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Student visa - Guide

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

On 31 December 2020 the transition period ended and the UK completed the EU exit process. This means that from 1 January 2021 onwards the UK is considered a third country by all EU states. In terms of residency, this means that anyone who wasn’t covered by the Withdrawal Agreement (anyone who wasn’t a resident in an EU state or started the process to become one before the end of 2020) will have to adapt to the new regulations in terms of immigration. In Spain, this means that UK nationals will be subject to the general regime of Immigration (Régimen General).

What is the General Immigration Regime?

The General Immigration Regime is a set of migration rules and requirements for third country nationals that wish to live in Spain. Unlike the Community Regime (directed at EU nationals), the General Regime does not grant the right to work or move to Spain based on your nationality. Instead, there is a set of visa requirements you will need to fulfill in order to live in Spain. This, among other things, means you will need to specify in advance what is your intention for moving to Spain, declare that you have sufficient economic means to do so, or present an employment contract with a company based in Spain. What is a student visa? The student visa is a document that will allow you to live in Spain for over 90 days if you follow one or more of those requirements (for study programs of less than 90 days, check here):

  • You are conducting or extending studies in Spain

  • You are undertaking research activities or education

  • You are volunteering in Spain

  • You are doing an unpaid internship, based on the signature of an agreement

  • You are following training in Spain or in a student mobility programme.

If you meet the requirements mentioned above, you will be able to present your application at the Spanish consular office in your region. You can check which office you should attend here. Before starting the process, you will need to book an appointment to your consular office. To do so, you will need to send an email to the following email address depending on where you live:

  • (London)

  • (Edinburgh)

  • (Manchester)

In the email, write down as subject the type of visa you are looking for (student visa). On the body of the email, specify the following information:

  • Your personal details: full name, nationality, passport nº and phone number.

  • Type of visa

  • Reason of requesting the visa.

  • Desired date of the appointment you wish to book the appointment (the consular offices only are open for these processes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 09:30 to 12:00), to be confirmed by the consular office.

The process will be individual, so each family member that wants to apply for the visa will require a separate appointment. Applications can be done through a notarised representative. The student visa can be applied for up to 90 days before the desired date of entry into Spain. After obtaining the appointment, and if you comply with the requirements, you will have to provide the following documents to the consular office:

  • Completed national visa form (dated and signed)

  • Recent ID photograph (white background). Check guidelines here.

  • Valid Passport (at least 1 full year of validity and 2 blank pages), copy of all pages.

  • Visa fee. You can consult the different visa fees through this link.

  • Specific documentation (depending on the type of stay):

If conducting or extending studies:

  • Letter of admission/authorisation from the centre

  • Proof of having paid the full tuition, specifying subjects of study and learning time (at least 20 hours/week)

If undertaking research activities or education:

  • Letter of admission/authorisation of a centre within the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas or another public/private R&D institution.

If on a study mobility programme:

  • Letter of admission to the centre

  • Letter of admission to the mobility programme

  • Document proving that the mobility organisation takes responsibility for cost of studies, living expenses and return to the country of the student.

  • Document detailing the host for the student (family or institution), selected by the organisation responsible for the mobility programme.

If on an unpaid internship:

  • Letter of admission into the company/training centre

  • Copy of the agreement signed by the public or private entity.

If volunteering:

  • Copy of the agreement signed by the organisation in charge of the volunteer programme (should include description of the activities, schedule and resources to cover the trip, board and lodging).

  • Document proving civil liability insurance.

Also, proof of sufficient financial means, which can be:

  • 6 months of bank statements (originals and stamped by bank) showing at least a monthly amount of the 100% IPREM (600 euros), unless proven that the accommodation has been paid in advance for the entire duration of the stay, or;

  • Letter from the centre covering all the costs of accomodation and meals.

  • Proof of scholarship for the specified time.

  • Notarised document of the applicant’s parents assuming all the costs associated with the stay and studies in Spain.

Documents for underage students (with sworn translation into Spanish):

  • Birth certificate duly legalised.

  • Notarised authorisation of the parents or legal guardians for travel to Spain.

  • Health insurance (public or private), with a minimum international coverage of 30.000 euros and repatriation clause in case of death.

  • Pay the visa application fee in the consulate.

If the stay will be for more than 180 days, in addition present:

  • Criminal record (only if 18+) issued by the country/es where the applicant has lived for the past 5 years. The certificate must be legalised.

  • Recent medical certificate, issued in the past 3 months prior to the date of application.

Legal partners and children that wish to obtain a visa will also have to present the marriage or birth certificate, properly legalised with a Hague apostille. Note: All official documents (birth certificate/death, marriage certificate/divorce, criminal record) must be legalised through the consular representations of the issuing country or hold the Hague Apostille, except official documents issued by a Member State of the European Union. Resolution Once you present all documents, the notification period can take up to 3 months counting from the next day of the presentation. If approved, you will have two months after the notification to pick it up.

For stays shorter than 180 days, the student will have to get a NIE card after arriving to Spain.

For stays longer than 180 days, after obtaining the visa, the applicant has one month from the date of entry into Spain, to process the TIE (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero) at the Immigration Office or Police Station. Applying for the TIE To request the TIE it is necessary to make an appointment online with the Oficina de Extranjeros -cita previa-, which can be done by clicking this link. Select the province where you live and the option “ Policia-Toma de Huellas (Expedición de tarjeta) y Renovación de Tarjeta de larga duración” -Trámites Cuerpo Nacional de Policía tab-, and follow the further instructions. Completing this process will arrange an appointment at an Immigration Office or your local Police Station for a specific date and time. Once the appointment is arranged, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • Filled Model EX-17 form (original and copy)

  • Passport (original and copy) with the Visa attached

  • Receipt of payment of the tax 790 code 012. You can complete and download the form here. Also, find the list of institutions associated with the payment of fees by direct debit system here

  • Passport-size photograph 32x26 (ID photograph)

  • Padrón original and copy, issued within the last 3 months.

In the case the police don't inform you about how to pick up your new TIE, you will be able to pick up your card by booking an appointment here. Select the province where you live and the option “Policia-Recogida Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero” -Trámites Cuerpo Nacional de Policía tab-.


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It’s easy to make a donation by credit or debit card - here is the link to our donations page. You can also contact me, directly about other ways in which you could help. And remember, if you are a tax payer in Spain, you can claim up to 80% tax relief on your donations of up to 150€ in any tax year and 35% tax relief on amounts over that. So a 20€ donation could cost you only 4€ - or a donation of 100€ would cost you just 20€. We will send you a receipt so you can reclaim your tax when you submit your tax return. Before you go! We absolutely depend upon the vital support of people like you to ensure that our services are freely available for everyone who needs help.

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