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Student visas for Spain

Application, procedures and requirements
Do you want to study in Spain?

If you are not a citizen of the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland, or a family member of citizens of these countries, it is possible that you need a visa in order to study in Spain, depending on the length of your course and your nationality.

  • If your course is less than three months, you should confirm if you need a visa to enter the Schengen area based on your nationality.
  • If your course is more than three months, you need a visa to properly enter into the Schengen area. This visa gives you the authorization to study, not to work.

To obtain the visa you must meet these requirements:

  • Have been admitted into an officially recognized institution in Spain for the purpose of studying full-time in a program working towards obtaining a degree or certificate of studies.
      • What is considered full-time? It’s understood to be about 20 hours a week.
      • Is online or semi-presential ok? No
      • Do they have to be regulated studies? No, you can come to do non-regulated studies but the center must be authorized by the Autonomous Community and at the end you must obtain a degree or certificate of studies.
  • Not to be prohibited from entering Spain and not to be rejected from the territory of countries with which Spain has signed an agreement in this regard.

If you have previously applied for a visa and it was denied, you might need to have your application reviewed by a professional.

  • Have sufficient economic means for yourself and your family (if applicable) to cover your expenses during your stay and return to your country in accordance with the following amounts:
    • For the students’ monthly support, 100% of the IPREM (Public Indicator of Multiple Effects Income, the index used in Spain as a reference since 2004. For 2017 the amount is 537.84€ per month, less than 8,000 euros per year), unless it has been certified that accommodation has been paid in advance for the entire duration of the stay.
    • For the monthly support of their family, 75% of the IPREM for the first relative and 50% of the IPREM for each of the remaining persons, unless it has been certified that accommodation has been paid in advance for the entire duration of the stay.
  • Have a public or private health insurance contract with an insurance company authorized to operate in Spain.
  • Depending on the consulate where you need to apply, some details will vary for the insurance, such as length of stay and non-residency or that it includes repatriation in case of death.
  • If the applicant is an adult, proof of the absence of a criminal record in countries of residence over the past 5 years, for any conduct considered a criminal offence in Spain.
  • A medical certificate stating that you do not suffer from any disease that could have a severe impact on public health in accordance with the 2005 International Health Regulations.
Where to apply for the visa?
  • It cannot be requested in Spain while you are a tourist.
  • It is requested at the Spanish Consulate of your country of origin or residence.

I have already been granted a visa, is there anything else I have to do?

  • If the course lasts less than 6 months, the visa will serve to identify you and allow you to cross borders, since it will normally be a 180-day multi-entry visa (or the duration of the course).
  • If the course lasts more than 6 months, normally the visa will only be valid for 90, so you must apply for the Foreigner Identity Card (TIE) once you arrive. For this you have one month from your entry in Spain to request the appointment at the police office of the municipality where you are registered (empadronado).
Student visa renewals

Within 60 days before your authorization for a study stay expires, you can request the renewal of the authorization. To do this you must continue to meet same requirements as in your original visa application, that is, have financial means, medical insurance and have no criminal record. In addition, you must have completed the studies for which you were registered and be enrolled in the next course.

Late renewals
  • You have a grace period of 90 days after your visa expires, but if you request a renewal within this period the following procedure applies:
  • You have to wait until your visa has been expired for 60 days before you can apply to renew it.
  • After 90 days, starting on day 91, you will NOT be able to renew the visa.
  • The days are calendar days, not months: 60 days (not two months) and 90 days (not 3 months).
Denied renewals

If I am denied this extension, what options do I have?​

Depending on the reason for refusal and your specific case, you will be able to appeal the decision (within a month from the notification of the denial) or through administrative litigation (within two months from the notification of the denial).

Another possibility is to return to your country of origin to apply again for the visa at the consulate. But between these two routes, again depending on the situation in which you find yourself, it is possible that there are other ways for you to regularize your situation.

Student work permits

I already have the visa, I already requested my TIE or I already have the renewal granted: Can I work?

Spanish regulations allow foreigners with a valid study permit to request an authorization to work while they are not studying. That is, part-time while you are taking classes and full-time in the summer. This requirement is general and each application will consider the student’s course schedule so that the work contract does not hinder the purpose of the authorization: to study.
This authorization to work is requested by the employer and the duration of the authorization is limited to the duration of the study authorization.
It is important to note that the remuneration from this work will not be taken into account to justify your economic means in order to renew.

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