passport, flag, travel

Settling into a new country is like getting used to a new pair of shoes. At first they pinch a little, but you like the way they look, so you carry on. The longer you have them, the more comfortable they become. Until one day without realizing it you reach a glorious plateau. Wearing those shoes is like wearing no shoes at all. The more scuffed they get, the more you love them and the more you can’t imagine life without them.

Tahir Shah, In Arabian Nights: A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams

Arriving to Spain. What papers do I need?

Well, that depends on where you come from and how long you want to stay.


If you arrive from an EU member country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland and you plan to stay for no more than 90 days, you will not need any paperwork.
But if the plan is to stay longer, you will have to make an appointment to obtain the Nie (in the Nie & Tie post you will find more information about it).



f you arrive from a NON-EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland you will need a visa. In this case things also change depending on the length of your stay.

If you want to stay for no more than 90 days, the visa you have to process is the Schengen visa, that is the visa that allows stays in the Schengen area for tourism, business, family visit, medical treatment, studies, internships or volunteer activities.

If, on the other hand, the intention is to stay in Spain for more than 3 months, you will need a long-term visa. Long-term visas enable you to reside, study, work or research in Spain.

The most common visas are the work visa, the student visa, and the Non-Lucrative visa.

For the work visa you will need an authorization from the person /company that will employ you, in addition to the other documents.

The Student Visa, requires that you will be studying in an institution for the lenght of your stay in Spain (a proof of that will be required).

The Non-Lucrative Visa is very popular among people who come to retire to Spain, to work remotely for their company in their country of origin or simply for those who want to enjoy life in Spain for a year.

The visas have to be processed at the Consular Offices of Spain in your country.


The thing is different if the person who decides to come to live in Spain is a father / mother, “pareja de hecho”, husband / wife or son /daughter of a citizen of a member state of the EU. In this case, you can request the EU family member card (tarjeta de familiar comunitario), a card that will give you the right to live, work or study in Spain.

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