1. Preparing to come to Spain
Citizens of the EU
Citizens of the EU do not need a visa to enter Spain, only their valid passport.
If you are not a citizen of the EU, you will need to obtain a student visa (series D) before coming to Spain. Regulations vary from country to country and change from one year to the next. Once you have been admitted to a program and paid your deposit, it is advisable to promptly check regulations at the Spanish consulate closest to you. If requested by your consulate, IESE will provide a letter of invitation to include with your visa application. Please contact the MBA Office at to request it.
2. Once in Spain: Immigration requirements within 30 days of arrival
Citizens of the EU
EU citizens and their family members who will be residing in Spain are required to apply for a residence certificate or tarjeta de residencia and NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjeros assigned with the tarjeta de residencia) within 30 days of arrival. Detailed information about the process is available to incoming students on the Global Campus.
The visa that the consulate grants students in their home country is only for entry into Spain. To reside in Spain, non-EU citizens and any accompanying family members will need to apply for a residence certificate or tarjeta de residencia and NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjeros assigned with the tarjeta de residencia) within 30 days of arrival. For non-EU citizens this residence certificate is also referred to as a student residency card or tarjeta de estudiante.
It is important to note that for citizens of countries outside the EU the tarjeta de residencia is valid for only one year. Students and any accompanying family members must begin the renewal process 60 days before the card’s expiration date. More detailed information on the residence certificate and the renewal process is available to incoming students on the Global Campus.
Tips for Getting Through the Paperwork: Before Departure (Non-EU Citizens):
- Apply for visa at Spanish consulate in your home country
- If you are coming with a spouse and children, be sure to bring with you a notarized and translated marriage certificate and notarized and translated birth certificate(s). You will need these for their residency permits which you will apply for once you are in Spain.
- Check with the Spanish consulate for any other pre-departure recommendations.
Once in Spain (Both EU and Non-EU Citizens):
Applying for the residence certificate requires a few prior steps.
- Open a bank account and obtain a stamped certificate from the bank confirming you have an account
- Find housing and sign rental agreement
- Register at the city district council office (Oficina de Atención al Ciudadano) and apply for a certificate called empadronamiento. (You will need your rental agreement or other proof that you are residing in Spain plus additional paperwork.)
- Apply for residency permit (tarjeta de residencia/NIE). Please go to the Global Campus for more information.
Executive Education Programs
Generally, participants in executive education programs do not require a visa. However, it is important to note that visa requirements vary depending on nationality, even for short stays. Also, for programs with modules in Asia, Brazil or the US, visas may be required of some nationalities depending on each receiving country’s regulations. If necessary, your program will inform you about visas and provide a letter of invitation confirming enrollment in the program.
General Visa and Immigration Guidelines, Full-Time MBA