Get the Home of Your Dreams

Student Visa to Spain for Canadians


In this article, I will share my experiences and the knowledge I gained in the process of applying the student visa in Canada and finalizing the student residency card after I arrived to Spain. I moved to Spain (Barcelona) to pursue a Masters degree in Design and have since then been living in Spain.

Please note that Canadian citizens can stay in Spain up to 90 days visa free. After that, they must apply for a visa for longer stay. 

Canada is one of the listed countries that are eligible to enter Spain visa-free for up to 90 days, if you are a Canadian Citizens that hold a Canadian passport you do not need to apply for a visa if your studies are less than 3 months.  If you are not a Permanent Resident of Canada or you are a citizen from another country, please research specific rules for your country to see if you qualify for a visa-free entry.

The application process for Canadian citizens

While each person will go through their own unique experience dealing with their student visa, mine was positive overall. I felt that I was able to receive my passport back with the approved student visa from the consulate rather quickly.   Some Canadians I talked to expressed their frustration with getting information from the Consulate of Toronto. However, I was able to receive an email back to them in the inquiries I wrote to them.

It was in late June when I made the decision to go to Spain to study. The classes for the Master I was interested in were starting on the beginning of October, which gave me only 3 months in order to apply for the master and also to gather all of the documents and have my passport with the visa approved back from Consulate of Spain. I had even bought a ticket to fly to Spain in mid September before my visa was even approved.Therefore, all of this was quite stressful.

Luckily, the Consulate of Toronto was quick with handling my visa process. I would not recommend you to follow my way of buying your flight ticket before your visa is all sorted in case the Visa is not approved in time and you would then risk loosing your flight. However, it is best to contact the Consulate by phone or email to follow up on your visa application for any rushed requests. 

I was able to get everything approved in ~2.5 months of planning.  The only thing that I could not get done before leaving Canada was receiving my authenticated University diploma in the mail before departing for Spain. I ended up needing my family to mail me the authenticated university to 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.

Canadian passport

Below you can find all of the necessary paperwork required:

  1. Valid passport recognized by Spain with a minimum validity equal to intended stay in Spain. The passport must be valid for at least the entire duration of the planned stay and have two blank pages. Passports issued more than 10 years ago are not accepted.
  2. School registration: a letter issued by an approved academic institution in Spain proving school registration
  3. Overseas medical insurance coverage (most Universities/educational institutions will provide this with enrollment. If your University does not include insurance, it is mandatory for you to purchase it from a private health insurance provider)
  4. Proof of accommodationyou need to show that you have an accomodation when you arrive in Spain. You can show that through a hotel, hostel, Airbnb or apartment booking confirmation.In the cases where you plan to stay in the house of a friend then you will need an invitation letter from that person. This document need to be official (just non-EU citizens would need this document).
  5. Proof of financial reliability -you must provide bank statements, scholarships, etc, showing that you have at least 600 euros or $883 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.  
  6. Medical certificate- it´s required if the duration of your 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. The doctor’s note has a validity of 6 months since the date issued by your medical doctor. 

  1. Criminal records: if the duration of the stay is over six months, a criminal record report 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 (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) 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. RCMP have a validity of 6 months since issuance.

Please note that as of January 11, 2024 (–apostille-procedure) the embasy of Spain does not apostille documents anymore and you will need to have your criminal record apostilled by by either the provincial competent authority or  Global Affairs of Canada. To check to see which documents and province Global Affair Canada will issue the apostille and which provinces do their own apostilles please refer to Global Affairs Canada page for the most up to date information found here.

  1. 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
  2. Visa fee– Visa processing fee for Canadians as of year 2024 is is $117.20 CAN (year 2024). 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.
  3. A prepaid XPRESSPOST envelope for the Consulate to send the passport with your visa back to you


More tips for Canadians

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.

After many years of not joining the Hague Party with the rest of the countries,  Canada is now  finally a party to the Apostille Convention as of January 11, 2024.

According to that change instead of dealing with two channels for legalization as it was done in the past where the authentication process needed to go first to Global Affairs of Canada and then Embassy or Consulate of Spain, only one party will look after the authentication now. This depends on which province has issued or notarized the document.  All the details regarding authentication is mentioned more on the Canadian government website, found here .



Spanish consulates in canada



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 once you arrive to Spain. It is imperative that when you arrive to Spain you register at a comisaria (police office) 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. 

Just a side note, do not worry if it takes you more than 90 days to obtain the official TIE.  It took me 4 months to obtain mine and I had to reapply for another TIE which took an extra month (total 5 months since my entry to Spain) because the officer carelessly put a wrong expiry date of my TIE and I had to get it changed.As long as you are in the system for this application, you will not get into any trouble with the Spanish authorities. 

If you are not interested in an Student visa but in another types of visa please check information for other visas to spain

Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is to help Canadians their visa application and what is written here is for informational purposes only and may not be up to date according to the latest legislation. Therefore this article should not be intended as a substitute for professional advice. The information in this article should also not be used to replace the information found on the Spanish Consulate website.We strongly recommend checking any new and updated information on the Spanish Consulate website or contacting them at their consular offices. You can find the directory above.

Join The Discussion

5 thoughts on “Student Visa to Spain for Canadians”

  • admin

    Please ask any questions

  • Marcos

    Hola buen día, alguna recomendación para el certificado medico en Toronto, digo alguna Walking Clinic especifico que lo haga o un Family Doctor.

  • editor role

    Hola Marcos,
    Sorry we cannot recommend any walk in clinics or family doctors. But keep in mind that most of them may charge you a fee (~$200). We recommend that you go to your own family doctor and try to get a medical note for free.


  • Marcos

    Buenas tardes, aproximadamente con cuanto tiempo otorgan la cita para presentar la documentacion de aplicacion en el Consulado? es decir, si mi intencion es aplicar a inicios de Junio, cuando deberia enviar el email solicitando el appointment? Desde ya muchas gracias!

  • Home in Spain Editor

    Hello Marcos,
    Thank you for your question.
    Depending on where you live you can mail all of your documents to Ottawa or Toronto Spanish consulate for them to process the documents. If you are living in Toronto, you should be able to walk into the office in person to drop off your documents. Please give yourself at least a month for the visa to be approved.

    Home in Spain

Compare listings