Organising your visa

If you are a European citizen or have a European passport you are free to work in Spain without a visa. If you are a non-EU citizen you will need a visa to live and work in Spain. You can do the one month TEFL course on a tourist visa, but if you’re planning to stay in Barcelona for longer than three months you won’t be covered by your tourist visa.

When you choose to study with TEFL Iberia, our student visa service is provided at no additional cost. Our team prides itself on having a very high success rate in processing student visas and providing support at each step of the way. We offer a variety of courses starting at 120€ per month up to 12 months, allowing you to work up to 20 hours per week in Spain and travel freely throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

How do we help you process a visa?

Before you leave:

  • Help you choose the best course to suit your needs
  • Help you gather all the necessary paperwork
  • Support in completing the application forms
  • Special discount on health insurance for U.S. applicants
  • Excellent customer service and fast replies to enquiries

Once you are in Barcelona:

  • Help you book an appointment to get your NIE
  • Help you with your empadronamiento
  • Help with Spanish forms and translations

TEFL Iberia can offer you the following solutions to applying for a student visa:

Sign up for the Developing Teacher course at TEFL Iberia

To process a student visa and be eligible to work you need to sign up to a course that is at least 7 months long. The easiest and most popular way to get qualified in Barcelona is to do the 1-month intensive TEFL course followed by 6 months of the Developing Teacher course. The Developing Teacher course is a post-TEFL training course and includes a variety of input sessions, teaching practice, project work, and self-study. The sessions are run in the mornings, meaning you’ll be free to teach in the afternoons and evenings, which is when the majority of English classes are scheduled. It starts shortly after you complete your one-month TEFL course. It is possible to extend and participate in the Developing teacher course up to a maximum of 12 months.

The Developing Teacher course satisfies the requirements for a student visa. With this visa a NIE (Numero de Identidad de Extranjero – “Foreigner ID number”) must be acquired within the first month of your stay, making you a recognised foreign resident. After getting the NIE, you can apply for work authorisation once you have a job offer, meaning you can work up to 20 hours a week, making you more employable to schools and language academies who do not offer cash-in-hand work. The visa will last as long as you are signed up to a course, i.e. a 12 month course will allow you to work for 12 months in Barcelona.

The Developing Teacher course from TEFL Iberia

  • Flexible course length – 120€ per month, or special offer of 1200€ for 12 months
  • Satisfies visa requirements and allows you to work legally
  • Flexible enrolment – start once you have completed your TEFL course
  • Morning timetable – leaving you free to teach in the afternoons and evenings

Find out more about the Developing Teacher course at TEFL Iberia

Sign up for Spanish lessons at Languages4Life

You can also process a student visa by signing up to Spanish lessons at our partner school, Languages4Life. You can sign up to whatever length of course suits your needs and your visa will be valid as long as you’re signed up to a course. Both schools operate in the same building so you’ll be familiar with the teachers and classrooms after your TEFL course. Classes are in the mornings so your schedule will be free from noon onwards (which is ideal for English teaching work). The prices for this are:

Spanish lessons from Languages4life

Course duration Price
6 months 1820€
9 months 2730€
12 months 3274€

This is a great way to make the most of your time in Barcelona and learn some Spanish along the way.

Find out more about Spanish lessons from Languages4life

What documents do I need?

The Spanish consulate requires the following documents:

  • Passport, valid for 6 months beyond your stay in Spain
  • Spanish student visa application form (downloadable pdf)
  • 2 x passport photos
  • Official invitation from Spain (you get this from the school once you are accepted onto the course)
  • Criminal background check
  • Medical certificate
  • Medical insurance
  • Proof of sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay
  • Proof of address in your home country

If you would like to discuss the process in more detail you are welcome to contact carley@tefl-iberia.com with questions or book an appointment to talk at the school / via Skype.

If you would like to read about recent, first-hand experiences we highly recommend joining the Barcelona TEFL Teachers’ Association page on Facebook. It is a very active online community with tons of non-EU teachers and TEFL trainees sharing their experiences. If you use their search function on the top right-hand corner of the page to search, for example, ‘student visa’, you’ll find lots of active discussions.


Frequently Asked Questions about student visas

Officially up to 20 hours per week.
It varies from country to country but on average you should give yourself 2 months from start to finish.
Yes, if you have a long-term visa (7 months or more) you can extend from within Spain by signing up to further courses.
Yes, you could do 6 months of Spanish and 6 months of the Developing Teacher course, for example.
No, all first-time visas must be processed from your home country.
Yes, you just need to enrol with us and we’ll provide the necessary letter to take to the administration office.
Nowadays it is very difficult. The sponsorship process is a large commitment for an employer and it is very hard to find a company willing to take it on. Even if you do, you would have to involve costly immigration lawyers and prove that someone from the EU can’t do the job, which is extremely difficult.
Yes, but you would have to leave the EU for a minimum of 3 months.
Very easy, we show you exactly how to do it on the TEFL course.