Moving to Spain to teach English is, for many, a dream come true. If you’re thinking of making the move, you’ve no doubt read about the amazing opportunities that await when teaching English in Barcelona or other Spanish cities.
You’ve most likely also read about the potential problems when it comes to getting a visa.
It’s true. Navigating Spain’s visa system is notoriously difficult and there are many challenges that can arise along the way. In this guide, we take a look at the most common challenges you’ll face when applying for a Spanish visa, as well as the best solutions for each scenario.
Linguistic problems can be a sticking point, both in terms of understanding the application procedure, as well any potential communications regarding the application process.
You might have a basic level of Spanish, with the intention of improving it with a Spanish course when you arrive in the country. But if you’re finding it hard to overcome the language barrier during the visa application process, you can always look to translation or support services. For example, at TEFL Iberia, our bilingual coordination team will help you through the entire application process.
Visa application forms can seem daunting. It’s natural to feel worried about filling it out the wrong way or leaving something out, as this can lead to a rejection.
That’s why it’s crucial to take time to ensure all the essential details are correct – name, date of birth, passport number, previous surnames. Filling these in incorrectly is one of the most common reasons for visa rejection. If possible, get your forms checked over before sending them off – our coordination team can read through your application to ensure everything is correctly filled in.
Here’s an example of the student visa application form, completed with some guidance notes, so you can see what to expect.
When applying for a visa to work or study in Spain, you’ll be asked to supply a range of documents, from travel documents and proof of accommodation to medical certificates and government authorisations. Keeping track of which documents you need and supplying them correctly is one of the biggest challenges when applying for a visa.
One important piece of advice is to supply documents that are as up to date as possible. The more recently dated a document, the better, as all documents should be issued within 90 days of your application. Make sure you double check that you’ve got all the correct documents in order. If your application is incomplete, you’ll be requested to show additional documentation, or you might even have your application rejected outright.
Collaborating with an expert who specialises in Spanish visa applications is an excellent way to avoid this issue. If you’re applying for a student visa to teach English in Spain, your TEFL school will be able to help.
When applying for a Spanish visa, you’ll need to demonstrate that you’ll be able to support yourself financially during your stay. For TEFL students applying for a student visa, a well-organised financial plan will go a long way towards strengthening your application – visa acceptance rates are higher for applicants who clearly demonstrate financial stability.
Student visa applications need to show that they have €600 for every month of their stay. So, for example, if you’re planning on staying for 12 months, you need to produce a recent bank statement that shows €7,200 (600 x 12) in your bank account.
You can read more about the financial side of the application process here.
Many Spanish visa applications fail to realise the exact requirements when it comes to obtaining a medical certificate and health insurance. The 'certificado médico' plays a key role in the application process. Rather than an actual certificate, it’s a letter from a registered health practitioner certifying that you’re in good health. It needs to be signed by the issuing doctor, and have their medical practice stamp and registration number.
But don’t worry! Our experienced visa coordinator can help with the precise details of getting a medical certificate for your Spanish visa application, as well as providing a template in Spanish and English for your doctor to sign.
Spain offers several types of visas for those looking to work in Spain. There are standard work visas and freelance visas, which are extremely hard to obtain.
However, for English teachers looking to work in Spain, a student visa is perfect. It allows you to work up to 20 hours per week (and in some cases 30). Our Developing Teacher course is ideal if you want to obtain a student visa.
While you can apply for a Spanish visa without advice and support from experts, we wouldn’t recommend it. The Spanish visa application process can be a long and difficult process. You can even have your application rejected if documents are missing or if something is submitted incorrectly.
Applying for a student visa through a TEFL school, with the help of their visa application experts, saves a lot of time and helps to overcome any challenges that might come up during the process.
It can take a long time. After submitting your application and going to the interview, you’ll have to wait for the consulate to process your visa application. This can take a while – sometimes up to 60 days. So, to be on the safe side, start the application process three months before your planned departure date if possible.
Rejections do happen, unfortunately. If, for whatever reason, your application letter states ‘desestimado’ (rejected) instead of ‘estimado’ (accepted), it’s not the end of the world. There’s always a chance to appeal.
Rejected applicants have up to one month from the date of being notified to appeal. The consulate will normally give you a reason (e.g. missing documents) so you’ll need to organise and resubmit them. The Spanish authorities then have three months to reassess your application.
Of course, it’s always best to reduce your chances of rejection by getting support. At TEFL Iberia, we offer students detailed guidance at every step of the process. Our visa service has a 96% success rate in processing student visas and minimal rejections.
Reach out to the TEFL Iberia team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about applying for a Spanish visa and beginning your journey to becoming an English teacher in Spain!
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