This article was written in October 2022 for Canadian citizens looking to apply for a visa to study in Spain. Please note that Canadian Citizens that hold a Canadian passport do not need to apply for a visa if their studies are less than 3 months (up to 90 days ONLY)
Canada is one of the listed countries that are eligible to enter Spain visa-free for up to 90 days. If you are a Permanent Resident of Canada or a citizen from another country, please research specific rules for your country to see if you qualify for a visa-free entry or need to apply for a Schengen Student Visa instead.
What is a student Visa?
Please see the information in this other article: types of Spanish Student visas
If you are not interested in an Student visa but in another types of visa please check information for other visas to spain
The application process for Canadian citizens
The process is lengthy. Please allow yourself a minimum of 2 months to prepare and gather all the necessary documents to provide to the Consulate of Spain.
The main Spanish embassy in Canada is in Ottawa. However, If you live in a city other than Ottawa and Gatineau, you will need to apply for your visa at the Spanish Consulate General in Toronto or Montreal according to their consular jurisdiction. Please note that there is a consulate located in Vancouver, but they are not reachable and it is advised to apply for a visa from Toronto Consulate instead.
Below contains all of the necessary paperwork required:
- Valid passport or travel document recognized by Spain with a minimum validity equal to intended stay in Spain
- School registration: A letter issued by an approved academic institution in Spain proving school registration
- Overseas medical insurance coverage ( Most Universities/educational institutions will provide this with enrollment. If the University does not include insurance, it is mandatory to purchase it from a private health insurance provider)
- Proof of accommodation – Hotel reservation or confirmation letter from the academic instruction indicating the conditions of your accommodation. Private housing must be accompanied by invitation.
- Proof of financial reliability -You must provide bank statements, scholarships, etc, showing that you have at least 538 euros or $820 Canadian per month of stay required for the study period. If your parents are assisting you with financial aid instead, you must provide a copy of their 2 most recent bank statements, along with a notarized and signed letter by your parents indicating their consent.
- Medical certificate- this is required if the duration of stay is over 6 months. It is recommended to ask your family doctor the worded template below, which is taken from the official” Embassy of Spain in Canada” website.
“This medical certificate states that Mr./Mrs. ….. does not suffer from any diseases that may have serious consequences on public health in accordance with the provisions contained in the 2005 International Health Regulations.”
Note: Translating the letter in Spanish is not mandatory. The Consulate of Spain in Toronto will accept it in English.
- Police Check: if the duration of the stay is over six months, a Police Check issued by the authorities of all the countries where an applicant has resided for the last 5 years, including Canada. The Police Check is to be issued by the RCMP and contains the fingerprints of the visa applicant. It can take up to a month before receiving the record of fingerprints. This documentation is issued in Ottawa and will be mailed to the Visa applicant. You would need to provide the original document of RCMP no Criminal record with fingerprints for your application. The cost is $85 at the time of writing this article.
- Visa application form – Completed and signed with one (1) recent full-face color photograph taken in person by a commercial photographer or studio no more than six months before the application is submitted. Link to the visa application form can be found here
- Visa fee– Visa processing fee for Canadians is $ CAN 125.00. Please refer to the consular fee chart for other nationalities. Only a certified cheque or money order payable to the “Embassy of Spain” will be accepted. Please do not send cash.
- A prepaid XPRESSPOST envelope for the Consulate to send the passport with your visa back to you
Extra tips: Spanish visa application for Canadians
Please allow up to 5 weeks for the Consulate of Spain according to your consular jurisdiction to process the Visa and have it returned to you. On average, it should take between 3-4 weeks for you to receive your passport back with an approved visa. However, it is best to contact the Consulate by phone or email to follow up on your visa application for any rushed requests.
Getting the visa approved is only half of the work completed. The visa approved by the Consulate of Spain is only valid for 90 days. It is imperative that when you arrive in Spain to register at a comisaria within 30 days of your entry stamp, so that you can obtain a Foreign Identity card, known as Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero or TIE for the full duration of your stay.
More information regarding the TIE, please click here
In addition to getting the student visa processed, please contact your University/school to see if they need any documents legalized, especially if you are enrolled in a post-secondary degree (Ph.D or Masters). Spain is one of the EU countries that require your university’s documents to be translated in Spanish and legalized together. The documents must be originals or they must be notarized copies. Canada has abolished the Hague apostille legalization and legalizes documents via these 2 channels only:
– Global Affairs In Ottawa
– Consulate of Spain in Toronto, Ottawa, or Montreal
All the details and required steps are listed on the Canadian government website, which you can obtain here:
Time is sensitive, so please allow yourself enough time with Global Affairs in Ottawa to process all of your documents. Global Affairs in Ottawa does not follow their processing time window, as indicated on their website. It will take longer to send the documents. We recommend allowing them up to 5 weeks to process your documents once receiving the documents from you.
You will need to complete the Authentication Form (EXT2165e) and mail to Global Affairs Canada first for your documents to be legalized and stamped . There is no fee for doing this. Please also include the two prepaid envelopes in the package to Global Affairs. Please include a money order or bank draft payable to the Consulate of Spain in Toronto or Montreal. As of July 2021, it costs $11.50 to legalize each document TYPE (NOT Page).
When the Consulate of Spain receives the document from Global Affairs they will also provide their stamp before the documents go back to you.
If you have any questions or like to follow up with Global Affairs, you can email your inquiries to them here : firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is to guide and assist Canadians with their visa application. It should not be used to replace the information found on the Spanish Consulate website. We strongly recommend to also check with any new and updated Information on the Spanish Consulate’s website or contact the Consulate of Spain according to your consular jurisdictions. You can find the directory of your consulate jurisdiction below.
Get your tarjeta de identidad de extranjero (tie)
a) Registration of your address (Padron)
Applying for a student visa is just half of the work. Once you arrive to Spain the next step is to find housing and book the appointment to get an empadronamiento (registration of your address with the city hall).
To get an appointment for your Padron, you can dial 010 which will connect you to the office. The only languages spoken are Catalan and Spanish.
If you are finding housing through an agency, please remember that you must show the original handwritten signatures of your contract at the city hall for your Padron.
A photocopy of your contract is not possible.
If you do not have a contract, the other option is to have your landlord provide the following things to you: a written letter in Spanish or Catalan stating that the landlord authorises you to live in his or her flat at this address. The letter needs to have the landlord’s name, address, rent payment and the date of move in. The landlord also needs to provide a photocopy of her ID (DNI) as well.
If the landlord does not want to go through the documents, try to have him or her accompany you to the office where he or she will just show the ID and sign some papers.
b) TIE appointment:
It is important to clarify that the TIE is necessary for all non-Eus living in Spain whereas Eus not from Spain must apply for a NIE instead. We will not discuss the NIE in this article.
For Non- EUs who have applied for the student visa back in their home country, you will already have a NIE issued along with your temporary student visa that has been approved by the Spanish embassy or consulate. However, you must register a TIE which lengthens the duration of your visa.
To get a TIE you must book an appointment online and it is very challenging, but possible to get this appointment yourself. The government releases a handful of appointments each day, but they almost always get booked up. Unfortunately there is a group that is colluding in stealing these appointments and selling them in the market for exorbitant prices. Some can range to 100 euros or more to have an agency give you the TIE appointment. The Spanish government has not done anything to stop this activity. If you have the patience and want to save money, it is possible that you can find an appointment yourself. The website to access is here: https://sede.administracionespublicas.gob.es/icpplu…/index
It will just take some time for you to be able to book the appointment. A trick is to try every Monday morning as I have been told that this is the day the system releases the TIE appointments.
If on the other hand you don’t mind paying an agency to assist you and you want to save time and peace of mind with securing a TIE appointment, finding an agency may be a better choice.
c) Getting your documents ready
Once you get the TIE appointment booked, the rest of the other things are easy. You must have the following this prepared for the appointment
1. Paid tax form 790 Codigo 012 Policia (15,92€ for the initial card). You print out the tax form and go to any bank to pay it (it is also possible to pay by some ATM machines).
1. Original passport
1xCopy of the entry stamp to the Schengen zone within the validity of the visa.
2. 2x recent ID photos with white background – SPANISH ID FORMAT ”tamaño carnet”
3. Empadronamiento (not older than 3 months)
On the day of your appointment please bring all of the 3 things mentioned above. If you do not speak Spanish you can hire someone to assist you with the translation or bring a friend to help. You will need to do your fingerprints and afterwards you will be asked to come back to pickup your TIE card.
The time to process can take anywhere from 30-45 days. However they will issue you a temporary TIE for you to have in the meantime while you wait for the original one to be issued. Although they require you to go on the website to book a day for TIE pickup, you can just show up at the office to pick up your TIE within the time period without really needing to book an appointment. Several of my classmates have gone and picked up the card without any appointments booked.