Entry visa

Updated 10/2021

Document that allows a foreign individual to enter Spain and carry out the formalities to activate the residence permit that has been granted

Vocabulary
  • What do you need to know?
  • What do you need to do?

The FEE is € 60 (in general)

The VALIDITY may be for up to ONE YEAR

You must apply BEFORE YOU TRAVEL to Barcelona

It is applied for IN PERSON

What is it?

This is the document which entitles entry into Spain and for the carrying out of formalities needed to activate the residence permit that has been granted. It is only applicable to persons from outside the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and who are outside Spain. 

Important information

The application is made at the Spanish consulate in the country of residence.

The duration of the national visa can be for up to a year depending on the type of visa that they have requested.

You can also consult the Government of Spain's Immigration Portal (available only in Spanish).

Why do you have to apply for it?

It is a compulsory document in order to be able to reside and work in Spanish territory for people who are not from the EU, the EEA or Switzerland.

Once the residence permit has been granted, in order to enter Spain, it will be necessary to request an entry visa. Once in Spain, the individual will be able to continue with the procedures associated with their residence permit, such as requesting a Spanish identity card for foreign nationals (TIE). 

Who does it apply to?

It applies to:

  • Individuals from outside the EU, the EEA or Switzerland who possess a residence permit for highly qualified workers, for a work transfer, for research or residency and self-employment.

Who should apply for it?

Applications for the national visa must be made by the foreign national himself or herself. Only exceptionally, and for justified reasons, may the consulate allow the application to be submitted by a duly accredited representative. 

What requirements must be met?

In order to apply for a national (long-stay) visa, certain general and specific requirements must be met, depending on the reason for travel.

General requirements
  • Not being a citizen of an EU or EEA state or Switzerland, or a family member of individuals from those countries to whom the rules for EU citizens apply.
  • Not being in an irregular situation in Spanish territory.
  • Having no criminal record in Spain and in the countries where you have resided during the last five years.
  • Not being forbidden to enter Spain or being listed as liable to be refused entry in the territorial area of countries with which Spain has signed an agreement to that effect.
  • Having sufficient financial resources for yourself and your family members during your period of residence in Spain.Having sufficient financial resources for yourself and your family members during your period of residence in Spain.
  • Having health insurance taken out with an insurance company authorised to operate in Spain.
  • Paying the application fee for the national (long-stay) visa.
Specific requirements for stays for study purposes
  • To gain admission to an authorised centre of study in Spain for the completion of a full-time programme, to obtain a degree or certificate of studies.
  • If you stay in Spain for more than six months, you must prove that you do not have a criminal record in Spain and provide a medical certificate.
  • In the case of students who are minors and not accompanied by their parents or guardians:
    • Authorisation of the parents or guardians, with proof of the centre, organisation, entity or body responsible for the activity and the planned duration of the stay.
Specific requirements for intra-company transfer

It is essential to have the permit for intra-company transfer.

Specific requirements for highly qualified professionals

It is essential to have the permit for highly qualified professionals

Specific requirements for training and research

It is essential to have the permit for training and research.

Specific requirements for self-employed persons who do not meet the specific requirements to be able to apply for the visa for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial activity

It is essential to have the initial permit for residence and self-employed work.

Which body is responsible for the formality?
What advice and suggestions could help you?
  • If your application is refused, there is no refund of the fee.
  • It is advisable to consult the relevant diplomatic mission or consular office about the specific nature of the procedure before starting it.
What other linked formalities should you know about?

What do you need to do?

In person

You can only complete the formality in person, going in person to the diplomatic missions and consular offices of Spain in your country of residence. Only exceptionally, and for justified reasons, may the consulate allow the application to be submitted by a duly accredited representative. 

Check with the relevant diplomatic mission or consular office about the specific procedure before starting the application.

What steps must you take to apply for a visa?

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You must obtain the permit (if applicable)

You must obtain the residence permit for a work transfer, for highly qualified workers, for training and research or residency and self-employment. 

In order to apply for the national visa you should obtain in advance the residence and work permit. Once this permit has been accepted and granted, you must start processing the visa within the first three months after the permit has been granted, proving that you meet the requirements.  

If applying for a visa for a stay for study purposes

It is not necessary to obtain a permit in advance.

If applying for a visa for an intra-company transfer

Residence permits for intra-company transfer must be applied for beforehand.

If applying for a visa for highly qualified professionals
If applying for the visa for training and research

Residence permits for training and research must be applied for beforehand..

If applying for a visa to start a self-employed activity without meeting the specific requirements to be able to apply for the visa for entrepreneurs and business activity

Initial permit for residence and self-employment must be applied for beforehand. In this case, the permit must be applied for by the individual in person.

Next
Fill in the application form and gather the required documentation

You must download, fill in and sign the national visa application form, specifying your reason for travel.

Forms are available in Spanish, and sometimes the relevant consulate makes available a version in the language of the country where the application is submitted. The application form is the same for all types of visa.

Before making the application, consult and prepare the documentation you will be required to provide.

Documentation
  • In general, you must provide the original and a copy of the documents.
  • When documents from other countries are provided, they must be translated into Spanish by means of a sworn translation and correctly legalised.
  • All foreign public documents must be legalised beforehand, except where the document in question has had an apostille certificate attached by the competent authority of the issuing country.
    • In the case of standard EU forms, neither their translation nor their legalisation will be necessary, in accordance with the provisions of the EU regulations that relate to them.

It is important for you to know that the public documents issued in your country of origin which are necessary to complete formalities for coming to Barcelona must comply with international legalisation requirements.

There are two methods of international legalisation of a public document, depending on whether or not the country issuing the document is a signatory to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961:

  • If the country issuing the public document is a signatory, the document will be recognised if it bears the Hague Apostille stamp. This stamp will be processed in the country of origin.
  • If the country issuing the public document is not a signatory, then the legalisation process will be carried out through diplomatic channels.

In addition, any documents issued in a language other than Spanish must be translated by means of sworn translation. In the case of standard EU forms, neither translation nor legalisation is required. 

Remember that the documentation required may vary depending on the country of residence and type of visa you are applying for. In addition, each consulate may require any additional documentation it deems necessary for the purposes of the decision regarding the visa. However, the general documentation that you will have to provide is the following: 

  • National visa application form.
  • Identity document or passport.
  • Criminal record certificate.
  • Health insurance taken out with a company operating in Spain.
  • Proof of sufficient financial resources for you and your family members during your period of residence in Spain.
  • In the case of a prior request for a permit: a decision on the permit, specifying its approval and duration.
Next
Request an appointment

The visa must be applied for in person or through a duly accredited representative.

In general, in order to apply for a visa at the diplomatic mission or consular office of your country of residence, you must make an appointment in advance, through their website or by phone. 

Next
Pay the fee associated with the visa application

In order to apply for a visa, the established fee must be paid.

The amount is generally 60 euros, but may vary depending on the country and the reason for travel.

In certain cases, a reduction or exemption from the fee is provided for. However, there is no provision for a refund of the fee if the application is refused.

Next
Go to the place indicated and submit the documentation

Go to the diplomatic mission or consular office in your country of residence to hand in the documentation and you will be given a copy of your application.

The documentation necessary is detailed in the second section of the procedure ("2. Fill in the application form and gather the required documentation > Documentation").

Next
Receive or collect your visa

Once the documentation, the payment of the fee and the requirements have been validated, your national (long-stay) visa will be issued. You may receive it at home or you may have to travel to pick it up in person at the diplomatic mission or consular office in your country.

If the visa has been refused, you will receive a notification to that effect.

Once you have picked up your visa, remember that you must enter Spain in the following three months.

Next
Entry into Spain

Remember that once you are in Spain, depending on your profile and the type of visa you have been granted, you may have to take the following steps: