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TRAVELING TO SPAIN DURING COVID?

Introduction

Spain became a member of the EU in 1995, since then, travelers have had an option to either apply for a Schengen visa or they can also apply for a traditional Spanish visa as well. Since March 2020, traveling to any of the Schengen countries has become a little tricky after the outbreak of the CORONA virus. For Spain, these restrictions have been frequently changed due to the spread of COVID at different times.

While planning to travel to Spain, you must consider the prevailing state of COVID in the country so as you do not leave essential documentation unattended. All travelers must abide by the Health Precautions adopted by the Spanish Health Ministry, and get the health form.

Do You Need a Visa for Spain?

If you are a non-EEA citizen, be sure you apply for a Schengen visa well in advance through the Spanish Consulate or an agent. For the EU and EEA nationals, no visa is required if the intended duration of stay is less than 90 days. If the plan is to stay over 90 days, you will be required to get yourself registered with the Spanish immigration authorities to get a valid visa and national identity documents. 

Entry Requirements for Third Countries

Rules and requirements for nationals of Third Countries remain a little strict as compared to with other nations. Chances of denial of entry are more for these nationals due to the spread of COVID – 19 in these countries barring aside the habitual residents of EU, Schengen Associated States, and the Vatican City.  Those third-country nationals, holding Long Term Visa for Schengen Countries, transport, marine or aeronautical members or the diplomats/military represents, highly qualified workers, etc may be provided concession for entry in Spain. Furthermore, those travelers who had a transit in some third country will be subjected to quarantine in consonance with the regulations of the Spanish Ministry of Health.

Which Type of Visas is Available?

Generally, there are three major types of visas (which encompass all types of visas), which may be applied for by anyone traveling to Spain. An airport transit visa will be required if you have to change over the flights at the Spanish airport (International Transit Zone) while traveling to other international zones without a major stay in the country. You will apply for it from your home country. The most common type of visa is the Short Stay Visa for Spain. This is valid for 90 days stay within 180 days of approval of the visa. The US, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand nationals do not need this visa for a short stay. For a stay over 90 days, you will require a Longer-Term National Visa, which has to be processed from your home country.

How to Apply for The Spanish Visa?

You would be required to apply for different types of visas if you are a businessman, student, a retired traveler, a tourist, traveling for medical purposes; attending cultural, sports, religious, or film festivals or you have a spouse as Spanish National. In all the cases, you would be required to have some documents in common and a few in addition to the specific type of visa being applied for. These documents would include: –

  • The application forms.
  • Photographs of the applicant as per the specifications.
  • Passport (valid for at least 6 months) and previous visas if already have traveled to Spain or Europe.
  • Copy of return tickets and the hotel booking for the tenure of your stay. You may not purchase but must have a valid booking. 
  • Spain travel Insurance must be covering all the EU / Schengen countries.
  • A cover letter is required to know the true purpose of the visit.
  • Additional documents if it is a business, medical, student, or a spouse visa.  
  • In all the visa types, you have to prove your means of sustaining your expenditures or give your bank statement for the last 6 months.

What is Spain Health Form?

By 2021, as per the Royal-Decree Law 8/2021, visitors entering Spain are required to provide the Spain Health Control form. The form is also known as the Passenger Locator Form. Visitors must fill the form maximum of 48 hours in advance to making an entry in Spain. You need to provide certain information and data for completing the form, which includes your passport details, complete travel plans including date & time of arrival and flight details, accommodation plan, your contact details including email ID, vaccination certificate and PCR documents, and details of minors. After providing these details, you will be provided with a QR code at your given email address. 

Who All Need to Fill out The Health Control Form?

All the travelers entering Spain, whether for short/long stay or a transit mid international flights, will be required to fill this form. There is no relaxation for age or nationality, and each form is counted as an individual form, which means that the group travelers will also be required to present the individual form at the point of entry. Children below the age of 12 years are not required to provide these health control or other supporting documents at the airports.  

Important Travel Tips

There is a reason why beautiful Spain is one of the most visited countries in the world. Traveling is not only a joyous and healthy activity but it is also a little tricky if you are a newbie in the field. While traveling to Spain, the experienced one always advises keeping some important and worthwhile tips in mind. Some important tips are included below: –

  • Always adapt to the time of the new country, so as you do not get exhausted due to sleeplessness and tiredness. 
  • Plan to merge in the culture to enjoy the old school traditions.
  • Travel from South to North to appreciate the culture, history, and scenic beauty of Spain. From Seville, to Murcia, and don’t miss the beautiful Canary Islands, including Lanzarote, home to Spain’s highest mountain, Mount Teide, too.
  • The bus remains the cheapest and enjoyable mode of conveyance.
  • Must know the dates of major Spanish Cultural Festivals like La Tomatina, and plan the trip accordingly.
  • Try avoiding traveling to Spain in peak summers, as that may ruin all your plans unless you are only visiting some hill station.

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