A visa (visat) is a document issued by Spanish embassies and consulates in other countries for the purpose of authorising a foreigner to enter Spanish territory and carry out the activities for which the visa has been granted.

See for information on the locations of Spain’s various embassies and consulates.

There are different types of visas:

  • Tourist visas and visitor’s visas for professional or family-related reasons.

  • Student visas.

  • Residency visas.

  • Work and residency visas for self-employment or employment by somebody else.

  • Jobseeker visas.

  • Transit visas.

  • Courtesy visas.

Obtaining visitor’s visas, transit visas and non-lucrative residency (residència no lucrativa) visas can take up to 3 months, while a month is required for the processing of all other types of visas. It is possible to appeal before the authorities responsible for administrative disputes against the decisions made at the end of visa application procedures. Refusals to issue visas for family reunification or for working for somebody else must be explained.

Nationals of certain countries are exempt from obtaining a tourist visa; in these cases they can travel to Spain only with a passport or a valid travel document (títol de viatge), provided they meet the rest of entry requirements as established in article 4 of RLOEX (justification of the raisons for going to Spain, financial resources, non prohibition of entry...) and remain there for a period not exceeding 3 months per semester. To find out which countries are exempt and which need tourist permit you can consult the page: or the Regulation (EC) 539/2001, amended by Regulation (EC) 2414/2001, by the Council Regulation (EC) 453/2003 and by the Commission Regulation (EC) 1244/2009.

Particular mention should be made of the jobseeker visa (visat de recerca de feina). Such visas are regulated in the quota agreement (Acord de Contingent) and are aimed at the children and grandchildren of native Spanish citizens or at specific sectors of activity. A jobseeker visa enables its holder to enter Spanish territory, register as a jobseeker with the public occupation services and remain in the country for 3 months. If they find work during their stay, they may be contracted immediately and will receive a permit for residency and to work for somebody else. However, if they have not found work by the end of their 3-month stay, they will have to leave Spanish territory. Jobseeker visas were first regulated through the 2006 quota agreement.