Nationals of the European Union and European Economic Area can travel to Spain without any restriction if they have a national identity card or a valid passport. Foreign nationals coming from other countries, on the other hand, have to complete certain formalities.
In general, most travellers from non-EU or EEA countries need a visa, however some countries are visa exempt. Citizens of over 60 countries can enter Spain without a visa upon presentation of their valid passport for a maximum of 90 days over a period of 180 days.
90 days stay
Countries include Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, the United States, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, the Republic of Korea, San Marino, Singapore, Uruguay and Venezuela. The full list of visa exempt countries for travelling to Spain can be found on the Foreign Affairs website.
Otherwise, you will have to apply for a visa at the Spanish embassy or consulate in your home country. You thus have to be in possession of documents supporting your stay in Spain and related conditions. You will also need proof of sufficient funds to support yourself throughout your stay.
Schengen visa (short term)
For non-EU or EEA nationals, a tourist visa is necessary for entering Spain. You can opt for a Schengen visa allowing you to travel within the Union for a period of 90 days. For more Information about the Schengen visa, visit the Schengen Visa Info website http://www.visa-schengen.info/en/. Visa application forms can be obtained from your Spanish consulate or you can download an application at the Schengen visa department online www.schengenvisa.cc.
In order to obtain a Schengen visa, you will need to provide the following documentation to meet entry criteria:
- valid passport and short-stay visa, if required
- legitimate purpose of travel, such as tourism or business
- financial resources to cover your stay and your return
- travel insurance policy to cover any healthcare expenses during your stay incl. repatriation for medical reasons.
National visas (long term)
These visas enable non-EU and EEA nationals to stay longer than three months, to reside, work, study or do research in Spain. Once approved and issued you will be able to obtain a residency card in Spain. Contact the Spanish embassy or consulate in your country for more information.
Good to know:
If you plan to stay long term, you will need to apply for a Foreigners’ Identity Number (N.I.E) once you are in Spain. The N.I.E. is crucial to be able to open a bank account or to start working in Spain. Depending on your purpose of stay, different documentation may be needed.
Airport transit visas
These visas entitle non EU-EEA nationals to cross the international transit zone of a Spanish airport. You can find a list of countries that require an airport transport visa on the Foreign Affairs website.
Ministerio de Trabajo e Inmigración - Ministry of Labor and Immigration www.empleo.gob.es