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Student Visa: Spain Requirements

Do you need a student visa? Spain offers multiple chances and programs that you can benefit from. You can choose among some excellent business schools, an extensive work of universities, and other private institutions.

No wonder why Spain receives the most exchange students within the Erasmus program.

Alternatively, you can also consider the possibility of studying Spanish here and experience a full immersion. Did you know that Spanish is the 3rd most spoken language in the world?

Apart from studying, you can also carry out research, training or unpaid internship activities, participate in student exchanges, or perform volunteer services.

Come over, live like a local and enjoy our beautiful country.


Student Visa For Spain: Are You Eligible?

Your eligibility depends on (a) your nationality and (b) the length of your stay.

1. You plan a SHORT stay (LESS than 3 months)

As for the tourist visa, you don’t need to apply for a student visa if you hold a valid passport issued by a country excluded by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación).

Nevertheless, you must travel with your passport and/or national ID card since you will be asked to show it at the passport control as soon as you arrive in Spain.

Check the official list of nationals who do not require a student visa for Spain.

2. You plan a LONG stay (MORE than 3 months)

You must apply for a student visa unless you are from a European Union (EU) country. Below you can find all the requirements to apply for this kind of visa.

3. You are a non-EU national

You need a student visa to enter Spain regardless of the length of your stay.


Requirements To Apply For A Student Visa

Be warned, there is a lot of paperwork involved in a student visa application.

Bear in mind that the requirements may vary from one country to another, so you should always contact the Embassy or Consulate prior to beginning your application.

To give you an idea of what you may need, here are some of the documents that the official will ask you to submit:

  • Spain’s official student visa form
  • Passport and/or national ID card
  • Letter of invitation from the Spanish school/university
  • Proof that you have enough financial means for the length of your stay
  • Medical insurance with international coverage

Additionally, if you are applying for a period longer than 180 days you will also need to present:

  • Medical certificate to prove that you are in good health
  • Certificate of absence of police records issued by your national police

For example, here are the requirements for a US student. (Scroll down the page until you reach the ‘Student Visa’ section).


Practical Information And Tips

Mail, email or fax applications are not accepted. Your application must be submitted in person. To do so, check first if you need an appointment.

Similarly, you are only allowed to pick up your student visa in person.

Make sure you start the application well in advance because:

  • Applications are accepted on a first come first serve basis.
  • Your application acceptance can take up to 6-8 weeks, depending on the number of applications and the requirements.

Some Embassies and Consulates do not accept applications more than 3 months in advance. Ask first!

As a rule of thumb, pick a piece of paper and write a list of all the questions you have. Inquire the officials and make sure everything is clear. These bureaucratic processes are long and rigid; don’t make them more painful than what they already are.


If you are planning to travel to Spain and wonder about the need of a tourist visa, you should have a look at a basic travel visa FAQ.

Did you know that applying for a student visa is one of the few options to stay 90+ days in the Schengen Area?