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Do I need an Invitation Letter to Enter Spain? FAQs

INVITATION LETTER TO ENTER SPAIN

If you’re planning an exciting trip to Spain and have your heart set on staying with a friend or family member, we’ve got some valuable information for you. Let’s talk about the invitation letter to enter Spain – a friendly and professional document that can make your journey smoother.

Imagine you’re a Non-EU foreign national with aspirations of entering Spain. As part of the entry requirements, authorities might request a declaration of your purpose for visiting the country. And guess what? One of the ways to back up this declaration is by presenting an invitation letter. Sounds like a breeze, doesn’t it? But as with many things, the devil’s in the details. So, let’s delve into the intricacies of this process. Shall we?

Here are some FAQs on the invitation letter to enter Spain:

What is an invitation letter?

Invitation letters are commonly required documents. Often as part of visa applications for purposes like tourism, business meetings, conferences, family reunions or academic events. 

In order to enter Spain for short-term tourism (stays of less than 3 months), you need to provide evidence of accommodation for each night you plan to stay in the country. This is regardless of whether you need a visa to enter the country or not. Normally, you can be prove this through confirmed bookings with hotels, hostels, Airbnb’s or apartments. 

However, in certain circumstances when you are staying with family or friends, there is more complexity to the process. Here is where the invitation letter comes in handy. The invitation letter is a document that you will need to demonstrate to the authorities that you have confirmed accommodation at the residence of your family or friends throughout the duration of your stay in Spain. 

Now, let’s dispel a common myth. This is not a handwritten letter that we can create ourselves. The invitation letter is an official document that we request from the proper authorities in Spain. The purpose of the letter is to invite you to visit Spain for a specific purpose. The letter validates the authenticity of the visit and provides essential information to immigration authorities for evaluating your travel intentions.

In this document, you should outline the specific details of the visit, like the purpose of your visit and how long you plan to stay. It’s like an itinerary for your stay with a touch of officialdom.

Do I need an invitation letter to enter Spain?

Whether or not you need an invitation letter to enter Spain will depend on various factors, including your nationality, your accommodation type, the purpose of your visit, and the type of visa you are applying for. If you are a non-EU citizen visiting Spain for tourism and without confirmed accommodation in a hotel, hostel, Airbnb or apartment, you will need present this letter to enter Spain. So, if this is your situation, make sure you have this letter ready before you enter the country.

When will this letter be required?

There are two different ways this letter may be required:

  1. If you come from a country that requires a visa to enter Spain, the Spanish consulate in your home country may request you to present this letter when you are applying for your tourist visa.
  2. If you are from a country outside the EU that doesn’t require a visa to enter Spain for tourism, the police may ask you for this letter when you are crossing the Spanish borders.

For these reasons, it’s essential that your host sends you the original version of this letter before you embark on your journey to ensure you have it ready depending on your circumstances.

Do I need to have family or friends in Spain? How do I get it otherwise?

While having family or friends in Spain can certainly be a common way to obtain an invitation letter, it’s not the only option. Depending on the purpose of your visit, there are various ways to secure an invitation letter even if you don’t have personal connections in the country. For example, you can prove your accommodation through a hotel reservation.

Who can request the invitation letter to enter Spain?

Since the idea is to obtain the invitation letter from within Spain, the person who is hosting you must be the one to request it. This person must be the owner of the home you are staying in, or be the holder of the rental agreement. 

In addition, your host must fall into one of these three categories:

  • A Spanish national
  • An EU citizen who lives in Spain
  • Non-EU citizens with residency in Spain

What are the steps to get an invitation letter to enter Spain?

The process of requesting an invitation letter can seem like a daunting task. But don’t worry. We will outline all of the steps for you so your host can be fully prepared when requesting the invitation letter for your arrival.

The first thing your host should do is make an appointment to visit their local police station to get the letter. This must be done in person. You can find a list of police stations in Spain that provide invitation letters at this link.


Here are the documents your host should bring with them:

  • Copy and original the host’s DNI. Alternatively, their TIE if they are a non-EU national of Spain with residency here.
  • Copy of the invitee’s passport
  • Bring a deed of sale if the host is the owner of their property. If they rent, then they should bring the rental contract.
  • The host’s “empadronamiento” (town hall registration document) to prove they live at the address you will be staying.
  • The invitation letter form. You can download it here.
  • Payment of the fee.

How long does it take to get an invitation letter?

Unfortunately, there is no determined timeframe for the processing of an invitation letter. Because of this, the waiting period to receive the invitation can vary greatly. 

This is not a document that the police station will hand to you immediately during your appointment. So, it’s important to take this into consideration when you plan your future travels to Spain. Especially considering that once your host receives the letter they will need to mail it to you so you can use it to gain access to the country.

With that in mind, the letter can take anywhere from 10 days to sometimes 2 months. We recommend that you plan ahead and request this document with enough time to account for any delays.

How much does it cost and how long does it last?

As of 2023, the cost is currently 75.05 €. However, it is common for the price to increase over time. This fee will be paid on the day of your appointment at the police station, once your host submits all of the necessary documents-

Additionally, there will be a fee of approximately 6 € that must be paid once your host returns to the police station to pick up your invitation letter. The cost will vary slightly depending on what police station they do it at.

Does the invitation letter guarantee entry to Spain?

The short answer is no. The invitation letter is not a document designed to guarantee you entry into Spain. There are a lot of additional requirements that determine your eligibility to enter the country or not. For example, having medical insurance, proof you have booked travel back to your home country and the financial means to sustain yourself while in Spain. 

Thus, the invitation letter only fulfils one of these requirements. However, this document is highly important and a great start towards gaining entry into Spain.

Conclusion

In conclusion, understanding the intricacies and importance of an invitation letter is crucial as you embark on your journey to Spain. If you are planning to stay with family or friends during your stay, this document is crucial to ensure you can enter Spain with ease. 

Now that you are armed with the proper knowledge and tools, you can embrace the invitation letter as a vital tool in navigating Spain’s entry requirements and embark on your journey to Spain with ease. 

If you have any additional questions or concerns about the invitation letter in Spain, it can be helpful to consult with an immigration lawyer to help ease your mind. Our team of friendly lawyers at Lexidy are always on hand to assist you throughout this process. Simply fill in the form below and we will be in touch with you.

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