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Spain Visa & Immigration

Spain offers a variety of visas for those wishing to move there, and the process for obtaining them can be both confusing and time-consuming.

At Immigration Advice Service, our team of Spain immigration lawyers are on hand to provide you with the information and support you need. Get in touch with us today. Call us on (+44) 333 4149244, or contact us online.

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    Benefits of Choosing IAS Spain Immigration Lawyers

    When it comes to obtaining a Spain visa or permit, IAS Spain immigration lawyers are well-equipped to help you.

    With IAS’ track record of successfully helping clients visit or immigrate to Ireland successfully, we can help businesses and individuals achieve their goals.

    Our dedicated immigration lawyers provide our services through a comprehensive and personalised approach. With IAS, you enjoy:

    Expert support from an experienced immigration lawyer dedicated to your success

    Support in gathering supporting documents and completing a high-quality application.

    Confidence that your case is being handled by an experienced team.

    In-house document checks done by lawyers who are accredited by the IBA in Madrid and Seville.

    Regardless of what your Spain immigration query might be, IAS is here to help and support you. Call us or enquire online to learn more about how we can help you.

    Overview of Spain Visas

    Spain offers visas to both citizens of the European Union as well as those from outside the EU. Depending on your circumstances and purpose of travel, there are a range of visa types available.

    European Union Citizens

    If you’re an EU citizen, then you have the right to move freely within the territories of other EU member countries.

    This is known as free movement or freedom of movement. As such, you won’t need a visa for Spain if travelling for simple tourism purposes.

    However, if you plan to stay in Spain longer than three months (90 days), then you will need to register yourself and request an EU certificate of registration at the police station of your place of residence.

    Non-EU Citizens

    If you’re a non-EU citizen and you’re not a citizen of a country that has exemptions to enter the Schengen area, then you must obtain a visa before travelling to Spain. There are several types of visas available, depending on the purpose of your travel and how long you plan to stay in the country. These include:

    Having a visa for Spain can provide many benefits, including the right to work and study in the country, access to healthcare and other public services, as well as the ability to live and settle permanently.

    As an EU citizen, a visa will also allow you to travel freely within other countries of the European Union.

    Non-EU citizens holding a visa can also benefit from the right to reside in Spain for a period of up to five years.

    This may be extended if you meet certain requirements, such as being employed or self-employed in the country.

    Additionally, some visas offer additional benefits, such as access to investment opportunities and residency for family members.

    Student Visa

    Students that wish to attend a course for up to three months at an educational institution in Spain can apply for a student visa.

    This type of visa is often granted for a period of one year, although .

    Who needs a Student Visa in Spain?

    Generally, any non-EU nationals who wish to study in Spain will need to obtain a student visa. This includes students participating in exchange and internship programs, language courses and research programs.

    On the other hand, EU citizens do not need a student visa in Spain as they have the right to move freely within the territories of other EU member countries.

    What is the eligibility criterion for a Student Visa?

    To be eligible for a student visa in Spain, you must:

    • Be accepted by an accredited educational institution in Spain.
    • Have sufficient financial resources to cover your tuition fees and living expenses while in the country.
    • Be able to provide proof of health insurance.
    • Not have a criminal record.
    • A medical certificate confirming that you do not suffer from any disease that may cause serious repercussions for public health in accordance with the International Health Regulations of 2005.

    How to apply for a Student Visa?

    To apply for a student visa in Spain, you may first make an appointment with the consulate or embassy of Spain in your country.

    You will then need to complete and submit a visa application form, which can be downloaded from the embassy’s website.

    Additionally, you will need to provide proof of acceptance at an educational institution in Spain, proof of financial resources, and a valid passport. Depending on your country of origin, you may also need to provide additional documents.

    If you’re approved for a student visa, then you will need to pick up the visa from the Spanish consulate or embassy in your country. Once you have your visa, you can then travel to Spain and begin your studies.

    Alternatively, you can apply for a student visa in person after you arrive in Spain, at least 1 month before the expiration of your legal status.

    If you apply via this route in Spain, the application will be filed electronically in the immigration office of the locale you are staying in.

    Work Visa

    A work visa for Spain is a type of visa that allows people from outside of the EU to work in Spain.

    There are two types: an Employment Visa with a fixed-term contract and a Self-Employment Work Visa.

    Employment Visa With A Fixed-Term Contract

    This type of work visa allows a non-EU citizen to work in Spain for a fixed-term contract. It is important to take into account the national employment situation (LA SITUACIÓN NACIONAL DE EMPLEO) and the restrictions regarding some job positions.

    To be eligible, you must have a job offer from a Spanish employer and sufficient financial resources to support yourself while in the country.

    You will also need to provide proof of health insurance, a valid passport, and a criminal background check.

    Applying for an employment work visa

    The application process involves a two-step process. First, the employer must submit an application to the local immigration office where the employee will be working, and once the permit is approved, they must register you with the Spanish Social Security system.

    Once these two steps are complete, you will be able to apply for a work visa at your local Spanish embassy or consulate.

    Self-Employment Work Visa

    For those who wish to start their own business or freelance in Spain, you must obtain a self-employment work visa.

    The eligibility criteria for this type of visa are similar to that of the Employment Visa, but you must also provide a business plan outlining your proposed activities in Spain. The eligibility of the business plan must also be approved via a certificate from Spain’s Self-Employed Workers Association.

    Additionally, you must have sufficient financial resources to cover the costs of establishing and running your business.

    Applying for a self-employment work visa

    To apply for this visa, you will need to submit the appropriate application form and documents to the Spanish consulate where you reside.

    After your application is approved, you can then proceed with the application process for a self-employment work visa.

    Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to receive assistance on Spain Visas – Detailed Guide on Immigrating to Spain.

    Non-lucrative Visa

    A visa to reside in Spain without carrying out any gainful (work or professional) activity is known as Non-lucrative Visa (Visa de Residencia Sin Actividad Lucrativa).

    This type of visa is suitable for those who wish to stay in Spain for a period of time and do not intend to engage in any form of paid employment.

    Required documents​​ for the application

    To apply for a non-lucrative visa, you will need to submit the following documents:

    • National visa application form: This form must be completed in Spanish and signed.
    • Valid passport: You will need to provide a clear photocopy of the biographical page of your passport, which must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the intended date of arrival in Spain.
    • Non-working residence visa application form: This is to prove that you are not engaging in any form of gainful activity in Spain.
    • Proof of health insurance: You must provide proof that you have adequate health insurance coverage in Spain.
    • Proof of sufficient financial resources: You must prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself while living in Spain. This can be done by providing recent bank statements or a letter from your employer attesting that you can support yourself financially while in Spain.
    • Criminal record check certificate: You must provide a criminal record check from all the countries you have resided in in the 5 years prior to the application date.

    It is mandatory to have secured an appointment in order to apply for the visa at the Spanish consulate of your place of residence. Please note that each consulate have their own criteria regarding additional documents they may require. Once you have gathered all the necessary documents and submitted them to the Spanish authorities, they will review your application, and if approved, you will be issued a non-lucrative visa.

    This visa allows you to stay in Spain for a period of up to one year, after which you can renew it for a further two years.

    Once you have obtained a valid visa, you will need to travel to Spain and apply for your residence card at the police station of your place of residence. The residence card will be valid for 1 year.

    Family Reunion Visa

    If you plan on joining family members in Spain, you may be eligible for a Family Reunion Visa.

    This visa is designed for those who wish to reunite with family members in Spain, such as spouses, children and parents of legal residents in Spain.

    To be eligible for a Family Reunion Visa, you will need to meet the following requirements:

    • Be related to a Spanish legal resident.
    • Have evidence of the family relationship, such as a marriage or birth certificate.
    • Be able to prove that you can financially support yourself while in Spain.
    • Have health insurance that covers you for the duration of your stay in Spain.

    In addition to these requirements, you may also need to provide additional documents, such as

    • A copy of your passport.
    • If you are employed, a copy of your contract and your latest tax declaration in Spain.
    • If you are self-employed, provide proof of your activity and your latest tax declaration in Spain.
    • Proof of adequate accommodation in Spain.
    • Proof of your family ties, e.g. marriage or civil partnership certificate*, birth certificate* etc.
    • Sworn declaration that you do not have a criminal record.
    • Proof of financial resources.

    Once you have gathered all the required documents, you can now start your application for a Family Reunion Visa.

    The process will involve submitting your documents to the Spanish authorities in the place of residence where the legal resident resides in Spain. They will review your application, and if approved, you will be issued a visa.

    The time period for which the visa is valid will be extended until the same date as the authorisation held by the applicant at the time of entry of the family member into Spain. Once you are in Spain, you must also apply for your residence card at the police station of your place of residency.

    Tourist/Short Stay Visa

    For those wishing to visit Spain for holidays or sightseeing, you may be eligible for a Tourist Visa. This visa will allow you to stay in Spain for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.

    To be eligible for a Tourist/Short Stay Visa, you must meet the following requirements:

    • Be a citizen of an eligible country.
    • Have a valid passport or travel document with at least six months of validity.
    • Provide proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay in Spain.
    • Have a valid return ticket or proof of onward travel.

    In addition to these requirements, you may also need to provide additional documents such as:

    • A copy of your passport.
    • Proof of accommodation in Spain.
    • Proof of financial resources.

    Once you have gathered all the necessary documents and submitted them to the Spanish authorities, they will review your application. If approved, you will be issued a Tourist/Short Stay Visa.

    If you have any questions about Spain Visas, our team is happy to assist.

    Golden Visa (Investor visa)

    Overview

    The Spanish Golden Visa Program is designed to attract foreign investors and entrepreneurs to Spain.

    This program allows eligible applicants to obtain a renewable residence permit in exchange for a significant investment in the country.

    To be eligible for a Spanish Golden Visa, you must meet the following requirements:

    • Be eligible for one of the investment categories for this visa (listed below).
    • Have a valid passport with at least one year of validity.
    • Provide proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay in Spain.
    • Be able to demonstrate that you will be able to support yourself financially during your stay in Spain.
    • Not have a criminal record.

    What are the categories of investment and entrepreneurship for the Golden Visa?

    The eligible investments for the Spanish Golden Visa are divided into four categories: real estate, business investment, bank deposits and entrepreneurial activities.

    The specific investment required depends on the category chosen and the applicant’s individual circumstances.

    • For real estate, you must invest at least €500,000 in Spanish property. This must not be a loan or a mortgage but, rather, an actual purchase.
    • For business investments, you must invest at least €1 million in stocks or shares belonging to Spanish companies, closed-end investment funds, venture capital funds or bank deposits in Spanish financial entities. Or invest at least €2 million in Spanish government debt securities.
    • For bank deposits, you must make a deposit of at least €1 million in Spanish financial entities.

    For business projects to be developed in Spain, they must satisfy at least one of the following conditions:

    • Create jobs
    • Make an investment with a relevant socio-economic impact in the geographical area in which the activity is to be developed
    • Make a relevant contribution to scientific and/or technological innovation

    Once you have met the requirements and submitted your documents to the Spanish authorities, they will review your application. If approved, they will issue an approval letter and from that moment you are considered a legal resident in Spain. The duration of the permit is 1 year, except for the acquisition of real estate by means of a deposit contract, which is 6 months.

    In case you want to renew this type of permit, you can do it 60 days before the expiration date. You will be issued a renewable residence permit valid for three years. However, note that there are some exceptions for the duration of the permit that may need to be investigated in each case.

    A residence permit issued under the Spanish Golden Visa program allows you to live and work in Spain for a total of 3 years, though this can be renewed indefinitely. It will also allow you to travel freely within the Schengen area.

    After 5 years, you may be eligible for a long-term residence permit.

    Finally, if you or your family members wish to work, study or do business in Spain, having a Spanish Golden Visa will allow them to request their permits as dependents.

    Digital Nomad Visa

    The Digital Nomad Visa is a special visa program designed to attract digital nomads and entrepreneurs to Spain.

    Overview

    To be eligible for the Digital Nomad Visa, the applicant must meet the following requirements:

    • Have a valid passport with at least one year of validity.
    • Provide evidence of sufficient funds to cover your stay in Spain.
    • Be able to demonstrate that you are an independent digital nomad or entrepreneur or employee of a company that allows you to work remotely.
    • Prove that you do not have a criminal record.

    Who will be able to apply for Spain’s digital nomad visa?

    The digital nomad visa is aimed at nationals of third countries looking to travel to Spain to carry out employment or professional activity at a distance for companies located outside the national territory, through the exclusive use of computer, telematic and telecommunication means and systems.

    The qualification criteria for this visa require applicants to be able to demonstrate that they are self-employed or employed for an overseas company and are able to provide evidence to prove their sources of income.

    How to apply for the Digital Nomad visa?

    If you meet all of the criteria listed above, you can apply for the digital nomad visa at the Spanish consulate of your place of residence.

    If you apply for the visa, then it will be valid for 1 year. However, note that if you have legal status in Spain you can apply for a residence permit as a digital nomad and the permit will be valid for 3 years.

    Once submitted, the Spanish authorities will review your application, and if approved, you will be issued a renewable residence permit. It is renewable for 2 years of residence and upon completion of the five-year period, you may be eligible for a long-term residence permit.

    For assistance with Spain visas, get in touch with us today.

    Schengen Visa

    The Spain Schengen Visa is a short-term visa for Spain that gives the right to its visa holder to travel freely within the Schengen Area. This visa is required for any non-EU citizen who wishes to stay in Spain and/or visit other Schengen countries for a period of up to 90 days within a 6-month period. Citizens of countries with a visa exemption will not need to apply for this type of visa.

    The Schengen visa can be issued as a single-entry visa or a multiple-entry visa, depending on the purpose of your visit.

    For example, if you are travelling to Spain for business meetings and to other countries for leisure, you may need to apply for a multiple-entry visa.

    The Schengen area consists of 26 countries that have abolished the need for passport and immigration controls at their common internal borders, allowing free movement between all Schengen states.

    These countries include Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

    The Schengen visa consists of other short-term visas, such as:

    • Spain Transit Visa: This visa is issued to those who need to transit through the Schengen area. It consists of two types, the Airport Transit Visa (ATV) and the Seamen Transit Visa (STV).
    • Spain Tourist and Visit Visa: This visa allows its holders to visit family member/friends, take a leisure holiday or attend business meetings in the Schengen area.
    • Spain Business Visa: This visa is issued to business travellers who need to travel within the Schengen area for business purposes.
    • Spain Medical Treatment Visa: This visa is issued to those who need to travel within the Schengen area for medical treatment.
    • Spain Visa for Diplomatic Passport Holders: This visa is issued to those holding diplomatic passports, such as representatives of foreign governments, who need to travel within the Schengen area.
    • Spain Study or Training Visa: This visa is issued to those who need to travel within the Schengen area for education or training; training should include studies and research for a period of fewer than 3 months.

    How to Apply for a Spanish Visa

    Overview

    Before you start the application process, you should know which type of visa you are applying for, and it falls under which category.

    The application process for the Spain Schengen visa is different from the application process for the Spanish National visa (long-term visa).

    Here is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a Spanish visa:

    Step 1: Find Out Which Type of Visa You Need

    This is the first and most important step when it comes to applying for a Spanish visa. You should be aware of the requirements and criteria for the type of visa you are planning to apply for.

    Step 2: Make a visa appointment

    Once you know which type of visa you need to apply for, the next step is to make an appointment at the Spanish Embassy or Consulate of your place of residence. Note that proof of residence will be required. You can do this online or by phone, or in person.

    Step 3: Gather Required Documents

    Before going to your appointment, make sure you have all the necessary documents and supporting evidence.

    Document Required:

    • Valid Passport: This should be valid for at least 6 months before your intended date of travel.
    • Photograph: Recent passport-sized photo taken within the last 3 months and meeting the visa requirements.
    • Schengen Visa Application Form: Completed, signed and dated.
    • Flight Reservation: Round trip flight reservation with dates and flight numbers specifying entry and exit from the Schengen area.
    • Proof of Accommodation: Confirmed hotel reservation for the whole duration of your stay.
    • Proof of Travel Insurance: For the whole duration of the trip and covering medical expenses in the Schengen area.
    • Proof of Financial Means: Bank statement or a pay slip for the last 3 months showing you have enough funds to cover your stay in the Schengen area.

    Step 4: Attend Your Appointment

    On the day of your appointment, be sure to bring all the documents you have gathered and arrive on time.

    At the visa office, you will have to fill out the visa application form (in English or Spanish) and answer any questions the consular officer may have.

    Also, you may have to provide your biometric data, such as fingerprints and a digital photo.

    Step 5: Pay the Fee

    At this point, you will have to pay the visa fee. The amount varies depending on the type of visa you are applying for and where you are applying for your visa. If you are applying for a Schengen visa, the fees are as follows:

    • Adult applicants need to pay around €80.
    • Applicants from 6 to 12 years old need to pay €40.
    • Applicants under the age of 6 may be exempt from paying any processing fee.

    Step 6: Wait for the Decision

    Once you have completed all the steps and paid the visa fee, the embassy or consulate will process your application and make a decision. In general, the decision may take up to 15 business days, but it can be longer in some cases.

    Step 7: Collect Your Visa

    Once your application has been approved, you will be notified and can collect your visa from the Spanish Embassy or Consulate.

    The visa should be collected within the specified time period; otherwise, you may be required to start the application process again.

    Once you have collected your visa, you are ready to travel to Spain. Remember to check the visa requirements and regulations of the country you are travelling to before your departure.

    How Can Immigration Advice Service Help?

    At Immigration Advice Service, we have a team of experienced immigration attorneys and migration experts who are here to help you with all your Spanish visa queries.

    Our team can help guide you through the application process and ensure that all your documents are in order.

    We can also provide legal advice on any unforeseen or complicated issues that may arise during the visa application process.

    With us on your side, you can be sure of a smooth and successful Spanish visa application. Here are some of the services we offer:

    • Providing guidance and advice on Spanish visa applications.
    • Assessing your eligibility for a Spanish visa.
    • Preparing and submitting your application.
    • Handling all correspondence with the Embassy or Consulate.
    • Representing you in case of any refusal or delay.
    • Offering post-visa advice and support on immigration matters.

    If you would like to find out more about our services or if you have any questions about the Spanish visa application process, please get in touch with us today on (+44) 333 4149244, or contact us online. Our team of experienced immigration professionals will be more than happy to help you.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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