Visas and Immigration

Types of Spanish Student Visa

A Spanish Student Visa is one of the most important identity documents when you are staying in Spain. It allows you to study, be an exchange student or have the opportunity to work for more than 3 months in Spain. For further information, students can check out the Spanish government's website:

⟶ Students from EU countries and Swiss citizens can enter Spain without a visa.
⟶ If you are non EU student, after receiving the acceptance letter of your master's or undergraduate degree, you can begin to process your student visa in your home country. Please note that obtaining your student visa is your responsibility and that it usually takes a long time (2 or 3 months) to process your visa, so it is advisable to start the process as soon as possible. There are two types of student visas:

A course (bachelor, master or postgraduate) of less than 6 months

Your consulate or embassy in Spain will issue you a student visa with the remark "ESTUDIOS TOTAL 180 DÍAS". After 180 days, you will be able to extend this visa from Spain. In order to renew your stay permit, you will have to fulfil the same requirements as for the renewal of the NIE and also provide the background certificate.


A course lasting more than 6 months:

Students must obtain a 90-day student visa (type D visa). It is valid for three months to enter the Schengen Area. Once you have entered the Spanish territory you have to obtain the Student Residence Card for Foreigners (TIE) to legally stay in Spain. The TIE includes a number, called NIE (Foreigner Identity Number). The NIE you will have in Spain may already be printed on the visa you obtain.


About the TIE

The TIE is a temporary permit that allows you to stay in Spain for the duration of your studies at ESDi. The card is valid for a maximum of one academic year and can be renewed annually until you finish your studies.
Your academic performance will be taken into account for the renewal of the permit. The TIE gives you the right to stay legally in Spain while you study. All non-EU students will have a maximum of 30 days after entering the European Union to begin the application process for the Student Residence Card (TIE).
To do this, you will need to present your airline ticket (boarding ticket) or the stamp in your passport showing the date of entry into the European Union. You can apply for a visa through your nearest Spanish Embassy or Consulate.


Extension of stay and visa

Visa Renewal Process

If you plan to stay in Spain beyond the expiry date of your NIE, you will need to renew it. Please note that you will only be able to renew it while you are a student (at this school or another school, as long as you can justify it with an official certificate). You will have to renew your NIE only if it expires before the end of your master's or undergraduate degree. Students can start the visa renewal process 60 days before and 90 days after the expiry date. A late renewal application is punishable by up to 500€. The NIE renewal is a long process and takes place in different phases. For more information, check the Spanish government's website for reference.


How to apply for a student visa & residence card in Spain

Before Arrival

After receiving the admission letter to your master's degree or undergraduate degree, you can start processing your student visa in your home country. Please note that obtaining your student visa is your responsibility and that it usually takes a long time (2 or 3 months) to process your visa, so it is advisable to start the process as soon as possible. The cost of your student visa for Spain varies depending on the type of visa and your home country. Students can contact the Spanish Embassy in their country for more information about the cost, process & deadlines. Although the documentation required may vary depending on your case, the documents required for a student visa are:

⟶ 2 completed Schengen Visa application forms.
⟶ Passport (valid until the end of your stay).
⟶ ID Card (could be driving licence or national ID card, if applicable).
⟶ Current student ID card.
⟶ 2 recent passport photos (one for each application form).
⟶ Letter of acceptance from the course provider.
⟶ Health insurance.
⟶ Proof of sufficient funds to cover the stay (bank statements).


After Arrival

As mentioned in the visa Information, it is necessary to apply for a student residence permit within 30 days of entry into Spain (the TIE), if you are planning to stay in Spain for more than six months. Students can apply for it at their local Foreigners Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) or police station. You will need to prepare the following documents:

⟶ Passport or national ID valid for at least six months.
⟶ Completed application form (EX 17, or EX 18, students can download it from the internet).
⟶ Photocopy of the passport stamp certifying entry into Spain.
⟶ Acceptance documentation from the educational institution confirming the course.
⟶ Three recent passport photos.
⟶ Letter of residency or census registration (empadronamiento), which is confirmation that you live in Spain. You can get this from the Oficinas de Atención al Ciudadano (OAC) if you and your landlord present your passport, your Spanish rental contract or utility bill, or via online via this link:

⟶ Health Insurance (for the duration of your stay in Spain).

To process the NIE you must go to the Foreign Office requesting an appointment to submit it. Follow the instructions below to begin the process:

1. Access the Spanish government's website:

2. Fill in the details below to book your appointment.
3. Print the appointment confirmation with the location, date and time. Students can also use App Cita previa Android to get the appointment.

The NIE card is valid for one year. You can renew it every year for five years as long as you are still studying.


Work in Spain with a student visa

With the Spanish student visa, students can work part-time or in a temporary position followed by the course duration. Students can work up to 20 hours a week without interfering with the student's academic calendar. Please note that if you have come to Barcelona for a 6-month post-graduate and therefore have a 180-day visa, you will not be able to work in Spain. Important documents if you are working in paid employment:
If students are working in paid employment or have obtained an employment contract, they must have Spanish Social Security (Seguridad Social).
We advise you to read carefully the information from the Ministry of Employment about the requirements, the required documentation and the procedure.


Job Seeking Visa

Since 2018, the Spanish government has offered a Job Seeking visa or an Employment Seeking residence permit. It is a type of visa that allows you to stay in Spain for an extra year to look for a job that is appropriate to a student study's programme or to open their own business in Spain. It is a non-profit residence permit. Students need to change from Job Seeking permit to Work permit once they find a job in Spain. Application period: students must apply for the visa process between 60 days before and 90 days after the expiry date. Documents required:

⟶ Passport.
⟶ Form EX01.
⟶ Receipt of payment of tax 790/052 (Option 2.1).
⟶ Diploma of higher education (or, in case the hard copy is missing, the substitute option given to the student).
⟶ Health insurance.
⟶ Proof the financial situation.


Where to apply:

The student has to apply online via this link rec/redsara.es with the digital signature that can be obtained from this website:

Results: students can obtain the result in 20 working days, or consult the administrator if it takes more than 20 days.

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