Visa Guide: Spain

Know having the most beautiful weather and cities in Europe, Spain is the vacation spot for many Europeans and foreigners. It’s situated right in the best part of the mediterranean with central access to the rest of Europe. Spain’s carefree and relaxed culture draw immigrants to coastal cities like Valencia and Barcelona every year.

This also makes it a prime location for the world’s biggest tech and business conferences all year long, particularly in Barcelona. There is a subtle tech scene that operates in Spain, attracting foreign students and startups more and more each year. Various visa schemes are helpful for startups and keep the door open to foreign talent. The highly acclaimed universities make Spain an attractive place for higher education students as well.

Here are some of the options you have if you’re thinking about relocating to one of the most beautiful countries in Europe:

Residence Working Visa:

To legally work in Spain, you must hold this Visa. Step one is to get a job offer from a Spanish company who will then submit the application to being the process. You can search for Spanish companies looking to fill positions here. Once approved, you can turn the following documents into a Spanish embassy in your area. Each embassy has their own online appointment system. It’s advised to apply 90 days before your planned arrival.

Documents you turn into the embassy:

Processing can take anywhere from one to three months, sometimes less. It depends on if more information or clarification is needed.

Once processing is complete, you will be given a temporary visa in your passport for three months. In your first month, you must report to a Spanish police office to get your residence card.

Self-Employed Visa:

This visa allows you to operate your own business in Spain benefitting the local economy or be a part owner of a company you have significant investment in. It’s advised to have a lawyer in Spain help you handle this.

Here are the documents required:

  • Three application forms
  • 3 passport photos
  • Original passport
  • Police criminal record
  • Medical certificate
  • Educational certificates
  • Proof of financial stability (revenues, savings, bank statements)
  • Your complete business plan
  • Necessary permits for your business
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Health insurance with full coverage in Spain
  • Authorization of temporary residence and work permit application. Form EX07
  • $300 USD fee

Yes, quite a bit! They must all be submitted at the embassy at the same time in person. Within one month to ninety days, you will get a response. Once you arrive in Spain, you can collect your residence card at a local office.


Non-Lucrative Visa:

This is for all you remote workers and digital nomads. If you are able to find remote work, you can bring you and your laptop to Spain, no problem! For this visa, it can be a bit tricky to get set up but it’s a long term visa that allows you to continue your work somewhere more exciting. You must first have a permanent address in Spain (sign a lease) and then you can apply at a consulate in your own country to be granted a provisional three month visa, during which you will pick up your permanent residence card.

Here are the documents you will need to submit at the embassy:

  • Application form
  • One passport photo
  • Passport
  • Form EX-01
  • Form MODELO
  • Medical certificate
  • International health insurance proof
  • Proof of finances
  • Criminal background check
  • A fee around $200
  • Proof of living accommodations in Spain

Once you submit, the general guideline are that it will take between 2-4 months, but many people experience shorter times dependent on the consulate. Once you are approved, you will be able to travel to Spain and pick up your official visa (one year) in the first month.

As with most countries, the easiest way to secure a visa is to have an employer to help vouch for you! Spain seems to be quite friendly to startups as well. There is a Rising Star visa program for startups that allows them to grant visas for highly qualified foreign professionals. Check out tons of companies and startups hiring in Spain here.


1 comment

  1. Hello i would like to know more on the self employment visa may i have any lawyer as a reference to contact pl.

    Thank you

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