Residency, Visas and Permits for Americans in Spain:
US Citizens visiting Spain, for a period less than three months, can travel visa free. However, Spanish authorities may require proof of funds or a return or onward travel ticket.
If a visit needs to be prolonged, an Extension of Stay, of no more than an extra 90 days, may be applied for with the Spanish Immigration Authorities. This extension of stay must be applied for at a police station, at least 3 weeks before the expiry date of the original entry visa.
Exit permits are required if a US Citizen overstays the permitted time in Spain. These are obtained from the Director of Security in Madrid. Please be warned that fines may be incurred by Americans in Spain who ignore this requirement.
US citizens who intend to stay in Spain, to study, reside or work, for more than 3 months, must obtain the appropriate Visa from the Spanish Embassy or Consulate in their state/country of last residence. Once the appropriate visa has been issued, you have 3 months to apply for the correct permit via the Spanish authorities in Spain.
Due to complicated and often changing regulations, it is advisable to check the Minister of Interior Website or call 060 (toll free within Spain).
Validity of US Driving Licences in Spain:
As a visitor to Spain, a US Citizen is allowed to drive, provided you carry a valid US driving permit and an IDP (International Driving Permit) which has been issued prior to arrival in Spain.
As no agreement currently exists between the US and Spain, a US Citizen who becomes resident in Spain must apply for a Spanish driving licence.
To visit the Spanish Traffic Authority (DGT) Website Click Here
For further assistance, do not hesitate to Contact Us.
By Lisa Sadleir