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Spain Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Spain in 2023
 
   
 
 
 
     
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Welcome to Spain

Are you planning a trip to Spain? Navigating visa requirements can feel like a challenging task. But here's the good news: We have the blueprint you need!

Whether you're drawn to the lively streets of Barcelona, the historic charm of Seville, or the stunning art in Madrid, it all starts with getting the correct visa to enter Spain. At iVisa, we've simplified the Spain Visa application process into a few easy steps.

With our help, your Spanish adventure is just a click away. Dive into the simplicity of iVisa's service, and get ready to explore Spain's vibrant culture and breathtaking sights!

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As varied as tapas: The Spain visa options

New to globetrotting? Think of a visa as your golden ticket, not a credit card, giving you the go-ahead to explore new countries. A visa is an official document or stamp issued by a country to a foreigner, allowing them to enter, stay for a specified period, or leave that country.

It's a crucial document that regulates and keeps track of travelers to ensure adherence to the country's immigration laws. Now, let's navigate Spain's diverse visa options to find one that aligns with your travel plans.

Spain Schengen Visa

Who is it for? A Spain Schengen Visa is a type of visa that allows individuals to enter and travel within 27 European countries that are part of the Schengen Area for a short time.

Citizens from over 100 eligible countries can apply for a Spain Schengen Visa, including:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burma/Myanmar, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Congo, Cote D’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, and many others​.

Wondering what your chances of approval are? Use our Entry Success Calculator before applying:

Who cannot apply:

  1. Residents from the European Union and nationals of Schengen countries can travel visa-free within the Schengen Zone​.

  2. U.S. citizens who have been previously denied visa-free entry in Spain or any other Schengen country​.

Purpose?

  1. Tourism and visiting family or friends.

  2. Attending business meetings, conferences, or other business activities.

  3. Short recreational courses or sports.

Remember you also get access to the entire Schengen Area:

Duration of stay? The visa allows a stay of up to 90 days Per Entry within 180 days in the Schengen Area and is valid from a min. of 180 days to a max. of 5 years.

Learn more about the Spain Schengen Visa

GET YOUR SPAIN SCHENGEN VISA NOW

Spain ETIAS

The ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) is NOT a visa. It’s an online authorization system for travelers from countries that don’t need a visa to enter 30 European countries and four microstates that are part of the Schengen countries, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) under the Schengen Agreement, Future Schengen Member Countries, and the European Microstates With Open Borders.

Who is it for? The Spain ETIAS is designed for travelers from countries that don't need a visa to visit Spain and other participating countries for short trips. Citizens from over 60 visa-exempt countries must apply for ETIAS authorization, including:

The United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Israel, etc.

Who cannot apply:

  1. Citizens from countries needing a visa to enter the Schengen Area must go through the standard visa application process instead.

  2. EU/EEA/Swiss citizens as they enjoy freedom of movement within the Schengen Area and don't need any visa or authorization.

  3. Individuals with an outstanding entry ban or alert in the Schengen Information System.

  4. Travelers who don’t meet the security and entry criteria of the ETIAS system.

Purpose?

  1. To pre-check travelers from visa-exempt countries before they enter participating countries, including Germany, for security reasons.

  2. To streamline the entry process for travelers, making it quicker and easier for them to visit.

  3. Allow short-term visits for tourism, business, medical visits, or transit through participating countries.

  4. Help manage and track visitors, enhancing security and border management.

Duration of stay?

  1. The ETIAS authorization allows for short-term visits, typically up to 90 days within 180 days.

  2. It is not intended for long-term stays, work, or residence within the Schengen Area.

  3. The validity of the ETIAS can be up to 3 years or until the end of the validity of the travel document registered during the application, whichever comes first.

Learn more about the Spain ETIAS

GET YOUR SPAIN ETIAS NOW

Spain Airport Transit Visa

Who is it for? The Airport Transit Visa is a specific type of visa that allows individuals from certain countries to transit through the international zone of airports in the Schengen Area, without entering the Schengen territory en route to their final destination outside the Schengen Area.

Citizens from the following countries are required to have an airport transit visa when passing through the international transit area of airports in any Schengen country:

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, and Sri Lanka.

Who cannot apply:

  1. Individuals not from the specified countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, and Sri Lanka).

  2. Certain individuals from these countries may also be exempt based on other criteria, including:

  • Holding a valid visa for certain countries.

  • Being a family member of a EU/EEA citizen.

  • Holding diplomatic passports.

  • Residents and citizens of Schengen Area countries.

Purpose?

  1. To allow individuals from certain countries to transit through the international zones of airports situated in the Schengen Area.

  2. Facilitate travel en route to a final destination outside the Schengen Area.

  3. Ensuring a layover within the airport's international transit area without permitting entry into the Schengen territory.

Duration of stay? The Airport Transit Visa is typically valid for the transit duration, allowing individuals to remain in the airport's international transit area until their next flight. The stay duration is usually limited to a few hours and up to 24 hours.

Visas for family members of a citizen of the Union

Who is it for? The Visas for Family Members of a Citizen of the Union are designed for individuals who are family members of citizens from the European Union, European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland. This visa facilitates their ability to join or accompany their EU/EEA/Swiss family members in Spain or any other country within the Schengen Area.

Eligible family members include:

  1. Spouse or registered partner of the EU/EEA/Swiss citizen.

  2. Direct descendants under age 21 or older if they are dependents and those of the spouse or partner.

  3. Dependent direct relatives in the ascending line and those of the spouse or partner.

This visa aims to ease family reunification and allow for the free movement of EU/EEA/Swiss citizens and their family members within the Schengen Area.

Who cannot apply:

  1. People who aren't family members of EU/EEA/Swiss citizens.

  2. Family members who don't meet the dependency criteria.

  3. Citizens of EU/EEA/Switzerland, as they already have freedom of movement.

  4. Individuals with entry bans in the Schengen Area due to policy, security, or health reasons.

Purpose?

  1. To join or accompany EU/EEA/Swiss family members living in Spain or traveling to Spain.

  2. Facilitate family reunification within the Schengen Area.

  3. Allow for the free movement of EU/EEA/Swiss citizens and their families within the Schengen Area.

Duration of stay?

  1. The duration of stay for Visas for Family Members of a Citizen of the Union typically aligns with the duration of stay of the EU/EEA/Swiss family member they are joining or accompanying.

  2. The visa may be issued for short-term stays, usually up to 90 days, or long-term stays, depending on the circumstances.

  3. A residence card may be required for extended stays or residence, which may be valid for up to 5 years.

The exact duration and the type of visa or residence card issued may vary based on individual circumstances and the nature of the visit or stay.

Spain National Visas

A National Visa is typically aimed at individuals who intend to stay for an extended period for work, study, or family reunification. In contrast, Schengen Visas and the ETIAS are for short-term stays.

Who is it for? The various types of National Visas cater to a wide range of individuals based on their unique circumstances and intentions for their stay in Spain. Whether you're looking to work, study, invest, or reunite with family, there's a visa designed to accommodate your needs. Here's a brief overview of who each type of National Visa is for:

  • Study Visa or Auxiliar de Conversacion: For individuals who wish to study or assist in teaching in Spain.

  • Residence Visa with Working Permit Exemption: Allows the applicant to live and work in Spain without applying previously for a work permit.

  • Researcher Visa: Aimed at individuals conducting research in Spanish institutions.

  • Internship Visa: For individuals looking to intern in Spain.

  • General Scheme for the Family Reunification Visa: For family members wishing to reunite with their relatives in Spain.

  • Employee Visa: For individuals who have secured employment in Spain.

  • Self-employed Work Visa: For those looking to engage in self-employed or entrepreneurial activities in Spain.

  • Visa for Highly Qualified Workers and Intra-company Transfers: For highly skilled professionals and individuals transferring within a multinational company.

  • Investor Visa: Aimed at individuals making significant financial investments in Spain.

  • Entrepreneur Visa: For entrepreneurs looking to establish or expand their business in Spain.

  • Non-lucrative Residence Visa: For individuals with sufficient financial means and wish to reside in Spain without engaging in professional activity.

  • Long-term Residence or EU Long-term Residence Recover: For individuals seeking long-term residence in Spain or those recovering their EU long-term residence status.

  • Working Holiday Visa: For young individuals from certain countries wishing to work and holiday in Spain for a short period.

  • Telework Visa: For remote workers and digital nomads who wish to reside in Spain while working online for foreign employers.

  • Artist/Staff/Reporter Visa: For artists, supporting staff, and reporters covering events or engaged in cultural activities in Spain.

Who cannot apply:

  1. Individuals from EU/EEA/Switzerland already enjoy freedom of movement within Spain and the wider Schengen Area.

  2. Individuals with entry bans: those who have been issued entry bans due to previous violations of immigration or other laws.

  3. Individuals needing to meet visa requirements: those who cannot provide the necessary documentation or meet the specific criteria for the National Visa category they are applying for.

  4. Individuals posing a threat: those identified as a threat to public policy, internal security, public health, or international relations of any of the Schengen Area countries.

Each type of National Visa has its own set of eligibility criteria, and failing to meet these can result in an inability to apply. These change depending on where you are applying from. You must contact your local Spanish embassy or consulate for further information.

Purpose? The array of National Visas provided by Spain aims to cater to a variety of purposes tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of individuals:

  1. Employment and entrepreneurship: Through visas like the Employee Visa, Self-employed Work Visa, and Entrepreneur Visa, Spain facilitates individuals looking to work or start a business there.

  2. Investment: The Investor Visa is designed for individuals making significant financial investments, promoting economic growth.

  3. Education and research: Study, Researcher, and Internship visas cater to individuals pursuing education, research, or internships in Spain.

  4. Family reunification: The Family Reunification Visa enables family members to live together in Spain.

  5. Long-term residence: Long-term Residence visas accommodate individuals seeking to establish long-term residence in Spain.

  6. Specialized professions and activities: Visas like the Visa for Highly Qualified Workers, Artist/Staff/Reporter Visa, and Telework Visa cater to individuals with specialized professions or those engaged in specific activities.

  7. Travel and leisure: A Working Holiday Visa allows young individuals to explore Spain while engaging in short-term employment.

These visas ensure a structured and legal pathway for individuals with varied objectives to reside in, work, study, or contribute to Spain in different capacities.

Duration of stay? The duration of stay permitted under each National Visa varies based on the nature and purpose of the visa:

  • Employment and Entrepreneurship Visas: These visas typically allow for extended stays, often up to a year, with the possibility of renewal based on employment or business conditions.

  • Investor Visa: Usually valid for a year initially, extendable based on the continued investment.

  • Education and Research Visas: The duration matches the length of the study, research, or internship program, often up to a year, and may be extendable.

  • Family Reunification Visa: Generally allows for a long-term stay with the possibility of obtaining a residence permit.

  • Long-term Residence Visas: These visas can lead to long-term or permanent residency, with the initial visa often valid for a year and extendable.

  • Specialized Professions and Activities Visas: The duration varies widely based on the nature of the work or activity, often ranging from a few months to a year or more.

  • Travel and Leisure Visas: Working Holiday Visas usually allow for stays up to a year, while other travel-related visas may have shorter validity.

The respective visa guidelines stipulate the exact duration and conditions for extension or renewal.

If you’re still unsure of what type of visa you need, use our visa checker tool for more guidance. At iVisa, we're committed to turning your Spain dreams into reality, simplifying your visa journey at every step. Dive into our detailed pages linked above, and take the first step towards your Spanish adventure today!

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Spain visa application process: Smooth sailing to España!

Applying for a Spain visa can take time and effort. We make it fast and easy while improving your chances of approval.

How to apply for the Spain Schengen Visa

Secure your Spain Schengen Visa swiftly with these steps, paving your way to the lively fiestas and scenic beauty of Spain:

Step 1: Provide your information and travel details via our online application or mobile app.

Step 2: Review your information and pay the iVisa service fee. Note: During your appointment, the government fee is paid separately at the embassy, consulate, or Visa Application Center (VAC).

Step 3: Upload a scanned copy of your passport and a passport photo. You'll receive a guide on completing your application and the documents needed for the mandatory visa interview.

We’ll schedule the appointment and provide essential details for the day.

Apply for your Spain Schengen Visa today!

How to apply for the Spain ETIAS

We make getting your Spain ETIAS easy! Follow these three steps:

Step 1: Fill out the online form with your personal and trip details.

Step 2: Review your info, pick the processing time, and pay the fee online.

Step 3: Upload any required documents and submit the form.

Once approved, you'll get your visa by email.

Easy right? Apply for your Spain ETIAS today!

How to apply for a Spain National Visa or other visas

To get a National Visa is a little more complicated. You’ll need to follow these steps:

Step 1: Fill out the Visa application form from the nearest Spanish consulate or embassy.

Step 2: Gather required documents.

Step 3: Schedule a visa interview (if applicable), pay the fee, and attend the appointment (if applicable) with your documents.

Step 4: Await the decision, and once approved, collect your visa or receive it by mail.

Note: We do not currently offer National Visas, Transit Visas, or Visas for family members of a citizen of the Union applications. You must contact your nearest embassy to apply for any of these.

Spain entry requirements

Embarking on a journey to the cultural heart of Europe, Spain requires some preparation. Don't fret; we've simplified the entry requirements for you!

This table is your roadmap to a smooth entry into Spain, ensuring a memorable exploration of its rich heritage and stunning landscapes.

Requirements & Details Spain Schengen Visa Spain Airport Transfer Visa Spain Family Visa Spain ETIAS Spain National Visa
Printed Application Form x
Completed and signed
-
Passport Photos x
Two recent whole-face photos with a light background
You can get updated, government-compliant passport pictures using our online passport photo service
-
Valid and Biometric Passport
At least two blank pages for visa affixing
Issued within the last ten years
Valid for at least three months beyond the intended stay
If your passport is expiring, check out our passport renewal service to see if we can help you get a new one before your trip.
-
Copies of Travel Documents x x x
All pages of the travel passport, previous visas, and other valid or expired passports
-
Round-trip Flight Itinerary x x x
Document showing booked flight to enter and leave Spain
-
Proof of Accommodation x x
Hotel reservation,
-
Proof of Financial Means & Employment Status x x
At least €100/day, with a minimum of €900 per person.
Can be done using employment contract, bank statements, leave permission, etc
-
Join Your EU Family Member x x x x
Reside with or join your EU family member in Spain
-
Proof that Family Member Can Support Your Visit x x x x
Proof that the EU citizen has a work contract or sufficient economic means
-
Visa Appointment & Interview x x
Schedule and attend a visa appointment through the official channel, attend with all required documents
-
Additional Documents x x
You may be requested to provide additional documents by the Embassy or consulate
-
Application Decision x x
Await a decision on your application; if approved, collect visa sticker in person

Health information for travelers to Spain

Spain offers travelers a captivating blend of culture, history, and natural beauty. To ensure a safe and enjoyable journey, it's essential for travelers to be well-informed about health-related considerations before visiting this vibrant European destination:

Requirement Explanation & Consideration for Travelers
Vaccinations - Generally, Spain doesn't require mandatory vaccinations for most travelers.
- Check if your country of departure has any specific vaccination recommendations.
- Stay updated on Spain's COVID-19 requirements through the Spanish Ministry of Health
--- ---
Medical Facilities - Spain offers high-quality healthcare services.
- Both public and private hospitals have modern facilities and skilled medical professionals.
- For emergencies, dial 112.
--- ---
Health Insurance - Secure comprehensive travel health insurance before your trip.
- Ensure it covers medical expenses, emergency evacuation, and lost belongings.
- Learn more about healthcare access for EU citizens through the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
--- ---
Local Hazards - Sun and Heat: Protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen, clothing, and sunglasses.
- Stay hydrated during hot weather.
- Water Safety: Pay attention to warning flags at beaches and be cautious of marine hazards.
- Wildlife: While Spain is generally safe, be aware of local wildlife and follow safety guidelines.
--- ---
Medication - Declare All Medications: Always declare any restricted substances at customs.
- Original Packaging: Keep medicines in original containers with prescription labels.
- Prescription or Doctor's Letter: Carry a valid prescription or a letter from your doctor explaining the need for each medication.
- Check for Restrictions: Research beforehand to ensure your medications are allowed in Spain, as some substances are restricted or prohibited. Check the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices (AEMPS) for comprehensive information about medication regulations.
- Quantity Matters: Bring only a reasonable quantity of medication aligned with your stay duration to avoid complications.

Traveling to Spain is all about being prepared. Being informed and taking the necessary precautions can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to Spain.

Need help in Spain?

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Embassies and consulates serve as your lifeline in a foreign country like Spain. Whether you're a Spanish resident, a tourist exploring this beautiful country, or an international traveler needing help, knowing how to connect with your embassy or consulate can provide peace of mind during your stay.

For Spanish residents and citizens abroad:

Spanish residents and citizens traveling abroad can rely on the extensive network of Spanish embassies and consulates for assistance, including emergencies and travel guidance.

For international travelers in Spain:

International travelers in Spain can seek support from their home country's embassy or consulate for services like consular assistance and visa extensions. Find your home country's embassy or consulate information in Spain using our Embassies and Consulates directory.

How to connect with embassies and consulates:

  • Access embassy and consulate information, including contact details and services, on our Embassies and Consulates directory.

  • In emergencies, find contact information on the embassy or consulate's website for quick assistance.

  • Use email for non-urgent inquiries or appointment scheduling.

  • If an in-person visit is necessary, book an appointment in advance for a smoother experience.

Explore Spain confidently, knowing that embassy and consulate assistance is just a call or click away!

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