How to Enter Spain

Do I need a passport or visa to enter?

Spain is a party to the Schengen Agreement. This means that U.S. citizens may enter Spain for up to 90 days in a six-month period for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay. For additional details about traveling to and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen Fact Sheet. For details regarding what is required for an official letter of invitation please visit the website of the Spanish Embassy in the U.S.

Spanish Immigration strictly enforces national immigration laws and regulations. You may be expected to present documentation relating to the purpose of your trip, your return flight, hotel reservations or the letter of invitation, and proof that you have sufficient funds for your stay to the Spanish Immigration officer upon your entry into Spain. In the past two years, an increased number of U.S. citizens have been refused entry because they failed to comply with and/or satisfy Spanish immigration laws, including because they overstayed on previous visits to Spain or other Schengen countries.

The Spanish Government scrutinizes visitors who overstay their visas or their visa-free entry per the Schengen Agreement. Immediate deportation after spending a number of days in detention is not uncommon. You should leave Spain promptly at the end of the 90-day visa-free travel period, or at the end of the time stated on your visa.

U.S. citizens who wish to stay in Spain for longer than three months, or who wish to apply for residency in Spain, will also need to supply local authorities with an official criminal records check from their state of residence or from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Criminal Justice Information Services office (CJIS). Both types of documents must be apostilled by the state authority for state criminal records and by the Department of State for the FBI records.

The Embassy does not take fingerprints for the purpose of criminal records checks; rather, U.S. citizens can obtain a letter from the Embassy asking local police to take their fingerprints. Individuals need to make an appointment for notarial services to obtain the letter. The U.S. Consulate General in Barcelona also requires individuals to make an appointment for notarial services to obtain a letter.

In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.

Visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Embassy of Spain website for the most current visa information. For more information concerning entry requirements for Spain, travelers should contact the Embassy of Spain at 2375 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037, telephone (202) 452-0100 or (202) 728-2340, or the nearest Spanish Consulate in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, or San Juan. Additional information can be found from the Tourist Office of Spain which has offices in several U.S. cities.

Andorra does not have an airport; therefore, all visitors to Andorra must enter via a land border with either Spain or France. There are no visa requirements for entry into Andorra for stays of up to three months; however, the relevant regulations for France or Spain should be followed, depending on which country is transited to reach Andorra. Andorra is not part of the Schengen area. People entering Europe on a Schengen visa should therefore make sure that their visa entitles them to repeated visits to prevent them from being refused entry to Spain or France following a stay in Andorra.

Special Travel Circumstances in Spain

While in Spain, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation different from what you find in the United States. Spain has laws that prohibit discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, and mental disabilities in employment, education, access to health care, access to information technology and communication, including social media, and the provision of other state services. The law mandates access to buildings for persons with disabilities. While the government generally enforces these provisions, levels of assistance and accessibility differ between regions. Madrid, Barcelona, and many of the other major cities have made great strides in making public transportation, museums and other public buildings accessible to those with physical disabilities. Most buses have ramps to accommodate wheelchairs and many metro stations have elevators for the same purpose. Taxis that can accommodate wheelchairs are available, but must generally be called in advance. In historic areas and in some other areas, sidewalks can be narrow and have uneven surfaces. Tourists should take this into account when planning their visit.

Andorran law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, and mental disabilities in employment, education, access to health care, and the provision of other state services. These nondiscrimination laws help to protect travelers with disabilities. In practice, persons with disabilities have easy access to public buildings. The government continues to adapt infrastructure to the needs of disabled persons to ensure accessibility to public transportation, museums, commerce, restaurants, and other buildings in the country.

Employment Issues: U.S. citizens participating in the Ministry of Education’s Cultural Ambassador Program (Auxiliares de Conversación) should be aware of reports regarding delayed payment for services rendered.


You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

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