There are so many awesome reasons to visit Spain that it’s easy to get swept away in wanderlust and start throwing your clothes into a suitcase before you even think about the little things like flights, accommodation and visas. The last thing you want to do is be sent straight back to the US as soon as you touch down on the runway. So to prevent this nightmare from ever happening, you need to brush up on your Spain visa info.
UPDATE: Spanish tourist visa requirements have changed and are no longer needed for US citizens traveling for stays less than 90 days. Please see the US Department of State’s travel website for more details.
What does a Spain visa do?
A Spain visa (also known as a Schengen visa) allows you to travel anywhere within the Schengen area (that’s most of Europe, including Spain) for the sole purpose of leisure or visiting relatives. You can stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days with this visa with the option of single or multiple entries, depending on how you complete your application.
Do I need a visa to visit Spain?
If you’re a non-European citizen planning to travel anywhere within the Schengen area, you need to apply for a Schengen visa in the “tourist” category.
Before applying for your Spain visa
Getting a Spain visa is incredibly easy compared to many other countries, but there’s still plenty of paperwork you’ve got to collect before you can apply. For your Spain visa application to be successful, you need:
- 2 recent color passport-sized photos with a light background
- Passport with at least 2 blank pages, valid for a minimum of 3 months after your planned return date
- Schengen travel insurance policy with cover for a minimum of €30,000
- Cover letter explaining the reason for your visit to Spain and your itinerary
- Copy of your flight reservation with dates and flight numbers for your arrival and departure
- Proof of accommodation bookings for your full stay
- Bank statement from within the last 6 months
How to apply for a visa
- Download the application form, print it and fill it out as honestly and completely as you can.
- Search for your nearest Spanish consulate or embassy.
- Make an appointment, if possible, or visit the consulate/embassy and apply for your Spain visa in person. Make sure you’ve got all your paperwork with you!
How much does a visa cost?
Before you can apply for you Spain visa, you need to pay a non-refundable mandatory fee.
- Short stay visa (less than 90 days): €60
- Long stay visa (more than 90 days): €99
- Children aged 6-12: €35
- Children under 6: free
Important info about your Spain visa
Although the Schengen visa is valid for the entire Schengen area, you need to apply for it at the consulate of the country that will be your starting point. In this post, we’re assuming you’ll be starting your trip in Spain and will therefore be applying for your visa at a Spanish consulate.
It’s important to apply for your Spain visa at least 2 weeks before your trip, but some consulates recommend applying up to 3 months in advance. It’s always best to check first. After you apply, you’ll usually receive a reply within 10 working days, letting you know how long your visa will take to process.