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Applying for a visa and familiarizing yourself with the entry requirements of the country you’re planning to visit can be tough – and it often makes for the most stressful part of your travels. Unfortunately, these things are inevitable, which is why we created this blogpost that will guide you, step-by-step, through the process of applying for a visa to Tenerife.
In this article, you will find out everything you need to know before starting your trip to Spain, particularly if you intend to travel to one of the Canary Islands.
First, let’s talk about the entry requirements. Tenerife, as a part of Spain, is a member of the European Union and therefore can be visited freely by all EU citizens. Holders of passports from Iceland, Norway and Switzerland are permitted the stay in Spain without a visa as well.
Citizens of the following countries can enter Tenerife without a visa, as long as their stay doesn’t extend beyond 90 days in a 6-month period.
Antigua and Barbuda
Bosnia Herzegovina *
British nationals (Overseas)
British overseas territories citizens (BOTC)
British overseas citizens (BOC)
British protected persons (BPP)
British subjects (BS)
El Salvador Grenada
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) *
Macao Special Administrative Region
Northern Mariana Islands (passports from the US)
Peru St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Vincent and Grenadines
Taiwan (only holder of passports which contain identity card number)
Trinidad and Tobago
United Arab Emirates
* Only when holding a biometric passport. If not, a visa is required.
** Only when holding a biometric passport. If not, a visa is required, excluding holders of passports delivered by KOORDINACIONA UPRAVA.
If you are holding a passport of one of the following countries, you will need to apply for a visa before entering Tenerife under any circumstances.
|Afghanistan (1) (2*)
Bangladesh (1) (2*)
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Central Africa Republic
Democratic Republic of Congo (1) (2*)
Equatorial Guinea (1)
Frandesspass documents (1)
|Haiti (2) Hong Kong (when it is not SAR)
Iran (1) (2*)
Iraq (1) (2*)
Ivory Coast (2)
Mali (1) (2)
Nigeria (1) (2*)
North Korea (1)
Pakistan (1) (2*)
Papua New Guinea
Refugee Travel Documents (1)
Saudi Arabia (1)
Sierra Leone (2)
Somalia (1) (2*)
South Sudan (1)
Sri Lanka (1) (2*)
Sudan (1) (2)
The visa will take at least 2 weeks to be issued.
(1) This visa will take at least 4 weeks to process. Included in this category are: Palestinians, Refugees and Stateless Persons. Please note that certain documents are not recognised by the Spanish Authorities and are therefore not valid to travel to Spain. These include Certificates of Identity issued by the Home Office, which are not covered by the Geneva or New York Conventions.
(2) An Airport Transit visa is required if the person is not a permanent resident in: Canada, European Union, USA.
(2*) An Airport Transit visa is not required if resident in: Andorra, Canada, European Union, Japan, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland, USA, Holders of Diplomatic and Service passports.
The Airport Transit visa will only allow the holder into the International Lounge and will not permit the passenger entry into Spain.
The list illustrated above can be found in the most up-to-date version on the following side:
There will be at least one Spanish Embassy close to where you live that you will have to visit to apply for a visa. But even before that, you need to figure out which kind of visa you need.
To apply for a Tourist Visa, you will need:
When applying for a Student Visa for Spain, aside from the documents listed above please also bring the following to your appointment at the Spanish Embassy:
If you are seeking to obtain a Work Visa, you will also need, aside from the documents listed above:
After collecting all the required documents, you will have to show up to a pre-arranged appointment at your closest Spanish Embassy. On this appointment, the final application of your visa will be issued.
A visit to the Spanish Embassy will prove to be very important, if you have not acquired a Visa for Spain within the last 5 years. This is due to the new Visa Information System (VIS) which requires the registration of your fingerprints in order to issue your visa.
After you completed the application of your visa at your closest Spanish Embassy, the processing of your documents will take approx. 2-4 weeks before you receive note of your application being granted.
If this is the case, you have obtained your visa successfully and should now be able to enter Tenerife without any problems.
Are you a freelancer who’s able to work remotely from anywhere in the world? As long as you want to stay in Spain without applying for a job or making money directly from the Spanish State, you have the option of applying for a Non-Lucrative Visa. The requirements for this visa are very similar to the one of a Retirement-Visa, as the main point is basically that you are not allowed to be involved in any lucrative issues concerning the Spanish State.
Applying for this visa can take up to 3 months, but once granted, it allows you to stay in Tenerife for up to 5 years.
Do keep in mind though, that if you are Spanish ground for more than 6 months a year, you are required to pay taxes to Spain. In that case, the Non-Lucrative Visa would not be fitting for you.
These tips will help you to apply for your Visa for Tenerife without any struggles or complications.
Getting your visa for Tenerife can take up to 6 weeks. You should never rely on the estimated processing times however. Instead, make sure to plan your trip far ahead and try to get an appointment at the Spanish Embassy closest to 2 months before your departure, if possible. Often, these Embassies are booked out weeks in advance, which is why you should set an appointment with them as early as possible to ensure that you will be able to present all the needed documents to apply for your visa at least 4 weeks before your trip begins.
Before heading to the Spanish Embassy or the airport, you should double check if you have all the necessary documents with you. The list of requested papers for a visa to Tenerife is long, and you can be sure that the responsible administrators will check everything thoroughly. As it is so hard to get an appointment at a Spanish Embassy, you do not want to go unprepared and finalize your application for visa in one sitting.
To prevent your visa for Tenerife from getting denied because of a spelling error, you should always double check to ensure that everything you needed to fill in is spelled correctly. Make sure that the way your name is spelled on your passport is exactly the way it is spelled on other documents. Also, when applying for a Student-Visa, the school you will be attending needs to be spelled correctly as they will check that as well. One small spelling error could lead to your visa being denied. Therefore, we highly recommend that you go through all your documents thoroughly.
In order to apply for a visa for Spain, you need to be patient. It can be inconvenient at times to fight your way through the requirements and needed documents, and there will be loads of waiting time. Just keep in mind that it is all worth it in the end. If you follow these tips, there’s nothing holding you back from entering Tenerife and having a great time here.
Just one more thing – be nice to the responsibles at the Spanish Embassy and the airport – they don’t have an impact on the process that you have to go through in order to get your visa.
Now that you know everything about the entry requirements and applying for a visa for Tenerife, get on with it and come to the beautiful Canary Islands! We’re awaiting you.