Have you ever longed to visit or reside longer than you thought possible in this Mediterranean land? Spain is a beautiful country in the east of Europe, offering a huge variety of landscapes, excellent architecture, world famous artists (Picasso and Dali to name a few), temperate climate, amazing food and many a fiesta. Find out more about what Spain has to offer here. Read on to find out how you can travel and reside in Spain in these, sometimes unusual, ways.
A bit of information to begin, Spain is a member of the EU (European Union) which consists of 28 member countries. Any EU or EEA (European Economic Area) nationals – EU countries plus Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Switzerland – have the right to travel, study and live in any EU country (such as Spain). Except Croatians, who are not able to travel freely within the EU probably until 30th June 2020. Each country has their own specific rules, but Spain states that any EU national residing longer than 3 months must apply for a NIE Identification card, find out how here.
Spain is also a part of the SCHENGEN region which consists of 26 countries. The Schengen has one common visa and no border control between countries. Having said that, following the Paris attacks, some SCHENGEN borders have tightened their restrictions (source), requiring travelers to carry their passport between SCHENGEN countries.
Visas and Permits
You may need a visa or permit to visit, work, study or live in Spain if you are a non-EU national. (This post is a guide to the options available but we would recommend you contact your country’s embassy to find out more.)
There are 3 types of visa allowing entrance into Spain:
- Airport transit visa (visado de transito aeroportuario) – allows you into the international transit zone in a Spanish airport. Check if the information and list from the Government site.
- Short stay Schengen visa (visado de corta duracion) – allowing you to stay but not work in a Schengen state for up to 90 days in a 180 day period. US, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian nationals do not need this visa but will need a long term to remain after 3 months. Or a work visa to work in Spain. Find out if you need a Schengen visa and download the form if so. You cannot come to Spain on a short-term visa and become an employee, study or reside in Spain, you must return to your home country and apply from your embassy there.
- Long term visa (see below)
If you desire to reside longer in Spain or even work here then here are some tips for how to remain in the SCHENGEN area if you are a Non-EU Citizen:
- Long term visa – Spain, along with France and Sweden offer the type D visa, details differ country to country and a reason for stay is required but it will allow you to stay in the European country for a year or more. Apply for these in your local Spanish embassy or sometimes online before entering Spain. A non-refundable fee of €60 is usually required and the application must be done in person or through a notable representative.
- Study – Once you have applied for a place as a student abroad you are eligible to apply for your student visa through the embassy in your home country. This can range from a Bachelors to Masters or a short term language course. Many European countries offer free Universities!
- Youth visa – This is available for those who are 18-35 who want to live and work in Spain for one or two years. Some countries have this visa option as an exchange between nations. For example, UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand. Find out about work and holiday visas here.
- Move to the UK – or Northern Ireland, Romania, Croatia, Belarus, Ukraine for that matter as these countries are not in the Schengen this is a way around needing to leave Europe once your short stay is done or if you need some more time in Europe. You can remain in the UK for 90 days (depending on your nationality) and then return to the Schengen.
- Volunteer – If you would like to stay in the Schengen or Spain specifically, WOOFING is a great way to remain in Spain. It involves volunteer work with living expenses compensated. See also Europa and Europe Volunteering.
- Cultural Homestay – This is an agreement between a non-profit and a foreign country partnering with potential travelers and send them to a host family. For example, exchanging some time teaching your hosts English for 3 months stay at their home. See Chinet.
- Self -employed visa – If you want to work and earn money and can’t afford to just have living expenses subsidised, this visa, autonomo, allows you to do this. Find out more here.
- Au-Pair – if you want to earn money but not start your own business and you love kids, then this could be the option for you! You can choose to be a nanny in any country you choose and a wealth of experience is not usually necessary. See Europa Au-Pair or IAPA.
- Teach English – Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is pretty easy to gain qualifications for and allows you to stay and work in Europe, as a teacher. This generally requires a one-month training program in the country of your choice or online.
- Ger married or Pareja de Hecho – Fall in love and you could become a citizen in Spain! For residency in the country alone you will need 5 years of uninterrupted living in the country. For citizenship, 10 years are required. Unless of course, you marry a Spanish citizen in which case it will be instant. Pareja de Hecho is also similar to a legal marriage, find out more here.
If your parents or grandparents were born in a European country, you will be eligible for citizenship by descent. You will need to check the details of this, particularly if your parents never married and laws also differ depending on whether your descendency is maternal or paternal.
We hope this information and these options have given you some clarity and also food for thought. To find out more about starting your own business in Spain do not hesitate to follow our other articles, #HowtoSpain starting your own business and other legal information articles. Any comments below, please feel free to leave them in the comments box below. We hope to be of some help to you!
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