Study, students mobility, internship or volunteer permit

Researchers planning to carry out any of the following non-professional activities may apply for this type of permit:

  • Studying or furthering studies at an authorised educational centre in Spain, on a full-time course that leads to a degree or study certificate.

  • Research or training activities, provided that these do not constitute a professional activity (in which case a permit within a special research scheme should be requested, as set out in the next section).

  • Participation in a student mobility programme at an officially recognised scientific or educational establishment.

  • Internships in a state or private body or organisation.

The study visa authorises foreigners to stay in Spain until the completion of the activity for which it was awarded. The duration of the stay will be the same as that of the activity for which the visa was awarded, for a maximum of one year, renewable on a yearly basis when proof is provided that the foreigner still meets the criteria to be eligible for this type of visa.

The requirements necessary to apply for a study permit and the corresponding visa include the following:

Being accepted by an authorised educational centre in Spain onto a full-time course that leads to a degree or a study certificate, or being accepted by an officially recognised centre in Spain to carry out research –university, centre belonging to the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) or another public or private R&D&I institution or training activities. If you are participating in a student mobility programme, you must also prove you have been admitted onto this programme.

  • Having guaranteed the necessary economic means to cover expenses during the stay and to return to the applicant’s country of origin, providing proof of a monthly amount equivalent to 100% of IRPEM42, unless the researcher duly proves he or she has prepaid the accommodation for the duration of their stay. If the stay is part of a student mobility programme, it is sufficient if the mobility programme includes provisions that guarantee the maintenance of the foreigner during the period of mobility.

  • Have taken out health insurance whether public or private with a company authorised to operate in Spain.

  • When the length of the stay exceeds 6 months, the following will also be necessary:

    • Medical certificate proving that the applicant does not suffer from an illness with potentially serious repercussions on public health.

    • For those of legal age, there must be no criminal record in the last 5 years in their previous countries of residence.

The application for a study visa must be submitted in person by the researcher or student in the diplomatic mission or Spanish consular office in the researcher’s place of residence. A decision regarding this permit will be made within no more than seven days from the date the application is received. If the Diplomatic Mission or Consular Office authorises the stay, the entry visa will be resolved and sent within a month. The applicant will be informed of the granting of the visa and will have two months from that date to pick it up. This not being the case, it will be assumed that the visa is no longer required and the procedure will be archived.

If the stay exceeds six months, foreigners must apply for the corresponding foreign national identity card within a month after effectively entering Spain.


Note: If the work involved in the research project is not paid, a study visa must be applied for.


It should be noted that for unpaid research work, Spain issues two kinds of visa sticker depending on the duration of the tasks:

  • Foreign researchers whose project in Spain does not exceed six months in length will obtain a visa sticker whose duration will be exactly that of the length of the project.

  • In the case of projects that last more than six months, the visa sticker will last 90 days, because it is not this sticker that authorises the researcher’s stay in Spain but the foreign national identity card, which, as mentioned above, must be applied for within a month of arrival in Spain.

  • It should be noted that foreign nationals who apply for a place on a specialised medical course, can undertake professional and training activities in healthcare centres to train Health Sciences specialists without any need for the corresponding work permit.

Any foreign student who has been admitted onto a course to study or further his or her studies in another member state of the European Union will be able to request to sit or complete part of their studies in Spain without having to apply for a specific visa to enter Spain. Nevertheless, within a month of arriving in Spain he/she will have to present the application to obtain the study permit.


Foreign nationals on a study visa (not their family) may be authorized to conduct lucrative professional activity when an employer submits the corresponding application, the regulatory requisites are fulfilled, the activity in question is compatible with the person’s studies or the activity for which the stay permit was granted, and the income earned is not a necessary resource for the foreign national’s maintenance or stay. The contract will be part-time. Should the contract be full-time, duration must not exceed three months or coincide with classes or research periods.

Students may obtain residency and an initial work permit without having to apply for a visa when the business owner recruiting them applies for permission (the initial temporary residency and paid employment permit must be applied for whilst the stay permit is still valid) and foreign students fulfil the following conditions:

  • Have been in Spain with "staying" status for at least three years (in exceptional circumstances, for professional or scientific merit, a duration of under three years may be authorised).

  • Have made the most of their studies or research work.

  • Have not received a grant or been subsidised by either public or private organisations as part of cooperation or development schemes in Spain or the students’ country of origin.

If the holder of the study visa benefits from aid under a scheme in the sphere of application of the predoctoral contract (with a maximum duration of 4 years) provided by the Science, Technology and Innovation Act, the person will still be considered a student to all effects at the time renewal is requested.