How long can you stay in Spain without a visa

How long can you stay in Spain without a visa? This is a very important information to know so you don’t overstay your welcome in the country and break the immigration laws, as this will attract sanctions from the authorities. Based on the 90-day rule, foreign nationals from visa-exempt countries cannot stay in Spain for more than 90 days at a time. Those who plan to stay for more than 90 days will need to obtain a Schengen, national, or residence permit.

The immigration laws in Spain can be quite confusing, especially for first-timers, so it is not uncommon to find visitors breaking the law unintentionally because they don’t understand the 90-day rule; however, this page is created to provide you with all the information you need.

Staying In Spain Beyond 90 days

In some cases, visitors planning to visit Spain may need more than 90 days to complete their engagement, but the 90 days rule will not allow that, so how can they navigate the murky waters of Spanish immigration? They simply have to apply for a visa that allows them to stay for longer. Currently, Spain’s ministry of foreign affairs offers the following visas.

Work Visa: EU and Non-EU citizens who have secured employment in Spain cannot honor their employment unless they get a work visa. This is because this visa qualifies you to apply for a temporary residency permit, after which you can apply for a permanent residence permit after a few years. This will allow them to stay in Spain for a long time.

Non-Lucrative Visa: There is another visa called the non lucrative visa issued to those without employment. To qualify for this visa, the applicant has to prove that they have an annual income of €27,792 minimum.

Digital Nomad Visa: The digital nomad visa is becoming increasingly popular, especially after the pandemic. Professionals who work online may apply for this visa so they can live in Spain while working digitally. There are income requirements they must meet to qualify for the visa.

Golden Visa: This is for investors who wish to relocate to Spain to pursue investments in the country. The investor may pursue security assets or real estate investment or any investment for that matter. There are also financial criteria attached to this visa.

Penalties For Overstaying

Visitors who overstay beyond 90 days are subject to potential sanctions. They may be fined for every extra day they spend in the country, forced to leave, or banned from entering Spain or any other Schengen nation in the future. For gross violations, a jail term may be the consequence. That is why visitors are advised to plan their trips well, so they don’t violate immigration laws. If there is a possibility that you will stay for more than 90 days, apply for a visa.

Who Can Enter Spain Without A Visa?

Not everyone can enter Spain without a tourist visa and stay for 90 days visa-free. The visa-free program is only extended to citizens of the European Union and Schengen area nations. For the avoidance of any confusion, most EU nations are members of the Schengen area, which comprises 26 countries, but not all of the countries in Europe are members of the EU. That is why only European citizens from the 26 Schengen nations can enter Spain without a visa and stay for 90 days.

The second category of visitors are those from visa-exempt countries outside Europe, like citizens of the US, Canada, Japan, etc. If your country is not on the visa-free list or you are not from a Schengen nation, you cannot enter Spain without a visa.

How To Count The Number of Days Spent In Spain on a Valid Visa

They avoid running foul of the law; you need to count back 90 days out of the 180-day validity period. For instance, if you enter Spain and your visa validity is left at 80 days, and you stay for 90 days, you will have violated the law by 10 days. So your stay is not calculated only based on the number of days but the visa validity.

Spain Visa Requirements

Spanish residence visa requirements depend on the type of visa you are applying for, but here are the basic documents.

  • Valid passport with at least 3 months validity from the departure date

  • Travel Insurance with a minimum coverage of €30,000

  • Proof of financial sustenance

  • Proof of accommodation

  • Cover letter

  • Invitation letter, where applicable

  • Return Ticket reservation

  • Travel Itinerary

How to Apply For Spanish Schengen Visa Online

  • Log onto VisaHQ

  • Select Spain as your destination

  • Select your country of origin

  • Choose the Schengen visa you want

  • Fill out the application form

  • Upload your documents

  • Pay the visa fee

  • Submit for approval

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    This article was published by VisaHQ, a world leader in visa processing. Since 2003, VisaHQ has 20 offices in 6 countries and has helped countless tourist, business travellers, diplomats, workers, and students obtain their visa. With a 4.41 star rating on, VisaHQ is committed to innovation, service, security, and simplicity in the visa application process.