How to apply for a Spain Schengen Visa?
Do I need a visa to go to Spain?
If you are a U.S., Canadian or Mexican national you will not need a visa to travel to Spain for fewer than 90 days, as these countries are among those with visa-free arrangements with the European Union (EU), allowing their citizens to travel within the Schengen Area of European countries which have abolished border controls between each other. However, starting 2021, they will need an ETIAS visa waiver before travelling. It can be obtained online and will cost €7.
Citizens of countries without a visa waiver deal, including Russia, China, India, and all African nations, will need a Spain Visa, even if they are permanent residents of a country with visa-free travel arrangements, such as the U.S..
How do I apply for a Schengen visa for Spain?
Applying for a Spain Schengen Visa for travel to Spain costs €80 and has traditionally been done via your nearest Spanish embassy or consulate. But nowadays, in many countries, parts of the process are outsourced to BLS International visa application centers. This is true of China and India, where you will need to schedule an appointment at one of these centers.
In the U.S., applications from New York and Miami are dealt with by a BLS centre. Those living in other regions should apply via their consulate.
What documents are required with my Schengen Visa for Spain application?
With your Schengen visa application, you will need to provide the original and copy of the documents hereinafter. Depending on your country of origin and situation, additional documents can be asked. All documents must be in English or Spanish only, translations must be certified. Screenshots will not be accepted.
Spain visa requirements
1. Two Spain Schengen Visa application forms completed and signed on the last page.
- Spain visa application form (English)
2. A Cover Letter stating the applicant’s personal information, the purpose of their trip, the dates of their arrival and information on their return trip. The cover letter must also include information concerning any other accompanying persons. This includes family members, friends or business associates travelling for the same purpose. Please mention any special circumstances or requests to the Consulate.
3. A Passport valid for minimum three months after the expected visa to Spain stay and with at least two blank pages available. The passport must also have been delivered in the last 10 years.
4. Two passport size colour Photos, 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm), printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper, taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance and in front of a plain white or off-white background
5. Proof of Residence status (for U.S. residents) if necessary: Alien Residence Card (Green Card) or residence visa valid in the US (B1/B2 tourist visa holders cannot apply). The visa must be valid for re-entry into the United States of America if coming back to the US
6. Proof of Travel:
- Your confirmed travel reservations (round-trip) concerning your entry in and departure from the Schengen area. It is highly recommended not to buy your tickets until you get your visa.
- If you plan on travelling in Spain by car, you will need to provide a copy of your driver’s license as well as documentation concerning car insurance, vehicle registration (V5 document) or car rental documentation. If someone else will be driving, you will need to add a letter from the driver with a copy of their passport.
- If you intend on visiting other Schengen countries, you will need to provide your full itinerary. You will also be required to provide documentation showing means of crossing the different borders (by air or land e.g. flights, bus, ferry tickets or Eurotunnel tickets).
- If you are travelling for business purposes, you are required to provide documents to prove the purpose of your stay such as an invitation from a company or organization based in Spain to participate in a meeting, convention, fair or congress, etc.
7. Proof of Accommodation (dates must be the same as flight/travel dates):
- A detailed hotel reservation for the duration of stay OR
- The ORIGINAL invitation letter from a family member or friend issued by the "Policía Nacional" in Spain. In some cases, you might need to add a notarised letter from the inviting person taking responsibility for the applicant’s return to their home country.
- If you are taking part in a tour or a cruise, include a letter from your travel agent stating a complete itinerary of cities and hotels.
8. Proof of financial status to ensure you have sufficient means to support yourself for the entire duration of your stay. You should have no less than 100$ per person and day of stay in the Schengen area. You will need to provide:
- Your latest bank statements (3 to 6 months depending on your country of origin)
- A marriage certificate for married couples who do not have a joint account, and either spouse is sponsoring the travel (must be in English or Spanish only)
- In case of financial support from an immediate family member, documents proving relationship (birth certificate or any relevant document in English/Spanish only), a passport copy of the sponsor and their letter stating full financial responsibility
9. Health & travel insurance certificate: This insurance is mandatory. It must cover accidents, illnesses and repatriation for costs up to a minimum of €30,000.
10. Proof of employment:
- If you are employed: a letter from your employer stating your job title, length of time employed and annual salary AND/OR last 3-6 months pay slips
- If you do not work and are economically dependent (only family members), a notarised letter from the person you economically depend on, assuming full financial responsibility of your travel and stay, plus a copy of their valid passport and their three last bank statements. You will also submit the document proving your relationship with this person in English/Spanish.
- If you are self-employed or a business owner: proof of self-employment or business ownership, registration number, recent tax return and bank statements.
11. The 80€ Visa Fee
How long will it take to obtain my visa to Spain?
Applications accepted in a Visa Application Centre are usually submitted on the next working day to the Consulate General of Spain. From then on it usually takes 15 working days for the application to be processed. Depending on each situation and the need for additional documents, this processing time can take longer.
It is strongly advised to submit your application 3 weeks prior to your scheduled departure date. However applications will not be accepted earlier than 90 days before your trip.
How do I apply for a student visa to Spain?
Find a detailed guide on how to apply for a Spain student visa here.
Find a detailed guide on how to apply for a Spain tourist visa here.
What do I need from my travel and health insurance?
To obtain a Spanish visa, your travel and medical insurance must be valid for all 26 countries in the Schengen Area, even those you have no plans to visit, and cover accidents and illnesses, up to a minimum of €30,000 ($33,000).
Why choose AXA Insurance?
AXA offers several Schengen Visa compliant insurance policies for travel in Spain, with the low-cost option, priced at as little as €0.99 ($1.11) per day of your trip. Taking out insurance is a legal requirement of obtaining a visa to Spain and will cover you for any emergencies that occur during your travels. None of these policies will require you to pay an excess fee on medical costs. AXA travel insurance policies are accepted in all of the embassies and consulates of Schengen Area countries. AXA Travel insurance is zero deductible.Other Schengen countries you might be interested in
Related topics on the Schengen area
- Which countries are not part of the Schengen area ?
- What is the Schengen Agreement ?
- All you need to know about border control in the Schengen Area
- What does Schengen mean ?
- What is the Schengen acquis ?
We are doing our best to provide you the most reliable and updated information possible but rules and regulations concerning visas can be modified at all times by the consulate of your country if circumstances require it. Consequently, we can not be held accountable for these changes.
Please contact the Spanish Embassy to obtain the specific terms and conditions in effect at the moment of the submission of your visa application.
Frequently asked questions about obtaining Spain Schengen visas
If your visa is refused you have the right to appeal to the authorities in the Schengen member state where you applied.
No. You should thus make sure to provide all the correct information when applying for your visa and be very careful when preparing your application.
Yes. During your stay in Spain you will - in most cases - be able to visit other European countries if they are part of the Schengen area.