Entry conditions/visas for Spain

Living in Europe, Working in Europe | Entry conditions/visas, Work permit | Spain


The entry of a foreign citizen onto Spanish territory is conditional upon the fulfilment of the following requirements:

  1. Possession of a valid, current passport or travel documents. For EU citizens, national identity documents will also be deemed valid.
  2. Visa if required
  3. Justification of the purpose and conditions of entry and stay
    • For study trips or those involving other kinds of training some of the following documents may be requested: Matriculation document from an education centre to participating in theoretical and practical training courses or Certificates related to the courses in question.
    • For scientific, professional or scientific trips or for other purposes, some of the following documents may be requested: An invitation from a research body, company or authority to take part in meetings, conventions, etc. of a scientific or technical nature; Document accrediting the existence of scientific, industrial, commercial relations, etc.; Access cards for congresses, conventions, fairs, etc.; or Invitations, entry cards, bookings or programmes with an indication, where possible, of the name of the inviting body and duration of the study or any other document indicating the purpose of the visit.
  4. Proof, where applicable, of sufficient monetary means to cover the stay in Spain or of being in a capacity to obtain them, and of moving on to another country or returning to the country of origin.
  5. Presentation of the corresponding health certificates
  6. Not being the subject of a ban on entry
  7. Not posing a threat to Spain’s public health, public order, national security or international relations, or those of States with whim Spain has an agreement to such an effect.

The visa or prior authorisation of entry is a legal instrument (attached to the passport or included within its pages) bestowed by the destination country, in this case Spain, through its consulate or embassy in the country of origin or residence of the person who is due to travel, which authorises cross-border circulation of foreign citizens.

List of countries:


Countries that do not need to apply for a visa to enter and reside in Spain:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania[1], Slovakia, Slovenia, the United Kingdom (Member States of the European Economic Area: the European Union, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, as well as the Swiss Confederation).

[1] A Romanian national does not need a visa or permit to enter and reside in Spain, but until 31 December 2013 a transitional regime is in place regarding working, for which a work permit is needed in order to be hired

List of countries whose nationals are exempt from visa requirements when crossing the external borders of the Union for stays not exceeding 90 days:

Africa: Mauritius, Seychelles

America: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, USA, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, St. Kitts and Nevis, Uruguay, Venezuela

Asia: Brunei, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Europe, Albania, Andorra, F.Y.R.M.[1], Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia[2], Monaco, Montenegro, Romania[3], San Marino, Holy See, Serbia[4]

Australasia: Australia, New Zealand

[1] Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
[2] Croatia has been a full member of the European Union since 1st July 2013, although a transitional period will be applied in which free movement of workers will be restricted
[3] Order PRE/2072/2011 of July 22, by which prior authorisation is required in order to work in Spain
[4] Excluding holders of passports issued by the Serbian Coordination Directorate (Koordinaciona Uprava in Serbian)

Visa required:

All other countries



Its objective is to control entry of people to the country in accordance with the authorisation they possess, and it authorises them for various kinds of stay by duration or activity to be conducted. There are various kinds of visa depending on the duration and purpose of the stay in Spain can be divided into:

  • Long stay residency permit
  • Long stay residency permit - EU




 For detailed information on visas, work permits and procedures, you can download our Guide for Mobility of Foreign Researchers in Spain 2017 (12.07 MB)