Non-EU Applicants

Student Visa & Work Permit Assistance

The Careers Service provides Student Visa & Work Permit Assistance for Non-EU Applicants that would like to legally work in Spain for up to 20 hours per week.

By signing up to a 9-month Developing Teacher Course, receiving continuing professional development during the early stages of your TEFL Career, you would be able to obtain an EU Student Visa & Work Permit.

Work Visa

Language Schools are unlikely to help you process a work visa for the European Union as it’s both easier to hire a native English speaker from a near-by EU country (UK or Ireland). Among other things, employers need to justify why the position can’t be for a Spaniard or, if not, someone from the EU (that’s why it’s complicated). Even if you do get this opportunity, it’s still a process that needs to be done from your home country, takes time a long time and may not go through.

Student Visa

To apply for a student visa you first need to find a course that you’d like to. It doesn’t have to be an MA or a course in a University. As long as the course offered by the school is recognized by the Spanish government and is worth “enough credits” (20 study hours per week), you could come to Cadiz to do an intensive Spanish course or another certified course and get a student visa processed for it. The application has to be done in your home country approximately two months before the start of your course (though it varies depending on location).

There are two types of student visa:

Short term (longer than 3 months, but maximum 6 months): There are less requirements and documents needed to process this visa. It’s stamped / printed on your passport and that’s all you’d need. Once in Spain, you won’t have to or be able to obtain the NIE (foreigner’s ID number) and therefore would also not be eligible to apply for a work permit. Once the student visa is about to expire, if you’re interested in renewing it to stay in Spain for longer, you’d have to travel back home and apply for a student visa from there.

Long term (more than 6 months): This type of visa has more requirements and documents needed to process it. This visa is stamped / printed on your passport with a short validity because, once you’re in Spain, you have to get the NIE (foreigner’s ID number) within the first month. You’ll need everything that was handed in to the Spanish Consulate in your home country to be able to process the NIE once in Spain. Once the NIE is processed, you’d then be eligible to apply for and obtain a work permit (another, different process to complete in Spain), which would allow you to legally work for up to 20 hours a week, as long as you have a job offer and this doesn’t overlap with your study hours. In TEFL 20 hours per week is almost a full-time schedule. Once you’re in Spain and it’s about to expire, you can renew it in Spain (not having to travel back home) as long as you enroll on another course following the same regulations (20 hours of study per week and longer than 3 months).

Student Visa: Courses

Active Language offers 3 courses to apply for and obtain a student visa:

If you don’t have a full TEFL qualification yet, you should consider the Trinity Certificate in TESOL Course first. The duration of our full-time course is 5 weeks, so you’ll have to combine this TEFL course with another, longer course.

The Developing Teacher course is ideal for TEFL teachers with an initial qualification (such as the Trinity Certificate in TESOL Course) and teachers with 0 to 2 years’ experience. It’s a great way for you to continue developing in TEFL after you’ve completed the 5-week Trinity Certificate in TESOL Course. After the Trinity Certificate in TESOL Course teachers begin to experiment and play with structure; in the classroom we begin to find our own style. This is what engaged, thoughtful, reflective practitioners do. The Developing Teacher Course structures this process and provides continuing professional development in your early stages of teaching. If you’re also looking to not only develop your English teaching skills but also learn Spanish, you can combine the Developing Teacher Course with Spanish lessons.

So, if you already have a full TEFL qualification, you could just chose The Developing Teacher Course as it runs over 9 months, covering an academic year (September – June).

Teachers with more than 2 years of experience in TEFL, teaching groups can chose The Trinity Diploma in TESOL course to get a student visa and, consequently, a work permit.

Student Visa: Application Process

The length of the process to get a student visa varies from Consulate to Consulate. The minimum amount of time that you should allow 2 months for the application and process to take place. Our first advice is to contact the Spanish Consulate that corresponds to your location to find out more details. Please, do ask about the length of the entire process, until the visa is issued.

After checking the timing, the next step is to sign up for one of the mentioned courses with Active Language and pay the full amount. Once this is done, we’ll send you a letter of acceptance to the courses with a description for each one – which is what each Spanish Consulate require.

The following website has the information about the different Spanish Consulates around the US and their contact details.

Student Visa: Required Documents

Please, get in touch with the Spanish Consulate that corresponds to your location to make sure you know which are all the required documents needed to process your student visa.

The following list of required documents is a general guide that will help you get an initial idea about what the required documents could be.

1. Visa application form and copy: The application forms must be signed and filled out in print.
2. Two passport-type photos: (see specifications) Size 2″x2″ is valid.
3. Passport and copy: Passport valid for the length of your studies in Spain, with at least one blank page to affix the visa.
4. I.D. card and copy of either of the following: US Driver’s License, US State ID Card, Voter’s Registration Card, current Student ID.
5. Non-US citizens will have to provide Evidence of their Immigration Status in the US (Non-US passport holders only): Provide an “Alien Registration Card” or a US Visa with I-20 / IAP-66.
6. Acceptance letter: Original letter of acceptance as a full-time student in Spain from the Spanish University or school. US program indicating: name, address, phones, e-mail, and registration number of the school with the Ministry of Education of Spain; full payment tuition; duration of the program (course start & end dates); subjects of study; hours of study per week (20 hours at least). Please, note that no application will be accepted without the original letter of acceptance.
7. Evidence of funds: Provide either of the following: (a) Statement from the University or school. (b) US program assuming full financial responsibility for room and board. Proof of financial aid or scholarship of at least €1.500 per month, for room and board. Notarized letter from parents / guardians assuming full financial responsibility for at least €1.500 per month, for room and board. Suggested wording: “I hereby certify that I, the (father, mother, guardian, other) of (…), will support her / him with a monthly allowance of €1.500 while she / he is in Spain and that I am financially responsible for any emergency that may arise.
9. Proof of travel / health / accident insurance: A letter from your insurance company stating that they will cover 100% (no deductibles) of the medical expenses with emergency and repatriation services and a minimum coverage of €30.000 or its equivalent in dollars. Policies with reimbursements or co-payments will not be accepted. You can buy travel insurance from your travel agency or through the internet.
9. Medical certificate (for stays over 180 days only, long-term student visa): Original translated into Spanish + 1 copy. This Certificate must be signed in the hand of the doctor (M.D. or D.O.) in a letter-head paper in the following format:
“This medical certificate attests that Mr./ Mrs. … does not suffer from any illness that would pose a threat to public health according to the International Health Regulations of 2005.” Visit the web page of the World Health Organization to learn the exact information regarding the control and containment of known risks to public health. The certificate must also bear the official stamp of the administering center; however, this will not substitute the absence of the doctor’s signature. Any amendment to this certificate or erasure may render it invalid. This certificate must be issued in the place of residence, and is valid for 3 months counting from the date it has been issued.
10. The Certification of “Absence of Police Records” (for stays over 180 days only, long-term student visa) is for 18 year-old or older applicants. This document has to be certified by the police authorities of all places where the applicant has resided during the past five years. The original document translated into Spanish and one copy will be needed. This certificate cannot be older than three months from the date of issue.
In the U.S., this certificate must be issued by the FBI – Criminal Record History or FBI Identification Report. It should be verified with a fingerprint card. For more information, please contact the FBI over the phone +1 (304) 625 3878 o by regular mail; Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Correspondence Unit. 1000 Custer Hollow Road. Clarksburg, WV 26306. This certificate must be stamped with the “Apostille of The Hague”. Contact the Secretary of State in the State the document has been issued. If the country where the police record was issued is not the U.S., the certificate must be legalized by the Spanish Consulate in that country or with the “Apostille of The Hague”.
11. Visa fee: Money order made out to Consulate General of Spain. Please, check the fee schedule. Fees are around U$S100.
12. Self-addressed USPS envelope: For your passport to be returned by mail, bring a pre-paid self-addressed express mail envelope from the US Postal Service with appropriate postage, and completed mailing label with your name and address in the “From” and “To” boxes, waiver of signature box checked and mailer signature. No other courier service is accepted. Tracking of mailed items is the responsibility of the applicant.

As mentioned before, please get in touch with the Spanish Consulate that corresponds to your location to make sure you know which are all the required documents needed to process your student visa.

Student Visa: Work Permit

Within a month upon arrival in Spain, you have to get the NIE (Foreigner’s ID Number = “Número de Identidad de Extranjero”). You’ll need everything that was handed in to the Spanish Consulate in your home country to be able to process the NIE in Spain. Once the NIE is processed, you’d then be eligible to apply for and obtain a work permit (another, different process to complete in Spain), which would allow you to legally work for up to 20 hours a week, as long as you have a job offer and this doesn’t overlap with your study hours.

For more information, please contact our Careers Service team at careers@activelanguage.net.