In 2018 alone, over 82 million people visited Spain. Tourists come from around the globe to soak up the sun, explore historic cities, indulge in Spain’s varied and rich gastronomy and more. However, all foreign visitors who come to Spain must meet passport requirements and in many cases, visa requirements as well.
Citizens of many countries are able to visit Spain without a visa while others must obtain the Schengen visa for short-term stays of up to 90 days. As of 2021, nationals of over 60 countries will be required to obtain the ETIAS visa waiver for Spain and all the countries in the Schengen Area. This electronic travel authorization will contribute to making the Schengen region safer. Applicants will need to meet the ETIAS requirements, which are: having a valid passport, a debit or credit card and an email address. An applicant’s passport will need to meet Spain’s passport minimum validity requirements.
How long should I have left on my passport before traveling to Spain?
When planning a trip, people are often more excited and concerned about discovering a new destination than they are about entry requirements. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget to check whether one’s passport is still valid. After all, passports are generally valid for periods of 5 to 10 years. Passport validity requirements will vary depending on a traveler’s country of citizenship.
When traveling to Spain for short-term stays, third-country nationals must hold a passport valid for three months beyond the length of stay. However, European Union passport holders just need their passport to be valid for the length of stay in Spain.
European Union citizens do not need a visa to travel to Spain, and in fact, it is also possible for these citizens to travel within the region with a valid ID card. All other foreign nationals must always have a valid passport when traveling to Spain.
When ETIAS is launched, applicants will be required to enter their passport information. If a passport is about to expire, it is possible that the application is not approved by the system. Before applying for an ETIAS visa waiver in the future, it is very important that eligible travelers check the validity of their passport.
Foreign visitors who need a Schengen visa will need a valid passport to apply for their visa too. The amount of time that a Schengen visa holder is granted to visit Spain or any other member country will vary from person to person. The most time Schengen visa holders can stay in the region is up to 90 days. The passport will always need to be valid three months beyond the expected stay in the country.
Before booking a trip, not just to Spain but to any country within the Schengen Area, it is a good idea to check the passport validity.
How long does it take to renew a passport?
The amount of time it takes to renew a passport will vary from country to country. In the UK it takes about three weeks to renew a passport when living in the country. Citizens who don’t live in their country of origin must go to their nearest embassy to be able to get a new official travel document. The UK also has an online service in place to help its citizens renew their passport when abroad. In the US, the average passport renewal takes between 4 to 6 weeks and citizens can order it by mail. It is possible to choose an expedited option for an additional fee.
Many countries have become very strict about photo requirements, and this is something to keep in mind when renewing the passport, especially if there are time constraints. If a person is getting their passport for the first time, they will need a series of documents including a birth certificate. Given that each country handles how and when passports are issued it is best to check with the respective government office and gather all necessary documentation and requirements.