Doing a professional English-teaching certification was my goal ever since I wanted to teach English for a living. So I applied to an institute to do a TESOL course in Spain and got a student visa for Spain for the same. And ended up going to Barcelona for the same.
But a little backstory first.
My fascination with Spanish started when I was teaching English in a public school in Ecuador through a government-run program. Along with teaching English, I took an interest in learning Spanish and learned the basics in the few months I was there. Ecuador is an amazing country and I had a really good time there, but when the program came to an end, I decided to come back to India. That’s when I realized that doing a professional TEFL certification course would give my profile the gravitas it needs.
There are different TEFL courses in Spain. I chose the Trinity TESOL course provided by an institute in Barcelona. It was a paid TEFL internship. There are various institutes where you can do a CELTA, TESOL, or other accredited courses to give a boost to your English teaching profile.
There are many countries where you can do similar courses. I chose Spain as I also wanted to learn Spanish and teach English in Spain after finishing my TESOL course.
The Spain study visa is a Spanish residence visa or D type visa, that allows you to be in Spain for more than 90 days. It’s also known as a Spain national visa.
Note that, It’s not the same as a Spain Schengen visa.
In this article, I will cover the different types of student visas for Spain, the Spanish national visa application process and the requirements for this visa, and other tips and tricks.
What is a Student Visa for Spain?
By having a Spain student visa or study visa, you can do the following things in Spain.
- Study or train in a Spanish institute
- Work as an unpaid intern
- Take part in student exchange
Different Types of Student Visa for Spain
There are different types of Spanish Student Visas that you can get for different purposes. Their validity will vary as well. You can apply for a Spain study visa in a Spanish embassy in your home country or in a country where you are a resident.
1. Schengen Student Visa
Since Spain is a Schengen country, you can apply for a Schengen visa to study or research in Spain if the course duration is less than 90 days.
2. Short-term Student Visa for Spain
A short-term visa to study in Spain is valid for 3-6 months. This visa can be used to take short-term courses provided by universities or registered institutes. The duration of the course in this case can’t be more than 180 days.
3. Long-term Spanish Study Visa
If you are planning to go to a university in Spain or to a public/private training center or as such for a course that will exceed 180 days, you need to apply a Spanish study visa for long term.
This visa will require a lot more paperwork than the previous two visas and could take longer to process. Also, within a month of arriving in Spain, students need to apply for a Spanish student residence card at an immigration office.
Do I need a Spain Study Visa to Study in Spain?
EU and Swiss citizens don’t need a Spain study visa in order to study in Spain. And citizens of many countries such as Canada, Australia, Japan, the USA don’t need a visa to study in Spain if the course duration doesn’t exceed 90 days.
Spain Visa Checklist: Spain Student Visa Requirements
Spain student visa requirements will vary a little depending on the duration and type of the course. There are general requirements for a visa to study in Spain.
1.Letter of Acceptance
Before you apply for a Spain study visa, your application to study in Spain must have been accepted by an accredited university/school/institution. They will provide a letter of acceptance which you can submit with your Spain student visa application.
This letter will always be in Spanish, in the official letterhead and would contain the details on the duration of your course and your personal details etc.
If you would be doing any training or research work in Spain, an admission letter from the orgnaization would be needed.
Since I was going to do a TEFL course, my institute provided me an admission letter to apply for the study visa for Spain. I paid a part of the course fees before applying for the visa and paid the rest of it after I arrived in Spain.
2.Proof of Funds
You must provide proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay in Spain during the time you study. As of 2019, the minimum amount to cover your stay in Spain is about €540 per month. But this will come down when you provide proof of accommodation.
You can provide:
- Certified bank statements for the last three months
- Documents that prove that you have a scholarship award or that you have paid for the course
If your parents/spouse pay for your stay
- A notarized document signed by your parents or spouse, stating that they will be covering your expenses. You will also need to provide the recent bank statements, a photocopy of their passports/ birth certificate/marriage certificate to prove your relationship with who covers your expenses.
I provided my bank statements for this. Note that you need to get this statement from the bank and it has to be signed and stamped. You will have to provide the originals for this. So don’t show up with the printout of your bank statements from the online portal.
3.Proof of Accommodation
You can provide the reservations for a dorm or a private apartment or a rental accommodation etc. In case it’s a private residence, you must present a letter of agreement from the owner and a letter of invitation obtained in a police station in Spain.
The letter of admission from your institute can also mention that they will provide you with accommodation. In my case, the acceptance letter contained the details of my accommodation. So I didn’t have to provide any other accommodation proof for the student visa.
4. Health Insurance for Spain Visa
You need to have health insurance with an insurance company, with minimum coverage equal to €30,000 during the planning period of stay in Spain. This can’t be travel insurance.
5. Official Medical Certificate
An official medical certificate is needed only if the duration of the requested stay is more than six months. It must be translated into Spanish and should be apostilled.
6.Police Clearance Certificate
If the duration of the stay is over six months, a Police Check issued by the authorities of all the countries where you have resided for the last 5 years, including the country from where you are applying. These are valid for only 3 months starting from the date of issuance.
In my case, since I had resided in Ecuador in the year before I applied for the Spain study visa, I went to the Ecuadorian embassy in Delhi and got myself a police verification certificate.
For the police clearance certificate from India, I applied through the regional passport office and got a police clearance certificate. The Embassy of Spain needed the certificate to be apostilled as well.
7. Travel Itinerary for Spain Visa
Spain doesn’t need you to book confirmed flight tickets while applying for a Spanish visa. You can make a refundable roundtrip reservation from your country of residence to Spain, and submit it with the visa application.
There are many ways to reserve flight tickets for visa without spending a dime.
8. Spain Visa Photo Requirements
For any Spain visa, photo requirements are the same. You need to get two recent color passport pics in the white background as per the official rules for photos.
9. Valid Passport
Your passport must be valid for the whole duration of your stay in Spain and should have one blank page to affix the Spain visa.
When to Apply for Type D Visa Spain?
A study visa for Spain needs a lot of paperwork, and you can’t apply for it until you are accepted into the course.
- The earliest you can apply: Six months before you leave for Spain.
- The latest: three weeks.
I believe it’s a better idea to apply least two months in advance. Sometimes, they might ask you for extra documents and the whole process can stretch longer than usual.
How to Apply Student Visa for Spain?
The application process for a Spain Study Visa can vary from country to country. It all depends process to submit Spain visa application in your country of residence. There are two ways to apply.
- Directly through the Spanish embassy in person.
- Through a third-party service provider to which Spain has outsourced visa submission and document collection process.
Spain embassies in many countries also have an online appointment system where you can book an appointment online, and then go and submit your application.
In India, you can apply for Spanish national visa only through the Spanish embassy, while the short-term Spain visa application process has been outsourced to a third-party as well.
Apply Student Visa for Spain in India
I got my Spain visa as an Indian citizen in the embassy of Spain in Delhi. For this, I first called the embassy and enquired about the Spain national visa application process to do the TEFL training in Spain. There is no need to book an appointment to submit your application in India.
You can simply walk in to the Spanish embassy and submit the application any time from 9 am-12 pm.
You can download the Spain national visa application form from the official embassy website and fill it in or you can get it at the embassy. The form is pretty self-explanatory and easy to fill in.
I submitted the Spanish national visa application form along with the documents in the embassy, and paid the visa fees.
Visa Fees to Spain Visa to Study
The cost to apply Spain residence visa for study purposes is approximately 57 euros, which comes about to 4741 Indian rupees.
Spain Visa fees for Indians can only be paid via bank draft. The bank draft must be issued in favor of “Embassy of Spain” and must be payable in New Delhi.
Document Apostille for Spain Visa
If you are applying for a Spain resident visa in India, all the documents like Certificates of birth, marriage, death, medical condition, or police clearance certificates, together with divorce or adoption deeds, must bear either the Hague apostille or be legalized.
So I got the police clearance certificate from the regional passport office in my state and then got it apostilled. While you can do it by yourself, doing it through a company is easier and faster. There are many companies that do this for you in Delhi.
Spain Visa Interview
Two weeks after I submitted the documents, the embassy emailed me to come for an interview. They had some general questions about the course and my credentials, and about why I wanted to do the TEFL course in Spain and not in India.
I explained to them that the institute in Spain was very renowned for the Trinity TESOL certification and I wanted to do mine from the best institute out there. I also explained that staying in Spain would help me with practicing my Spanish.
Spanish Embassy in Delhi.
12, Prithviraj Road
New Delhi 110011
+91 11 4129 3000
How Long Does It Take to Get a Student Visa for Spain?
Getting a a student visa for Spain can take anything from 4-8 weeks or more depending on the country you are applying from.
In my case, it took 6 weeks.
Can You Work in Spain on Spain Student Visa?
The Spain Student Visa allows students to work part-time, as long as the maximum amount of hours does not exceed 20 hours a week, and the job doesn’t interfere with the candidate’s studies.
Note that to get a job, you need to get a work permit from the Foreign Office. The initial employment contract for the visa cannot exceed the duration of the study visa.
Are There Enough TEFL Jobs in Spain?
If you want to teach English in Spain, there are a lot of TEFL jobs in big cities like Madrid, Barcelona as well as small towns and villages. You can find full-time as well as part-time opportunities easily.