Brexit : how to apply for a Spain visa from the U.K ?

Will I need a visa to travel to Spain from the U.K.?

You will not need a visa to travel to Spain after Brexit if you plan on staying for fewer than 90 days, even though Britain left the European Union and its transitional arrangements at the end of 2020. This is because there is a visa-free travel arrangement between the EU and the U.K. for short-stay visits. By the end of 2022, the EU hopes to have its new ETIAS system in place which travelers not requiring a visa will be able to apply through. Before then you will just need your passport.


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How will I apply for ETIAS ?

You will need to fill out an ETIAS application form online, which is expected to take about 10 minutes to complete by answering questions and providing personal details. The only document you will need is your valid biometric passport. Once approved, it will be valid for trips for three years or until the end of the validity of the passport registered during the application, whichever comes first.


If you are living in the U.K. but are a citizen of a country without a visa-free travel arrangement you will need to apply for a Schengen Visa from the U.K. to travel to Spain.


Longer stay visas

For longer stays to work, live or study in Spain, British citizens, as well as those from countries outside the EU or EEA group of countries with freedom of movement, will need to apply for visas and residency permits, as Brexit has ended freedom of movement between the U.K. and EU countries.


If I need a Spanish visa, how do I apply from the U.K?

You will first need to work out which Spain visa type you need, depending on your purpose, the length of your trip, and how many times you plan to visit. The basic Schengen short-stay Spain visa, for trips lasting up to 90 days, can be used for short trips to work, study, for tourism, or family purposes. Multiple-entry visas are also available if you plan on traveling regularly in and out of the Schengen Area.


You must apply for your visa no more than six months, and no fewer than 15 days, before you travel to Spain by filling out your application, and paying a fee of €80 for adults or €40 for those aged 6 to 12 years old. The fee is waived for those under that age. Then you must obtain all the documents you need for your application, and attend an interview at a visa application center.


What documents do I need to apply for a short-stay Spain visa from the U.K.?

You will need two recently taken passport-style photos, your passport, or other travel documents that are less than 10 years old and valid for at least three months after your departure date from Spain - or the Schengen Area if visiting Spain is just the start of your trip. You will also need travel and medical insurance covering you for costs up to €30,000, a cover letter stating your itinerary and the purpose of your visit, as well as a flight itinerary and proof of accommodation during your stay, proof of your civil status, like a marriage certificate, and proof you have means of subsistence during your stay, such as your last three bank statements.


According to Spanish authorities, to obtain a Spain visa from the U.K. you need to show you have at least €573 in total for trips lasting up to 10 days, or €70.77 per day for longer visits.


Long-stay visas

If you are planning to work, study or live in Spain for fewer than 90 days, then you will need additional documents to obtain your visa. These include an employment contract, a current bank statement, and an income tax return. The self-employed need an income tax return, a company bank statement, as well as any licensing documentation. As a student, you will need proof of enrolment at an educational institution in Spain, and preferably a no objection letter from your current institution authorizing your study. You will need to prove you have an offer to work or study and means to support yourself during your stay. You may only be granted an employment visa or work permit if your skills meet Spain’s list of shortage occupations - so may need to prove your qualifications and expertise. You will also need to obtain a TIE – (tarjeta de entidad del extranjero) foreign identity card, allowing you to reside in Spain.


To obtain your TIE you must first submit your residency application, which can be done in person at your local immigration office after arriving in Spain, via an appointment, or online with a digital signature certificate for the government’s online portal. You can find out more and apply online via the website, here: Spanish public administration website residency portal.


Where do I apply for a Spain visa in the U.K?

Spanish authorities have a deal with the company BLS International, which processes applications on behalf of the Spanish embassy. You can apply online via the BLS International website, and you will need to attend an interview at one of the BLS International centers.


You can visit their website and find out where you will need to apply at your local center, here: BLS UK website.


Related topics on the Schengen visa for U.K nationals


Frequently asked questions about applying for a visa to Spain from the U.K.

How long will my long-stay Spanish visa be valid for?

These and your residency permit can be valid for up to five years - initially as a temporary permit. After five years you can apply for a renewable 10-year permanent residency.

If my visa is refused - can I appeal and can I get a refund on my travel insurance?

Yes. You can appeal - although the reversal of a decision is rare. AXA provides a full refund on travel insurance should your visa application be denied.