Spain Tourist Visa
The Schengen Visa allows tourists from around the world to go to Spain. As Spain shares is in the Schengen Area, it shares a common border policy with the other 25 countries.This means that tourist visas are not issued for individual countries such as Spain, but for the entire region.
What is the Spain Tourist Visa?
As a specific tourist visa for Spain does not exist, tourists need a Schengen Visa to enter Spain for tourism. The Schengen Visa allows visitors to spend up to 90 days in Spain as well as the other 25 participating Schengen countries.
To apply for a Schengen Visa, you need to visit a Spanish embassy or consulate in your home country. All embassies and consulates of all the Schengen countries accept visa applications, but you have to apply at a diplomatic office of the main destination you plan to visit.
Who needs a Spain Tourist Visa?
All nationalities who are not eligible for visa-free entry into Spain need a tourist visa to enter the country. At the moment there are numerous countries which enjoy visa-free access for periods of up to 90 days (this will change in 2021 with the introduction of ETIAS).
The following countries are eligible to enter Spain (and the other Schengen countries) for up to 90 days in any 180-day period:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herz.
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- Hong Kong
- Marshall Islands
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- S.V. and Grenadines
- San Marino
- Solmon Islands
- South Korea
- Timor Leste
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
- United States
- Vatican City
- UK nationals who are not EU citizens
ETIAS Visa Waiver
The nationalities which can currently enter the Schengen Area visa-free will need to obtain an ETIAS Visa Waiver from 2021. It will be similar to the US ESTA Visa and is technically a visa waiver rather than a conventional visa. The online application form will be simple and only take a few minutes to complete.
ETIAS Travel Authorization will be valid for 3-year periods and allow travelers to enter all 26 countries in the Schengen Area. Travelers will be able to enter the region multiple times as long as the total number of days spent in the zone does not exceed 90 days (in any 180-day period).
Types of Schengen Visas
In addition to the Schengen Tourist Visas, there are other types of Schengen Visas which allow visitors to enter for a range of purposes including for transit and for business.
Airport Transit Visa (Type A)
The vast majority of passengers do not need an Airport Transit Schengen Visa. The visas allow travelers to change flights at an airport in the Schengen Area as long as they do not leave the designated transit area. Visitors cannot leave the international transit area with a Schengen Transit Visa.
‘Type A’ Transit Visas only permit one airport transfer, if someone needs to transit through two or more airports it is necessary to obtain a regular Schengen Visa (Type C). Only citizens of the following countries need a Transit Visa to transfer at an airport in the Schengen Area:
- D.R. Congo
- Sri Lanka
A Schengen Business Visa is a special type of visa for traveling to the Schengen Area for business purposes. Like the tourist visa, it allows visitors to spend up to 90 days (of any 180-day period) in the Schengen Zone. Applicants need to go to an embassy or consulate of the country where they wish to conduct business to apply for the business visa.
Every business person from a country which does not have a visa facilitation agreement with the EU needs a Business Visa for the Schengen Area to travel to the zone to conduct business. This includes meeting clients and partners, as well as attending business fairs.
How to get a Tourist Visa to visit Spain
To apply for a Tourist Visa to visit Spain, it is necessary to go to a Spanish embassy or consulate. As there are not individual tourist visas for Schengen countries, visitors need to obtain a Schengen Tourist Visa instead.
To successfully apply, applicants must submit a range of documentation which includes: the visa application form, two recent passport photos, valid passport, travel itinerary, health insurance, proof of accommodation, proof of financial means, and either proof of employment or an income tax return.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to some of the most common questions about Schengen Visas and the online application process.
Will having a criminal record affect the ETIAS application?
There will be a section on the ETIAS application form about the applicant’s background. It will be essential to answer honestly as the information will be verified.
Having a criminal record could potentially affect an ETIAS application though it depends on the seriousness of the crime and when and where it was committed. Minor offences are unlikely to affect applications.
How much will it cost to apply for ETIAS?
To submit the ETIAS application, there will be an obligatory fee which will be payable by credit or debit card. Applicants who are under 18 years old will not be charged.
Once the payment has been made and the application has been approved, the ETIAS authorization will be sent to the applicant by email.
Differences between ETIAS and ESTA
ETIAS will be similar to ESTA but they will be valid for different countries. ETIAS will permit entry into the Schengen Area whereas ESTA is for the USA.
The application processes will be effectively the same. Like ESTA, applicants will need to complete an online application and pay a fee. The information provided will be screened against security databases before the visa is approved.
When will ETIAS be implemented?
ETIAS will launch in 2021 though the exact date has not been decided. Once implemented, it will be obligatory for visitors from eligible countries to obtain an ETIAS Visa Waiver before traveling to Europe.