and speak Spanish as their official language.
The tourism industry here is the second-largest tourism industry in the world. Spain benefits around 40 billion each year from it. Some of the most famous Spanish cities are Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Valencia etc.
Spain is well known for the sport of bullfighting, the festival of tomatoes, the Ibiza parties and flamingo. Among the most visited tourist attractions are the Alhambra and Generalife Gardens, the Sagrada Familia and Gaudi Sites and the Great Mosque of Cordoba.
You can apply for the Spanish Schengen Visa since 1995 when Spain as an EU Member State also became a member state of the Schengen Area.
Fun fact: The stapler was invented in Spain!
Spain Entry Restrictions in Response to Coronavirus
Amid the Coronavirus outbreak, Spain and the rest of the EU/Schengen Area members imposed an EU-wide entry ban on third-country nationals in mid-March 2020, on the recommendation of the EU Commission. In addition, entry restrictions to Spain are frequently changing based on the COVID-19 situation in other countries.
Read “Travelling to Spain Amid COVID-19 – Everything You Need to Know” to get the latest updates regarding Spain’s travel entry restrictions and other measures imposed by Spanish authorities.
Spain Entry Requirements
All persons entering Spain through land, sea or air need to present at least one document to the border police. What document(s) you will need to carry with you when you travel to Spain, all depends on your nationality.
If you are a traveller from one of the EU/EAA countries, all you need to carry with you is a valid personal identity card or passport.
However, if you are a non-EU/EEA traveller you will need to present several documents to the border police when you show up at the Spanish port of entry. These documents are as follows:
- A valid passport or travel document. Valid for at least three more months beyond your planned date of exit from Schengen, and issued within the last 10 years.
- A visa – if you are subject to the Spanish visa regime.
- Proof of accommodation. A document that shows where you will be staying during your time in Spain.
- A return or round-trip ticket. Or proof of onward travel, if you do not plan to return to your home country upon the end of your stay in Spain.
- Documents proving your purpose of entry.
The Spanish border officer will ask you to provide him/her with these documents. He/she may also ask you a few questions related to your trip to Spain like:
- What is your purpose for visiting Spain?
- How long do you intend to stay in Spain?
- Where are you going to stay in Spain? Etc.
Note that the border police have the competence to deny you entry to Spain if they think there is something wrong with your documents or the purpose of entry to Spain. If the Spanish border officer concludes that you are no risk for Spain, upon checking your documents, you will be permitted to enter Spain, and thus the Schengen territory.
Make sure that the Spanish border officer stamps your passport when you enter Spain. Without a stamp, you could be fined or detained from Spain.
Who Needs a Schengen Visa to Enter Spain?
Since Spain is a member country of the Schengen zone, it applies the Schengen visa code to all short-stay travellers. This means that you will need to obtain a visa prior to your trip if one of the following statements corresponds to your situation:
- You are a national of a third-world country that has not reached a visa liberalization agreement with the Schengen states
- You are a national of a third-world country that has reached a visa-free movement agreement with the Schengen states, but you were previously rejected from entering Spain or any other Schengen country without a visa.
What Type of Visa Do I Need to Enter Spain?
If you are planning to visit Spain for a short stay trip (up to 90 days), then you have to apply for a Schengen short-stay visa to Spain, known also as a C-type visa.
Depending on your purpose of entry to Spain, you can get one of the following Schengen visa types for Spain:
- Austrian Airport Visa – for those who need to transit through one of the Austrian airports, to reach their travel destination country, outside the Schengen Area.
- Spanish Tourist Visa – for those wishing to visit Spain for holidays or sightseeing.
- Spanish Visitor Visa – for travellers who want to visit friends or family members residing in Spain.
- Spanish Business Visa – for business people who need to attend business-related activities in Spain.
- Spanish Visa for Official Visit – for Official Delegations coming to Spain on an official trip.
- Spanish Medical Visa – for people seeking medical treatment in Spain.
- Spanish Study Visa –for students that wish to attend a course for up to three months at an educational institution in Spain.
- Spanish Visa for Cultural, Sports, and Film Crews – for people wishing to attend an activity in Spain that belongs to this nature.
What Documents Are Required for a Spain Schengen Visa Application?
The Spanish embassy/consulate in your country of residence wants you to prove your identity, background and purpose of entry to Spain. You will need to do so by submitting several required documents for a Spanish Visa.
The mandatory Spain visa requirements are as follows:
- Spanish visa application form. Fulfil the form with your computer, print it and then sign it at the end.
- Two passport photos. The photos should be of passport format – a recent whole-face capture with a light background. Learn more about photograph requirements for Spanish visa applications.
- Your valid passport. Make sure your passport meets the following criteria:
- It has two blank pages in order to affix visa,
- It is not older than 10 years,
- It has a validity of at least three more months beyond the date you plan to leave Spain and the whole territory of Schengen.
- Copies of:
- all the pages of the travel passport.
- your previous visas.
- other valid or expired travel passports.
- all the pages of other valid or expired travel passports.
- Spain Travel Health Insurance. Prior to your visa application, you should obtain travel health insurance for the whole territory of Spain and all the other Schengen states. Your insurance must cover medical emergencies with a minimum of 30,000€, including repatriation in case of death.
Health insurance policies for foreigners travelling to Spain that fulfil Spanish visa & entry requirements can be purchased online from AXA Assistance or Europ Assistance. Both companies are accepted by Spanish authorities.
- Round-trip Flight Itinerary. A document that shows you have a booked flight, to enter and leave Spain. This document should specify flight numbers, dates, and your details.
- Proof of accommodation. I.e. a hotel reservation. (Check Booking.com or HotelsCombined to find cheap hotels in Spain!)
- Proof of sufficient financial means. A foreigner who seeks to enter the territory of Spain needs to attest owning at least 100€/day, with a minimum of €900 per person regardless of the intended duration of the stay.
- A cover letter. A personal letter in which you explain why you are applying to visit Spain, how long you plan to stay, when will you leave and other details. (Click to find cover letter samples for Spanish visa applications)
- Proof of civil status. This could be a marriage certificate, birth certificate of children, death certificate of spouse, etc.
UK residents, please read: How to Apply for a Spain Visa in the UK!
Additional Spanish Visa Requirements Based on Your Employment Status
The additional Spain visa requirements depending on your occupational status are as follows:
- Employment contract
- Current bank statement of the latest 6 months
- Leave permission from the employer
- Income Tax Return (ITR) form
- A copy of your business license
- Company bank statement of the latest 6 months
- Income Tax Return (ITR)
If a student:
- Proof of enrollment
- No-objection certificate from school or university
- Pension statement of the latest 6 months
- Proof of regular income generated by the property, for the last 6 months
Additional Spanish Visa Requirements for Minors
Minors applying to get a short-stay visa to Spain, or parents applying for their minor child to get a visa, will need to complete the following additional Spanish Visa Requirements in their application file:
- Birth certificate of the minor travelling to Spain.
- Spain Visa application form signed by both parents.
- Family court order. In cases where only one parent has full custody of the child.
- Certified copies of ID/passport of both parents
- Consent from the Guardianship Authority. If the minor will be travelling with only one parent, or alone with another person.
*Note: When applying at the Spanish embassy/consulate in the home country, the guardian or parent should accompany their underage children.
Additional Requirements Based on the Purpose of Entry to Spain
According to the reason why you wish to visit Spain, you will need to provide some extra documents to the Spanish embassy/consulate in your country of residence. Find the additional Spain visa requirements based on your purpose of entry listed and explained below.
Spain Airport Transit Visa Requirements
If you need to land at one of the Spain airports, just to take another flight to your destination country located outside the Schengen Area, then apply for a Spain Airport Transit Visa.
Required Documents for an Airport Transit Schengen Visa to Spain
When applying to obtain a Spain Airport Transit visa, you must provide the following additional documents:
- A valid visa (if needed) for the final country you are travelling to.
- The flight ticket for the final country you are travelling to.
Spain Transit Visa Requirements
The Spain Transit Visa is for seafarers who need to disembark at one of the Spanish harbours before embarking on another ship, which will take them to their non-Schengen destination country.
Required Documents for a Transit Schengen Visa to Spain
When applying to obtain a Spain Transit visa, you must provide the following additional documents:
- A valid visa (if required) for the final country you are travelling to.
- The ticket for the final country you are travelling to.
- Employment contract. Contract with the navigation company/ship in order to board the ship
- Invitation from the Spanish shipping company.
- Copy of all the pages with personal data of the seafaring book.
- Copy of the sailor certificate.
- List with the names of all crew members.
Spain Tourist Visa Requirements
If your purpose of visiting Spain is for holidays, exploring or sightseeing, then you should apply for a Spain Tourist visa before travelling to the country.
Required Documents for a Tourist Schengen Visa to Spain
When applying to obtain a Spanish Tourist visa, you must provide the following additional documents:
- Travel Itinerary. A description of your trip day-to-day, what you will be doing in Spain, places you plan to visit, where you will be staying, as well as the entry and leave dates.
- Proof of how you will be financing your trip to Spain.
Spain Visitor Visa Requirements
If you are travelling to Spain for the purpose of visiting friends or family members that live in Spain upon their invitation, then apply for a short-stay Spanish Visitor Visa.
Required Documents for a Schengen Visitor Visa to Spain
When applying to obtain a visa to visit your friends or relatives in Spain, you must provide the following additional documents:
- Travel Itinerary. Detailed day-to-day plan of your trip to Spain.
- Typed letter of invitation from the host with the personal information of the host and the guest, travel dates and address of the place of residence in Spain.
- Letter of invitation issued by a police station in Spain (mandatory for foreign nationals).
- Copy of a valid document of the host, proving their legality in the territory of Spain (passport, identity card, residence permit, valid visa).
- Confirmation of relationship, if the invited person is a relative, i.e. birth certificate, marriage certificate, name change certificate, “Libro de familia” etc.
Spain Business Visa Requirements
You should apply for a Spanish Visitor Visa if the purpose of your trip to Spain is to attend a business meeting or other business-related activities in this country.
Required Documents for a Business Schengen Visa to Spain
When applying to obtain a Spanish Business visa, you must provide the following additional documents:
- A letter from your employer. In this letter should be stated why you will be travelling to Spain.
- Invitation from a Spanish company indicating the purpose and period of the stay, activities of the company and personal data of the guest (name, nationality, passport number, etc.). The invitation must be signed either by the commercial director, exports director or CEO of the hosting company and should state the assumption of costs by the company if necessary.
- Accreditation of ongoing commercial relationship with the hosting company, in case of successive invitations on behalf of the same person (older invitations from the same person or organization).
- Copy of the identity document of the person who signs the invitation letter.
- Proof of trip financing. Regarding the applicant’s expenses during their stay in Spain, either the employer or the partner company must state coverage of expenses on the letter or invitation.
Spain Study Visa Requirements
Apply for a Spain Study Visa if you wish to attend an up-to-three-month study course at an educational institution in Spain, hold an internship, or a training.
Required Documents for a Student Schengen Visa to Spain
When applying to get a Spanish Student visa, you must provide the following additional documents:
- No objection letter from the educational institution where you are currently enrolled (if applicable).
- Internship agreement. Signed between the company in Spain, the establishment of origin and the trainee.
- Letter of admission in a public or private institution, officially recognized and accredited, to study or extend studies.
- The content of the studies plan, training or research to be conducted.
- Proof of payment of tuition or booking of the course or studies to be performed. In the case of minors, must be included in the personal data of the person who made the payment.
- Specific documents for specialized studies in the health field visa: Certificate issued by the General Department of Professional Regulation of the Ministry of Health attesting that a place has been obtained, indicating the hospital or teaching unit and the length of the speciality awarded.
Spain Medical Visa Requirements
If you need to obtain medical treatment at a hospital located in Spain, i.e. undergo surgery or receive health therapies, then you should apply for a short-stay Spanish Medical Visa.
Required Documents for a Medical Schengen Visa to Spain
When applying to get a visa to receive medical care in Spain, you must provide the following additional documents:
- A local medical report. Issued from a doctor/clinic/hospital in your home country, confirming that you need medical treatment in Spain.
- Letter from the hospital or doctor in Spain, confirming the date of your appointment as well as your medical situation. It should also confirm that the hospital can perform the specific medical treatment and that you will be accepted accordingly.
- Proof of financial arrangement made.
Spain Cultural/Sports/Religious Events Visa Requirements
When planning to attend an activity in Spain that is related to sports, culture or religion, or as a member of a film crew, then you should apply for a Spanish Cultural/Sports/Religious Events Visa.
Required Documents for a Schengen Visa to Spain for Cultural, Sports, Film Crew or Religious Purposes
When applying to get a Spanish visa under the purpose of attending a Cultural / Sports / Religious Event in Spain you must provide the following additional documents:
- Invitation letter from the host organization in Spain, signed by a representative which states:
- which the period of stay,
- the reason for the invitation and
- details about the activity to be held in Spain.
- Event information, as entry tickets, enrollment conditions, detailed program of the event and. other documents that present names of the applicants (crew members) and other relevant information about the event.
- Proof of previous performances. Participation in previous festivals and ceremonies (cultural, religious), sports competitions, winners certificates, proof of world/international ranking (sports).
Spain Visa for Spouse of Spanish National Requirements
If you are married to a Spanish passport holder, and you wish to travel to Spain for a short-stay visit, then you should hold a Spain Visa for Spouse of Spanish National in order to be permitted to enter the country.
Required Documents for a Spanish Schengen Visa for the Wife/Husband of a Spanish Citizen
When applying to get a Spanish visa as the spouse of a Spanish national/citizen, you must provide the following additional documents:
- Proof of Spanish citizenship (ID card or consular card or certification of Spanish nationality or naturalization order).
- Spanish marriage certificate.
- Spanish family record book.
Spain Visa for Official Visit Requirements
If you are planning to enter Spain as a member of a foreign Official Delegation invited for an official visit representing a government, organization or institution, then you need to apply for a Spain Visa for Official Visits.
Spanish Schengen Visa for Members of Official Delegations
When applying to get a Spanish visa as a member of an official delegation, you must provide the following additional documents:
- The official invitation copy.
- Evidence about the purpose of the journey (negotiations, meetings, events by intergovernmental organizations, consultations).
How to Apply for a Spanish Short-Stay Visa
To successfully complete the application process for a short-stay visa to Spain, follow the steps listed below in the given order, according to their instructions:
- Decide what visa type you need. Check the explanation given above for each visa type for short stays in Spain, and apply for the one that fits best your purpose of entry.
- Figure out where to apply for a Spain visa. You will have to submit your Spain visa application to the relevant body responsible for the admission of applications. Below you can find an explanation of this.
- Complete the application form for a Spanish short-stay visa.
- Collect the requirements for a Spanish visa. Gather all of the required documents, the statutory ones, and the visa specific requirements according to your purpose of entry.
- Appoint a visa interview.
- Attend the interview at the appropriate Spanish Embassy/Consulate/VAC.
Where to Apply for a Spanish Short-Stay Visa
Depending on how the Spanish authorities in your country of residence have regulated visa submission, you will have to apply at one of the following Spain diplomatic bodies in your home country:
- The Spanish Embassy
- A Spanish consulate
- A Visa Application Center to which Spain has outsourced visa submission
- The Embassy / Consulate of another Schengen country to which Spain has outsourced visa submission
Who Can Apply for a Schengen Visa at the Spanish Embassy / Consulate / VAC?
Since Spain is a member of the Schengen border-free travel area, visa submission for short-stay visits is regulated by the Schengen Visa code too. According to this code, you should submit your visa application at a Spanish Embassy / Consulate / VAC, only if one of the following statements must correspond to your situation:
- Aside from Spain, you will not visit any other Schengen country.
- You will visit more Schengen states, but Spain is your main destination, which means:
- You will be spending more days in Spain, than in the other countries.
- You will be spending an equal amount of days in each country, but you will enter the Schengen Zone through Spain.
Moreover, you will be permitted to file a Spain short-stay visa application at a Spanish Embassy / Consulate / VAC only if you are a:
- A citizen of the country from where you are applying.
- A foreign citizen on a permanent/temporary residence permit in the country from where you are applying.
You cannot apply for a short-stay Spanish visa from a country in which you are currently on a visa.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Spanish Visa?
The processing time for a Spain short-stay visa may take up to 15 working days. Still, according to your specific situation, this period may be extended up to 30 days. Exceptional cases may take up to 60 days, since the Spanish embassies may have to consult with other Schengen consulates.
To avoid any delay in the issuance of your Spanish short-stay visa, you should submit your application as soon as possible, though no earlier than three months before you travel to Spain.
How Much Does It Cost to Apply for a Spanish Visa?
Spanish Short Term Visa Fees at a Glance
|Spanish Short-Stay Visa Application TypeVisa Fee in EuroSpanish visa for adult travellers80Spanish visa for children (6 – 12 years)40Spanish visa for children (under 6 years)FREE
Moreover, according to the applicant’s nationality, the purpose of visit and some other factors, there are some categories of applicants exempt from paying the fee and others that need to pay a lower amount as well.
Check the list of the Spanish Schengen Visa fees, to see if you belong to any of these categories!
How Long Can We Stay in Spain Without a Visa?
The permitted length of your visa-free stay in Spain depends on your nationality. If you are a passport holder of one of the following, you can enter Spain visa-free, and stay there up to 90 days:
- EU / EEA member countries – you need to register at the relevant Spanish authorities if you wish to stay longer.
- Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of South Korea or the United States of America – you need to obtain a residence permit within three months of arrival in Spain if you wish to stay longer.
- Spain visa-exempt countries – you need to obtain a Spanish National visa for long stays from your country of residence if you wish to stay longer.
Whereas, if you are a passport holder of any of the countries that still have not signed a visa-free agreement with the Schengen Area, you must obtain a visa before heading to Spain, or any other Schengen member country.
IMPORTANT: Make sure you understand the 90/180 Schengen Visa Rule. Do not violate this rule, not even for one day, since you may face consequences for overstaying in the Schengen territory.
>> Check our Schengen calculator to calculate the remaining number of days that you can stay in Spain.
Can I Extend My Schengen Visa in Spain?
Yes, you can extend your Spanish Schengen visa, but only in exceptional cases where new facts and special reasons arise after entry into Spain, i.e. humanitarian reasons or force majeure. You will need to submit your application prior to the expiration of the visa you currently hold.
Please read How to Extend a Schengen Visa in Spain to understand in what circumstances and under what conditions you can extend your Spanish Schengen Visa.
Can My Spanish Schengen Visa Be Revoked?
Yes, your Spain visa can be revoked, in case the competent Spanish authorities conclude that the conditions for issuing the visa are no longer met.
If you are in Spain when the decision on the revocation of your visa happens, you will be given a deadline to leave Spain. If you do not leave Spain or the territory of Schengen within this period, you will then be considered an illegal resident in Spain.
Please note that the failure of the visa holder to provide the border officer, with the entry requirements, may also lead to a decision to annul or revoke the visa, though not automatically.
Attention! Please consult the Spanish Embassy/Consulate in your country of residence for the updated Spain Visa requirements!