Here you will find general information about obtaining a student visa, information differing in origin country (if the information does not appear here, ask us, we have our legal assistents!)

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How to get Spanish long-term student visa type D (Non-EU Students)

to study, work and live in Spain

If you are a citizen of a country out of the European Union and you would like to study in Spain, you need to obtain a student visa. Long-term visa is called “type D” and is given for the courses longer than 6 months.

Since September 2018 you can apply not only in the consulate in your country of origin, but also directly in Spain.

Types of visas

Remember that your visa type depends on the length of the course:

  • More than 6 months: you get a long-term type D study visa that is valid for 3 months, and you get a student residence card (TIE) after you arrive to Spain.
  • 3 – 6 months: short-term type D visa, you can stay in Spain up to 6 months and you can´t apply for a student residence card or renew your visa from Spain.
  • Less than 3 months (90 days): a short stay, tourist visa type C.

Long-term student visa type D is an easy way of moving to Spain. You can study and work part-time, after the first course you can renew your visa from Spain (no need to go back to your country), and after 3 years you can change your student residency to a working one.

With this type of visa you get a NIE number and a student card (TIE). That card with the number will be your ID in the European Union for the whole period of your studies. You need this card to travel, buy monthly metro tickets or get a package from Amazon.

To apply for the student visa you need to choose a full-time course in a university or in a language school. If you are planning to stay in Spain for several years, it would be better to start with a language school. There you can study up to 4 years and always switch to Master later. While Master course is only 1 or 2 years, and it is risky to lower your level of education changing a higher educational institution to a language school. Besides, it is easier and cheaper than a Master course.

Language School

Language couse is the easiest option. You pay for a course, gather all the documents and depart to Spain to learn Spanish for a year. Only the schools that are accreditated by the Cervantes Institute have the right to issue documentation for student visas. BCNLIP is one of those schools.

A course for the visa must be full-time, which means 20 hours per week, and it can only be Spanish or Catalan languages.

Documents for the Spanish student visa type D

Depending on the consulate of your country or state, the list of the documents can be slightly different. Check the information on the website of a Spanish embassy in your state or email us at, and we´ll send it to you.

Here are the documents that are obligatory:

  • Letter of acceptance as a full time student from Spain’s University/School
  • Health insurance
  • Proof of financial means during your stay
  • Criminal Background Check from the country you’ve lived in the past five years (FBI for the US)
  • Medical certificate
  • Current passport
  • Application form
  • Photo
  • Accomodation confirmation (not for all countries)

What health insurance to choose?

Usual travel insurance doesn’t work for visa purpose. You should get a special one with unlimited coverage and without extra payments. The insurance must include repatriation. All this information should be stated in your insurance certificate.

You must choose an international company, accreditated in Spain, and even better would be to choose a Spanish company. We recommend a company called AME Asistencia, which specializes on working with foreign students. We can guarantee that it´s certificate is 100% valid for the consulate of any country.

What proof of financial means will do?

The best option is to have around €8000 on your personal bank account for a 12-months course. If your course is shorter, count as €600 * months of your studies. I.e., for 7 months you will need 600*7 – around €4500.

Another option is a pack of sponsorship documents from your parents. In this case your parents will also have to prove that they are able to sustain both themselves and yourself, and provide birth certificate, statutory declaration, bank statement, legalized copy of their passport. Only a parent or a legal guardian can be a sponsor, brothers / sisters / spouses and other relatives can not be your sponsors.

Criminal background check

Different countries have different processes and fees of getting this certificate. You can esily Google it for your country, but remember, that US citizens need a certificate issued by the State or Federal Police (FBI), not the local Police.

The certificate must bear the Apostille of the Hague Convention.

Medical certificate

This certificate must be signed in the hand of the doctor (M.D. or D.O.) in a letter-head paper in the following format:
“This medical certificate attests that Mr./ Mrs. …………………does not suffer from any illness that would pose a threat to public health following International Health Regulations of 2005.”

Accomodation confirmation

Not all countries require this document. For example, USA and Australia don´t need any confirmation, while Canada does.

Application form

Download it on the website of a Spanish consulate in your countryor fill in the form below.

Enrollment process with BCNLIP for the student visa

Once you have decided to study in Spain, here is the process of enrolling with us:

  1. Contact BCNLIP to confirm the duration of your course and the starting date. Remember that groups for complete beginners start every first Monday of the month, and the students of other levels can start classes any day.

  2. Make the payment through a bank transfer, card, PayPal. When you apply for the visa, your course should be fully paid and confirmed by the school. The payment includes:

    1. Registration: €200,00: the first book, preparation and DHL shipping of the full pack of original documents for the consulate, consultation on student visa process and documents, all certificates and exams during and in the end of the course. We also help you with the NIE application process once you arrive in Spain. This part of the payment is non-refundable.
    2. The course: the price will depend on the duration of stay, and is refundable in the case of not obtaining visa (here are our  General Terms and Conditions). At BCNLIP we have a special offer for long term students, please fill in the form to get our latest prices.
  3. First you will get the documents from the school by email: an invitation letter, an enrollment paper, payment confirmation, and accreditation of the Cervantes Institute. As soon as you confirm that your data is correct, we will send the original documents by DHL company. You will get them within 2-7 days.

  4. In the meantime you should gather all other documents and schedule an appointment in the consulate if necessary. Present all the documentation and wait up to 4 weeks.

  5. Once you’ve received the response you should contact the school to confirm your starting date and the schedule.

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