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!)


How to get a long-term Spanish 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. A long-term visa is called “type D” and is given for courses lasting longer than 6 months.

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

If you’d like to sign up for a long-term course and you need a student visa, please set an appointment with our team member Nikita Tikhoniuk through this link.

The long-term student visa type D is an easy way of moving to Spain. You can study and work part-time; and after your first course finishes you can renew your visa from Spain (no need to go back to your country). 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 ID card (TIE). That card will be your ID in the European Union for the whole period of your studies. You need this card for everything: to travel, to buy monthly metro tickets or to 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 accreditated by the Cervantes Institute. If you are planning to stay in Spain for several years, it would be better to start with a language school than university. Language courses give you the opportunity to study up to 4 years and switch to Master later. While Masters course last for 1 or 2 years (which is not long enough to get a working residency), and it is risky to lower your level of studies changing a higher educational institution to a language school. Besides, language schools are easier to enter and the courses are cheaper than a Masters course.


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 the Spanish 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)

Language School

Language courses are 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.

What health insurance to choose?

Usual travel insurance doesn’t work for visa purposes. You should get a specific one with unlimited coverage and without copays. 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 ASSSA, which specializes on working with foreign students. We can guarantee that it´s certificate is 100% valid for the consulate of any country.

What is proof of financial means?

The best option is to have around €8000 on your personal bank account for a 12-months course. If your course is shorter, calculate as €600 x 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 cannot be your sponsor.

Criminal background check

Different countries have different processes and fees of getting this certificate. You can easily 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 by the hand of a 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 doesn´t need any confirmation, while Australia and Canada do need it.

The standart pack of documents includes a rental contract for the whole period of studies, a document called Nota Simple (ask the owner of the apartment, they know) and the owner´s DNI.

A simple invitation letter may not be enough, and an Airbnb booking usually is not valid for visa purposes.

BCNLIP can provide you with all the necessary documents to confirm the accomodation, please contact us if you need it.

Application form

You can download it on the website of a Spanish consulate in your country.

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, or PayPal. When you apply for the visa, your course should be fully paid for and confirmed by the school. The payment includes:

    1. Registration: the first book, preparation of the full pack of original documents for the consulate, consultation on student visa process and documents, all certificates and exams during and through 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 a visa (here are our  General Terms and Conditions).
  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 if needed.

  4. In the meantime you should gather all other documents and schedule an appointment in the consulate. Present all the documentation and wait for about 4 weeks.

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

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