Do You Need a Visa to Study in Spain?

Do You Need a Visa to Study in Spain?

View our guide to visa and entry requirements for studying abroad in Spain. Wondering if you need to obtain a visa to study in Spain? Wondering is it possible to work in Spain as an international student?


Who Might Need a Visa:

If you are planning to:


The Following Students Do NOT Need a Student Visa:

  • Students who are citizens of any of the member States of the European Union.
  • Students who are citizens of any country that has ratified the agreement of the free circulation of citizens (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland).
  • For stays of less than 90 days (3 months)


The Following Students DO Need a Visa:

  • A visa is necessary for all those students from non-EU countries who plan to reside in Spain for more than 3 months. A student visa to enter and legally remain in Spain must be applied for at the Spanish Embassy or Consulate in the student’s country of origin or residence.


Types of Student Visa

Depending on the duration of the stay, there are two types of student visas:

  • Student visa for a maximum of 180 days. Once you are in Spain it will not be possible to ask for an extension or change it to a multiple entry visa or a longer term visa.
  • Long term visa for studies lasting longer than 180 days. After arriving within one month of your entry into Spain you must apply for an authorization for a study stay (autorizacion de estancia por estudios). This visa can be extended for as long as you are registered at a University. Students planning to study for more than a semester should apply for a long term visa.


Student Visa Application:

If you are applying to university in Spain and been accepted onto a course they will send a letter of acceptance to your university which is needed in order to apply for the student visa before coming to Spain. You can then take this letter of acceptance to the Spanish embassy or consulate in your country to begin processing your visa application.


Can I Work in Spain on a Tourist Visa?

People who are studying are not be authorized to work in Spain (either for others or as self-employed). However, to the extent that it does not interfere with their studies, and under the terms legally determined, they may work part-time or for a limited amount of time by previously applying for the corresponding permit.



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