Spain Explained

A mini guide about Spanish Schengen visa

If you are from a non-EU country citizen thinking of entering in Spain or staying for more than 90 days, you will need a Spanish Schengen visa.

The questions is: Will everybody need a Spanish Schengen visa?

Let’s review everything.

What is a Schengen visa

This kind of visa is only issued for citizens of countries listed in the following official EU document.

If your country of origin is not within that list, it means that you will not need a Schengen visa. However, a different kind of visa to stay in Spain for more than 90 days (non-lucrative, golden visa, self-employed, student, etc).

90/180 period

When you hold a Schengen visa, you will be able to stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in a 180-day period.

The reason of the trip could be tourism, business, visiting a relative, to study in Spain, etc.

What is the Schengen area?

It is 26 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. 

The next point will describe how you will be able to use the visa within the Schengen area.

How to use your Spanish Schengen Visa?

The Spanish Ministry of Exterior states:

“The Schengen visa allows the holder to travel to any of the Schengen States and to transit through their territory, but it does not automatically entitle them to enter the Schengen area. The border authorities can refuse entry if the visa holder does not provide proof of the purpose and specifics of the trip,or if any of the other entry requirements are not met”.

Our recommendation is that you carry with you the relevant documentation that will show the Spanish authorities the reason why you are entering in the Schengen area (family visit, tourism, business).

How to apply for a Spanish Schengen visa?

The very first step is to find the relevant Spanish consulate in your country of origin, as the Spanish Schengen visa is issued there.

The usual requirements are:

1. Application form. One per application, including children.

2. Photograph. One recent small photo, white background

3. Passport. Must be valid and not expired, at least three months ahead on the date of the appointment to apply for the visa.

4. Travel health insurance. It must have the level of coverage to cover emergencies or hospitalization. The coverage must be at least €30,000.

5. Government fees. It is €80 for applicants over 12 years old and €40 for applicants between 6 and 11 years old. For applicants less than 6 years old, there will be no government fee.

6. Documentation to support the visa application. The consulate would like to see through documentation the reason why you are applying for a Spanish Schengen visa.

7. Proof of residency to apply at the relevant Spanish consulate. The consulate would like to make sure that you live in that country or area, as otherwise it could be a different consulate.

Additional information

This is a very important point.

Despite what the official guidelines say regarding applying for a Spanish Schengen Visa in terms of requirements, the consulate will be able to request any other documents that may consider necessary.

In simple words, the official website may have a list of a number specific points. However, the consulate will have the final word, as they could consider that more documents would be necessary.

According to the official website of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Spanish Schengen visa should be requested between 6 months and 15 days before the expected trip.

Our recommendation is not to wait too much to the day of the flight, as there could be unexpected delays at the consulate.

A safe time could be 3 months before your trip to Spain.

In general, the consulate will take around 15 days to make the final decision.

If the visa is granted, the consulate will contact you to return the passport with the Schengen visa in.

Otherwise, in case of rejection, the consulate will notify this, and you will have one month to appeal the decision.

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Leave a comment


8 April, 2023 11:44 am

We are grateful for the information that you have shared with us, and I would like to thank you very much for taking the time to share it with us, as it is very useful to us. I am really glad to see this information.

Oscar Paoli

10 April, 2023 12:22 pm

Thank you so much!

Alan Smith

29 May, 2023 6:03 pm

I could not see the United Kingdom named. Will a UK citizen need a visa if not planning to be in the Schengen area for more than 90 days in 180?

Oscar Paoli

31 May, 2023 4:22 pm

Hi Alan,
Could you pleas specify a bit more your query?
Thank you very much in advance.
Kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Lesley Haynes

27 January, 2024 11:29 pm

I am a British/Canadian dual national, resident in Malta for 30 years. Do I need a schengen visa to spend 4-to 5 months in Spain (not more than 90 days at a time) and up to 2 months per year in Portugal where my longtime gentleman friend lives?

Oscar Paoli

30 January, 2024 4:38 pm

Hi Lesley,

There are several points of interest here:

1. As a UK citizen, you do not have to take out a Schengen visa.

2. However, even if you have legal residence in a European country, the Schengen rule (90/180) applies to you. In other words, if you were in Spain for more than 90 days, you would have to obtain residency here. Malta’s residency is not valid for more than 90 days in a period of 180 days.

3. You should check the Maltese rules to see if you can stay that long without losing your residency.

I hope this is information is helpful.

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers