Student Visas

Students may need certain visas and authorizations in order to complete their studies at Berklee’s Valencia campus. The following information outlines the different requirements. If students fail to obtain the proper visas and authorizations for their studies on the Valencia campus, they cannot participate in their desired program and will forfeit any deposits that they have paid. Therefore, it is extremely important that you read the following information and clarify any questions as soon as possible with a Student Services staff member at the Valencia campus.

Spanish law divides foreign students studying in Spain into three different groups. These groups are determined by the length of stay.

  • Group one: Up to 90 days (tourist visa)
  • Group two: More than 90 days and up to 180 days (student visa)
  • Group three: More than 180 days and up to one year (student visa)

Different visas have different processing requirements and grant different rights once you are in Spain.

Group one: Less than 90 days (tourist visa)

If your program on the Valencia campus lasts less than 90 days, you won’t need a special student visa. You will be considered a tourist, and you may only need a tourist visa (from the Spanish consulate in your country of residence). This visa can be renewed for another 90 days.

Who needs a tourist visa?

Citizens from European Union countries don’t need tourist visas, nor do citizens from:

Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Holland, Honduras, Hong Kong and Macao (China), Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, or Venezuela.

If your country is not listed above you will need a tourist visa and should check with the Spanish Consulate in your country for visa requirements.

Can I use my tourist visa to work?

No. Tourist visas don’t grant any right to work.

Group two: More than 90 days and up to 180 days (student visa)

This group requires a student visa. A student visa for a stay of 180 days or less allows students to enter Spain and study for up to a period of 180 days. It requires less documentation than a longer-stay student visa and doesn’t require students to get a student residency card once they are here in Spain. This visa, however, cannot be renewed.

Who needs this visa?

You will need this visa unless you are a citizen or legal resident of the European Union, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, or Switzerland.

How long does it take to process this visa?

The visa process has two distinct parts.

The first part is wholly your responsibility: arranging for all the documents to complete the visa application. If your documents need to be translated by a sworn translator approved to work in Spain or legalized internationally (Apostille), please allow extra time to arrange for these steps. Valencia campus Student Services can advise you, but we cannot intervene on your behalf.

The second step begins when you present your application at the Spanish consulate. Each consulate has a different workload, so we cannot tell you exactly how long it will take to process your visa, but you should estimate about three months. Remember that most students apply for their visas at the same time (in May and June) in order to attend programs in September, so you will be applying when the visa section of the consulate is very busy.

The following documentation is a list that we provide to help you get organized for your visa application. It may not be complete depending on where you live, so please consult the Spanish consulate in your country of residence for a complete and up-to-date list.

  • Two completed and signed Schengen application forms
  • Two recent, passport-sized color photographs
  • Your original, physical passport or travel document. You must have at least one blank page in it and it must be valid for longer than the visa you are applying for.
  • Either of the following: U.S. driver’s license, U.S. state ID card, voter registration card, or current student ID (U.S. residents only)
  • Acceptance letter as a full-time student from Berklee College of Music in Valencia
  • Proof of your available financial resources, either of the following:
    • Proof of financial aid or scholarship for at least $1,000 per month for room and board
    • Notarized letter from your parents or legal guardians assuming full financial responsibility for at least $1,000 per month for room and board. Suggested wording: “I hereby certify that I’m the (father/mother/other) of (student name), will support him/her with a monthly allowance of at least $1,000 while he/she is in Spain, and that I’m financially responsible for any emergency that may arise.”
    • Personal bank account statements showing at least $1,000 per month of stay.
    • Proof of public or private health insurance from an operator licensed in Spain (Berklee will provide you with this letter.)
    • Payment of the visa application fee
    • Self-addressed, prepaid envelope to receive your passport back

Please note that often the consulate holds your passport while they process your application. Please let them know if you need your passport to travel during the anticipated processing time.

You will need to submit the original documents as well as one photocopy of each document.

Can I work with this visa?

It is possible to work on a student visa in Spain, but Spanish law limits your work situation.

You can work:

1) as a paid or unpaid intern

2) as an employee (although this is much less common due to the legal requirements)

Under this scheme, you are only permitted to work part time when school is in session or full time during school breaks for less than three months. An internship, paid or unpaid, must be related to your study program and will be governed by a contract between Berklee and the organization where the internship is being offered. This is the most frequent type of work situation.

In order to work, do I need to do any more official paperwork after I get to Spain?

Yes. Although a short-stay student visa doesn’t require any more paperwork after getting to Spain, if you want to work as an intern or as a normal employee in an organization, you will need to get an identification number, a Numero de Identificación de Extranjero (NIE). Berklee staff can help you with that process. Let a member of Student Services know that you need an NIE as soon as possible, because it can take up to two months to process.

Group three: More than 180 days and up to one year (student visa)

This visa allows students to study up to one year in Spain, and it can be renewed. The application process requires more documentation, and students must apply for their student residency card within 30 days of entering Spain (or Schengen territory).

This is the appropriate visa for all Valencia campus master’s program participants.

Who needs this visa?

You will need this visa unless you are a citizen or legal resident of the European Union, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, or Switzerland.

How long does it take to process this visa?

The visa process has two distinct parts.

The first part is wholly your responsibility: arranging for all the documents to complete the visa application. If your documents need to be translated by a sworn translator approved to work in Spain or legalized internationally (Apostille), please allow extra time to arrange for these steps. Valencia campus Student Services can advise you, but we cannot intervene on your behalf.

The second step begins when you present your application at the Spanish consulate. Each consulate has a different workload, so we cannot tell you exactly how long it will take to process your visa, but you should estimate about three months. Remember that most students apply for their visas at the same time (in May and June) in order to attend programs in September, so you will be applying when the visa section of the consulate is very busy.

The following documentation is a list that we provide to help you get organized for your visa application. It may not be complete depending on where you live, so please consult the Spanish consulate in your country of residence for a complete and up-to-date list.

  • Two completed and signed Schengen application forms
  • Two recent, passport-sized color photographs
  • Your original, physical passport or travel document. You must have at least one blank page in it and it must be valid for longer than the visa you are applying for.
  • Either of the following: U.S. driver’s license, U.S. state ID card, voter registration card, or current student ID (U.S. residents only)
  • Acceptance letter as a full-time student from Berklee College of Music in Valencia
  • Proof of your available financial resources, either of the following:
    • Proof of financial aid or scholarship for at least $1,000 per month for room and board
    • Notarized letter from your parents or legal guardians assuming full financial responsibility for at least $1,000 per month for room and board. Suggested wording: “I hereby certify that I’m the (father/mother/other) of (student name), will support him/her with a monthly allowance of at least $1,000 while he/she is in Spain, and that I’m financially responsible for any emergency that may arise.”
    • Personal bank account statements showing at least $1,000 per month of stay.
    • Proof of public or private health insurance from an operator licensed in Spain (Berklee will provide you with this letter.)
    • A criminal background check (Certificado de Antecedentes Penales)
    • Letter from doctor stating you meet certain health requirements
    • Payment of the visa application fee
    • Self-addressed, prepaid envelope to receive your passport back

Please note that often the consulate holds your passport while they process your application. Please let them know if you need your passport to travel during the anticipated processing time.

You will need to submit the original documents as well as one photocopy of each document.

I’m in Spain. Now what?

Although you are going to be studying for more than 180 days in Spain, notice that the Spanish consulate has issued you a visa for only 90 days. Remember that the visa is not your official residency, but rather a key that allows you to enter Spain legally.

Once in Spain, this visa requires that you obtain your Spanish student residency card (Autorización de Estancia por Estudios) within 30 days of your arrival. This is the key document that replaces the temporary student visa that you were issued in your home country. The card is valid for the duration of your studies (up to one year), and it can be renewed annually. Please make sure you get your passport stamped when you enter Spain. This stamp is extremely important in order to get your student residency card.

How do I apply for my student residency card?

The application process for your student residency card has three steps:

  • Step One
    You have to go to the National Police Station with:

    • A completed EX-17 form
    • Your passport and a photocopy of all its pages
    • Three recent passport-sized photographs in color
    • Your student visa
    • A receipt showing that you paid the appropriate application fee
  • Step Two
    Roughly one month later you will be asked to go back to the National Police Station and be fingerprinted.
  • Step Three
    Finally, after roughly one more month, you will have to go back once again to the National Police Station to pick up your official student residency card. You will need to take your passport with you.

Can Berklee get my student residency card for me?

Berklee staff will be available to help address your questions and concerns during each step of the process and should be able to provide additional support presenting your documents. However, you must personally go for the fingerprinting (for obvious reasons) and to pick up the card when it is issued (Spanish law).

Can I work with this visa?

It is possible to work on a student visa in Spain, but Spanish law limits your work situation.

You can work:

1) as a paid or unpaid intern

2) as an employee (although this is much less common due to the legal requirements)

Under this scheme, you are only permitted to work part time when school is in session or full time during school breaks for less than three months. An internship, paid or unpaid, must be related to your study program and will be governed by a contract between Berklee and the organization where the internship is being offered. This is the most frequent type of work situation.

In order to work, do I need to do any more official paperwork after I get to Spain?

Yes. Although a short-stay student visa doesn’t require any more paperwork after getting to Spain, if you want to work as an intern or as a normal employee in an organization, you will need to get an identification number, a Numero de Identificación de Extranjero (NIE). Berklee staff can help you with that process. Let a member of Student Services know that you need an NIE as soon as possible, because it can take up to two months to process.