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Spanish visas

Your first step for moving to Spain, whether it's for work, education or to live, is to understand if you will require a visa.

We always recommend getting in touch with a qualified legal immigration specialist (we can help you with that). Meanwhile,  we have put together a guide in order to ensure you have as much information as possible before you start the process.

Who needs a visa

For non-EU/EEA residents, (including the UK),  if you wish to spend more time than 90 days in Spain for any reason, you will require a visa. This will require time, paperwork and potentially interviews with the Spanish embassy in your home country.  

Below we provide an introduction to the various visa types and their requirements. However, we strongly recommend getting support from immigration law professionals when applying for the longer-term and more complex visas.

Long Term Visa

Schengen visa - short term

This visa allows a person to stay up to 90 days in a 180 day period.  With it you can travel freely across all boarders within the Schengen zone

This visa is required citizens from these countries, with the exception of around 60 countries including:

  • EU/EEA area, UK, US, Canada, Australia, Isreal, New Zealand, Japan and many Latin American countries. Be sure to check the latest list.

To apply for a Schengen visa you need to fill out the following form and apply through the Spanish embassy of your home country.

If you have an existing Schengen visa, you can stay in Spain freely until it expires.

After 90 days, or if starting a job, EU/EEA residents must register for a T.I.E residency card and tax number.

All other countries (including the UK) must apply for a residency visa if they wish to stay more than 90 days in a 180 day period.

National visa- long term

For more specific information on the various Visas, click on the links provided.  We do not take responsibility for the content on third party sites and recommend speaking to professionals when applying for a long term Visa

Unless you’re a citizen of the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you need a longer-term national visa (visado nacional) if you intend to live here longer than three months, work, study or carry out research in Spain.  There are a number of specific visas that can be applied for, including:

  • Non-Lucrative Residence Visa for those who wish to come to Spain to apply for residence, and have the financial means to support themselves and their dependents without working here.

  • Student Visa for those who want to study at an educational institution in Spain for longer than three months.

  • Work Visa for persons who wish to work in Spain.

  • Au Pair Visa for young foreigners that want to help a family with housework or child care, in exchange for accommodation and board.

  • Entrepreneur Visa for those who want to establish or invest in a business in Spain.

  • Working Holiday Visa for people who want to undertake employment during holidays, i.e. the summer season.

Whilst applying for each visa is different, the following list of documents are most commonly required when applying for a Visa:

  • Visa Application Form

  • Two biometric photos

  • Your passport

  • Copies of passport pages with info

  • Flight reservation

  • Proof of accommodation

  • Medical Insurance

  • Original medical certificate issued by a doctor, verifying you do not have any contagious diseases, and that you are free of drug addictions and mental illness

  • Proof of Sufficient Financial Means (bank statements, scholarship, etc)

  • Police Record that shows you have not committed any crime in the past

  • Proof of enrolment at a university in Spain (Student Visa)

  • Work authorization and copy of employment contract (Work Visa)

This documentation will have to be submitted to the Spanish embassy in your home country.  You will also be required to have an interview and pay a fee (see below).  The process from start to finish should take no more than one month.

Golden visas

Please refer to our tax section to review your Spain tax obligations before becoming a resident

This visa and residence permit to meant to encourage foreign investment in Spain and is known as the Golden Visa.  This visa provides the following abilities to the holder:

  • To circulate freely and without restrictions with the Schengen area.

  • ​Access to a new type of residence permit,  which can be requested at the end of the visa. This is valid for two years and renewable for an additional two.

  • ​The holder does not require to reside for 183 days in Spain and allows the beneficiary to keep their tax address outside of Spain.

  • ​The Visa is available for the investor and their spouse, children under 18 years and dependent adults.

General Requirements for the Golden Visa (not all are listed):

  • The purchase of real estate valued at over €500,000 Euros

  • OR 1 million Euros in Spanish bank deposits or company shares.

  • You have entered Spain legally.

  • The applicant is a legal adult (18 years old).

  • Does not have a criminal record in Spain or in their last country of residence.

  • Has sufficient financial resources to maintain themself and dependents during the residency period.

Golden Visa
Shengen Visa
Visa Cost

Visa costs

Schengen visa - short term 

National visa - long term

Spanish citizenship

Spanish residency, if you have lived in the country for long enough, is the first step to becoming a citizen if you want to. Spanish Citizenship allows you to: obtain both a Spanish Passport and ID card, vote in elections, access national healthcare and travel freely within Schengen and any other countries with the relevant agreements with Spain without Visas. It also allows you by default to be a European Union citizen.

Primary requirements for citizenship


Being a Spanish resident (holding a Spanish Residency card) for ten consecutive years.


Citizens of Latin American countries, Andorra, the Philippines, Ecuadorian Guinea and Portugal require Spanish residency for only 2 years.


Being married to a Spanish citizen or having Spanish parents or grandparents means you can apply for citizenship after one year of residency.


How can we help?

Lawyer with Clients

At Mallorca Expats, we have vetted a number of legal and immigration professionals that can advise, assist and manage the residency and Visa process for you.  Feel free to get in touch for an introduction with no obligation. 

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