Student Visas

for International Students

Fall Intake 2022: Admissions Open!

You will need a Spanish Student Visa to study at ESEI if you are enrolled for any of our Bachelor or Master programmes and are a citizen of a country outside European Union and European Economic Area and Switzerland.

Before Your study

Where can I obtain my visa?

You can request your student visa at the Spanish diplomatic mission or consulate in your country of residence. You can find the list of consulates and embassies here

What documents do I need to apply for my visa?

Documents required to apply for a Spanish student visa include:

  1. An official student visa application form

  1. Passport or travel document valid in Spain, with a minimum validity period equal to the duration of the stay

  1. If a minor arriving alone, permission from parents or legal guardians with confirmation of the entity and planned period of stay

  2. A guarantee of the financial means necessary, for you and your relatives, to cover the costs of the stay and the return journey to your country

  1. Public or private health insurance with an insurance company authorised in Spain

  1. A medical certificate stating that you do not suffer from any disease that could have a severe impact on public health in accordance with International Health Regulations

  1. If the applicant is an adult, proof of the absence of a criminal record in countries of residence over the past 5 years, for any conduct considered a criminal offence in Spain.

  1. ESEI Enrolment Letter obtained after making the Enrolment fee payment confirming registration at ESEI

  1. Evidence of accommodation in Spain for the period of your studies. You can see accommodation options here

We recommend that you visit the Spanish consulate website in your region as certain consulates may have additional requirements specific to the region.

When should I start the visa application process?

Student visa processing times vary from country to country and may take as little as 2 weeks to two months. We recommend that you start the process as early as possible to guarantee your arrival at ESEI before that start date of your programme. You should contact the Spanish consulate in your region for more information about when to start the procedure.

Can ESEI help me with the visa application process?

ESEI’s admissions team will provide support with the visa application process whenever necessary, however, you will need to apply for your visa in person at the nearest Spanish consulate in your region.
ESEI collaborates with immigration lawyers to provide professional support at an additional cost.

How long does the study visa allow me to stay in Spain?

Your student visa will be issued for the duration of your studies at ESEI, up to one year. If your programme at ESEI is longer than a year, your visa can be extended directly in Spain if you still meet the required conditions and can provide evidence that you have passed the relevant exams and meet the requirements to continue your studies.

Once the visa has been granted, what do I have to do?

The Spanish consulate where you presented your visa application will notify once your visa to study at ESEI has been granted. It is important that you pick up your visa immediately.

Your visa will be issued for 90 days, and you must apply for a Foreigner’s Identification Card (TIE) within 1 month after arriving in Spain.

Can my family come with me if I have a study visa?

Your direct family (spouse, common-law partner, and children under 18s) can also apply for a visa to enter and stay in Spain for the same duration as your studies at ESEI.

To apply for a family visa, you must show financial means to support your family and give strong evidence of your family ties. Family members are not allowed to work and cannot obtain a work permit in Spain.

What should I do if my visa application is refused?

If there were errors in your visa application which can be corrected, we advise that you present an appeal directly to the Spanish Consulate where your visa application was presented. An appeal can be presented up to a month after receiving the decision on your application.

If you have missed the appeal deadline and/or start date of your course, we advise that you defer your studies to the next semester (without paying any additional fee) and resubmit your visa application. The result of your first application will not influence the outcome of your next visa application as long as you fully meet all the requirements for the student visa.

Refund requests may be presented only after the above steps have been taken to secure your student visa. We advise that you take a look at our refund policy for more information about how refund cases are handled at ESEI.

During your study

More information on: "Tarjeta de autorización de estancia por estudios"

It is a Spanish Student Residence Card required for non-European students. If you are a non-European student, and your studies last for more than 180 days, you must contact the local authorities to acquire a student residence card (Tarjeta de autorización de estancia por estudios). It should be applied for within 30 days of arriving in the country. This “Spanish Student Residence Card” is valid for a year upon initial issue, and can be renewed annually for 5 years. The application should be submitted to the police station at C/ Balmes, 192 from Monday to Friday (9.00 – 14.00).

You must present the following documents:

  • The official application. You can pick it up at the office. Original and photocopy.
  • Passport valid for a minimum of 6 months. Original and photocopy.
  • A photocopy of the visa stamp in your passport received from border officials upon entering Spain.
  • Acceptance letter from ESEI that was presented to the Consulate General of Spain in your country of origin before entering Spain. Original and photocopy.
  • Original letter verifying (a) enrollment as a full-time student in ESEI, (b) the duration of the course, and (c) full payment of enrollment fee. Original and photocopy.
  • 3 recent pictures, passport size.
  • Letter of residence (empadronamiento) stating that you are registered as living in Barcelona.

Can I work in Spain with a study visa?

You are permitted to work during your period of student residence only if your work activities do not conflict with your studies. Moreover, the income you obtain must not represent a necessary resource for your maintenance or stay and the company hiring you must be registered in the Spanish social security system.

What is “empadronamiento” and what do I need it for? How can I get it?

Empadronamiento registers you as living in Barcelona. Upon completing the process, you will be given a letter confirming your empadronamiento status. This is necessary for a variety of administrative procedures. For example, you will need it if you want to apply for a local health card (el carné para la residencia sanitaria).

The papers you will need to present to the nearest police station in order to obtain the above mentioned letter of residence are:

  • Passport
  • Proof of residence (Household utility bill/ Rental contract)

What is “Seguridad Social”? What do I need it for? What do I need to do to obtain it?

Seguridad social is a social security number. It entitles you to use public health care in Spain. To get the social security number, you need to visit the Administración de la Seguridad Social (address provided below) with the following documents:

An original and a copy of your official “Spanish Student Residence Card” (‘Tarjeta de autorización de estancia por estudios’).

The original and a copy of your passport or ID.
Address: Av. Gran Via Carles III 124 8034 Barcelona

What is a “NIE”? What do I need it for? What do I need to do to obtain it?

A NIE is a Número de Identidad de Extranjeros which, translated, means “Identity Number for Foreigners”. This number appears on all documents issued in Spain.

An NIE number is needed to:

  • Open a bank account
  • Register with social services and arrange receipt of social security benefits
  • Be paid for employment
  • Pay taxes
  • Use short-term employment agencies
  • Apply for a business permit and start a business
  • Apply for a driver’s licence
  • Arrange credit terms or a mortgage
  • Buy, sell or insure property
  • Applications for an NIE can be done at a national
  • panish police station (comisaría) that has a Foreigners’ Department (Oficina de Extranjeros)

The following documents are required:

  • An application form, the NIE para residentes en el extranjero (form EX15), filled out and signed
  • Receipt for payment of the fee, stamped by the bank
  • Identity card or original passport and photocopy
  • Two passport photographs

What insurance do I need while studying in Barcelona?

Students coming from European Union member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland are advised to obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This card entitles the holder to the same access to public sector health care (e.g. doctors, chemists, hospitals) as Spanish citizens. The EHIC does not cover you for private sector health care providers. The card can be obtained in your country, usually free of charge. Once you get to Spain it is recommendable to also support your EHIC card with the Spanish public health care (Seguridad Social).

As proof of travel/health/accident insurance and also in order to get a student visa, non-Europeans must present a letter from their insurance company stating that they will cover 100% (no deductibles) of any medical expenses incurred. The student’s insurance should also have a minimum coverage of 30,000€ (or its equivalent in the country’s currency). While living in Barcelona you should apply for Seguridad Social – a social security number which entitles you to use Spanish public health care. You may, however, use private insurance if you have it. For Spanish public health care you will also need to apply for empadronamiento – a letter of residence stating that you are registered as living in Barcelona.

After your study

Post-study visa options

Students who have successfully completed their studies at ESEI and are from outside the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland can apply for one of the following residence permits to remain in Spain after the completion of their studies:

Option 1 – Residence Permit for an Internship

The residency can be requested by any foreigner who has obtained a higher education degree within two years prior to the application or who is currently doing a course for obtaining a higher education degree. The degree can be obtained in Spain or abroad.

Any ESEI student who is about to finish their programme (Bachelor or Master) can apply for this permit as long as they meet the following requirements:


  1. Passport of the applicant
  2. Signed Internship agreement or employment contract for an internship which includes theoretical and practical education. It has to include the following:
    a. Description of the internship programme including it’s educational purpose
    b. Conditions of the internship and its supervision
    c. Internship schedule
    d. Legal relationship between the intern and the entity
  3. Higher education degree obtained within two years prior to the application date or a certificate confirming that the student is doing a course in order to obtain a higher education degree.
  4. Sufficient economic resources in order to cover the cost of living in Spain If you receive an employment contract for your internship and earn more than the minimum wage (IPREM/month), you are not required to show proof of financial means.
  5. Health insurance with a company authorized to operate in Spain and without copayments. This is not required in the case of employment contract for an internship.
  6. Documents from employers including legal status of the company where the internship will be carried out. It has to comply with its tax and Social Security obligations.
  7. Immigration tax

The full application of the residence permit should be submitted online and addressed to the Immigration Office. It takes approximately 30 days to receive a response.

If you applying with an Internship Agreement: 6 months or the same duration of the agreement, it can be extended once and cannot exceed 1 year (initial and extension periods)

If you are applying with an Employment contract for an internship: this is regulated under labor laws: Minimum 6 months / Maximum 2 years

Option 2 – Work and Residence Permit

The residency can be requested by any foreigner who has resided in Spain legally over a 3-year period.
Any ESEI student who have completed 3 years of study in Spain can apply for this permit as long as they meet the following requirements:


  1. Passport of the applicant
  2. Spanish student card for at least 3 years (TIE)
  3. Certificate of having completed programme at ESEI (student must have attended all classes and successfully completed the programme)
  4. Certificate of not obtaining a student grant / aid. Official certificates required from:
    a. Spain – AECID ( Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo)
    b. Country of Origin (Consulte in Spain)
  5. Work contract (minimum 1 year, minimum interprefessional salary)
  6. Documents from employers (company, freelancer, domestic employer)
  7. Immigration tax

The duration of this permit is for a year, and is renewable periodically if all the conditions are met.

Where can I get assistance to apply for these post-study visas?

ESEI’s administration team will provide support with this process, however, it is the student’s responsibility to obtain the correct documents needed to apply for any of the post-study visa options. Applications must also be carried out directly by the student or their authorized legal representative.

ESEI collaborates with immigr
ation lawyers to provide professional support at an additional cost.

More Questions?

Let us know! We would be happy to advise you!