If you want to move to Spain to study, here are the Spain Student Visa requirements and types. Read on to see who needs a visa to study in Spain, which courses qualify, and how to apply.
Spain Student Visa Requirements
The Spanish authorities have clear requirements for foreign students to study in Spain. If you want a student visa for Spain, these are the requirements.
- You must have an admission letter from a recognized course of study in Spain. It is not enough just to have applied to the course; you’ll need an official offer of a place to study.
- The educational institution is authorized for Spain student visa requirements.
- Proof of financial means. You’ll need to show you have at least €600 per month of study (100% 2023 IPREM). See below for more details.
- A Spanish private health insurance policy. (Not all policies qualify – use the link to choose the best medical insurance for a visa application.)
- Police records and a medical clearance document.
Financial Requirements For Your Study Visa Application
You’ll need to show that:
1) You have paid for your studies.
- A receipt from your university or institution or a letter showing that a scholarship or endowment will cover fees.
2) You can support yourself.
- You’ll need at least €600 per month of study, but each Spanish consulate has different standards. The amount is lower if you can show proof of accommodation or support, like a bursary.
- If someone else is covering your costs (like your parents), you’ll need a notarized letter assuming financial responsibilities.
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Which Courses Meet the Spanish Student Visa Requirements?
A wide range of areas meet the requirements to apply for a student visa in Spain. Here are some examples.
Important: The course must be full-time to qualify for student visas. The Spanish authority defines full-time as a course of study at least 20 hours per week.
- Spanish Language Courses (The most common course type for a Spanish Student Visa). The Cervantes Institute must accredit all Spanish language courses.
- Other language courses.
- Professional Training Courses.
- Industry Specific Training (Like sporting or artistic training).
- Tertiary Education, including undergraduate, Master, and Ph.D. level study.
Note: The course should lead to an official qualification, diploma, or certificate of study at the end of the course.
Which Institutions Meet the Spanish Student Visa Requirements?
You must be accepted into one of these education or training programs to apply for your student visa in Spain. You are not restricted to just universities; public and private educational institutions are accepted.
- Study with an approved Spanish education facility. Eligible courses include includes Spanish language courses and undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs.
- Research with an authorized institution. These include Spanish Universities, public and private research institutes, and Spanish Council for Scientific Research centers.
- Unpaid training offered by a company or professional training center.
- Student mobility programs, including student exchange and the Erasmus program.
- Unpaid and, in limited cases, paid internships.
- Unpaid volunteer work.
- Language and Culture Assistants program. This program offers paid work to citizens of selected countries. You’ll help teachers in the classroom with English language instruction.
Types of Spanish Study Visas
Study of up to six months.
- Short-term Student Visa (Type D) called the “Visado D Estudios hasta 180 días”.
- With this visa, you don’t need a residence card (TIE) or an Identification Number for Foreigners (NIE).
Note: You cannot extend this visa, but there is less necessary information to provide
Study of more than six months.
- Long-term Student Visa (Type D) called the “Visado D Estudios, Investigación”.
- You have three months to register as a resident in Spain and obtain a residence card (TIE) and an Identification Number for Foreigners (NIE).
Spanish Job Seeker Visa (Post-Study Visa)
This isn’t an actual study visa; it is a student residence permit that lets you live in Spain for one year. Once you complete your studies, you can find a job, start a business, or find another legal way to immigrate to Spain. It is essential if you want to live in Spain after your studies.
However, only specific courses qualify. So if your long-term goal is to move to Spain permanently, ensure your course allows for the Job Seeker Visa.
You can use the Registro de Universidades, Centros y Títulos (RUCT) to determine if your chosen course is on the list.
Need help with your Spain visa?
Our Immigration Partners, Raquel and her team, offer our clients a 30-minute consultation. They will recommend the best visa path for you, explain all the steps involved, and answer any questions that you have.
Spain Student Visa Application Process
You can apply for your Spanish Student Visa either in Spain or your home country. In 2018 the national visa law was amended to allow some flexibility. If you apply in your home country, you’ll use the nearest Spanish consulate or Spanish embassy.
You can arrive in Spain on a SCHENGEN tourist visa, then find a course of study and apply for your student visa.
Advice from our Spanish immigration lawyer partner: If you apply in Spain on a tourist visa, there is a time restriction. You must apply within 60 days of entering the SCHENGEN region, so you’ll have at least 30 days left on your visa. You can stay in Spain until your application is completed, even if it extends past the 90-day limit.
You can apply personally. However, we recommend using a Spanish immigration lawyer to apply on your behalf, as the application process is complex. There are specific requirements for translations, certifications of authenticity, and the wording of the police and medical certificates.
The immigration department will reject or delay incorrect applications. You will lose your application fee in this case.
The Spanish immigration department says (with bold and capitals as used).
We cannot overstate the importance of paying the utmost attention to filling out the application and the accompanying information. INCOMPLETE OR INCORRECT APPLICATIONS WILL BE REJECTED …
Documents required for the student visa application
The documents required will vary depending on your specific circumstances and course duration. The exact process can also vary depending on which Spanish embassy or consulate you use. Please speak to your Spanish Immigration Lawyer to ensure you have everything you need. Required documents you need for your application may include:
- Completed visa application forms (you can download the online application form).
- Your acceptance letter and a course fee receipt.
- Proof of funds to support yourself. This may be your parents assuming financial responsibility or your own bank account statement.
- Your Spanish Private Medical Insurance or Expat Health Insurance policy.
- Police criminal record clearance certificate.
- Medical certificate.
- Passport with validity to the end of the visa.
- Two recent passport photographs.
- Another form of ID (driver’s license or national ID card).
- A current student ID card.
- Proof of payment of the visa fee.
Note: There will be translation and certification requirements for some documents. Most Spanish consulates now require the medical certificate and a background check with Spanish translations and Apostille authentication,
Who Needs a Student Visa to Study in Spain?
Spain Student Visa Required By
- Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizen.
- Your course of study is more than 90 days in duration.
Note: EU /EEA citizens do not need a visa to study in Spain.
Study Visa Not Required By
- Citizens of the European Union (EU), The European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland.
- International students with a course less than 90 days in duration.
Study Course less than 90 days
- Citizens of 60 countries don’t need a visa for short study visits. Eligible nationalities include Argentina, Australia, Mexico, Singapore, the UK, and the USA.
- You need a short-stay SCHENGEN visa if your nationality is not on the list. There is a specific category of SCHENGEN visa for study and training.
Note: if you need to extend your short study course, you can apply for another 90 days to complete the course.
Note: International students can travel to the 26 SCHENGEN nations in Europe while your student visa is valid.
Are you ready for your Spanish Study Visa?
International students love studying in Spain. We know people who have used a Spanish student visa to study everything from Starter Spanish to an MBA. Now you know the Spain Student Visa requirements and types, what will you study?
FAQ – Spanish Student Visa
Is it hard to get a Spanish student visa?
The answer is no, but… While the requirements for the student visa are easy to meet, it is not that simple. The application process is where things can get complicated. You must ensure everything is perfectly organized, as timings can be tight.
Remember, you’ll need your course to accept you before submitting your application. After that, there is a 4-week processing period. This can mean that you can be pressed for time to get to Spain to begin your studies.
What are the basic requirements for obtaining a student visa for Spain?
To obtain a student visa for Spain, you typically need proof of acceptance into a Spanish academic institution, proof of financial means to cover your expenses, medical insurance, and a clean criminal record.
How long is my Student Visa in Spain valid?
For courses under a year, your visa will be valid for the duration of the course.
For courses one year and longer, a one-year visa is issued. You can renew the visa as long as you continue to meet the conditions.
How long does it take to get a student visa to Spain?
Most Spain Student Visa applications will be processed within four weeks from the date of submission. Any omissions or issues with any of your documentation will cause delays or rejection.
How much does a student visa cost in Spain?
The fee for a Student Visa in Spain is €60. There may also be a processing fee charged.
This fee is non-refundable, and you’ll lose it if there is an issue with your application.
Are Internships covered by my Study Visa in Spain?
There are two streams of internship in Spain.
1) An internship is included in your course of study.
These internships are authorized and signed off as a course requirement for your studies. Your student visa covers this type of training.
2) An internship that is supplemental to completed studies.
You can obtain an internship in Spain, even if you have completed your studies in a foreign country. These internships require a separate residency permit and are not covered by a student visa.
Can you work on a student visa in Spain?
Yes, you can work while in Spain on a student visa, but you need a Spanish Student Work Permit. There are conditions for any work.
You can only work a maximum of 30 hours per week. The job can be either part-time or in casual positions. This restriction includes holidays or vacations.
The work must not interfere with your studies.
Your employment contract cannot be for longer than your student visa.
An exception is an internship that is a part of your studies. For these roles, you do not need a work permit.
Can I study in Spain in English (and other languages)?
Many universities in Spain offer programs entirely in English, particularly at the graduate level. However, having a basic understanding of Spanish is beneficial as it can enhance your overall experience and help with daily life in Spain.
Is IELTS/TOEFL required for English courses on a Spain student visa?
You only need these qualifications if you are looking to study an English language course at a Spanish institution. The English language requirement may be a part of the course admissions process. You should find out any language requirements from your chosen educational institution.
The visa requirement is for a successful application to your choice of course. You meet the visa requirements as long as you meet the course requirements.
Can international students stay in Spain after graduation?
Yes, you have two options.
1) Spain Post-Study Work visa or Job Seeker Visa
Spain allows international students to remain in Spain after their studies. The Spain Post-Study Work visa is called the Job Seeker Visa.
It allows you to live in Spain for two years while you attempt to find work.
Be aware; this is not a work permit but a bridging residency permit. This distinction means you cannot work on a Job Seeker visa. Once you find a job, you’ll need to apply for a Spain Work permit.
Can I transfer my tourist visa to a Student Visa?
Yes, you can apply for a student visa while in Spain on a SCHENGEN visa. The Spanish government changed the law in 2018 to allow this. You need to apply with enough time left on your tourist visa to allow processing. It is advised to apply as soon as possible to ensure timely processing. We recommend a minimum of 60 days left on your visa to be safe.
Can my family come with me if I have a study visa?
Yes, the Student Visa Spain allows direct family members to be included on a joint visa application. You can also add family members to your visa while it is still valid.
This provision only covers direct family members. You must submit a marriage certificate, civil partnership record, or birth certificate as appropriate.
Your registered civil partner.
Dependent children under 18 years.
You’ll need to show that you can support the family members.
Your dependents cannot legally work on this visa.
Is a student visa a pathway to Spain PR and citizenship?
Yes, but not directly. For more details, please see the Spain Work Permit section and the Spain Post-Study Visa sections.
In short, you’ll need to spend five years in Spain before applying for permanent residency and five more for citizenship. Your time in Spain on the student visa will count, but only 50% – so two years of study is one year of qualification.
Are there any scholarships or financial aid options available for international students in Spain?
Yes, scholarships and financial aid programs are available for international students in Spain. Try the Spanish government, educational institutions, or external organizations – all offer some form of support. We advise doing your research as soon as possible to apply for scholarships well in advance as there is often high demand for these programs.