Departure to Madrid

Passport, Visa & Permits to Madrid

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You must have a valid passport to travel abroad. A passport is an official government document that certifies one's identity and citizenship.

The process and cost associated with getting a passport can be high, so start the process at least six months before you plan to leave. Your passport must be valid 6 months beyond your intended stay. In the EU, minors also need to have their own passport.

Visas in Spain

People from certain countries need a valid Spanish entry visa before arriving. A Spanish visa is a certificate placed on your passport or travel document to indicate that you are authorised to land in the State. This means that you will still be subject to immigration control at the point of entry even if you have a visa.

To find out if you need to expend your visa before traveling to Spain, check out the following list from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation

Types of Visas for Spain

If you wish to visit Spain for a period of less than 3 months, to reside, to work or to study, you need to hold a visa of this kind, unless you are a citizen of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.

Applications for long-term visas must be submitted through a duly completed application form (original and copy), which can be downloaded for free or can also be obtained for free at Spain's Diplomatic Missions or Consular Posts abroad.

Non-European Citizens
All foreign citizens who do not hold the nationality of a European Union member state, as well as Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, they must obtain a Long Stay Visa if they wish to stay in Spain for a period of over 90 days per semester. There are three types of Long Stay Visas:

  • Residency: This visa allows the holder to live in Spain without working or performing any professional activities.
  • Work and residence: This visa allows the holder to work while living in Spain.
  • Student: This visa allows the holder to live in Spain while studying, researching or participating in an internship.

You can read more information about the different types of visas on Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation

Spanish Citizenship

Spanish citizenship can be obtained in different ways; Most Spanish citizens get their citizenship through birth or due to Spanish parentage (Nationality by option). However, if you are a foreign national who have possessed and used Spanish nationality for an uninterrupted period of ten years, in good faith and based on a Civil Registry record, you shall be entitled to get the Spanish nationality (Nationality via Possession of Status or via residence). As well as for those who declare that they renounce their former nationality, except for nationals of Ibero-American countries, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea and Portugal (Nationality by Naturalization)

How to become a Spanish Citizen

  • Nationality by Option: Benefit offered by legislation to those who meet certain conditions in order to acquire Spanish nationality, usually related with parentage and family means.
  • Nationality via Residence: By being a legal resident in Spain for an uninterrupted period of ten years immediately prior to the application (exceptionally the period may be shortened)
  • Nationality by Naturalization: This form of acquiring nationality is ex gratia and not subject to the general rules of administrative procedure. Naturalization shall be granted or not, by the Government, through a Royal Decree, after examining the concurrence of exceptional circumstances.
  • Nationality via Possession of Status: Persons who have possessed and used Spanish nationality for an uninterrupted period of ten years, in good faith and based on a Civil Registry record, they shall be entitled to Spanish nationality.

For more information about citizenship, visit:

Dirección General de Españoles en el Exterior y de Asuntos Consulares y Migratorios
Information for foreigners
C/ Pechuán, 1
28002 Madrid
Tel: +34 91 379 17 00

Update 8/06/2018


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