Spain, the beautiful place we’re proud to call our new home, offers sun, culture, and delicious cuisine, ranking above average in several measures of well-being in the OECD Better Life Index, so it’s no surprise that flocks of international students pack up their bags each year to come and sample the top-notch quality of life for which the country has gained recognition abroad. If you’re considering a temporary change of scenery to give your education a boost, you’ll need to apply for a student visa to study in Spain. Not sure how to go about applying for one? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
First things first, what are the requirements?
The Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration has established the following requirements for anything looking to obtain a student visa:
• Must not be a citizen of any member state of the European Union, European Economic Area, or Switzerland, or family member of any citizens of these countries.
• Must not be prohibited from entering Spain.
• Have sufficient financial means to cover the stay and the return to the country of origin.
• Hold a public or private health insurance policy taken out with an insurer authorised to operate in Spain. Check out the range of health insurance plans available at Caser here.
• Any minors who arrive unaccompanied must have authorisation from their parents or legal guardians.
• Must have been accepted into an authorised educational institution in Spain to study full time, with the aim of obtaining a degree or certificate of studies. If the course lasts longer than 6 months, the following will be required:
• Hold no criminal record from any countries in which they have lived in the last 5 years.
• Not have any illness or disease that could have serious repercussions on the public health system in accordance with International Health Regulations 2005.
What documents are needed to get the student visa to study in Spain?
As many of us are all too aware of, Spanish bureaucracy can be daunting and considerably time consuming, so it’s important to do your homework and gather all the necessary documents in advance to prevent any hold-ups during the process. Make sure you submit the following paperwork:
• Printed and duly completed application for national visa (2 copies), and signed by the applicant or the applicant’s legal representative if he or she is a minor. The form can be downloaded here.
• Passport that remains valid for at least the length of the stay.
• Proof of sufficient financial means.
• Proof of medical insurance.
• Letter of acceptance into an educational institution.
If the stay is more than 6 months,
• Medical certificate. You can find out more about the visa medical requirements in Spain here.
• Criminal background check (if of legal age).
Don’t forget that any documents submitted must be translated into Castilian Spanish or any other official language and legalised by the Consulate in the country of origin, or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, unless it has been apostilled according to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961.
How does the process work?
The application must be submitted by the applicant or his or her legal representative if under the legal age, at the Spanish consular office or diplomatic mission in the country of origin, with the corresponding administrative fee paid at the time of application. The decision will be issued within one month from the day after the application is submitted. If there is no correspondence from the consular office within this period, it may be understood that the application has been rejected. If the application has been accepted, the applicant must be collected within two months, otherwise it will be deemed that he or she has rejected it.
The duration of the stay granted in the visa will be equal to the length of studies, with a maximum of one year. If the stay is for longer than 6 months, the visa holder must apply for the Foreigner’s ID Number within 1 month of entering the country.
And voilà! It’s not as hard as you imagined, right? After doing your homework, preparing the required documentation, and waiting for the official decision, you’ve hopefully now obtained your student visa to study in Spain and successfully completed all formalities required to live in the country hassle-free. It’s now time to bury your head in the books and make the absolute most of your free time. Best of luck.