Study In Spain: Visa & Permit Requirements for International Students

If you are planning to study Spanish in Spain, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of the visa and permit requirements. This blog post outlines everything you need to know about studying in Spain as an international student. Keep reading for more information on residency requirements, school enrollment dates, tuition costs, financial aid, and more!

Study In Spain: Visa & Permit Requirements for International Students

The Spanish education system stands out among the rest of Europe. Here, education is viewed as a way to create a well-rounded individual who can think critically and solve complex problems. That being said, studying in Spain comes with its own set of unique challenges and opportunities. Below we’ll explain what you need to know about studying in Spain, and where you should look for the best schools if you have your sights on this beautiful country.

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How to Study in Spain: An Overview

This guide will help you to get your Spanish student visa and get your studies started. The Spanish education system emphasizes the liberal arts, so students who are interested in science and business will want to seek out universities in other countries. If you’re interested in studying in Spain, but don’t know where to start, or what to expect while studying abroad, this guide will help you navigate your way through the process. We’ll discuss the visa process, find the right Spanish schools for you, and even provide resources to help you succeed once you’re there.

However, If you applied to study in Spain and got a letter of acceptance, how do you get your student visa? The answer depends on which country you’re from!  Student visas in Spain are usually easy to obtain after you get accepted into a Spanish university.

Foreign (non-EU) students generally need a long-term visa to enter Spain which can be requested from a Spanish consulate or embassy in your country of permanent residence.
US students do not require a study visa if they plan on being in the country for less than 90 days. 

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Read on to find out if you need a visa to study in Spain and what documents to submit to get one

How to get a Spanish Study visa

To study in Spain, you’ll first need a Spanish study visa. While you can apply for a student visa as soon as you’re accepted to your Spanish university, you’ll still need to wait for your Spanish visa before you can actually leave your home country. For this reason, it’s ideal to first apply for a student visa while you’re still in your home country. The process for applying for a Spanish student visa is similar to applying for any other type of visa, but you’ll need to apply for a Spanish student visa through the Spanish consulate in your home country. Once you receive your visa, you’ll need to get your passport updated, and then you’ll be good to go!

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Spanish Universities and Colleges

You may be wondering what you can expect from Spanish universities and what makes them stand out among their European counterparts. While universities in the rest of Europe tend to be larger and have more students per faculty member, Spanish universities are smaller and have one or two faculty members per department.

This allows Spanish universities to be more personal and provide more in-depth education. Spanish universities are also different from the rest of Europe because they have a strong focus on practical education. Most classes will involve learning how to apply what you’ve learned in theory to real-world application, and Spanish students are often placed in internships or jobs after graduation. Spanish universities are also known for their outstanding football teams, which means you might want to consider applying to a Spanish university if you’re a sports fan! Fortunately for you, Spanish universities offer plenty of extracurricular activities and clubs, so you can find something that meshes well with your interests.

Spanish Language Schools

If you’re interested in studying in Spain, you’ll also want to prepare yourself for the Spanish language. While Spanish is a Romance language, it’s one of the most phonetically close languages to English. As a result, most Spanish speakers are able to understand English, and English speakers are able to understand Spanish.

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If you’re planning on studying in Spain, you’ll want to learn the local language as soon as possible. Fortunately, there are plenty of Spanish language schools in Spain that can prepare you to study in the country. Spanish language schools are a great option for those who would prefer a more hands-off approach to learning the Spanish language. Alternatively, if you’re interested in immersion, these are the schools to choose.

Studying in Barcelona

If you’re looking to study in a Spanish city, Barcelona may be your best option. Barcelona is a beautiful city that offers a unique cultural experience and is also the hub of the Spanish industry. Whether you’re interested in studying architecture, engineering, business, or any other field, Barcelona has something for you. With its Catalan-inspired architecture, vibrant art scene, and Mediterranean climate, Barcelona is also an exceptional place to visit. Whether you’re interested in modern architecture, religious architecture, or ancient ruins, Barcelona has it all.

Studying in Madrid

Madrid, Spain’s capital, is an excellent city for experiencing the best of Spain. Whether you’re interested in experiencing the best of Spanish culture, architecture, and food, or are simply looking for a beautiful place to visit, Madrid is the place for you. Madrid is also known for its vibrant nightlife, as well as its diverse art scene, and vast assortment of museums. With its Central Park, the largest in Europe, Madrid also has plenty of green spaces to enjoy outside of class.

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Sevilla, yet another Spanish city, is a great place to study in Spain if you’re interested in experiencing southern Spain. Sevilla is the most densely populated city in Spain and is home to a mix of cultures and architectural styles. Sevilla is also a great place to visit, especially if you’re interested in experiencing southern Spain. If you’re interested in architecture or food, Sevilla has it all. If you’re also interested in historic architecture, it’s also worth visiting Gaudí’s work in Barcelona.

Studying Outside of Madrid and Barcelona

If you’re interested in studying in a Spanish city that isn’t either Madrid or Barcelona, you might be surprised by how many Spanish cities are attractive to students. While most universities in Spain are located in Madrid or Barcelona, many Spanish cities are located in beautiful coastal areas and offer a unique cultural experience. If you’re interested in studying in a Spanish city outside of the two discussed above, you may be surprised at how many Spanish cities are attractive to students. Many of these cities are located near the coast and offer a unique cultural experience.

The coastal cities in Spain are well-connected to other European cities and are also accessible from the U.S. via an international airport. These major Spanish cities are also close to other popular Spanish cities, making them great places to visit on weekends.

Tips for Successful Studies Abroad

Before you arrive in Spain, make sure you’ve read our guide on how to study abroad. Read through the information in that guide, and then follow the tips below to make your Spanish study visa successful. 
- Prepare your Spanish study visa application early 
- Spanish consulates are often booked out, so make sure you apply as soon as you can. You’ll also want to make sure to include everything requested during the visa application, including proof of financial support, health insurance, and a student residence address in your home country. 
- Put your Spanish study visa through a Spanish-based visa agency 
- This is important for two reasons. First, it will help you get your application processed more quickly. Second, it will help you avoid any issues that may arise from the application process, such as human error from the consulate employees. 
- Make sure you check the schools you’re applying to 
- This is important for two reasons. First, it will help you avoid applying to schools that are not appropriate for your skills and interests. Second, it will help you avoid applying to schools that have issues, such as low enrollment or high attrition rates. 
- Make friends in Spain 

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- This is important for two reasons. First, it will help you make friends during your first few months in Spain. Second, it will help you make friends with people who will help you navigate the Spanish study visa application process. 
- Make sure your health insurance covers you 100% 
- This is important for two reasons. First, it will help you make sure you have access to health care in case of an emergency. Second, it will help you make sure you have access to health care while studying abroad and can make the most of your experience in Spain. 
- Make sure your Spanish study visa is not too long 
- This is important for two reasons. First, it will help you avoid wasting time in the airport when you get to Spain. Second, it will help you avoid wasting time and money when you apply for a Spanish student visa that is too long. 
- Make sure your Spanish study visa is not too short 
- This is important for two reasons. First, it will help you avoid wasting time in the airport when you get to Spain. Second, it will help you avoid wasting time and money when you apply for a Spanish student visa that is too short. 

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EU Students

Students from the EU and the EEA do not need a student visa in order to study in Spain.

If your stay in Spain will be longer than 90 days, it is mandatory that you apply for a residence permit or Foreigner Identity Card (TIE) within 30 days of arrival. This is done at your local Foreigner’s Office (Oficina de Extranjeros).

Make sure to bring a national identity card or passport, as well as a valid European Health Insurance Card with you in order to be officially added to the population register.

Non-EU Students

Obtaining a student visa to study in Spain for non-EU students is a bit trickier but it is usually easily obtainable after you’ve enrolled in a Spanish university.

The best practice is always to call or email the Spanish Embassy in your country and ask for specific information.

Find the full list of consulates and embassies here.

Usually, the requirements for a student visa consist of the following:

A valid passport.
Medical insurance that will cover any costs for the duration of your studying in Spain. Having student medical insurance is very important in case of a sudden illness or accident.
Proof that you have the financial resources and accommodation for the period for which you are requesting the visa, and where applicable, the funds to guarantee your return to your country.
A bank statement that is proof you can support yourself during your studies
Unless you are doing a shorter course, your program will last longer than six months so you will also need:

A criminal record certificate for Spain and your previous countries of residence in the last five years for crimes included under Spanish legislation.
A medical certificate stating that you do not suffer from any diseases with serious repercussions for public health in accordance with the provisions of international health regulations.
It is important to know that you can’t enter Spain with a tourist visa and then apply for a student visa. You will have to return to your home country and apply from there.

Since the processing of documents can take time, make sure to apply in advance, preferably two to three months before traveling.

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Visa Application for Family Members

Visa applications for a spouse, domestic partner, a child, or children (under the age of eighteen or with a disability) are allowed alongside an application for a study visa. This means they can enter and live legally with you during the duration of your studies in Spain.

Working While Studying

If you are wondering: can I work in Spain with a student visa? - the answer is yes! Student visas in Spain are flexible and students can work along with their studies.

International students can ask for a work permit from local authorities to work 20 hours per week.  However, you can only work while studying in Spain until the expiry of your student visa.

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Final Word

Due to the overwhelming demand for student visas in Spain, it is important that you allow enough time before departing for your visa to be processed. Follow the rule of thumb and always apply at least a month in advance. Meanwhile, when you are looking to continue your student in Spain