Spain is one of the most popular study destinations for students who wish to study abroad. Because of the large array of programs and universities available in many countries of Spain, it is constantly attracting students from all over the world. However appealing it may be, students who come from non-EU countries must apply for a visa to attend any program of study in Spain.
Considering Spain is a part of the Schengen area, you may apply for a Student Schengen Visa which is valid for only 3 months. However, if your study program is longer than 3 months you should apply for a long-stay visa at the Spanish embassy or consulate in your home country.
For the application procedure and all kinds of questions you might have related to the student visa, read this article. It includes information on how you can apply for the student visa, the documentation you need, and most importantly the interview process and how to prepare in advance.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Spain student visa and interview questions:
Spain Visa Application Process
After celebrating your acceptance to the Spanish university of your choice, the next step is the visa application. The first and most important task you need to complete is to receive the acceptance letter from the university, thus enabling you to start the visa application process and contact the nearest Spanish consulate or embassy. New York and Miami applicants may apply through BLS centers as opposed to the other regions.
There are two types of Spain student visas available, depending on the length of your studies.
- 180-Day D-Type Visa: three to six months study mode.
- Student Type-D Visa: more than six months study mode.
Additional information: U.S. citizens and other nationalities who are waived of the visa obligation and want to visit Spain for less than 90 days for study purposes, do not need to apply for any type of student visa.
It is important to note that you should send out the application at least 1 to 3 months before your arrival in Spain. Applications sent earlier than 90 days in advance will not be accepted.
Besides your official university acceptance letter, here are some additional requirements you’ll need:
- Two Spain student application forms completed and signed (you can find them online for free).
- Two US passport size pictures (preferably most recent photos).
- An original and a copy of your immigration status if you are located in the US: Green Card, valid US student visa, or a work permit.
- The original and a copy of your passport or equivalent travel document.
- Written authorization of the school you applied to. It must include the name of the program you are attending, duration of the program, address, phone number, the name of the person who authorized your application (all in Spanish).
- Evidence of your medical history and insurance for the entire length of your stay.
- A detailed document of your studies.
- Proof of self-sufficient funds for the duration of your stay and the return to your country. You need a minimum sum of around $600 per month.
Spain Student Visa Interview Questions
When applying for a Spanish student visa, it is most likely that you will be invited to an interview after submitting all documents, as the last step of the application process. The diplomatic officers who are going to interview you are interested to know you on a deeper level outside of the official documents. Through the interview questions, they intend to understand whether you are a good candidate for a visa, which can be determined by proving that you:
- Have no criminal risk to Spain or the Schengen area.
- Intend to leave Spain and the Schengen area within the visa limitation period, and
- Have sufficient funds to finance your full stay.
Here are some common student visa interview questions in Spain accompanied by tips on how you could give a suitable answer:
Why Did You Choose Spain?
This is one of the most popular questions that the diplomatic offices ask the visa candidates before asking them personal questions. It is important for them to know the reason why you decided on this particular country and how it will affect your future career/plans. Another reason behind this question is to make sure that your plans for traveling to Spain are legitimate and reliable.
Advice: You must match your answers to those in the application sent beforehand and make sure that you sound truthful when answering. You should convince them that you chose to study in Spain for opportunities that are not available in your home country.
Why Have You Decided on This Course?
The visa officer wants to get to know you better in terms of personality, therefore they will ask you more detailed questions. The course you have chosen should describe your likes and interests the best, and you should be able to answer the question adequately. The research you have done before applying to this course interests the officer the most.
Advice: You should be precise when answering this question and explain the reason behind your choice. You can include your previous academic experience and your goals for the future to give them a better understanding.
Why Did You Choose This Particular University?
The university you were accepted to is the main reason why you are applying for this type of visa, therefore they want to understand the thought process that led to this decision. Among many universities in Spain and neighboring countries, the visa officer needs to know what made this university stand out and how its characteristics match your needs.
Advice: You should name the specific academic advantages that this university will provide, hence you need to do a lot of research about the university before the interview. Certain research done by alumni or currently enrolled students, and/or certain lecturers at the university might attract you to apply.
How Are You Planning to Finance Your Studies?
Your interviewer will want to know your financial situation and make sure you have enough monetary funds to afford your full stay in Spain. They are certainly aware of the country’s basic living costs, especially for a student; consequently, they need to ensure you are fully informed about the living and other unexpected expenses along the way.
Advice: Depending on how you are going to pay for your living and educational costs, you must provide proof in the form of documents. E.g. If you have received a loan or financial aid you must submit the supporting documents. In other cases, such as having your parents cover your expenses, you must provide the interviewer with further detailed information on how your parents will support you.
What Are Your Plans After Finishing Your Studies?
Since you are applying for a student visa, the interviewers need to know whether you are planning to extend your stay after graduation or immediately after completion of your chosen program. This question can be asked in different ways, and the interviewer is going to make sure that you are answering truthfully and accurately. They also want to know if you are going to return to your home country, according to the visa policy.
Advice: Plan your answers carefully beforehand and make sure you can firmly talk about your plans. You must reflect confidence when answering. If they ask you what your plans after university are, your answer should be related directly to your studies.
Here are some other general questions that you may be asked:
- Where are you planning to stay?
- Do you have any friends or family living in Spain or other Schengen countries?
- What will you be doing other than attending your studies?
- Are you married or have any children?
- Do you work? If yes, where and what is your job position?
- Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a crime?