Do I need a visa for Spain?
The short answer is maybe, depending on which country your passport is from. Spain is part of the Schengen Area – the world's largest visa-free zone made up of 26 European countries – and nationals from Schengen countries can move around freely without a visa. There are no border checks, but it's important that travellers carry a national identity card or passport in case you are required to prove you're from a Schengen country.
What are the 26 Schengen Area countries?
Below are the countries in the Schengen Area:
Spain entry requirements
Spain has visa-free travel agreements with a number of non-Schengen and non-EU countries including Australia, the USA, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan and the United Kingdom. Nationals from these countries can visit Spain (or anywhere else in the Schengen zone) for 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa, as long as it's for short-term tourism, business travel, or transit purposes. Travellers will need a valid passport to present to immigration officers upon arrival and must also meet a few other requirements (we'll get to this shortly).
Be sure to check that your trip will not exceed the 90-day period if you have travelled to other Schengen countries within the last 180 days – if so, you’ll need to apply for a visa or you may be fined or banned from entering the Schengen Area. If you plan on staying for longer than 90 days or intend to find work, you will also need to apply for the relevant visa.
Countries requiring a visa
Passport holders from over 100 countries must apply for a Schengen visa at their local Spanish consulate or embassy before travel, including Cambodia, Ecuador, India and Nepal. This can take at least two weeks, so ensure you're organised and don’t leave it to the last minute. And remember – visa and entry requirements can change at any time, so it's always best to check for the latest information before your trip.
If you’re a non-Schengen or EU national, you’ll need to clear immigration upon arrival and must meet the following requirements:
- Hold a valid passport that was issued less than 10 years prior to the date of travel and is valid for three months after you depart
- Have confirmation of onward or return travel plans, such as a flight or train ticket
- Show proof that you have enough money in your account to support yourself while you’re in Spain
Border control officers will stamp your passport and check to ensure you haven’t overstayed your time in the Schengen zone. Always make sure your passport has been stamped or else immigration officers might think you have overstayed your visa or visa-free period. It’s handy to keep records of your return/onward travel tickets or boarding passes for this reason.
Visa and entry requirements can change at any time, so make sure you check for the latest information before you set off. If you have any questions or concerns about Spain's visa or entry requirements, get in touch with your nearest embassy or high commission for the latest advice.
Schengen visa application
If you need a visa to enter Spain, it is important to leave as much time as possible before your travel date, as applications can take longer than expected.
When applying for the Schengen visa, you may need several documents, including:
- A Spanish visa application form
- Two passport photos according to specific passport requirements,
- A valid passport with at least two blank pages, three more months of validity beyond your planned stay in the Schengen, and must be issued within the last 10 years.
- Copies of your previous visa (if applicable)
- Schengen travel health insurance
- Round trip flight itinerary
- Proof of accommodation
- Proof of sufficient funds
- A cover letter that includes why you are visiting and how long you plan to stay
- Proof of civil status
- Other documents relevant to your employment status
The general application process for a Schengen Visa for entry into Spain includes these stages:
- Complete the online application form relevant to your visa, which officials will then review
- Reserve an appointment time at an Italian consulate and make sure you have a signed, hard copy of your Schengen Visa application form with you when you go
- Gather your supporting documents for visa officials to look over
- Attend your appointment at the Italian consulate
- Wait for your visa approval (this could take up to 15 days)
If you are planning to be in one of the Schengen countries for longer than 90 days to study, work or live, you will need to attain a different type of visa specific to the country you will be in.
Schengen visa fees
The fees shown below are typically the fees to be paid during your Schengen visa application.
- Adults: €80
- Children between 6-12 years of age: €40
- Children under the age of 6: Free
These fees may change depending on several factors, including if you are a national from a country that is granted visa discounts for Spain.
Please note that even if you're granted a Schengen Visa for travel into Spain, you're not automatically guaranteed entry into the country with border and immigration officials at the airport determining whether you'll be allowed to stay in Spain once you get there. This also applies to nationals travelling from visa-exempt countries.
The page is for general information only and may be subject to change. It is your responsibility to obtain the relevant visa and travel information required for entry, departure and travel to each country or region you visit on your trip. You should confirm these with the relevant embassies and/or consulates.
Last updated: 14/06/2023
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