How To Get A Student Visa For Spain
One would think that applying for a visa for a country that is in the European Union would be nothing short of simple, right? Well, you would be surprised, like I was. I actually found it quite difficult to find correct and up-to-date information on student visas for Spain. So, I figured by writing this article I would help out some future students and save them the trouble that I went through.
Here is a list of documents that you need to apply for a Spanish student visa:
- A passport-style photo. Take two, just in case. (Many places take these kinds of photos, so this part is quite easy.)
- A valid passport, that is valid for a minimum of six months after your return from Spain.
- A photocopy of the picture page of your passport.
- An official letter from your family doctor stating that you do not have any communicable disease that is a threat to the general public in Spain.
- An official RCMP check with fingerprints and photo. *Not a police check from your local police department.* If you live in Ottawa, you can get this done at the Commissionaire’s office on Gloucester Street. If you are not from Ottawa, you will have to do your own research.
Tip: Do this as soon as you can, as processing time for the RCMP check can take anywhere from two to eight weeks.
- A letter of acceptance to the exchange program from your home university – the university you attend in Canada.
- A letter of acceptance from your host institution in Spain.
- Proof of residence in Spain.
Note: A hotel or hostel booking will not be accepted. You must show the Spanish embassy that you will have a place to live for either the semester, or the academic year. You cannot live in a hotel or in a hostel for a semester, or an entire academic year.
- Proof of sufficient funds and financial stability for your year abroad.
- Proof of private health insurance in Spain that covers your entire stay – from the day you leave for Spain, until the day you board the plane back to Canada.
Note: There should not be any gaps in your medical insurance. For example, your medical insurance cannot end four days before your return to Canada. This will get you denied.
Tip: Make sure all the dates of all your documentation correspond to each other. For example, make sure the effective start date of your medical insurance is the same as your departure date on your airline ticket. Also make sure that you check your acceptance letter for dates as well. Conflicting information may result in a telephone interview, or visa refusal.
- A valid health card in your home province.
- Airline ticket itinerary.
Note: Book your airfare ticket as early as you possibly can. Flying to Europe from Ottawa is expensive year-round, especially in August, and in September, which is peak vacation season in Europe. You will need to also book a return ticket. Yes, you will not be able to book all the way to June or July, when the school year ends. This is because you can only book about 300 days in advance. So when you buy your return ticket, call the airline immediately, and explain your situation, and they appropriate changes will be made accordingly. Do not worry about this, however. The people who work at the Spanish embassy are fully aware of this.
- The Spanish visa application form that is only available online on the Spanish embassy’s website. They do not have this form at the embassy, so it is very important that you print it out, and fill it out yourself, before arriving to the embassy. It must be complete when you go to the embassy. You can save and print this form here.
Note: you must have all the above necessary documentation in order for your visa to be processed. If any single one document is missing, you will be turned away. Processing time for the Spanish visa takes about four weeks. So do not do this at the very last minute, or you risk starting your international exchange late, or not at all.
Note: Photocopies will not be accepted by the embassy. Everything you submit must be an original.
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Mina-Christine is of Serbian ethnic origin and currently lives and studies in Ottawa, Canada. She studies French-Spanish-English Translation with a Minor in Arabic Language and Culture. Mina-Christine did a year abroad in Barcelona, Spain, and discovered all its hip and cool cafes, and also hit up 17 different countries while there!