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Study Visas in Spain

Spain’s education system comprises highly ranked universities, business schools, and research institutes. Spain offers official and nonofficial degrees for foreign nationals who wish to study in the country.

Visit our website for more information on Spain study visas, or call us on (+44) 333 4149244 for immediate help and assistance with your situation. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone, or 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.

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    Overview of Study Visas Spain

    Spain Study visa is a visa program for international students outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland. If you are from a visa-required country, you will need a student visa to study in Spain. The visa enables you to:

    • Study a program for a graduate or advanced degree.
    • Enrol in student exchange programmes at any academic or scientific institution, whether public or private and one that has received formal recognition.
    • Participate in a training program.
    • Conduct a research project.
    • Perform an internship for practical insight and experience in your field of study.
    • Perform a volunteer service (more than three months).

    If you are a citizen of the United States of America, you only need a student visa if your study program is more than 90 days. However, if the duration of your study program is within 90 days, you can enter Spain to study without a student visa.

    As a citizen of an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland, you do not need to apply for a student visa. All you need is to apply for a residence card (NIE) issued by the Spanish Authorities.

    You must have been accepted in a recognised educational or research institution or in an organisation intended for your internship or volunteer service before applying for a student visa in Spain. An admission letter or a confirmation document is vital for a study visa application at the Spanish embassy or consulate.

    Asides from studying or training, you can work with the Spain Student Visa. You can work up to 20 hours per week while dedicating quality time to your studies. You can also choose to work on holidays.

    Schengen Student Visa

    The Schengen student visa is a short-stay study visa. It enables international students to study in Spain for up to three months (90 days). This visa applies to all states in the Schengen Area.

    The Schengen student visa is a good option if the duration of study program, training, or research project is not more than 90 days. You do not necessarily need to be a student in your country of origin to apply for a Schengen student visa. You can apply as a graduate to gain professional experience or advanced knowledge in your field of profession.

    The Schengen student visa is for international students from third-country countries that require a visa to enter the Schengen area. EU/EEA/Swiss nationals do not need a Schengen visa to study in Spain.

    You can not work with the Schengen short-stay study visa. You can only study and work under a long-stay student visa. Working with a Schengen student visa is illegal and attracts sanctions.

    The validity duration is three months within six months. The Schengen student visa does not allow you to extend your stay. Overstaying will result in sanctions, such as getting fined, deported, or banned from entering the Schengen area.

    Other Schengen visas may let you extend your stay under the condition of making a late entry in Spain, force majeure, substantial personal reasons, or humanitarian reasons.

    If you need to continue your study program in Spain after the three months authorization, you have to return to your home country and apply for a long-stay student visa.

    Short-Stay Student Visa

    Spain’s short-stay student visa enables international students to study in Spain for up to 180 days. The visa is open for short study programs between 91 and 180 days; a shorter duration will require a Schengen student visa. Aside from studying in Spain, you can also use the visa to enter Spain for training and research purposes.

    International students from the EU/EEA and Switzerland do not require a visa for a short-term study program. However, citizens from visa-required countries must apply for a visa for a study program in Spain.

    During your visa application, you will need to provide proof of acceptance to study in an accredited Spanish education, research, or vocational institute (depending on your travel purpose). You will also need to provide your study plan, research project details, or information on your training programme.

    You can not work in Spain with a Spanish short-stay student visa. The purpose of the visa is to enable international students to study in Spain. It does not provide the benefit of working. It also does not offer an opportunity to be a Spanish resident cardholder.

    You must leave Spain before or on the stipulated date you are required to leave. You can not apply for a visa extension. If you need to stay in Spain beyond 180 days, you must return to your home country and apply for a long-stay visa.

    Before applying for a Spain short-stay student visa, you must first have admission to a study program in an accredited Spanish educational institution. Once you have secured access, you can begin your visa application three months before your intended travel date.

    Note that admission does not guarantee a visa.

    Long-Stay Student Visa


    The long-stay student visa enables you to take a study program that is more than 180 days (six months). It allows you to take part-time work while studying as long as it does not interfere with your studies. You are entitled to work for up to 20 hours per week. You also have the option of working during the holidays. Note that you can not take on full-time jobs as a student.

    EU/EEA/Swiss citizens do not need this visa to study a long-term course in Spain. You are entitled to a visa waiver to enter Spain with a valid passport and other key documents. However, you must register for the EU registration certificate with the Central Register of Foreigners.

    The EU registration certificate proves your residency in Spain. It carries your residence address, length of stay in Spain, and NIE number. Note that it is not an identity card; you must get a residence card for identification.

    As an international student, you must apply to obtain a Foreign Identification Number, NIE. If you are a citizen of an EU state, you must get a residence card – an NIE card. It will serve as proof of identity.

    If you are from a country outside the EU, you will have to apply for an NIE number. Once you obtain your NIE number, you must apply for a TIE card – tarjeta de identidad de extranjero. The TIE residence card is a biometric card that serves as a mode of identification. It carries your passport photograph, immigration status, duration of stay, Foreign Identity Number, and other details.

    The residence card will serve as proof of your residence permit. It is key to applying for a job opportunity as a student. It also enables you to pay taxes, open a bank account, get a driver’s licence, access social services, and receive packages. If you need to travel to other Schengen countries, the card will be your ID, enabling an easy return to Spain.

    You are expected to register for your residence card within 30 days of your arrival in the country. You will need a valid passport or travel ID, school acceptance letter, passport photos, medical insurance, proof of residency, bank statements, and the completed application form.

    Note that the residence card, TIE, is a temporary residency permit. You are allowed to hold one only for the duration of your study program in Spain. It is only valid for one year, so you need to renew it each academic year.

    If you are a citizen of one of the EU/EEA member states or a Switzerland national, you may get your residence card along with your EU registration certificate.

    Find out how we can assist with your Spain Student Visa application.

    What Do I Need to Apply for the Long-Stay Student Visa?

    Before applying for the long-stay student visa for Spain, you need to apply for a full-time study program in an accredited language school or a university in Spain. An acceptance letter is necessary for your visa application. However, it does not guarantee that you will get a visa.

    Having a financial means to cover your expenses during your stay in Spain is crucial. Although the long-stay student visa for Spain provides working benefits, it is not the sole financial means to live in Spain. The benefit of working serves as a means of support to your primary financial means.

    You will need to provide proof of financial means during your visa application. You can provide proof of sponsorship or financial aid. A notarized letter from parents or legal guardians responsible for financial needs is required for minors. If your school is financially responsible for you, you will need to provide a confirmation letter.

    Another key thing to focus on is acquiring a legal residence. It is not enough to have an admission or invitation. You must have an acquired legal residence you will arrive in immediately after you enter the country. Documents such as proof of campus accommodation, rental agreement, or homestay agreement are necessary for your visa application.

    Other required documents for visa application:

    • Evidence of health insurance.
    • Medical certificate.
    • Criminal record certificate (authorised by the apostille of the Hague).
    • Valid passport.

    Please note that getting a Spanish student visa depends on the type and duration of the study program you need. If you only need to be in Spain for 90 days or less, you will need to apply for a Schengen visa.

    Citizens from EU/EEA countries and Switzerland do not require a Spanish student visa but must satisfy other requirements to stay in Spain.


    Our expert immigration lawyers can assist you with obtaining your Spain Student Visa.

    How Can IAS Help?

    IAS can guide you in choosing the student visa that best suits your travel purpose. We provide support in applying successfully and travelling to Spain for a study program. We have the expertise and experience to navigate the visa application process according to your eligibility and travel needs.

    Our services entail liaising with your sponsor and immigration office to submit your application and track your visa processing time. We also provide:

    • In-depth information on meeting visa application requirements,
    • Foreign Identity Number,
    • Length of stay, and
    • Work permit.

    If you wish to have your family members with you in Spain, we have the expertise you need. We can help you gather the required documents and visa applications for family unification (long-stay student visa holder) or a visitor visa for visiting family and friends ( short-stay student visa holder).

    Our immigration lawyers have in-depth knowledge of both Spanish and Schengen immigration laws. We are a reliable source of immigration advice and assistance for gathering all the necessary documents and accurately filling out the appropriate application forms.

    Visit our website or call us on (+44) 333 4149244 for immediate help and assistance with your situation. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone, or online.

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

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    If you are on a long-stay student visa for an undergraduate degree program or an advanced degree program such as a Master’s degree and PhD, you can extend your stay through a job search visa. The visa provides a residency permit valid for one year and enables you to apply for a job in Spain. You must start your visa application two months or 60 days before the expiry date of your Foreigners Identity Number.

    Note that the residency permit only allows you to search for a job and not to work.

    You do not require a work permit to work as a student. However, if you plan to apply for a job after your study program, you must apply for a work permit. Once you sign an employment contract, your employer must secure a work permit for you before you start working.

    No. EU nationals enjoy the right to work, study, and live in Schengen countries. Thus, you do not require a work permit to work in Spain. However, you must have an EU registration certificate and an NIE card.

    You can only have your family members with you if you plan on applying for a long-term student visa. This is because your stay must be more than six months to qualify for family unification. You must be able to prove your financial capability to support their stay.

    You can only have family members with the following relationship – spouse, registered partner, and dependent minor children (under 18 years). You will need to provide evidence of your relationship.

    No. Family members or dependents of international students in Spain can not work during their stay in Spain. Thus, you will need to have sufficient means to fund their expenses throughout their stay.

    Yes. The Spain student visa allows you to visit other Schengen countries.

    The Schengen and Spain short-stay student visas are easy due to their straightforward application process. However, getting a long-stay student visa may be complicated due to the required documentation for visa application.

    The processing time for the student visa application depends on the embassy you apply in. If the embassy or consulate has a manageable workload, you may get your visa decision after 15 days of submitting your application.

    If the embassy or consulate has a heavy workload, your visa application processing may take up to 30 days. It may also take longer if there are exceptional cases to review.

    You can apply for a Spanish student visa three months before your departure date. This must be after you have secured admission to an accredited school in Spain.

    No. The student Schengen visa does not permit working as a student. Only the Spain long-term visa has the benefit of working as a student for specific hours per week.

    No. The student Schengen visa does not permit family reunification in Spain or any Schengen country. Your family members can only visit you for a short while with a visitor or tourist visa.

    Your student visa will be valid for the duration of your course program. If you intend to apply for a short course that runs for six months, your student visa will be valid for six months. Likewise, if you intend to enrol for a course that runs for two years, your student visa will be valid for only two years.

    Your visa will indicate your stay duration.

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