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Researcher visa

February 12, 2024


Visa to engage in training, research, development and innovation activities at public or private entities in the following cases: 

  • Research staff referred to in article 13 and additional provision one of Act 14/2011 of 1 June on Science, Technology and Innovation.
  • Scientific and technical staff carrying out scientific research, development and technological innovation work at business entities or R&D&i centres established in Spain.
  • Researchers hosted, in the framework of an agreement, by public or private research bodies.
  • Teaching staff hired by universities, higher education and research bodies or centres, or business schools established in Spain. 

The following family members of the researcher may also obtain the visa: 

  • The spouse or unmarried partner.
  • Children and adult children who are financially dependent on the researcher and who have not created a family unit of their own.
  • Relatives in the ascending line in the researcher's care.

​Required documents for the researcher​​​​​ 

1. Visa Application form 2024.pdf​. Each applicant, or their representative, must complete and sign a visa application form, filling in each of its sections. If the applicant is a minor, one of their parents or a duly accredited representative must sign the application. 

2. Photograph.pdf​. A recent, passport-size, colour photograph, taken against a light background, facing forward, without dark or reflective glasses, or any garments concealing the oval of the face. 

3. Valid, unexpired passport. Original and a photocopy of the page or pages of the passport that contain biometric data. The passport must have a minimum validity period of 1 year and contain two blank pages. Passports issued more than 10 years ago will not be accepted.  

4. Residence permit. Original and a copy of the residence permit issued by the Large Companies and Strategic Groups Unit. 

5.Criminal record check certificate. Applicants over 18 must present original and copy of the criminal record certificate(s) issued by their country or countries of residence for the past 5 years.The Criminal record check certificate cannot be issued more than 6 months preceding the submission of the visa application.

Residents in the US:​

Certificate must be based on fingerprins and issued by FBI and legalized with the Federal Apostille of the Hague Convention requested to the Department of State in Washington DC and translated via an official Translators - Sworn Interpreters (



TranslationsTranslators - Sworn Interpreters (

Applicant(s) that has lived outside the United States during the past 5 years must provide an additional criminal background check from every country where he/she has lived, authenticated with the Apostille of The Hague and translated into Spanish, with a notarized copy of both documents.

If the country in which the applicant has lived in the past 5 years does not subscribe to The Hague Convention of 1961, the background check must by authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the issuing country and then by the Consulate of Spain in said country.

Note: Criminal record check certificates issued by US Local/State authorities will not be accepted. Applicant will be informed in the cases when they can be required in addition to the FBI records.

Apostilles are required: Contact Official Apostille authorities to get an estimate on processing times before submitting your visa application.​

6. ​​Proof of residence in the consular district

7. ​Proof of the representative's identity and capacity. If the visa application is submitted through a representative, a copy of the identity document or passport of the representative and of the power of attorney or document accrediting representation must be submitted. The originals must be shown when submitting the application. Foreign documents must be legalized or apostilled and, where applicable, must be submitted together with an official translation into Spanish. 

8. Payment of the visa fee. The visa fee is of an amount equivalent to 80 euros. For nationals of Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, the United States of America and the United Kingdom different rates are applied for reasons of reciprocity. In these cases, the amount of the fee must be consulted with the Consular Office. 

​Required documents for family members​​ 

For each family member accompanying the researcher, the following must be submitted: 

  • All the required documents specified in sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8. Where applicable, those specified in section 7 also. 

  • Documents proving family relationship with the researcher: birth or marriage certificates issued by the civil registry, certificate of registration as an unmarried couple or any other document proving that the relationship is an unregistered partnership. Foreign documents must be legalized or apostilled and, where applicable, must be submitted together with an official translation into Spanish. 

  • In the case of adult children, documents proving their financial dependence and civil status. Foreign documents must be legalized or apostilled and, where applicable, must be submitted together with an official translation into Spanish.  

  • In the case of relatives in the ascending line, documents proving they are in the researcher's care. Foreign documents must be legalized or apostilled and, where applicable, must be submitted together with an official translation into Spanish.

  • Medical insurance certificate. 

When necessary to assess the application, the Consular Office may request additional documents or data and may also ask the applicant to come in for a personal interview.



This Consular Office is competent to accept visa applications from individuals residing in the consular district. 

  • Who can apply for a permit: Visa applications must be submitted in person by the applicant or by one of their parents if they are a minor. They may also be submitted through a duly accredited representative. 

  • Place of submission: Applications must be submitted in person at the Consular Office. An appointment is necessary. 

  • Proof of receipt: The Consular Office will provide the applicant with proof of receipt of the application with a code that enables them to check the status of the dossier through the following link: 

  • Rectifying the application: The Consular Office may ask the applicant to submit any missing documents, or to provide additional documents or data that are necessary for a decision regarding the application. The applicant may also be called in for a personal interview. 

  • Decision period: The legal period for reaching a decision is 10 days as of the day after the submission date of the application, but this period may be extended when an interview or additional documents are requested. 

  • Collecting the visa: The visa must be collected in person by the applicant or by their representative within a maximum period of 1 month, counted as of the day after the date on which the favourable decision is notified. The Consular Office will inform the applicant regarding the procedure for the return of the passport and any other original documentation.   

  • Visa refusal: Visa refusals will always be notified in writing, setting forth the grounds on which the decision adopted was based. 

  • Appeals: If a visa is refused, the applicant may submit an appeal for reconsideration to this Consular Office within 1 month of the day following the date on which notification of the refusal is received. An application for judicial review may also be filed with the High Court Justice of Madrid within the 2-month period beginning the day after the date on which the applicant receives notification of the visa refusal or of the dismissal of the reconsideration appeal. 

  • Validity period of the visa: The visa is valid for 1 year, or for the same period as the residence permit granted, provided that this permit is for less than 1 year.

    The visa accredits residence in Spain during its validity period, making it unnecessary to obtain a Foreigner Identity Card. However, this card may be applied for at the Foreign Nationals' Office or the corresponding Police Station.