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Applying for a Student Visa

- Updated: 26/11/2009
Applying for a Student Visa

In order to come to Spain as a student, all non-EU Citizens are required to apply for a student visa. The type that you should apply for depends on how long your study program lasts for. This will also entitle you to apply for work legally, but some restrictions apply.However, if you intend to travel around Spain after you have completed you studies you will need to allow for this time to be included in your visa application.

Visas Up to 90 Days

If you are from a country who is not required to possess a Schengen visa in order to stay in Spain as a tourist, then you DO NOT need to apply for a student visa if your stay in Spain will be for less than 90 Days.

Visas Up to 180 Days

Ideally you need to apply for a student visa in person at a Spanish embassy between two and four months before the date you intend to arrive in Spain.

Please note : this type of student visa, unlike the student visa for MORE than 180 days, cannot be renewed or extended and therefore you will have to leave Spain before the expiry date.

The Embassy will need you to provide the following :

- Two completed and signed Schengen application forms

- Two colour passport photographs attached to the above forms

- Passport (or approved travel document)

- Driving licence or student ID

- Letter of acceptance from your school or university stating full contact details AND their registration number, confirming both that you have paid the due fees and the details of the Course taken ( Duration, Hours per week, subject, etc...)

- Proof of financial resources - either: a letter from your university assuming financial responsibility for you, a letter from your parents assuming financial responsibility for you, your personal bank statements showing at least €1,000 per month for the length your stay, or proof of financial aid showing at least €1,000 per month for the length your stay.

- Proof of international health insurance.

- The fee.

- A stamped & Addresses envelope to receive your passport back.

Aswell as providing originals of each of the above documents you will be required to provide a Photocopy – it is a good idea to take an extra copy to keep for your own records too.

Note: Additional documents and obligations may be required depending on your nationality, where you’re applying from, and if the applicant is a minor. Check with your nearest Spanish embassy or consulate for the latest requirements.

After approx 4 weeks you will be asked to return to the Embassy so that you can be fingerprinted, and once that has been processed (usually a further 4 weeks) you will be able to call back to collect your student visa card.

Visas for OVER 180 Days

In order to apply for a student visa for OVER 180 days, you will need to complete the same procedures for a student visa as detailed above. You will also need to prove that you have no criminal record and prove that you are in good physical and mental health by submitting a letter from your doctor to that effect.

You will initially be given a student visa for just three months, which is the standard proceedure. During your first month in Spain you will need to go to a Foreigners’ Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) or an office of the National Police (Policía Nacional) closest to where you live in Spain and apply for a student card for your Autorización de Estancia por Estudios. The student card will then replace the 3 month card. The card is generally valid for one year, but it can be renewed every year as long as you continue to fulfill the requirements.

To apply for the student card in Spain at the Foreigners’ Office or office of the National Police:

- An EX-15 form that you have filled out.

- Your passport.

- Three colour passport photos

- Your original 3 Month student visa.

- Proof that you have been accepted into a program of study in Spain.

- Proof that you have sufficient financial resources during your program of study in Spain.

- The receipt stating that you paid the student card fee.

Approx 4 weeks later you must return to be fingerprinted, and then a further 4 weeks later you will be able to collect your student card.

Permission to work

It is possible to work on a student visa in Spain, but since the main goal of your stay in Spain is to study, any work you do is very closely regulated.

You can work part-time during the school term, or full-time during holidays under three months. However, this falls into two categories: internships (prácticas)and working under a special student work visa (called an Autorización Excepcional de Trabajo).

Any internship(paid or unpaid) must be part of your university studies and will be supervised by your university. You also have to be under 30 years old and the internship can be for no more than one year. You don’t need to apply for special permission, as everything is already regulated by an agreement between the university and the employer.

The other slightly more complicated way is to apply for a special student work visa (Autorización Excepcional de Trabajo). Once a company has undertaken to hire you, your future employer must apply for it on your behalf and you cannot work during the three months while it is being processed.

Otherwise, if you have been lucky in finding a company willing to employ you and you want to apply for a regular work and residence visa while still in Spain, you must have studied legally in Spain for a minimum of three years and have earned passing grades or marks. Otherwise, you must return to your home country to have the visa processed as would any other normal work and residence visa.

Comment on this Article

thanks a lot for your comments, actually the university wants to follow my application, beforehand I want to know about the rules to be more confident and less worried. because in some websites I have seen that after 3 years on student visa, I can change the student visa to work permit but there is also another item saying that I have to complete the courses successfully. But I am still PhD student not graduated. I would like to know if it is enough for extranjería to give me the work authorization.
Azadeh - Sat 7th Sep 2013
Azadeh : Why not just get the University to support your application to become Resident in Spain as a paid Employee, rather than as a Student then ?
Tumbit - Admin - Sat 7th Sep 2013
Hello, I have been here near three years with student visa for doing a PhD without any scholarship. Now my supervisor has a project and wants to hire me, and I need work permission now. This project is a complementary of my thesis. I would like to know if the only requirement for my case is fulling the 3 years. thanks
Azadeh - Sat 7th Sep 2013
If I obtain a student visa, is it possible for my husband to obtain a spouse visa so we can stay together while I study?
Sarah - Thu 1st Sep 2011
Parsuram : Yes, it is possible - but this article is concerned with obtaining student visas. If you wish to read about how to obtain citizenship of Spain you should click Here.
Tumbit - Admin - Mon 4th Jul 2011
Iam from nepal i want to be the citizen of spain is it possible
Parsuram Basnet - Mon 4th Jul 2011
Saqib : Your student visa is only valid for the duration of your studies, and regular checks are made between the issuing authorities and the universities. IF you are lucky enough to find an internship or employment following your studies then you may be eligible to apply for Residency and a Working Visa.
Tumbit - Admin - Fri 3rd Jun 2011
i am from pakistan if i come to spain on turest or vist visa then can i take admission collageor school and my visa status can be change. plz reply at my mail
Saqib Qureshi - Thu 2th Jun 2011
Please can I apply for study visa for my daughter for spain, because she would love to learn a beauty course there.
Beth - Wed 16th Mar 2011
Jeffrey, the accurate answer will depend upon your personal circumstances, but you may want to take a closer look at either the EX15 or EX12 permits for foreigners to see if they may help you with your situation.
Tumbit - Admin - Tue 13th Jul 2010
I want to get the practicas student visa for a non-paid internship. Currently I have a student visa and it will need to be extended. I am also a student of a language school and will be stopping my studies when I start my internship. How can I get the visa if I am not enrolled in a university? Do you get the company to write an official letter? Thanks for your help.
Jeffrey - Tue 13th Jul 2010