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Get to know Spain

​A global benchmark in a variety of areas, Spain is one of the world's main tourist destinations. In this field, it is worth mentioning that our country is the second-ranked country in the world in terms of World Heritage Cities, the third-ranked in terms of natural spaces declared to be Biosphere Reserves and the country with the most Blue Flag beaches in the northern hemisphere.

Spain also has an excellent academic offer, with an extensive network of universities and some of the most prestigious business schools in the world. Our country is also the largest recipient of exchange students under the Erasmus Programme. Taking into account that Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world, Spain is a key destination in terms of its education offer.

By clicking on this link, you can consult the requirements and documentation necessary to visit Spain and all the information on conditions of entry, stay, temporary residency, infringements and other rights and obligations of foreigners.​It opens in new window

Residing in Spain​​

Foreign citizens that wish to reside in Spain must have received prior authorisation to this end. Once this authorisation has been obtained, the corresponding visa is required to grant entry into Spain. Residency in Spain may be on a temporary or a permanent basis.

Temporary residency is the situation that authorises a stay in Spain for a period of more than 90 days and less than five years. Authorisations for a duration of less than five years may be periodically renewed, following an application by the interested party, if the circumstances are met to grant said application. The initial authorisation for temporary residency without a work authorisation will only be granted to foreigners that can substantiate sufficient economic means to this end and, as the case may be, to their family.

Long-term residency is the situation that authorises indefinite residency and a work permit in Spain, under the same conditions as for Spanish citizens. Foreign citizens that have had temporary residency in Spain for five years continuously and that meet the conditions established at law will be entitled to long-term residency. For the purposes of obtaining long-term residency, previous and continuous periods of residency in other Member States as holders of the European Union blue card will be calculated to this end.

Studying in Spain​​

Foreign citizens that wish to stay in Spain to study at school or extend their education, perform research or training activities, non-remunerated work experience, take part in student exchange programmes or carry out voluntary services must obtain the corresponding visa, which will include the initial authorisation to stay in Spain. One of the most important requirements for obtaining a study visa is to have a letter of admission from the school or university where the education programme will be studied.

When the duration of the authorised stay exceeds six months, foreign citizens that are holders of a visa to study at school or extend their education, perform research or training activities, non-remunerated work experience, take part in student exchange programmes or carry out voluntary services must apply, within the period of one month from their arrival in Spain, for a foreign student card from the corresponding Immigration Office or Police Station.

Working in Sp​ain

Foreign citizens that intend to carry on any remunerated, employment or professional activity must meet the following requirements:

  • be older than 16 (unless the employment activity is on a self-employment basis, in which case they must be older than 18);

  • previously obtain the corresponding authorisation to reside and work in Spain (this authorisation must be applied for by the employer offering the work contract):

  • and obtain a visa once the residency and work authorisation has been issued.

Upon their arrival in Spain, foreign workers must register under the corresponding Social Security Regime and apply for a foreigner's identity card. European Union citizens and their families, provided that the latter travel or meet with the former are registered under a specific legal regime based on the rights recognised in the EU Treaties.​