Spain is a gorgeous country with a booming tourism industry, and it’s also a popular spot for expats from around the world. If you’re keen on heading to Spain and sticking around for an extended period of time, then there are a few pointers that might help you plan your journey.
Obtaining a visa
Depending on where you’re from and how long you plan to stay, you might need to get a visa before you can visit Spain. To find out if you need a visa, you can check with the Spanish Embassy or Consulate in your home country.
The type of visa you’ll need will depend on why you’re traveling to Spain. There are different visa options available for various types of trips, such as tourist visas, student visas, or work visas.
- Schengen visa: This is a short-term visa that grants the usual 90 days given to tourists for visits or vacations in the country, so it is the most commonly issued.
- Long-term visa: Unlike the first, this is intended for those who plan to reside, either to work or study, and therefore allows for a much longer stay, but also has other requirements.
- Study visa: This type of visa is intended for students who want to study in Spain for a certain period of time.
- Work visa: This visa allows foreign citizens to work in Spain for a limited period of time.
- Family reunification visa: To bring together family members who are abroad with those residing in Spain.
- Transit visa: Issued for those who need to transit through Spain to reach their final destination in another country.
Keep in mind that each type of visa has different requirements that also vary depending on your home country due to possible agreements that could benefit you, so all visa procedures should be investigated and carried out in advance. More on all visas to Spain here.
Applying for a long-term visa
As mentioned above, to know the specific requirements associated with your case after identifying the type of visa you need, you must investigate at the Spanish embassy in your country. However, the essential requirements that you can check off your list are the following:
- Long-term visa application form duly completed and signed.
- Passport with a validity of at least three months after the planned date of departure from Spain.
- Recent color photograph.
- Justification of the purpose and conditions of the stay in Spain.
- Criminal record certificate.
- Travel medical insurance with valid coverage in Spain for the duration of the visa.
- Documentation proving sufficient economic means to cover the expenses of the stay.
- Medical certificate attesting to not suffering from any disease that could have serious public health repercussions.
- Request an appointment at the Spanish embassy or consulate in the country of origin. The required documentation must be submitted on the day of the appointment, and additional information may be requested if necessary.
- Pay the visa fee, which varies depending on the type of visa and the length of the stay.
- Wait for the Spanish embassy or consulate to process the visa application. Processing time may vary, but it usually takes between two and four weeks.
- Once the long-term visa has been granted, the applicant must travel to Spain within a maximum of three months from the date of issuance of the visa and register their residence within a maximum of one month from entry into Spain.
Remember that in addition to applying for the visa, you must make comprehensive preparations before traveling to Spain if your intention is to stay in the country long-term. Spain is a Spanish-speaking country, so it is important that you learn the language to be able to communicate and adapt to the culture. There are numerous Spanish language teaching programs throughout the country.
You should look for job or study opportunities that allow you to stay there. You can search for jobs online or through job agencies and explore study options at Spanish universities and schools. Make sure to inform yourself adequately about the requirements and procedures necessary to make your stay in Spain a rewarding and successful experience.