Have you thought about travelling to Spain for tourism, business, to visit friends, etc. and your trip lasts less than three months? If that is the case our administrative situation once you are in Spain will be one of a stay permit. With the short-term stay permit in Spain you have the advantage of being able to visit most EU countries. The stay permit in Spain is valid for all countries included in the European agreement on free movement of persons signed at the city of Schengen. That is the reason why short-term stay permits in Spain are called Schengen visas.

(Your stay permit can be valid for more than three months for study, volunteering and non-occupational internship reasons. Get information at Estudiar en España)

What countries are part of the Schengen Area?

Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Holland, Hungry, Iceland, Italy, Letonia, Liechtenstein, Lituania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic , Sweden and Switzerland.

Map of the Schengen Area

Schengen Area Map: Dark blue: Schengen area countries. Blue dots: Countries with open borders. Yellow: EU members forced to join the Schengen Area

What are the advantages of the Schengen area for the EU citizens? 

If you want to travel to another country included within the Schengen agreement you do not need any special documentation  other than your identity card or passport, for there is an agreement to supress all internal borders among member states.

What are the advantages of the Schengen area for non-EU citizens?

The Schengen agreement also creates a common outside border so foreigners from outside the European Union can travel to all of them with the same visa that they have requested to travel to Spain. However, not all countries request the same criteria in order to enter the territory of the Schengen agreement countries for a stay of less than three months. Some will demand the request of a Schengen visa at the Spanish consulate or embassy in the country of origin.

Which countries request a visa to stay for less than three months in the Schengen Area, in which Spain is included?

Click on this link to find out which countries request a visa in order to travel to Spain or check the section “Países que no necesitan visado Schengen de corta duración” (Countries without the need of a Schengen short-term visa).




What are the requirements needed to obtain the Schengen visa for less than three months of stay?


  • Housing warrant: Hotel reservation or invitation letter from a family member or friend residing in Spain with an address where you are going to stay, issued by the Police Station from the council where they reside.
  • Proof that you have enough financial means to cover your stay in Spain: cash, credit cards, traveller’s cheques or similar for a total amount of de 64,53 euros per person per day with a minimum of 580,77 euros.
  • Health insurance with full coverage of your stay in Spain.
  • Documents that justify the reason of your stay: for instance, if your trip is touristy, a confirmation on the booking of your tourist itinerary; if it is a business trip, an invitation from the company or authority to participate in meetings, conventions, fairs…or, if it is a trip for study or training purposes, an enrollment document from an education centre.
  • Two-way ticket.


Which citizens from which countries do not need a Schengen visa in order to travel to Spain?

Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, F.Y.R.O.M. (Former Yugoslav Rep. Macedonia), Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Colombia, South Korea, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, United Arab Emirates, USA, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Palaos, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Solomon (Islands), Samoa, San Cristóbal y Nieves, San Marino, S. Vicente y Granadinas, Santa Lucía, Santa Sede, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapur, East Timor, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela.

What do I need to enter Spain if my country does not require a Schengen visa?

Once you are about to enter Spain you will need to submit the following documentation:


  1. Invitation letter or hotel booking paid for the whole length of your stay. The invitation letter must have been written by a Spanish citizen, an EU-member citizen or the holder of a Residence Card in Spain. The dates that appear on the invitation letter must match the dates on the plane tickets. For hotel bookings, arrival and departure dates must match too.
  2. Two-way ticket.
  3. Travel insurance.
  4. To have a minimum of 64,5 daily euros per person per day of stay. The only way to demonstrate this is by traveller’s cheques or credit or bank accounts. Bank statements downloaded from the internet do not suffice. (Proof of financial means is not often requested at the border control but you must keep in mind it is a requirement and therefore you may be asked to submit it).
  5. Documents that justify the reason of your stay: for instance, if your trip is touristy, a confirmation on the booking of your tourist itinerary; if it is a business trip, an invitation from the company or authority to participate in meetings, conventions, fairs…or, if it is a trip for study or training purposes, an enrollment document from an education centre.

“The short duration visa (less than three months) is called Schengen visa and it allows you to travel through all 28 European countries that belong to the Schengen treaty”.

“The visa or permit to enter Spain allows you to travel through all countries from the Schengen area for three months”.

“More than 60 countries do not request a visa to enter the Schengen Area (of which Spain is a member). Many of them are Spanish-speaking countries such as Andorra, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, Unites States, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela”.



The Aliens Act acknowledges certain rights, some are limited to be enjoyed only by people with a residence permit in Spain, some are detached from the foreigner's administrative situation. Some of the most important rights are the following:
  • Education. All foreigners under 18 years old have the right and the obligation to an education on the same terms as Spaniards. This right includes access to compulsory education, obtainment of academic qualifications and access to a public system of grants and scholarships. They will also have a right to access non-compulsory secondary education regardless of their administrative situation. 
  • Free legal assitance. Should you need legal assistance to attend a trial, you can request a public defender and benefit from a free justice if you previously justify you lack the economic resources to pay for a private one. 
  • City registration. It is an administrative record where all neighbours belonging to a certain district or council are registered. Non-Community foreigners must renew it every two years, unless they are holders of a long-term residence permit.
  • Health. You must have a resident permit or work and residence permit to be granted this service. If you are staying irregularly this right extends only to assistance in emergency units. Minors and pregnant women also have this right granted until medical discharge.  
  • Translator. If you do not understand or speak Spanish, you are entitled by law to ask for an interpreter that translates into a language you can understand for the spanish legal services.


Information on the documentation needed to access the Spanish territory

I want to go to Spain

Find information on the documentation needed to enter in Spain.