Spain has assumed the position of most popular overseas destination for UK students aiming to spend a year studying abroad, replacing France.  Following Brexit from January 2021 new immigration rules came into effect after the year-long transition period aimed at preparing for and managing the new rules.  There is now a requirement for students to obtain a visa to study in Spain and an estimated 4,500 students go to Spain every year. 

The Director of Universities UK International, Vivienne Stern said "delays in visa processing this year are causing real anxiety among students who are due to travel to Spain soon," Ms Stern contacted the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and Spain's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, strongly urging them to take steps to resolve the issue as soon as possible. 

The Spanish authorities have indicated that time is required for both the universities and the students to adapt to the extra visa applications required by the new regime.  The additional volume of visa applications arising from the UK appears to have led to the build-up of applications with students waiting over a month to receive their visa appointments.  Whilst the British government has raised the matter with the Spanish government the issue of visa applications remains a matter for the Spanish immigration authorities who have stated that they aim to make every effort to speed up the application process.  

Spain's university year runs from mid-September and British students are becoming concerned that they will not have received a visa in time for the start of the academic year.  Many students began their applications at the beginning of June in order to allow for the 90-day application process.  However, the application process is proving to be taking longer than anticipated.  Some students have secured and paid for accommodation in Spain in anticipation of their studies and are justifiable anxious as to whether a visa will be forthcoming in time.

Our highly experienced immigration lawyers in Giambrone & Partners have an extensive breadth of specialist knowledge relating to immigration and believe that students, if they travel to Spain as tourists, could make their application once they arrive in Spain. Tourists do not require a visa, the students would be able to travel to Spain whenever they wish to, taking with them the documents required to make their student visa application. 

Giambrone & Partners can offer student applicants a complimentary consultation with our English speaking Spanish immigration lawyers to discuss their position and advise them on their visa application. The firm has the advantage of, not only our lawyers' expertise with regard to immigration issues, but with offices in the UK and in Spain, it enables us to assist clients with immigration matters both from Spain or the UK. Our lawyers will review our clients' documentation to ensure that it complies with the requirements of the Spanish immigration authorities to avoid rejection.

The documents required are:

  • A medical certificate
  • Proof of income
  • A criminal record check
  • Evidence of acceptance by a Spanish university

All documents written in English must be translated into Spanish to the required standard and verified by an apostille. 

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