Overview of Spain
Spain, with a Spanish-speaking population of almost 47 million, is located in Europe’s southwest, with France to its northeast, Portugal to the west, and Morocco across the Mediterranean to the south.
Spain’s varied landscapes, vibrant cities, and diverse cultural offerings attract 84 million people each year, making Spain the second-most visited country in the world. At its geographic center is its capital city, Madrid. Featuring elegant boulevards and parks, chic stores, trendy and traditional restaurants, and significant historic buildings, Madrid is a city for walkers. It is also a city for museum goers, with the Prada Museum the beating heart of its cultural capital, with works by Goya, Velasquez, and El Greco among its collection. On the eastern coast of Spain sits Valencia, a port city with beaches, a planetarium and an oceanarium. Southern Spain features the cities of Seville, famous for its orange trees, and Granada’s Alhambra, a palace fortress with gardens of spectacular beauty. Architecture devotees flock to Bilbao to see Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum and to Barcelona for its collection of whimsical buildings designed by Gaudi, dancers find ballrooms and clubs featuring flamenco, and food lovers delight in Spain’s meat and seafood, particularly its famous dish of paella. Hiking the mountains of Catalonia, diving near the Straits of Gibraltar, and swimming and sunbathing in Ibiza are among the outdoor pursuits popular for locals and tourists alike in Spain.
Spain signed the Schengen agreement in 1991, becoming part of the Schengen area in 1995.
- Schengen visa eligibility for Spain includes third country nationals from the following states, who are excluded from visa-free to Spain/the Schengen area, and are therefore eligible to apply for a Schengen visa to Spain:
14. BURKINA FASO
19. CAPE VERDE
71. NORTH KOREA
20. CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
74. PAPUA NEW GUINEA
25. COTE D’IVOIRE
27. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
79. SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE
80. SAUDI ARABIA
29. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
82. SIERRA LEONE
32. EQUATORIAL GUINEA
84. SOUTH AFRICA
85. SOUTH SUDAN
86. SRI LANKA
- Third party nationals from the following entities/territories are also required to apply for a Schengen visa: KOSOVO and the PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY.
- All documents required for your Spanish Schengen visa must be filled in using capital letters, completed/translated into Spanish or English. Applications for all Schengen visas to Spain will contain the following Basic Required Documents:
- Valid passport
- Passport sized photos
- Application form
- Fingerprints (biometric data)
- Travel medical insurance
- Visa Fee
- Materials related to your trip:
- Reason for visit
- Where you will stay (accommodation)
- How you will fund your trip (finances)
- Proof that you will leave Spain before your visa becomes invalid/expires. This is often in the form of a paid roundtrip plane ticket (proof of return).
Note: For more information on what to include in your application, including a detailed description of required materials, please see: Basic Required Documents. Please note that you may have to submit additional Spanish Schengen visa supporting documents related to your specific purpose for travelling.
- The standard Spanish Schengen visa fee for an adult is 80 Euros. Certain types of applicants (most students, children under 6) are exempt from all visa fees. Please note that these fees are non-refundable. To get a Schengen visa for Spain, you will likely have to submit a service payment with your visa application-this is a separate cost from the visa fee. Please note that these fees are non-refundable in the case of visa rejection.
How to Apply: Steps
- Step 1: Determine your Purpose for travelling to Spain, which will determine the Type of visa you should apply for.
- Step 2: Determine how many Entries to Spain/the Schengen area you need.
- Step 3: Gather your Required Documents.
- Step 4: Schedule a Spanish Schengen visa appointment (if applicable).
- Depending on the location of the consulate/visa center you are applying through, you may have to schedule an appointment in order to submit your application. In other cases, you may simply be able to drop your application off during normal operating hours. Contact your Spanish Consulate/visa center directly to find out if you need to schedule an appointment in order to submit your application.
- Step 5: Fill out your application.
- Different Spanish Consulates/visa centers provide different ways of accessing applications – depending on where you are applying from, you may have download, complete, print out, and sign your applications for Spanish Schengen Visa here. You will submit this paper copy to whichever Spanish Consulate you are applying through.
- Step 6: Pay the application fee.
- Step 7: Submit your Spanish Schengen visa application (at least 15 days prior to travelling, not before 6 months).
- Different Spanish Consulates/visa processing centers provide different ways of submitting your application (many consulates, for example require in-person application submissions). Visit your selected consulate’s website to determine how to submit your application. Please note that when you submit your application, you will likely also be asked to submit biometric data (fingerprints). Children younger than 12 years are likely exempt from having their fingerprints collected. If you have previously submitted fingerprints (within the last 59 months), you likely will not need to resubmit them.
- Please note, after submitting your application, you may be asked to return at a later date for a personal interview to provide further information/materials related to your trip.
When to Apply
- Submit your application at least 15 days prior to the day you intend to travel, and no earlier than 6 months before you leave.
Where to Apply
- Applications for Schengen visas to Spain should be submitted at either a Spanish Consulate/Embassy or a visa application center that has a relationship with Spain.
- You must lodge your application in the country where you legally reside/hold a residence permit. Click here to find Spanish Consulates/Embassies in your area.
- In countries where there is no Spanish consular presence, applications may be lodged via the consulate of a Schengen state representing Spanish consular interests.
- The Spanish Schengen visa processing time is generally 15 days, although it can take up to 45 days in certain cases.
If your visa was approved:
- Collect your visa and make sure the information it contains is valid and complete.
If your visa was denied:
- If you receive a Schengen visa rejection for Spain, you have the right to appeal your rejection. Begin this process by picking up your standard issued-visa refusal form, which describes why your request was denied, and explains the detailed steps of the appeal process.
- You will likely have to pay an appeal fee, which is in many cases non-refundable regardless of the outcome of the appeal (positive or negative).
- One option is for you to appeal to the consulate that issued your rejection (one month after receiving your refusal).
- Alternatively, you may appeal to the administrative division of the High Court of Justice of Madrid (2 months after receiving your refusal).
Finally, once you obtain your Schengen Visa for Spain, please note the following:
- Your visa may be revoked if you do not notify the Spanish Consulate/visa application center of any changes to your trip itinerary that occur after you have submitted your application.
- Being approved for a Spanish visa does not guarantee you entry to either Spain or the general Schengen area-you can still be refused entry to both places upon arrival.
- Alternatively, you may have to show additional documents regarding your finances or accommodation in order to enter Spain/the Schengen area.