Getting a student visa was one of the most stressful things I had to do at 18. I remember I had to get a bunch of documents by myself, and I was constantly thinking something would go wrong.
Luckily, I got my Spain student visa after almost two months of recollecting documents, getting them apostilled, and delivering it all in a final appointment.
I went through the process of getting a Spain study visa in 2018, and if I am not wrong, there were little to no informative websites to provide me with the help that I needed.
After reading this article, you will know if you should apply for a Spain student visa, the type of student visa that you need, the required documents, and some major tips.
General information on the Spain student visa
Let us have the general information clear before diving into the specific types of visas and the required documents to apply.
Any non-EU citizen who wants to go through a study program for more than 90 days in Spain needs to apply for a study visa.
Be it a program in an institute of higher studies, a public or private university, or anyone planning to enroll in an educational program needs to apply for a Spain student visa. These are the types of programs that you will need to be accepted into if you wish to study in Spain:
- Training courses
Is the student visa a residence?
I was often told that the years I was under a student visa would count as the years that I needed to accumulate to get a long-term residence.
But this is NOT true!
The Spain student visa is an authorization to live in Spain while completing your studies; it is not a regular residence permit like the entrepreneur or work residence.
Where should I apply for my Spain student visa?
The place of application will depend on your city of origin. For example, in the United States, there are nine Spanish Embassy or Consulates; people from the state jurisdiction of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, need to apply in the Spanish Consulate in Chigaco.
To find the consulate closest to you, check out the following link: Spanish Embassys in the United States.
Types of student visas in Spain
There are two types of Spanish student visas, the short-term visa and the long-term visa. For both visas, you have to apply within 90 days before the beginning of your studies and no less than 30 days before.
The resolution to the application is relatively fast for both types of student visas, and you will get a response within one month from the day you submit your documents.
Short-term student visa in Spain
The short-term study visa in Spain is for educational programs lasting between 91 and 180 days.
For this type of student visa, you don’t need to get a TIE at the Police Immigration Office. But, if you visit other countries in the Schengen Area, you must travel with your passport because that will prove your legal stay in Spain.
The documents for the short-term and long-term visas in Spain are pretty similar, with the main difference being two or three more needed for when your studies last more than 180 days.
Right below, I will list the documents required to apply for your short-term student visa in Spain.
1. Visa application form
These application forms can also be provided by the Spanish Consulate that is nearest to you. I will link you to the forms in Spanish and English and give some instructions when filling them out.
🇪🇸Application form in Spanish
🇺🇸Application form in English
In the application form, you will have to select the option of “Studies” or “Estudios,” which is in the upper part of the second page. Then you have to move on to section 28, where it says, **"**Datos del centro de estudios o investigación en caso de solicitar un visado de estudios o de investigación," or “Details of the study or research center in case of applying for a study or research visa,” and fill out the data of your institution and the expected date of the beginning of your course.
2. Recent passport photos with white background
Take three with you to the appointment.
3. Valid passport with at least two blank pages.
You will have to provide the original and copy of your passport, which must be valid for your planned stay.
4. Proof of acceptance to the university, institution, or place of study
- Acceptance at an authorized teaching center to carry out a full-time study program.
- Acceptance at a research or training center.
- Acceptance into a student mobility program (in this case, the applicant must also provide proof of acceptance at a study center, of having found accommodation with a family or at an institution, and the commitment of the program organizer to bear the costs).
- Acceptance for a non-remunerated internship based on a signed educational agreement.
- An agreement with the organization responsible for the volunteer program.
5. Proof of financial means necessary to cover your costs during the time of your studies
It doesn’t matter if is your loan, your parents, or your own savings; you need to have a minimum of 700 USD per month, or 640 EUR.
“The minimum required amount is equivalent to 100% of Spain’s Public Multiple Effects Income Indicator (IPREM). To this amount must be added 75% of the IPREM for the first family member and 50% of the IPREM for each additional family member.”
You will need to present one of the following documents for the section of financial proof:
- The letter from the university covers all the costs of accommodation and meals.
- Proof of having obtained a scholarship for the specified time.
- Notarised documents of the applicant’s parents or legal guardians, assuming all the costs associated with their studies in Spain.
- Proof of financial means with the submission of 6 months of bank statements (originals and stamped by the bank).
👉If your parents are covering the costs of your studies
Suppose the people covering your studies are your parents. In that case, you will need to submit the birth certificate or legal custody, passport of the parent or legal guardian, and six months of bank statements (original and stamped by the bank).
The birth certificate needs to be duly legalized through the consular representations of the issuing country or hold the Hague Apostille.
6. Proof or contract of your accommodation
You must present the contract or letter of acceptance to the apartment or residence where you will be staying during your studies.
If the university has granted you an accommodation scholarship, you will have to present an official document from your institution. It should make clear that the university covers all the costs of accommodation and meals (often included in the acceptance letter).
7. Health insurance
“Health insurance cannot have copays, deductibles, or qualifying periods, meaning it must cover 100% of medical, hospital, and outpatient costs. The minimum coverage should be of at least 500,000 USD.”
Your health insurance must be approved to operate in Spain and be in effect for your stay. The most important part of your insurance is that it covers all costs in case of repatriation in case of death.
8. Pay the corresponding fee
You will have to pay the visa fee at the Spanish Embassy. The cost for United States applicants is $160 (€135) and $65 (€60) for other nationalities.
9. Homologation of your high school or university degree
If you are doing a bachelor, master, or postgraduate, you must present the homologation or validation of your official degree. This process recognizes your foreign qualifications and shows you are up to the next level of studies.
All non-Spanish or European documents must be legalized or apostilled and, where applicable, must be submitted with an official translation into Spanish.
Long-term student visa in Spain
The long-term Spain study visa is for people who will stay in the country or whose education program lasts more than 180 days.
For this type of student visa**, you do need to get your TIE at the Police Immigration Office.** After you arrive in Spain, you will need to get an appointment at Extranjeria or the Police Immigration Office, submit similar documents to the one for the visa, plus the “empadronamiento” (house registration).
The police will take your fingerprints, and within three months, you will get the official TIE cards that will allow you to do any process in Spain, such as getting a bank account and traveling in the Schengen area.
The TIE lasts only a year, and you must keep renewing it until you finish your studies.
For the long-term student visa in Spain, you will need the documents from points 1 to 8, plus the following two.
10. Medical certificate
If you are going to study for more than 180 days in Spain, you will be asked to take a medical examination to prove that you don’t suffer from any disease that could have repercussions on public health.
You must submit the original and copy; all documents must be legalized or apostilled.
The medical certificate should be issued by three months before the date of application.
11. Criminal records
If you are going to study in Spain for more than 180 days, you are asked to show an original criminal record from the last five years. The certificate can’t be older than six months and should be apostilled to be accepted.
Once you have all your documents collected, the procedure can be divided into two: before and after the appointment.
- First, you must submit all your documentation at the Spanish Consulate on the day of your appointment. The appointment system changes in every country, so call the one closest to you and ask for an appointment beforehand.
- After you have submitted all your documents, the consulate will give you a receipt for when you have to pick up your passport with your visa.
- The decision period for your study visa in Spain is one month. Again depending on the consulate, you will either get an sms or an email confirming that your passport is ready.
- Once the day comes and your visa is ready, you will have over two months to pick it up.
- If you are studying for more than 180 days, then your visa will only be valid for 90 days, and during this time, you have to apply for your foreign card.
Here is everything you need to apply for your Spain student visa. If you feel you don’t want to go through this process alone, you can always hire a lawyer to guide you through the procedure.
In any case, the consulate close to you should also provide all the information needed to make this process successful.
If you have any doubts, please don’t hesitate to message us! I will leave you the link to our podcast “Study in Madrid”!