Student Visa in Spain

Picture of Miguel Ángel Pollino

Miguel Ángel Pollino

Coordinator of LegalSpain

If you plan to study in Spain, this article will be of great help to you. Here you will find everything you need to know about the process of applying for a student visa. We will learn about the necessary requirements to obtain it, as well as the cases in which it is not necessary. In addition, we will review the necessary documents to meet the requirements and explore the available options for working in Spain with a student visa. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn everything about the process!

The Student Visa in Spain is a residency authorization for non-EU citizens who want to study in Spain. With this visa, they are allowed to reside in the country while studying at public or private educational institutions, conducting research, or participating in some kind of training.

Anyone wishing to enroll in any vocational training course, master’s, postgraduate, doctoral or degree program in Spain must apply for a study visa. However, it is important to note that this visa is exclusively for citizens from outside the European Union.

Although the study stay is only an authorization to reside in Spain during the course period, it is a very interesting option for non-EU citizens. With the reform of the immigration regulations, they are automatically allowed to work 30 hours per week, and once they complete their studies, they can easily and conveniently modify their permit to a work one. However, it is important to note that the years lived under the student visa only count as half when calculating the necessary years to obtain permanent residency, and do not count at all towards Spanish nationality.


Types of student visa

It is important to note that if you are studying in Spain for less than 90 days, whether as a EU citizen or not, a student visa is not required: your tourist visa will suffice if it is required to enter the country. However, for those who will be studying for more than 90 days, there are two categories of student visa depending on the time you will be studying in Spain:


Short-term student visa

It is intended for international students who are taking a program between 91 and 180 days in the country.


Long-term student visa

If your studies last more than 6 months, you will need one.



Duration of the student visa

The student visa in Spain is valid for a certain period, depending on the duration of your studies. Previously, it was valid for one year and could be renewed annually until the studies were completed, provided that the necessary requirements were met. However, it is important to note that the expiration date of the student visa does not necessarily coincide with the end date of the studies.


Student visa for more than 6 months

If the studies last more than 6 months, you will be given a residence card. If not, you will only be given a stamp in your passport.


Student visa for more than 1 year

Extended duration of the student visa. Previously, the duration of the student visa was for one year and had to be renewed annually until the end of your studies. However, now it is possible to obtain a student visa for two years. If your course or master’s degree lasts more than 2 years, you will not have to renew the visa every year or extend your stay. The process includes an additional step, which is to request an appointment at the immigration office once you arrive in Spain to receive your residence card. At the end of the first year, you must renew the expired card, but it is not necessary to apply for a new visa.


Extension of the student visa

If the study program you are taking is extended for any reason, you can request an extension of the student visa at a local police immigration office.



How to obtain a Student Visa in Spain?

To be able to apply for a student visa, it is necessary to know the essential requirements needed to obtain such a visa. If you meet the requirements, you can start the application process. Below, we will detail the entire process you have to follow.



  • Not being a citizen of the European Union and not having entry to Spain prohibited.
  • Having the homologation of your secondary or higher studies to be able to access the desired studies.
  • Being admitted to a study center or university. You will need an acceptance letter from the center or university.
  • Having sufficient economic funds to support yourself in Spain during the time your studies last. This can vary annually and is calculated taking into account the IPREM.
  • Having medical insurance with total coverage in Spain.
  • Not having a criminal record.
  • In the case of short-term visas, plane tickets between Spain and your country of origin will also be necessary.


How to submit the application?

To apply for a student visa, there are two options: from your home country at the Spanish consulate or directly in Spain if you have a tourist visa. The application must be made between 90 and 30 days before the start of your studies in Spain. It is important to meet this deadline. If you decide to make the application in Spain, you must first obtain an appointment at the local Immigration Office. You can request an appointment here.


How do I get a Student Visa if I’m already in Spain?

If you’re already in Spain legally, for example, with a tourist visa, you can enroll in a course and obtain your student visa.

It’s important to have all the necessary documents prepared before entering Spain to avoid delays or unforeseen circumstances that could ultimately prevent you from obtaining your student visa.


Required documents

  • Passport and a copy of it
  • Enrollment or acceptance letter from the educational institution or university where you will study
  • Completed EX-00 form.
  • If the student is a minor and not accompanied by their parents, a legal authorization signed by them will be required.
  • Document proving sufficient economic funds.
  • Medical certificate demonstrating that the applicant is not suffering from any disease recognized by the International Health Regulations of 2005.
  • Information about the place where you will live during your stay in Spain.


How long does it take to obtain the visa?

The student visa application will be evaluated and resolved within a maximum period of one month.



Is it possible to work in Spain with a student visa?

The answer is yes: it is possible to work in Spain with a student visa. If your student visa was issued after August 16, 2022, you are authorized to work up to 30 hours per week without the need to apply for an additional permit. You can work anywhere in Spain without geographical restrictions. As a foreign student in Spain, you will have 4 different options to work in the country after completing your studies.



Advising and guidance for obtaining a student visa

If you need us to advise and guide you in obtaining your student visa, write us and we will help you in the most effective way possible.

We can accompany you throughout the process: homologation and validation of academic documents, academic advice and preparation to access the studies that best fit you, and assistance in obtaining the student visa.

LegalSpain is here to help you come to Spain and to help you achieve all your goals.

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