If you are thinking of applying for a student visa, keep reading. One of the most important requirements for this authorization is to have a confirmed enrollment in an educational institution or university in Spain. Thus, many foreigners have the same doubts: what kind of studies are valid? Are all studies valid to apply for the student card? Is this card only for university education? Can I apply after enrolling in an online course?

In this post we analyze all the types of courses that are valid, as well as the rest of the requirements that the center must fulfill in order for you to successfully obtain this card.

What studies are valid to obtain a student visa?


The first thing you will have to do if you want to obtain a visa for studies in Spain is to enroll in a course or degree and get a confirmed spot in an educational center.

The question then is whether all the centers and all the courses are valid in order for you to enjoy a successful application.

In that sense, many foreigners tend to mistakenly consider that it is only and exclusively university education that is valid to get a student card.

But that is not the case.

The reality is that any type of education will be valid, regardless of the level and content of the study program (as long as it meets the 4 requirements we will see in the following section).

The valid studies for the student visa are the following:

  • Professional training
  • Higher artistic or sports education
  • Language courses (very common for foreigners to obtain a student visa to learn Spanish)
  • University studies
  • Master’s degree
  • PhD

Thus, as you can see in this list, the stay authorization for studies is not exclusive to university education. There is a wide range of educational courses available for this procedure.

In addition, both private and public centers are admitted.

However, there are 4 fundamental points that the educational center must comply with in order for your immigration application to get accepted.


The 4 requirements for your studies to be valid


In order to successfully apply for a student visa, the educational institution providing the training you wish to enroll in must comply with the following:

  • First of all, it must be an institution authorized by the Spanish Government (by the Ministry of Education) or by the regional government. This means it is essential that it is registered in an official public entity 
  • It is important that the course is full-time (minimum 20 hours per week)
  • This course must allow the achievement of an official certificate at the end of the course
  • In the case of a Spanish course, it must be carried out in an academy accredited by the Cervantes Institute. And in the case of another language, accredited by an analogous institution.

As long as the center and course meet these requirements, you will be able to obtain the student card without hassle.

However, there is one key consideration that will help you in the future as a foreigner in Spain.


Make sure that your training is on this list


If you want to stay in Spain in the long run (i.e., to remain in the country once you finish your studies), and once you stop extending or renewing your student visa, you will have to change and move to another residence card.

In that sense, something that is nowadays very common and popular among student expats in Spain is to change to a residence permit to look for a job (you can discover more about it here).

However, in order to get this one-year residency that allows you to live in Spain while you find a job, not all studies are valid: they must be within a list recognized by the government.

Here you can access the online platform to check if your studies and university are on the official list.

It can be really interesting and useful that you choose your studies based on this requirement (enrolling in a center that is within this list), thus ensuring your chances of staying in Spain in the long term.


Can I get the student card with an online course?


Another commonly asked question is whether online courses are valid to obtain a student card in Spain.

And, unfortunately, the answer is no.

Since any online course or degree does not require traveling to Spain (it can be done perfectly well from your country of origin), the immigration office would reject the application with such an enrollment, even if the educational center is located in Spain.

And this rejection would occur whether you submit your application to the Spanish consulate in your country of origin or directly from Spain.

Therefore, it is important that you keep in mind that the enrollment for the student visa must be for a course or master’s degree that requires your physical presence in Spain.


So far everything you need to know about the requirements of the institution and course that would allow you to obtain a student residence permit in the Spanish territory. Which, as you can see, allow for great possibilities. However, if you still have doubts or want our expert team of immigration lawyers to advise you step by step to get your card successfully, do not hesitate to contact us.


Book a consultation with one of our lawyers and solve all your doubts:


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