Stay for studies: visa and permit

What do you need to know?

If you plan to study or extend your studies at an authorised centre in Barcelona's area for a period of more than ninety (90) days and you are a Non-EU national, you must apply for a staty for studies.


If the stay is more than six (6) months, you must apply for your identity card for foreign nationals (TIE).

You should also be aware that if the application for residence for studies is accepted, you will be able to carry out employed or self-employed professional activities as a student, provided those activities are compatible with your studies and do not exceed 30 hours a week.

Residence permits for studies therefore allow employment and self-employment work without the need to carry out any additional procedure, so long as this concerns higher studies, regulated training for employment or obtaining a certificate of professionalism, or training conducive to obtaining a certificate of technical aptitude or professional accreditation required for practising a specific profession. The latter only applies to residence permits for studies obtained on or after 16 August 2022.

Who does it apply to?

It applies to persons from outside the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland who travel to Spain to study.

What is your current status?

If you are outside Spain, you must apply for the study visa.

If you are legally in Spain, you must apply for the study permit.

What requirements must be met?

  • Not being a citizen of a European Union or European Economic Area state or Switzerland, or a family member of individuals from those countries to whom the rules for EU citizens apply.
  • Not being forbidden to enter Spain or being listed as liable to be refused entry to the territorial area of countries with which Spain has signed an agreement to that effect.
  • Having sufficient financial means to meet the costs of your stay and return to your country and, where applicable, also your family members.
  • Having public or private health insurance taken out with an insurance company authorised to operate in Spain.
  • Having gained entry to an authorised educational institution in Spain to undertake a full-time programme, to obtain a degree or certificate of studies.

If the duration of the stay exceeds six months, the following will be required:

  • If you are of legal age, not having a criminal record in Spain or in your previous countries of residence during the last five years for offences existing in Spanish law.
  • In the case of the visa and before you travel to Spain, you must prove with a medical certificate you do not suffer from any diseases that may have serious public health implications, in accordance with the provisions of the 2005 International Health Regulations.
  • As soon as you arrive in Spain, you must apply for your identity card for foreign nationals (TIE).

How long is it valid for?

Both the visa and permit are valid for the same time as the study programme, with a maximum limit of one year, or two years if it is studies carried out in an authorized higher education institution, which give leading to the award of a recognized higher education qualification.

Once the original visa has expired, it may be extended annually if you are able to prove that you still meet the requirements and are continuing with the same or related studies. In that case, you must prove that you have passed any relevant tests or have met the requirements needed to continue those studies.

Can I bring my family with me?


Your family members may accompany you on your trip. This condition applies to:

  • spouse or unmarried partner; 
  • children who are minors or who have a disability and are not objectively capable of providing for their own needs, due to their state of health.

Take the following into consideration:

  • If you are in another country with your family, you can apply for a student visa together with the family members who will be accompanying you.
  • If you are in Spain legally (e.g., with a tourist visa) and you apply for a study permit, your family members may not, in this case, make a joint application. This must be done successively: i.e., they must wait until you have obtained your permit first.
    • If your family members are in another country, once you have obtained your permit, they may request a visa at the corresponding Spanish consulate in order to join you.
    • If your family members are with you legally in Spain (e.g., with a tourist visa) when you apply for your permit, they must leave the country and apply for the visa abroad at the corresponding Spanish consulate.

It is important to remember that if you submit your application in Spain, you must do so when you have at least 30 days of legal residence remaining (e.g., on your tourist visa).

What do you need to do?

What steps must you follow?

IN PERSON. To apply for a visa

  1. Once you have prepared all the necessary documentation, download, fill in and print the national visa application form. Forms are available in Spanish and sometimes the relevant consulate provides a version in the language of the country where the application is submitted. 
  2. Request an appointment at the diplomatic mission or consular office in your country, on the website or by telephone.
  3. Pay the fee. The fee to be paid in this case varies depending on the place or country where you submit the application, so we advise you to check directly with the website of the Spanish consulate or embassy in your country of residence.
  4. Go to the diplomatic mission or consular office of your country of residence to hand in the documents and to be able to apply for the relevant visa.
  5. Receive or collect your visa. Once the documentation, fee payment and requirements have been validated, a decision on your study visa will be issued in approximately one (1) month. The consulate will notify you that a decision has been issued by email.
  6. When you arrive in Spain, if your studies last more than six months, you must apply for your identity card for foreign nationals (TIE).

ONLINE. To request a permit

  1. You must obtain your own digital certificate FNMT-RCM or, if you apply through a legal representative, a representative’s or lawyer’s digital certificate. 
  2. One you have prepared the necessary documentation, you must download, fill in and sign the official study permit application form EX-00.
  3. Submit the application. Enter the platform provided by the Government Mercurio Iniciales to apply, following the steps indicated and attaching the required documentation. 
  4. Receive the response from the competent body: The Government regional office will be directly responsible for assessing the documents that accompany the application and for deciding on and notifying the interested party of the decision within a maximum period of one month. If no response has been received after that time, it will be deemed to be unfavourable.
  5. Remember, if your studies last more than six months, you must apply for your identity card for foreign nationals (TIE)

Who can apply?

The application must be submitted by the foreign national in person or by means of a representative with the due accreditation. 

What documentation is needed?

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. 

On the other hand, all foreign public documents must be previously legalised, except where the document in question has had an apostille certificate attached by the competent authority of the issuing country.


The documents must be translated into Spanish by a sworn translator and legalised. In the case of multilingual standard EU forms, neither translation nor authentication is required.

The form of legalisation will depend on whether the issuing country has signed the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 or not:

If the country issuing the public document is a signatory, the document will be recognised if it bears the Hague Apostille stamp. The certificate 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.

Get more information about the legalisation and translation of documents.

Common documentation for both the VISA and the PERMIT
  • The application form EX-00 duly filled in and signed.
  • Full copy of a valid passport or travel document with a minimum validity period remaining the same as the period of the stay applied for.
  • Proof of sufficient financial resources for you and your family members (for the visa) during your period of residence in Spain and to return to your country of origin. In the case of minors without their own means, the parents or persons responsible for their finances must provide proof of this.
  • For students who are not of legal age, authorisation from parents or guardians stating the institution, organisation, entity and body responsible for the activity and the planned period of stay. 
  • Health insurance taken out with a company operating in Spain.
  • Letter of acceptance or certificate of commencement of studies at an educational institution. 
If the duration of the stay exceeds six months:  
  • Criminal record certificate issued by the authorities of the country of origin or of the country in which the applicant has resided for the last five years. 
  • Medical certificate verifying that the person does not suffer from any disease that has repercussions on public health.
Specific documentation to apply for a VISA 

In addition to the previous documents, you must submit the national entry visa application form and proof of payment of the corresponding fee.


How long does it take?

The time limit for dealing with both the visa and the permit is one month. If no response has been received after this period, it will be deemed to be unfavourable. The request will have been rejected.

How much does it cost?

The cost of the visa fee varies depending on the place or country where you submit the application, so we advise you to check directly with the website of the Spanish consulate or embassy in your country of residence. 

In the case of the permit, there is no fee. (A fee is only paid when requesting an extension of the stay for studies).

Want to know more?

Body responsible for the formality

For the visa, the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Government of Spain).

For the permit, the Government Sub-delegation in the province of Barcelona (Government of Spain).

Further information

Government of Spain's Immigration Portal (available only in Spanish).

Important linked procedures

Identity card for foreign nationals (TIE).


The procedures tend to change frequently. Therefore, only what is provided by the regulations in force at the time of carrying out the procedure in question is applicable.