How do I get a student visa for Spain from the US for US citizens?

We are CERVANTES ESCUELA INTERNACIONAL and, in Spain, we have our own school located in Malaga, and affiliated and accredited Spanish language schools in the main cities (Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Tenerife, Alicante, Cadiz, Granada, Marbella, and Seville).

Spain is the most popular global destination for learning Spanish while enjoying its extensive cultural and leisure offer.

When a student plans to study Spanish at any of our Spanish schools in Spain (Malaga, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Tenerife, Alicante, Cadiz, Granada, Marbella, and Seville), we provide the student with a LETTER OF INVITATION. This letter of invitation needs to be presented at the Spanish Consulate or Embassy in the US.

What is the Spanish Student Visa?

A Student Visa for Spain allows you to study Spanish in Spain. There are different types of Student Visas for Spain, and each is valid for a different length of time. Students need to apply for the Student Visa at a Spanish embassy or consulate and provide a range of paperwork. A student must already be accepted into a Spanish course before applying for the Student Visa.

Student Permit for less than 3 months (90 days)

Students from the States can take a Spanish course without a Student Visa (provided that the course duration is shorter than 90 days).

Short-term Student Visa for between 3 and 6 months

The Short-Term Student Visa allows students to take a course for up to a maximum of 180 days.

Students can take Spanish language courses with this type of Student Visa or any college or university short-courses.

Long-term Student Visa for more than 6 months

With a Long-Term Student Visas, a student can take courses that are longer than 6 months.

In addition to completing the Student Visa application, students must apply for a student residence card at an immigration office within a month of arrival in Spain.

This visa application requires more paperwork than the short-term visas, requiring a medical certificate and a certificate of no criminal conviction.

Applying for a Student Visa for Spain from the US for US citizens

Before applying for a Student Visa for Spain, students need to be offered a place on a course. To ensure you get your visa on time, you can normally apply a minimum of 31 days before your departure date. However, documentation will not be accepted more than 120 days before you travel. Generally, submitting the visa application between two and three months before traveling is ideal.

The maximum term to notify the decision regarding the visa application is one month from the day following the application’s submission date at the consular office. Once this period has passed without receiving an express response, it may be understood that the request has been rejected due to administrative silence.

The Student Visa granted must be collected within two months from the notification. If the visa is not collected within these two months, the visa will be considered renounced and it will be archived.

The duration of the stay granted by the visa will be the same as the length of the studies to be carried out, with a maximum limit of one year.

The exact documentation required varies depending on the consulate, the individual’s circumstances, and the course the applicant wants to take. The fee for a Schengen Student Visa is currently €80 per person.

General Documents required to apply for a Student Visa

Although the paperwork needed may vary depending on your case, the documents required for a Student Visa are typically:

  • Visa application form—Fully completed and signed.
  • A valid passport—Not older than 10 years and valid for at least three more months beyond the date you plan to leave Spain.
  • Older passports with visas on them (if you have any).
  • 2 recent passport size photos
  • Our LETTER OF INVITATION from the Spanish course provider
  • Health insurance
  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover stay (bank statements)


Working in Spain with a Student Visa

The Spanish Student Visa allows students to work part-time or in a temporary position for the course duration. The maximum number of hours cannot exceed 20 hours a week. The job must also not interfere with the student’s course work.

For a Student Visa holder to get a job, the employer must obtain a work permit from the Foreign Office. The employment contract cannot exceed the duration of the Student Visa. A work permit is not required for internships that are part of the course.

Formalities after Entry into Spain

After a Student Visa has been issued, certain formalities must be carried out once in Spain.

Foreigner Identity Cards

Foreigners granted a visa to stay in Spain for a period exceeding six months must apply for a foreigner’s identity card, within one month from the date of arrival. This identity card can be applied for at the corresponding Provincial Brigade of Immigration and Borders dependent on the Ministry of the Interior.


  1. Ask for exact information at your Spanish Consulate or Embassy in US and for the perspectives/ probability of receiving the visa.
  2. Send the Spanish school enrolment form completed correctly.
  3. We confirm your enrolment and give you the options for payment.
  4. You must pay the total course fee, the enrolment fee, and the booking fee for accommodation by bank transfer or credit card.

Once we have received full payment, either by transfer or credit card (visa, master), we will provide you with the official LETTER OF INVITATION. This is the LETTER OF INVITATION that you must present at the Spanish Consulate or Embassy in the US closest to you.

This letter is sent by e-mail.

Students who require any type of invitation letter to obtain a Student Visa for their course and subsequently have to cancel due to denial of the visa must send us an original official certified document directly from the Embassy. If we do not receive this document, 100% of the program cost will be charged.

Cervantes EI Final Advice

Did you know that at Cervantes EI you can take one week off for every 4 weeks of Spanish study? Example: You want to stay in Malaga for 25 weeks while studying Spanish, and you need our visa letter for the Embassy. In this case, you have the option to get 5 non-consecutive weeks off, and you would only need to pay for 20 weeks of study.

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