Girl walking on a beach with dogs after getting her Spain Visa.

There are several Spain visa types for short visits and long-term immigration. Read on to find the perfect immigration option for a holiday, visit, or a long-term move. These visa options are for citizens of all non-EU / EEA countries, including American and British citizens.

Spain Visa Type< 90 days> 90 daysWork in Spain
Non-Lucrative Visa
Digital Nomad VisaRestricted
Golden Visa
Study VisaRestricted
Job Seeker VisaRestricted
Working Holiday VisaRestricted
Entrepreneur Visa
Skilled Professional Visa
Spain Work Permit
Spain Visa Type Comparison

Remember: European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) citizens can freely travel to Spain without a visa. There is a registration process for EU/EEA citizens moving to Spain, but no visa is required.

Long-Stay Spain Visa Types (More than 90 days)

Spain has several long-stay visa types if you want to move to Spain. Some allow work, while others do not. Many lead to Spanish permanent residence (PR) and Spanish citizenship by naturalization.

If you want to fast-track your visa research and planning, book a consultation with our Spanish immigration lawyer partner. They are experts in this area and will help you choose the perfect option and submit a successful application.

Non-Lucrative Visa (Spain retirement visa)

  • Best for: Retirees and people with a passive income of at least €28,800 annually.
  • Duration: Initial visa 1 year, with indefinite 2-year renewals.
  • More Information: Spain Non-Lucrative Visa Guide.

Digital Nomad Visa

  • Best for: International remote workers, consultants, freelancers, and digital nomads.
  • Duration: Initial visa 1 year, with indefinite 2-year renewals.
  • More Information: Spain Digital Nomad Visa Guide.

Golden Visa / Investment Visa

  • Best for: Those looking to invest in the Spanish economy. This includes anyone planning to buy a home in Spain for over €500,000.
  • Duration: Initial visa 1 year, with indefinite 2-year renewals.
  • More Information: Spain Golden Visa Guide.

Entrepreneur Visa / Autónomo

  • Best for: People looking to start a business in Spain.
  • Duration: Initial visa 1 year, renewable for 4 additional years.
  • More Information: Spain Work Permit Guide.

Highly Skilled Professional Visa

  • Best for: Senior professionals with a qualifying job offer.
  • Duration: Initial visa 2 years, renewable.
  • More Information: Spain Work Permit Guide.

Spain Work Permit

  • Best for: Employees with a qualifying job offer from a Spanish company.
  • Duration: Initial visa 1 year, with indefinite 2-year renewals.
  • More Information: Spain Work Permit Guide.

Study Visa

Job Search Visa / Post-Study Work Visa

  • Best for: Students who have completed a qualified course of study in Spain and are looking for work in Spain.
  • Duration: 1 year.
  • More Information: This visa is not a work permit; it is a bridging visa to allow you to qualify for a residence permit.

Working Holiday Visa

  • Best for: Young adult Citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea aged from 18 – 30 or 35.
  • Duration: 1 year.
  • More Information: You can work for six out of the twelve months.

Short-Stay Spain Visa Types (Less than 90 days)

Visa-exempt countries. Citizens of many countries can travel to Spain for up to 90 days without a visa. These countries include the United States (USA), the United Kingdom (UK), Australia, and New Zealand. See here for the full list of visa-exempt countries.

Spain SCHENGEN Visa Types (Type C Spanish Visa)

The SCHENGEN visa allows you 90 days within the SCHENGEN area. There are 8 Type C options:

  1. Spanish Transit Visa – transit through a Spanish airport with a final destination outside the Schengen Area.
  2. Spanish Tourist Visa – holidays or sightseeing.
  3. Spanish Visitor Visa – visiting friends or family living in Spain.
  4. Spanish Business Visa – business activities in Spain.
  5. Spanish Visa for Official Visit – government official travel.
  6. Spanish Medical Visa – authorized medical treatment in Spain.
  7. Spanish Study Visa – short-term courses of up to three months.
  8. Spanish Visa for Cultural, Sports, and Film Crews – work related to a qualifying field.

Spain SCHENGEN Visa application process

Where to apply: You’ll apply at your home country’s nearest Spanish consulate or embassy. Check the local embassy website for details.

Documents required: You’ll need your passport, proof of accommodation and funds, a return ticket, and health insurance. For options 3 – 8 above, you’ll need invitations, bookings, acceptance letters or similar supporting documentation.

All documentation should be included with your completed application form.

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.

Fees for Spanish Visas and Residency Permits

You’ll need to pay a fee for a visa, work permit, or residence permit. The cost varies depending on the permission type and your nationality. Unfortunately, US citizens are charged higher rates than other nationalities due to a reciprocal agreement between governments.

Fee for USA citizensFee for other nationalities
Student Visa$155€80£69$88
Employed Work Visa$183€80£69$88
Residency (Non-Lucrative)$135€80£69$88
Family Reunion$135€80£69$88
Work Visa$135€80£69$88
Religious Activities$135€80£69$88
Self-Employed Work Visa$261€80£69$88
New Entrepreneurial Law 14/2013$183€80£69$88
Spain visa costs for US and non-US citizens.

Visa vs. Residence Permit

These two terms can be confusing and are sometimes used interchangeably. In short, a visa allows you to enter Spain and clear immigration at the border. There are many types of Spain visas to choose from.

Then, your residence permit allows you to stay in Spain legally. Check out all our guides to Spanish immigration for more information.

Spanish Permanent Residency (PR)

After legally living in Spain for 5 years, you can qualify for Spanish Permanent Residency (PR) and stay in Spain. Once you have PR, you can legally work in Spain, regardless of the type of visa you originally used to enter Spain.

Spain Visa Types > How to Choose?

Each Spanish immigration option gives you different rights and has different requirements. To get started, check out the detailed guides using the links in the article. Or, you can chat with our brilliant Spanish Immigration law partner firm. They’ll listen to you and help you pick the perfect Spain visa type for you and your family.

FAQ – Spain Visa Types

What are the types of Spanish visas?

There are two main types of Spanish visas. Type C is a short-stay visa for less than 90 days, and Type D visas are for stays of more than 90 days.

Can I get a long-term visa for Spain?

Many long-term Spanish visas cover retirees, employees, remote workers, investors, students, young people, digital nomads, and the self-employed.

What is visa type C in Spain?

The Type C visa is a short-stay SCHENGEN visa for visits of less than 90 days.

What is a category D visa in Spain?

Category D visas are for long-term residency in Spain. These include the non-lucrative visa, digital nomad visa, golden visa, and Spanish work visas.

What Is The 90-180 Schengen visa rule?

You can stay a maximum of 90 days in the SCHENGEN area in any 180-day period.

Do I need valid health insurance when traveling to Spain?

Yes, you’ll need valid qualifying health insurance to cover the duration of your time in Spain. Travel insurance is good for a Type C short-stay, but you’ll need Spanish private health cover for a long-stay visa.


    1. Hi Elle-Marie – if our guide to visas hasn’t helped you to narrow down your options, I’d suggest a call with our immigration lawyer partners. Raquel and her team have years of experience helping British citizens move to Spain – they’ll be best placed to guide you to the perfect solution. All the best, Alastair

  1. Hello. I am an American citizen that is interested in retiring and moving to Spain permanently. In looking at the visas it would appear that the non lucrative visa would be what I would want but unfortunately i am about $3,000.00 a year short of the requirement. I am wondering if these are hard/unwavering figures and if so, what should I be looking at alternatively? Thanks!

    1. Hi James. The Spanish immigration service wants to know that you can support yourself while living in Spain. So, they’ll want to see income or savings that meet the minimum cost-of-living standard. You’ll have difficulty getting visa approval without savings to offset your income gap. Check our NLV guide for more information. All the best, Alastair

  2. If you get a long term non-lucrative visa for Spain, are you still restricted to 90 days in the other Schengen countries?

    1. Hi Rhonda. Yes, your Spanish residency visa allows you to live in Spain, but you are still legally restricted to 90 /180 days in other SCHENGEN countries. In reality, there are few cross-border checks within the region. So, as long as you maintain a residence in Spain for the entire period, there is little record of your 90-day limit. All the best, Alastair

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