How long can non-EU citizens stay in Spain?


People from all over the world want to visit Spain. And no wonder – spectacular cuisine, incredible culture and an endlessly fascinating history. Oh, and the weather’s not bad either.

But how long are legally allowed to stay in Spain if you’re not an EU citizen? And is it easy to extend your stay in this beautiful country?

TEFL Iberia has all the answers!  

How long can you stay on a tourist visa?

A tourist visa, or Spain schengen visa, allows all non-EU citizens to stay in Spain for up to three months. Following this 90 day grace period, you’ll no longer be legally allowed to stay in Spain. 

How can I stay in Spain longer than three months?

If you have ambitions of staying in Spain longer than 90 days, there’s good news and bad news.

Let’s start with the bad news first. There’s only two ways of securing long-term status in Spain, and one of those ways involves all kinds of red tape and bureaucracy.

The good news? The other option – the one that TEFL Iberia specialises in – is a whole lot easier.

Here are the two types of long term visas in Spain:

The residence and work visa (visado de residencia y trabajo)

Spain’s standard residence and work permits are issued by a local Work and Immigration office. 

One thing you should know – Spain is famed for its slow paced lifestyle. Fantastic when it comes to sipping cava on a terrace in the evening sun. Not so fantastic when you’re waiting for an all-important document to move through the system.  

Which means the Spanish issue these types of permits at the speed of a snail crossing the Sahara. Plus, you can’t apply for these on your own – your prospective employer does it for you. And, as employers have to pay a pretty penny to hire non-EU citizens, for most, the chances of securing this kind of visa are slim to none.

The student visa

Now we’re talking. 

A student visa enables you to work up to 20 hours per week as a paid intern. Best of all, if you apply to learn and earn while teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL), your school will help you get your visa and help you settle into your new life in Spain.

At TEFL Iberia, we have lots of experience when it comes to helping students get their visas. We know the Spanish system inside and out – a 96% success rate in processing student visas and minimal rejections says it all. 

When it comes to choosing your path of study, you can combine classes to process a long-term student visa. You could do this by following TEFL Iberia’s foundational Trinity CertTESOL Course with the Developing Teacher Course to further hone your skills.

What kind of support will I receive?

Before you make the move to Spain, we’ll be on hand to give you in-depth guidance on exactly which documents you’ll need to process your visa and Spanish ID documents. We’ll help you complete the application form and oversee the processing of your visa.

Once your visa has been confirmed and you arrive at our campus in Barcelona, we’ll be on hand to book your TIE appointment for you (your Spanish ID card). We’ll even arrange for a company to accompany you to the appointment and act as translator and help with paperwork.

Essentially, we’re your relocation experts! Once we’ve helped sort your legal documents and you're all good to stay in Spain for the long-term, you’ll be free to discover a new career, a new culture and a new life in one of the world’s greatest cities.

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