If you are a Non-European Union citizen and you are preparing to study in Spain, you need to arrange your legal situation, depending on the duration of your stay.
Mobility within EU countries: All of those non-UE citizens who hold a valid EU residence permit can enter Spain without applying for a new VISA as long as their EU residence permit is still valid. Check the steps for this procedure here.
Period of studies up to three months:
- The European Directive EC Nº 539/2001 March 15th, 2001 includes in its annex II the countries whose nationals are exempted from the obligation to obtain a visa for study periods of up to three months. Those have to fulfill the legal requisites described in article 5 of the Schengen Code, and in case of having to prolong the stay, it is possible to request an extension for a maximum of three more months (for more information consult Form 02 from the government).
- The European Directive EC Nº 539/2001 of March 15th, 2001 includes in its annex I the countries whose nationals are submitted to the visa obligation (type C) to enter the Schengen Area. For more information, consult here.
Period of studies up to six months:
There is a visa (type D) for studies that allows you to stay in Spain for a period of up to 180 days (Visado D Estudios hasta 180 días). This type of visa does not allow you to obtain the Residence Card for foreign students (TIE).
Period of studies longer than six months:
Those non-EU citizens who are going to study in Spain for a period of more than six months have to apply for an open visa for studies (type D). This type of visa (Visado D Estudios, Investigación) is valid for three months for entering the Schengen Area and once you have entered Spain you have to obtain the Student Residence Card for Foreigners (TIE) in order to remain legally in Spain. For more information, consult here.
The TIE is a temporary permit that permits you to stay in the country for the period of your studies. 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 when renewing your permit. The document gives you the right to remain legally in the country while you study.
You will have a maximum of 30 days after entering the European Union to begin the process of applying for the Student Residence Card (TIE). For this, you will need to present your flight ticket (boarding ticket) or the stamp on your passport showing the date in which you entered the European Union.
You can apply for a visa through your nearest Spanish Embassy or Consulate.
Important: A visa can never be changed once you are in Spain. The only visa valid is the one obtained from the Spanish Embassy or Consulate before coming to Spain.
Important: All foreign official documents must be previously legalized and, if necessary, must be translated into Spanish or official language of the territory where the application is submitted.
For more information, see the Official Information Form nº 9 of the ministry (in Spanish).
Lost or stolen visa:
To report your visa lost or stolen, fax the police report (preferably in Spanish or English) to:
MINISTERIO DE ASUNTO EXTERIORES Y DE COOPERACIÓN
C/Ruiz de Alcorcón, 5
Fax: 91 394 86 67/69
Be sure to include your personal data, an address where you wish to receive the confirmation of your visa and an e-mail address if you wish to receive a copy of this confirmation beforehand.