The concept of "stay" refers to residing in Spain for a period of less than ninety days. Once this time is up, in order to remain in Spain it is necessary to apply for an extension of this stay or a Residence Permit.

If the foreign national has crossed the border with a visa and this visa is for less than three months, the stay can be extended to cover these three months.

If on the contrary, the foreign national has entered Spain without a visa, an application can be made to prolong the stay for 3 months if the stay can be justified under exceptional circumstances.

An extension application must be filled out on the official form and handed in personally by the applicant at the Office of the National Police, Foreign Nationals' Section.

There are foreigners who need a visa for travelling in Spain. To be eligible, they must provide evidence of sufficient resources for their stay and the availability of accomodation while in the country.

This is established by a Letter of Invitation which can be applied for at the Foreign Nationals Department at the National Police police station, by a Spanish national or a foreigner who resides legally in Spain and with the corresponding authorisation can invite a foreign person to come to Spain having undertaken to provide accomodation for this person.

The person who applies for the visa must also present a return ticket with a fixed return date which does not go beyond the maximum period of stay stipulated by the Spanish authorities.


Foreign nationals who wish to study, carry out research or unpaid training, must have a Student Visa which may be applied for in the country of origin or exceptionally in another foreign country.

This Student Visa allows foreign nationals to reside in the country while they carry out their studies. The duration will be limited to the length of the course of study.

Among other requisites, applicants must have been accepted at the teaching centre to carry out their studies, and have sufficient economic resources to pay for their studies, their stay and return to the country of origin.

The foreign person whose coming to Spain has like only or main aim the study or to make works of not remunerated investigation or formation labor, in any teaching institution or scientific Spanish, public or deprived will have the student consideration, officially recognized.

The duration of the authorization of stay by the Department of the Interior will be equal to the one of the course for which it is registered. The authorization will be prorogued annually if the holder demonstrates that he continues reuniting the required conditions for the expedition of the initial authorization and that fulfills the requirements demanded by the training center which it attends, having itself verified the accomplishment of the studies.

There also exists the possibility of applying for permission to work in an area related to the studies the person has undertaken. However, when referring to higher education, recognised job training or receiving a professional certificate or a professional competency necessary for carrying out an occupation, the stay permit for education will authorise working as an employee or as self-employed without having to apply for express permission. Work should not exceed 30 hours a week.

Equally, if the education, training or work placement have been completed satisfactorily, a request for a change can be made for a Work permit if a job offer has been made by an employer.

Furthermore, those who have been granted a stay for study permit and who have finalised their studies in a higher education institution can apply for a looking for work residence permit. In order to do this, proof of economic means and medical insurance must be demonstrated, whereby it is possible to be granted a residence permit for 12 months only. This permit can be modified to a work and residence permit if an adequate job related to the completed studies is found or a business project is started.