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Updated June 2024

Spain is a country with beautiful beaches, gorgeous streets with plenty of character, and more. It is a chosen tourist destination for plenty of ex-pats, especially those from the UK.

Are you planning a trip to Spain? Read on as Wego gathered all that you need to know about applying for a tourist visa to Spain.

Do I need a tourist visa to enter Spain?

Travellers planning to visit Spain for a short stay trip of up to 90 days are required to apply for a Schengen short-stay visa to Spain, also known as a C-type visa. A Schengen Visa is a short-stay visa that allows a person to travel to any member of the Schengen Area per stay for up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes.

Currently, the Schengen Area consists of 29 member countries. All of these countries are located in Europe. The 29 Schengen countries are:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

The Spain tourist visa is a part of the Schengen short-stay visa and must be applied by travellers if they fall under one of the following categories:

  • the traveller is a third-country national whose citizens are required to obtain a Schengen visa to enter any member country of the Schengen Area
  • the traveller is a third-country national that has reached a visa-free movement agreement with the Schengen states, but you were previously rejected from entering Spain or any other Schengen country without a visa.

Spain tourist visa 2024

The Spain tourist visa is a part of the Schengen short-stay visa and must be applied for by travellers if their main purpose of visiting Spain is for holidays, exploring or sightseeing. The Spain tourist visa allows a stay of up to 90 days in the country and is valid for a period of 180 days.

Spain tourist visa 2024 requirements checklist

The following documents are required when applying for a short-term Schengen visa or the Spain tourist visa:

  • application form. You must complete, print and sign the Schengen visa application form with all your information and required data.
  • your valid passport (original plus a copy). You must provide your original passport along with a copy of your passport, which must have a three-month validity period from the date you leave the Schengen area. Your passport must also contain two blank pages and have been issued in the last 10 years.
  • two passport photographs. You must submit two passport photographs following the Schengen visa photo guidelines; the photos must have been taken in the last six months. Please note that the number of photographs changes depending on which country you apply for the Schengen visa.
  • civil status certificate. Please provide civil status documents such as birth certificate, marriage certificate, family certificate, or death certificate (if applicable).
  • proof of accommodation. You must submit proof of hotel bookings/reservations, Airbnb reservations, or proof that you will stay with a family member or friend.
  • round-trip flight itinerary. A booked flight reservation from your country of origin to the EU and back. If you take any internal flights, you must include those tickets too.
  • travel health insurance. You must also provide a travel health insurance certificate that meets the requirements of the Schengen travel insurance guidelines. You need medical coverage of EUR 30,000 for any unexpected illnesses or injuries.
  • cover letter. You may also be required to submit a cover letter for your Schengen visa application. The cover letter must contain information about why you are applying for a visa, what you plan to do during your stay, how long you will stay in the Schengen Area, etc.
  • invitation letter. If you can not provide a proof of accomodation, you may present an invitation letter from your sponsor in Spain.
  • proof of enough financial means. A traveller who seeks to enter the territory of Spain needs to attest to owning at least EUR 100 per day, with a minimum of EUR 900 per person, regardless of the intended duration of the stay.
  • travel Itinerary. A description of your trip day-to-day, what you will be doing in Spain, places you plan to visit, where you will be staying, as well as the entry and leave dates.
  • proof of how you will be financing your trip to Spain.

To aid in your application, sometimes additional documents may be needed.

  • for an employer with a work contract: evidence of employment status, current bank statement of the latest 6 months, leave permission from the employer, and income tax return.
  • for self-employed visitors: income tax return, a copy of the business license, and company bank statement for the latest 6 months.
  • for students: proof of university or college enrollment
  • for minors: birth certificate, letter of consent from parents, passport copies of both parents/legal guardians, and a notarized parental authorization signed by both parents/guardians if the minor travels alone.

Please visit the Schengen Visa Info website for more details.

Digital Schengen visa

The European Parliament revealed that they have approved a new strategy to digitize the physical Schengen visa application and sticker process. This means that travellers from outside the Schengen zone can say goodbye to long lines and complicated paperwork, as they will soon be able to apply for and receive their digital Schengen visa online.

This means that individuals will be able to apply for their Spain visa without the need to book appointments or physically submit their passports. Instead of the traditional visa sticker, under the proposed new rules, visas will be issued in digital format, as a 2D barcode, cryptographically signed. This will further reduce security risks related to counterfeit and stolen visa stickers.

Under the new rules, a single website will be created where all Schengen visa applications will be made. This platform enables visa seekers to input all necessary information, upload digital copies of their travel and supporting documents, and complete the payment process for their visa fees.

Additionally, they will receive notifications regarding the status of their visa application.

Check out our article to learn all about the Digital Schengen visa for more details:

Schengen Visa Online: What We Know So Far About the Upcoming Digital Schengen Visa


How do I apply for the Spain tourist visa?

To apply for a Schengen Visa to enter Spain, follow the steps given below:

Complete the Spain tourist visa application form

The first step to applying for a Spain tourist visa is by filling out and completing the Schengen visa application form. Make sure to fill out the form accurately, print it, and then sign it at the end.

Make sure to check if all your questions are correct and if you made any typos after completing the form. Please note that your answers in the visa application form must comply with the information in the rest of the required documents for a Spain tourist visa.

Book an appointment

After filling out and completing the Schengen visa application form, you will be required to make an appointment for the submission of your visa application file and the interview.

Please note that you can make an appointment for a Spain visa application through the website of the authority responsible for the admission of your application or through a phone call, whichever is applicable.

Gather all the required documents

After booking an appointment at the visa application centre, you will be required to gather all the documents required to apply for a Spain tourist visa, as mentioned above.

Attend your Spain visa appointment

After having gathered all the required documents, wait for the day of your visa interview.

On the day of your interview, make sure to arrive at the Spanish embassy/consulate/VAC on time, and arrange all your documents in order.

You will have to attend a meeting with a consular officer, and the latter might ask you some questions regarding your trip to Spain and the purpose of the application for a visa and will ask you to hand the documents to them.

Pay the visa application fees

To complete the Spain tourist visa application process, you must pay the required visa application fee. According to the latest news, the European Commission has hiked visa fees by 12.5%. The new fees, as outlined in the Official Journal of the European Union, specify that adult applicants will now pay EUR 90 instead of EUR 80, and children between 6 and 12 years will pay EUR 45 instead of EUR 40.

This change applies only to Schengen areas from 11 June 2024. Children under the age of six are exempt from paying the Schengen visa fee entirely.

Where to apply for the Spain tourist visa?

The Spain tourist visa can be applied by visiting a Spanish embassy or consulate in your home country. All embassies and consulates of Schengen countries accept visa applications.

Visa applications should be processed at a diplomatic office of the main destination you plan to visit at least 15 days before your trip to allow time for your application to be processed.

Please note that the earliest you can apply is 90 days before your visit.

Spain tourist visa processing time

The Spain tourist visa application takes around one to two weeks or up to 10 working days to process. The volume of application will increase, and the processing time will take longer as it reaches holiday seasons.

However, in some cases, this period may be extended for 30 days or even 60 days. Such extension may happen at times when the embassy where you lodge your application is receiving many requests for visa application processing, or due to your specific case.

What can I do in case of my Spain tourist visa rejection?

In case your Spain visa application gets rejected, you will get a letter with a reason why your application is being rejected.

In this case, you can have two choices:

  • move on and make a new application by avoiding previous mistakes and improving your situation.
  • write an Appeal Letter for Schengen Visa rejection, but only if you think that your application has been rejected by mistake or unjustly. You should have a strong basis for writing this letter and present facts that support your point.

Is the Spain tourist visa extendable?

Yes, you can extend your Spanish Schengen visa, but only in exceptional cases where new facts and special reasons arise after entry into Spain. These reasons include humanitarian reasons or force majeure.

To extend your Spain tourist visa, you will need to submit your application prior to the expiration of the visa to the following relevant authorities in Spain:

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation – Direction General on Consular Affairs and Consular Assistance
  • Ministry of the Interior – Direction General for the National Police and the Civil Guard

Please visit the Schengen Visa Info website for more information

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