How to apply for a student visa in Spain
Spain is a great country for international students, with high quality academics and a rich heritage. Source: Shutterstock

Ever dreamed of studying in Spain? We don’t blame you! It’s a beautiful country that’s rich in history and culture, and where international students can enjoy an exciting study abroad experience.

You can immerse yourself in the arts and culture scene, visit museums, enjoy dining at quirky restaurants and spend your free time on gorgeous beaches.

You also get the chance to learn Spanish, the second-most spoken language in the world. Employers are increasingly looking for those who have bilingual proficiency, so it’s a great chance to pick up a new language.

According to Times Higher Education, “While the majority of courses are taught in Spanish, there are also a number of courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level in English to accommodate overseas students.

“One of the biggest reasons students choose to study abroad is the opportunity to learn another language, and as Spain’s national dialect is the second-most spoken language in the world it has become a popular destination for international students.”

Besides a wonderful student experience, the academics are also of top quality in Spain. Top universities include the University of Barcelona, Pompeu Fabra University and the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

If you’re not from the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you will need a student visa to study in Spain. Here’s how to go about getting one:

Get your acceptance letter

The first step towards receiving your visa is to apply to a university and receive your acceptance letter – the same process seen in most countries.

Once you receive confirmation of acceptance from an officially-recognised university in Spain, you can proceed with contacting the Spanish embassy or consulate in your home county.

Apply for a specific type of student visa

The type of student visa you apply for depends on the duration of your course.

The 180-days D-type visa is for those who are planning to study in Spain between three and six months, while the student visa (type D) is for those who will be studying for more than six months.

This visa enables you obtain the TIE Residence Card for foreign students, a temporary permit that allows you to legally stay in Spain.

The TIE is valid for a maximum of one academic year and can then be renewed on an annual basis until your programme is over.

You must obtain the TIE within 30 days of entering Spain. You can submit your application at the local Foreigners Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) or police station.

The student visa must be applied for in your home country, not while you’re in Spain on a tourist visa. It’s generally advised to apply at least two to three months before you intend on arriving in Spain to allow time for processing.

Get your documents ready

To apply for the student visa, you’ll need some other documents besides your official acceptance letter. While it may vary from consulate to consulate, here are the general documents recommended by Expatica:

  • Details of the study, training or research that you’ll be doing in Spain, including the hours of study per week (20 at least);
  • Proof that you have medical insurance;
  • A medical certificate confirming that you don’t have any diseases that would require you to be quarantined;
  • Proof that you have the funds to support you for the duration of your stay in Spain (eg. scholarship details, a Spanish bank showing sufficient funds or letter from parents/guardians assuming full financial responsibility);
  • Information about where you’ll be living;
  • A criminal record certificate issued in the last five years by the relevant authorities in your home country.

Pay the processing fee

The fee for a visa in Spain is a flat fee of €60, which the general charge for the processing of the visa. However, you’ll also need to pay an additional €16 for the student visa processing fee.

And that’s it – enjoy your Spanish study experience. ¡Buena suerte y disfruta de tus estudios!

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