Procedures and conditions for issuing these visas can be found in Organic Law 4/2000 and in its Regulations, approved by Royal Decree 557/2011.
These visas entitle their holders to reside, to reside and work, to study, or to research in Spain. All foreigners wishing to enter Spain to reside, reside and work, or study, need to hold a visa of this kind, unless they are citizens of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland
Applications for long-term visas must be submitted through a duly completed application form (original and copy), which may be downloaded for free on this website or may also be obtained for free at Spain's Diplomatic Missions or Consular Posts abroad.
Visa applications must be filed in person. However, applications may also be filed by a duly accredited representative if you do not reside in the town or city where the Diplomatic Mission or Consular Office is located and you can demonstrate due cause preventing you from travelling, such as the distance from the Diplomatic Mission or Consular Office in question, transport difficulties that make the journey particularly problematic or accredited reasons related to a sickness or physical condition that significantly reduces your mobility.
When submitting an application for a visa, an established fee must be paid (generally € 60), which shall not be refunded in the event of the application being denied. In certain cases, which should be consulted at Spanish Diplomatic Missions or Consular Posts, current legislation sets forth a reduction or waiver of the fee. Other requirements should be consulted at the Diplomatic Mission or Consular Post where the visa is to be applied for, because they can vary depending on the reason for the trip and the applicant's country of origin.
Persons wishing to reside in Spain must obtain prior information about the procedures from the relevant bodies, mainly from the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Employment and Social Security.
The deadline for processing long-term visa applications is one month after the application has been submitted, except for the case of non-lucrative residence visas, in which the deadline shall be three months. In the event that a visa is issued, it must be collected personally at the relevant Diplomatic Mission or Consular Post within a month after notification of issuance.
In the event that a visa is refused, the applicant shall be notified. In this case, a contentious-administrative appeal may be lodged before the High Court of Justice of Madrid within two months after the notification date, or, optionally, an appeal for reversal before the same Diplomatic Mission or Consular Post within a month after the refusal notification date.