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If you are planning to come from a non-EU country and study in Spain, there are some important requirements that you will need to fulfill.  These steps are divided into two groups: 
– Visa requirements (In your home country)  – Residence requirements (Upon arriving in Spain).
This article gives a general overview that provides you with adequate information about all necessary processes.  

1. Pre-Arrival (Visa requirements)


After identifying which study path you would like to pursue, the next step would be to initiate communication with your desired university/school in Spain to get the admission approval.
Upon receiving your admission confirmation, you will have to communicate with the Spanish Embassy in your country to set an appointment for obtaining a student-visa.   In general, the Embassy will ask you to prepare a list of documents, those normally include:

  • Passport (Make sure it is updated)
  • ID with photo
  • Admission confirmation from a Spanish School/University
  • Transcripts (authenticated high school or university transcripts in English)
  • Proof of payment (for your studies in Spain, for the entire study fee or partial depending on school and program requirements)
  • Proof of financial capability (bank statement from your account or your sponsor’s account
  • Health Insurance (obtained from your country to cover your first months in Spain)
  • Accommodation (where you will stay upon your arrival in Spain)
  • Flight booking (indicating your intended date of travel and date of return to your country)
  • Visa fee (varies depending on your country’s rates)

2. Upon-Arrival (Residence requirements)


After obtaining your student visa and your arrival in Spain, the next step would be to obtain your student-residence card (NIE). 
NIE is a requirement for both EU and non-EU students coming to Spain and it is the number associated with every foreigner living in Spain.
It is mandatory by Spanish law to apply for the NIE within your first 30 days in Spain. 

Below is an overview of the steps required to get your NIE card:


Empadronamiento: which is the residence certificate that a student needs to obtain from the local council to show his/her address in Spain.
University/School documents: your school or university should provide documents indicating that you are enrolled in a program that lasts more than 6 months.
Appointment: to get the NIE you will need to book an appointment (Cita Previa) with the Spanish immigration authority to submit all documents and your fingerprints. Booking this appointment is a major problem in Barcelona, as it is very difficult to obtain, even if you speak Spanish. 
Therefore booking this appointment is a major problem in Barcelona and it is very difficult to obtain, even if you speak Spanish. 
Card: approximately, after one month of your appointment, you will receive your NIE card.

6 thoughts on “Legal Requirements for Non-EU Students to Come to Spain

  1. Pingback: Why You Need A Professional Consultant As An International Student? – Leap-eu.com

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