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Long term visa in Spain

In this article we are going to talk to you about the different long term stay visas that exist in Spain. We will give you all the details about how to apply for a long term visa and the main requirements depending on the one that best suits your situation.

What is a long term visa?

A long-term visa is a visa that entitles you to reside in Spain for a period of more than 3 months. It differs from a short-term visa (Schengen visa), which is issued for a maximum period of 90 days (3 months).

With a long-term visa, once you arrive in Spain, you will be granted a residence permit – for 1 or 2 years – depending on the type. It should be noted that technically, these visas are called authorizations of residence in Spain (long term residence visa for Spain). It is understood that any visa with a duration of more than 3 months is a residence permit.

Types of long-term visas

There are different types of long-term visas that you can apply for if you want to stay in Spain for a period of more than 3 months. To find out which one is the best to your situation, you should think about your purpose for coming to Spain:

  • To work: In this case, all work visas are long-term visas, as they will be for a minimum period of 1 year. This means that if you have a job offer in Spain, the contract you are offered cannot be for a period of less than 1 year.
  • To study: The student visa lasts for the duration of your studies. It is a long-term visa that can last for a maximum of 1 year (or 2 years if you are going to do higher studies).
  • To invest: If you wish to invest in the country, you can apply for an investor visa, a long-term visa that is granted for a period of 2 years if you apply from Spain. If you apply for it from the Embassy or Consulate of your country of origin, in this case it will be a 1-year visa.
  • To open your own business: If you want to start your own business in Spain, there are two types of long-term visas. The entrepreneur visa and the self-employed visa, both with an initial duration of 1 year. 
  • To get retired: If you wish to get retired in Spain, there is the option of applying for the non-lucrative (profit) visa. This is a long-term visa granted for 1 year.


Apply for long term visa Spain

Application for a long term visa is made at the Spanish Embassy or Consulate in your country of origin or your country of residence. Most of these visas must be applied for before traveling to Spain, although there are some, such as the investor visa (Golden visa) and the student visa, which can be applied for once you are already in Spain.

There are certain requirements that are common to all long-term visas. If you are interested, read on because there are differences compared to short-term visas:

  • Your passport cannot expire in less than 1 year. 
  • You must present a criminal record certificate from all countries where you have resided (resided for more than 6 consecutive months) during the last 5 years. 
  • You must present a medical certificate of good health (this requirement does not apply to all long-term visas).  
  • You must take out private medical insurance in Spain (this requirement does not apply to all long-term visas).   
  • You must prove that you have sufficient financial means for the duration of the visa.