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Olga Galindo Carazo

It seemed simple, but it is not. The tourist visa for Spain in a nutshell

If you are planning to visit Spain as a tourist, you must meet certain requirements to qualify for a tourist visa. Read on to find out: i) which countries do not require a visa, ii) what you will be asked for at the airport and iii) what happens if you do not pass the airport checkpoint.

What is a tourist visa

It is a visa that allows you, throughout the Schengen territory, a maximum stay of 90 days in a period of 180 days. If you stay 90 days in a row in the Schengen territory you will have to leave and stay out of it for 90 days before re-entering. Be careful with this rule, it is easy to exceed this limit without realizing it and for breaking the rule you can be denied entry.

You may not need a visa (see the list) but in any case you must prove at the border that you have certain financial means, have medical insurance and prove that the real purpose of your trip is tourism, showing tickets and hotel reservations, or have been invited by a resident in Spain through the well-known “Letter of Invitation”.

If the country of your nationality is not among those exempted from obtaining a visa, contact the Spanish consulate in your country of origin or current residence.


Countries exempt from the tourist visa requirement.

Certain countries are exempt from obtaining a visa to enter Spain. Among them are those belonging to the European Union and other countries that have signed an agreement with the European Union to be, reciprocally, exempt from prior visa application.

The exempted countries are: EU member countries, European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, and among others the nationals of: Albania*, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina*, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, Georgia*, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong (SAR of China), Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Macau (SAR of China), Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Montenegro*, Nauru, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia*, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Taiwan**, East Timor, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Ukraine*, Uruguay, Vatican City, Vanuatu and Venezuela.

Note*: Citizens of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine must have biometric passports to enjoy the visa waiver.

Note**: The waiver applies to passport holders who include an identity document number.

It is important to check the most current information at the nearest Spanish embassy or consulate or on the official website of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, as regulations may change.


Border interview. Requirements.

Upon arrival at the border, you must pass an interview with the Border Police in which you must prove the following. Have sufficient financial means to cover your stay in Spain. This may include bank statements, traveler’s checks, proof of salary, etc. The amounts required may vary depending on the duration and purpose of your visit.

Have a Travel Itinerary: You are required to submit a detailed itinerary of your trip, including dates, accommodations and plans while in Spain. This may include hotel reservations, flights, tours, etc.

Medical Insurance: It is necessary to have travel medical insurance that covers the entire Schengen area, with a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros for medical expenses, hospitalization and repatriation.

It helps to have a Letter of Invitation: If you will be staying with friends or relatives in Spain, they may require an official letter of invitation issued by the Police in Spain.

Other Documents: Additional documents may be requested depending on your personal situation, such as work or study permits in your home country, marital status documents, etc.


Rejection at the border

At the border, the border authorities will examine the passport and will verify the fulfillment of the requirements we have mentioned above.

This is a regulated procedure, you have the right to legal assistance and an interpreter if you do not understand or do not speak the language in which the decision is communicated, you have the right to request asylum or international protection, which may not be denied if there are indications that protection is necessary.

Remember that these requirements may change, and it is always advisable to verify the most current information with the competent consular authorities. We wish you a pleasant trip and a pleasant stay in Spain!

Do you need hel? Here in Cigarrán Abogados can help you (+34) 91.355.85.15

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