If you are a non-EU citizen who is planning to study or conduct research in Spain, then you will need a student visa. In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about the residence authorization for foreign students in the country. From the main documents and requirements, the legal procedure and how to work while on your student visa. Everything here!
DO YOU NEED A STUDENT VISA IN ORDER TO STUDY IN SPAIN?
If you are a non-EU citizen the answer is simple: yes. If you are planning to study or conduct research in the country, you will need to apply for the stay authorization for study purposes.
More precisely, those willing to enroll in any professional training course, masters, postgraduate course, P.hD. or a bachelor’s degree in Spain will find this situation applicable to them.
We are not talking about a regular residence permit. The student visa is just an authorization to live in Spain while you study. That is why, when for example counting the years you need in order to get the permanent residency or the Spanish nationality, the years lived under the student visa count half.
LENGHT AND VALIDITY OF THIS RESIDENCE AUTHORIZATION
The study stay will enable you to legally live in the country for more than 3 months in order to take part in your course/master/degree. But, which is the length of the validity of the student visa?
Up till now, it was one year. You could get your permit which allowed you to stay in the country for one year, and provided that you met the same requirements that were needed for the initial application, you could renew it year after year. Until you ended your studies.
Nevertheless, that situation has changed. Now you can request a student visa for two years. This means that if the course or training you are taking part in lasts 2 years, you won’t need to renew the visa in between or extend your stay.
Bear in mind that if your academic year lasts more than 6 months, you will be given a residence card. But if it is shorter than that, you will only get a stamp on your passport.
We will now cover the main requirements you will need to meet in order to be eligible to study in Spain, documents to be submitted and how does the application procedure work exactly.
- You can’t be a European Union Citizen.
- Being in legal status in Spain and not having the entry forbidden to the country is necessary.
- Possessing sufficient economic funds in order to maintain yourself in the country for 1 or 2 years (depending on the length of your stay). That is measured with a monthly 100% of the IPREM.
- Having a private or public medical insurance contract with full coverage in Spain. You can learn more about the health insurance requirements here.
- You will have to be admitted to the course/university you are planning to study at.
- Having clear criminal background records.
CAN I START THE APPLICATION PROCEDURE FOR MY STUDENT VISA IN SPAIN?
If you asked this question some months ago, the answer would be no. You must initiate the application procedure and related paperwork to get the study authorization in your origin country, not in Spain.
Nevertheless, the Immigration Law has changed this recently (4th of September 2018).
You can now enter Spain with your tourist visa, enroll in a course, and get your student visa. Without leaving the country. That provided that you are not in an irregular status.
Nevertheless, you will need to register in any municipality, something that is called “empadronarse”.
An important piece of advice: make sure that before entering the Spanish territory you have all the documents prepared. Why? Because you need to submit them before the last 30 days in which you will enjoy a legal status in the country. If you are under a tourist visa for 3 months that won’t be such a problem. But if the time you are granted is lower than that, you must hurry up.
DOCUMENTS YOU WILL NEED TO SUBMIT
Which are the documents you will need to submit in order to become a legal student in the country?
- If the student is below 18 years old and does not come accompanied by his or her parents, a legal authorization signed by them
- Medical certificate demonstrating that the application does not suffer from any disease recognized by the International Health Regulation of 2005.
- Your passport.
- Documentation that accredits the possession of sufficient economic funds.
- The document that certifies how the academic institution in which you will be studying has accepted you and you have a spot for the next course.
- Model EX-00.
*Bear in mind that all the documents must be properly legalized and translated into Spanish.
HOW TO BRING YOUR FAMILY TO SPAIN WITH A STUDENT VISA
As you may know, there is the possibility to bring your family so they can accompany you during your student stay in Spain. Who exactly can you bring?
Your spouse or registered civil partner and children who are below 18 years old.
You will then be required to demonstrate the possession of an extra 75% of the IPREM for the first relative, and 50% more for any additional one.
When should you initiate the application procedure for them? You can do it jointly with yours, or afterwards but within the time in which the student visa grants you the possibility to legally stay in the country.
The validity of their residence authorization will be linked to the one from the student, and they will be allowed to reside in the Spanish territory for the same time period as her. Bear in mind that within that period, they won’t be allowed to work in the country.
HOW TO WORK WITH THE STUDENT RESIDENCY
If you would like to know how to get a work permit in Spain as a student, you can find a complete guide here. Nevertheless, we are going to briefly explain the basics in this article.
As a foreigner student in the Spanish territory, you have 3 main options in order to work in the country:
Bear in mind that, in this situation, the total amount of hours you can do per week taking into consideration both hours you spend in class plus hours working is 40. But if you just spend 5 hours per week in class you can’t work the remaining 35. Internship hours can reach a maximum of 20 per week.
In that sense, there are two types of internships.
On the one hand, you find the curricular internship, the one related to your studies and many times compulsory. In that case, you will need a signed agreement between the academic institution in which you are studying and the company you will be working for. You cannot use the income you obtain here as a way to demonstrate the possession of sufficient economic funds to sustain your life in the country.
On the other hand, you can have the extracurricular internship. Here things get a bit more complicated, as your employer will have to request an authorization to the corresponding Immigration Office.
RESIDENCE AUTHORIZATION MODIFICATION
After finishing 3 years of studies in the country and 60 days before the expiration of your student card, you will be able to modify to work permit as a self-employed or employee.
- If you are going to work for someone (“por cuenta ajena”), you will need to find a job offer that enables you to work 40 hours per week during a year.
- If you are going to become a self-employed individual (“por cuenta propia), you will need to submit your business plan in which you detail the business idea you would like to execute.
RESIDENCE AUTHORIZATION FOR HIGHLY QUALIFIED WORKERS
If you don’t want to wait 3 years in order to get your work permit, you have another option. After one year as a student in Spain, and provided that you find a highly qualified job offer, you can transition into a work permit as a skilled professional.
What is a highly qualified job position? One as a manager or any other technical position, earning a salary over 30.000€ per year.
Bear in mind that the permit will go to the company you will be working for, not to you. This means that, if you would like to change your job position or company, you’ll need to apply again for this permit.
EXTEND YOUR RESIDENCY ONE YEAR IN ORDER TO LOOK FOR A JOB
At the end of 2018, a new law was approved in favor of foreign students. This law enables you to extend your stay in the country for an additional year. This time is given to you so you can find a job offer in Spain or start your own company.
If you would like to know more about this permit and how you can obtain it easily, you can click here now and access our article.
START NOW AND LET US HELP YOU GET YOUR STUDENT VISA
If you consider that doing all the required paperwork and submitting it to the competent authorities is something a bit complicated, don’t worry.
Our team of immigration lawyers is here to help you out.
We will manage the whole application procedure so you can get you residence authorization as a foreign student in the country. Furthermore, we will also apply for the residencies of your relatives, so you can come all together.
We will prepare, translate, legalize and submit all the documentation so you don’t need to worry about anything. Furthermore, we will advise you on how to work in the country while studying.