If you’re from outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland and studying in Spain for more than six months, you’ll need a type D student visa and student residence card (TIE - Tarjeta de identidad de extranjero).
The Spain student visa application cost is €60.
EU, EEA and Swiss students will still need to obtain a NIE (identification number for foreigners): for this you need to register at an immigration office when you arrive in Spain.
Spanish student visa process
- Accept an offer: When you have accepted an offer from a university you can go to a Spanish consulate or embassy in your home country to apply for a visa.
- Contact your nearest embassy/consulate: You have to apply in person for a Spanish visa, and depending on the embassy you may need to schedule an appointment. Ask which documents you will need for your application so you are prepared.
- Submit your documents: Take your required documents to the embassy or consulate and fill in the visa application form.
- Get a decision: It takes around a month to get a decision on your student visa.
- Register with immigration: When you arrive in the EU you have 30 days to apply for a Spanish Student Residence Card for Foreigners (TIE) and receive a NIE number at your nearest Oficina de Extranjeros or police station. This will need renewing each academic year. Your academic performance can affect the renewal of your TIE.
Spain student visa requirements (type D)
What you need to provide for your student visa and residence card will depend on your home country, but can include:
- A valid passport to be current throughout the whole time of your stay in Spain
- Letter of acceptance from the university
- A copy of all the passport's pages
- A recent passport style color photo
- Confirmation of school/university registration issued by the academic institution in Spain
- Proof of health insurance
- Proof of accommodation
- Proof of your financial situation — bank statements and any scholarship details if necessary
- A medical certificate issued by a doctor
- A negative criminal record check from the countries you have lived in for the past five years
Visas for dependents of students
Your spouse or children under 18 can usually join you in Spain if you are there on a study visa for more than six months. You will need to show that you can financially support them as well as yourself and your course fees.
They need to register at the local Oficina de Extranjeros for their TIE, and are not automatically eligible to work in Spain.
Spanish student visa processing time
Your student visa application should be processed within one month from when you submit all your documents, but this could change depending on the workload of the embassy or consulate.
You could receive an answer in as little as 15 days, but it's not unknown for it to take three months in busy periods.
It's really important you apply well ahead of time to avoid any possible delays. Make sure you begin preparing the required documents as soon as possible after receiving your letter of admission from your university.
Working in Spain with a student visa
You can work up to 20 hours a week in Spain provided that you have the correct work permit and it does not interfere with your studies. It’s also worth noting that you cannot be undertaking work as the only means of supporting yourself whilst in Spain.
Before beginning work you need to receive the correct permit from Spain’s immigration authorities. The application for this can be completed at an Oficina de Extranjeros and you should speak with them before to ensure you know the exact process and have all the relevant documents. Receiving your permit may take a long time so you should apply as soon as possible.
EU / EEA students do not need a work permit for Spain.
What to do if your visa application is rejected
Provided you carefully complete your application and provide all of the requested documents, it's unlikely that your application will be rejected.
However, if your application is declined, it doesn't spell the end of your plans. If your rejection is down to an incomplete form, or missing documents, simply apply again making sure you've corrected any errors.
If you believe your application was rejected unfairly, you can appeal the decision within a month of the refusal. When you appeal, you'll need to send:
- A copy of the rejection letter
- A cover letter explaining why you want to appeal
- A copy of your passport
- Current address and telephone number
- A stamped addressed envelope (SAE)