Centro Centro, Plaza de Cibeles, Madrid, Spain flag
Centro Centro, Plaza de Cibeles | Madrid, Spain

If you’ve been trying to figure out how to get the Youth Mobility Visa Spain, you’ve come to the right place! This is going to be your in-depth, step-by-step guide to getting the visa, detailing everything you need to get and do for a successful application. What do I know? I just received my working holiday visa for Spain and it’s my third one (I’ve been to the UK and France on the youth mobility schemes)!

After a couple visits to Barcelona, I decided that I wanted to spend an extended time in the city, living, creating, and exploring Spain. Fortunately, I discovered the  Spain-Canada Youth Mobility Program — since I just finished my master’s and I’m not 35 yet, I thought…the time is now!

About The Youth Mobility Visa Spain Guide

This is a step-by-step guide to applying for the Spain-Canada Working Holiday visa while residing in Canada. This post is mostly relevant to people who wish to work on a casual basis — that is, you are not studying or going to Spain with a pre-arranged contract (though this will still be useful for you).

youth mobility visa canada spain, spain youth mobility visa, canadians in spain
ABEs – Always Be Eating | Learning to make Paella in Barcelona

If you’re reading this post, I imagine you’re considering, or are in the process of, applying for your working holiday visa for Spain. Welcome! Before we get started, please have a read through my Disclaimer page.

Last Updated: March 29, 2019


  • Canadian passport holder residing in Canada
  • Age 18 to 35, inclusively, on the date the application is submitted
  • Able to purchase medical insurance for the duration of the entire stay
  • A minimum of CAD $2,433
  • You do not need a job contract to apply for this visa

How to Apply for the Spain Youth Mobility Visa in Canada

valencia, city of arts and sciences, youth mobility visa spain canada, spain youth mobility visa for canadians
City of Arts and Sciences | Valencia, Spain

This document provides all of the information on the process of applying for the youth mobility visa Spain in 2019:

What You Need

Originals and photocopies of the following:

  • Visa application form
  • Recent passport photo
  • Your valid passport. The passport must be valid for at least one year from when you enter Spain.
  • Document proving residence in Canada (driver’s license, health card, etc.)
  • Proof of funds (bank statements no more than two months old showing you have at least $2,433)
  • Medical insurance policy covering hospitalization and repatriation in case of death (not necessary if you have a pre-arranged work contract; translated into Spanish using official translators)
  • $150 application fee + $14.60 for the NIE (cash, money order, certified cheque)
  • NIE (Foreigner Identification Number)

If your stay is longer than six months, you’ll also need:

  • A police check from the RCMP and from the authorities of every country you’ve lived in over the last 5 years (translated into Spanish using official translators)
  • A medical certificate from your family doctor with the wording specified in the document above (translated into Spanish)

You can only apply for the visa 3 months in advance of your intended date of departure.

† We’ll get to this.

pa amb tomaquet, kasparo, barcelona, youth mobility visa for canadians
Croquette and Pa amb Tomaquet at Kasparo, Barcelona


1.  Gather the information needed and fill out the application form to the best of your ability. For the address in Spain, I chose a hostel in the city I would be staying in and used that.

2.  If you don’t already have a NIE (i.e., from studying or working in Spain previously), complete the EX-15 form. This is the form in English to help you fill out the form. Here are some more instructions I was sent from the official who processes the applications. Note the difference regarding the wording for what you write under section 4.2 (Motivo) — use the one in the document I was sent. 

3.  Complete form 790 Código 012 and print it out. Under NIF/NIE, put your passport number; Autoliquidación remains Principal and select Asignación de Número de Identidad de Extranjero (NIE) a instancia del interesado. Under the subheading INGRESO choose En efectivo (in cash). Your NIE will be processed first and you will receive it by email. The consulate will then process your visa application.

4.  Mail everything — including your passport — to the Consulate that handles applications for your province. Be sure to send registered mail! Separate the application form and the NIE application and make a note that both are in the file. You can have your passport mailed back or you can collect it (I picked mine up from the Consulate in Toronto).

youth mobility visa spain, working holiday visa spain, spain canada youth mobility visa, canada spain youth mobility
Then the visa is issued! (It’s not the original – I’m renewing my passport)

Further Advice

Here are some tips for applying for your Youth Mobility Visa for Spain — based on my experience:

Travel Insurance

You are required to have travel insurance throughout your stay in Spain unless you have a pre-arranged work contract. As usual, I bought 6 months of travel insurance with World Nomads and sent the policy with my application. I cancelled the policy for a full refund within the 14-day cooling off period.

When I arrived in Spain, no one checked to see if I had it or not. Please be aware that this is not an endorsement for undermining the requirements of the visa or travelling without insurance. Once I was sure of my actual travel dates, I purchased travel insurance that covered me for the duration of my stay in Spain.

Medical Note & Police Check

I didn’t get these. I’ve lived in 3 countries in the last 5 years and it would have been a pain to get criminal record checks. I also read that the medical note is one of the biggest hassles because doctors don’t want to use the wording in the document. I didn’t want to be bothered with all that malarkey so I reluctantly resigned myself to only staying in Spain for 6 months — which is why I only bought 6 months of travel insurance.

However, you’ll note above that my visa was issued for a year anyway. 🤷🏾 Do what you will with this knowledge.

Keep copies of everything

This is Spain. The processing time is normally 3 weeks. Mine took nearly 3 months.

The Consulate misplaced my documents and stopped processing my dossier because they thought they were waiting for me to send the right ones. They also lost the fee I paid for the NIE (which I stupidly sent in cash — don’t do that). Luckily, I had copies of all the forms and scanned/sent photos as needed. If you don’t hear anything in three weeks, send a follow up email.

If you make a mistake, the consulate will email you to get the correct information — they won’t just reject you as long as you meet the criteria and provide the required documents.

Upon Arriving in Spain

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Seafood Paella at La Arroceria | Corralejo, Fuerteventura

When you arrive in Spain, you must get your passport stamped to validate the visa. If you do not get it validated, your stay in Spain will not be legal because you need to prove when you entered the country.

Declaración de Entrada

If, like me, you enter via another Schengen country and do not receive a stamp, immediately go to the Policía Nacional at the airport (in Barcelona, this is in the far corner of the Terminal T1, 3rd floor, check-in lobby). Tell them you need a Declaración de Entrada. You must do this within three days of entering Spain (regular days, not business days) or it will not be validated. I arrived in the evening and the person who processes the Declaración only works business hours (e.g. 9-6 Mon-Fri) so I had to go back to the airport the next day.

declaracion de entrada espana, youth mobility visa spain canada
You need this if you didn’t get your passport stamped upon arrival!

Book an Appointment for your TIE

On the last page of the Youth Mobility Program document, it says: “Program participants who wish to stay in Spain for a period of time longer than 6 months, but less than one year, MAY apply for a “Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero” (Foreigner ID Card) at their closest “Oficina de Extranjeros”.

You don’t have to, but the TIE is what proves your legal status in Spain. If you read this Government of Spain page, you will learn that you must apply for your TIE within a month of your visa start date or arrival. Canadian Girl Meets World has a great guide for getting your TIE, so I won’t address it here. I just wanted to stress that the visa in your passport may not be enough to get a job, social security, a phone contract, register with a doctor, open a bank account, and so on.

As for me, I didn’t know about the time limit, went back to Switzerland for a couple months, and did not book my TIE appointment until my return in October. When I went for my appointment in November, I was informed that I could not get a TIE. It hasn’t affected my ability to stay or travel outside of Spain, but it has meant I can’t work. Don’t be like me, book your TIE appointment!

Disfrútate en España!

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If you liked it then you shoulda put a pin in it!

199 thoughts on “How to Get a Youth Mobility Visa to Spain for Canadians”

  1. Hello!
    I was wondering if there’s a way to apply from outside Canada,
    I haven’t lived there in around 6 years..

  2. Hello Alyssa!
    Thanks a lot for your post.
    I have a question about applying for the Youth Mobility Visa for Spain but from the UK. I have been residing here for the past three years (just like you did the Tier 5) and am wanting to apply for my Visa for Spain from here. Do you know if that is possible at all? Thanks a lot!

  3. Hi.

    Thanks for the informative article! Did you end up having to translate anything into Spanish? I was going to get travel medical insurance through World Nomads as well, but their policy is 44 pages and isn’t available in Spanish. The consulate also said I needed my doctor’s note and police check to be translated, so I’m wondering who I could get to do that.


  4. Hey Alyssa,

    Best blog about this subject so far, I’ve been trying to find out if you can reapply for the visa? I currently have it and want to know my future options. Do you know?

  5. Hola!

    Truly invaluable article, and it shows (you rank first in the Googs for “Youth Mobility Spain”).

    I’m just a day away from submitting my visa application, too excited!

    I have a question for you and your viewers. When looking at renting a place, and I’m currently thinking longer term places ~6 months, what’s the market like for getting a place while you’re there in a week or two, versus booking in advance? Am I going to get conned if I get a nice place with a nice price early, or am I leaving myself at risk waiting too late that only the crappy places are left but at least I get to see them in person?

    Thoughts? Thanks Alyssa!

    1. Hi Michael,

      Thanks! It depends on the city, so I can’t say. The market in Barcelona moves quickly so you can find a lot of things. I took the first place I saw, a sublet for 4 months, so I was only in the market for a day. There are a lot of scams in Spain so unless you’re going through a reputable agency (and even then, I’d be careful), don’t give anyone money until you’ve seen the place, a contract, and a key. But there isn’t much you can do until you’re in the country. Hope that helps!

  6. you are a STAR for posting these. do you know how many spots are available for the Spain Visa? I know you mentioned the UK visa had 5000 application spots available each year, and that these were never filled up. Is it the same for the Spain visa?

  7. Hi Alyssa!
    -I would like to know if the NIE form and Modelo 790 sould it been filled in spanish or in English?
    -Also my situation is that : i do an AUPAIR program ( i’m going into a family). So i don’t know where should i filled the adress of my family on the visa document…
    – On the section 3 of the NIE document i’ don’t understand what i should write there?

    I am very desperate and your help would be so helpfull.

    *If you can send me an exemple of you document by email (hiding personals informations) it would help me so much.

  8. Hi Alyssa!

    Was planning to apply for a WHV in Spain for 2019. Though there’s no information about when we’ll be able to apply for season 2019. The website of the spanish consulate still have information only for 2018. Do you know when the information for 2019 will be available?

  9. Hey Alyssa,
    Quick question I read in your syep by step notes you said you put your address in Spain when filling out the application did you do that only for the WHV ? Or both NIE AND WHV . Because when I read the instructions in English (for the NIE form)that you posted it said put address in Canada. I just want to know if it matter. Thanks

  10. hi alyssa!

    your blog post was very helpful. i read through out the comments on this post that you have the contact info of someone who directly deals with the working holiday visas application process etc. if you could please attach the contact info of this person that’d be amazing!

    thank you,


  11. Hi!

    Have you heard of anyone applying for the youth mobility visa from within Spain while on a Student Visa? I’m currently participating in the Auxiliares de conversación program and I was thinking about the possibility of applying for the visa afterwards. I am just not sure if it would require that I return to Canada in order to apply.


  12. Hi there,

    Very helpful post.
    I currently have a Work and Holiday Visa in UK, can I apply for a Youth Mobility Visa in Spain while I am in UK ?

    Thank you for your help.

  13. this has been so incredibly helpful! i kept looking for more information on the canadian and spanish government websites and couldn’t find anything that precise! this article is a lifesaver and i wanted to take the time to thank you for writing it ☺️ also, you said 3 months before departure, is that because it took more time than expected to get it, or is that a maximum? i’m asking because i’m leaving in january 2019, so i’d like to apply asap to be sure i have everything in time. can i be too early?

  14. Hi Alyssa!

    Thank you so much for all the helpful info! I’m hoping to send in my application very soon! Just to clarify, do I wanna be aiming to apply 3 months before the date that I’d like to leave? For example if I wanted to arrive in Spain in early January would I wanna be aiming to send my application in the beginning of october?

    Also do you have any idea if it’s possible to participate in the Auxiliares de Conversacion (englsih teaching assistant) program on a youth mobility visa?

    Thanks, Dareios

    1. Yes.
      Not sure, there’s a separate visa if you’re accepted into the program. But I believe that if you already have a work permit you can submit a dossier in-country to take the spot of an auxiliare that didn’t show. Don’t quote me on that.

  15. Hello!
    I’m unable to to get a hold of the consulate as well and I’m wondering if you would help me with a question I have on the application form. It asks for the number of entries required, do you know what that’s referring to? If I plan to go traveling abroad and come back does this count as a re entry?

    Thanks Clarissa

  16. Hi Alyssa,

    Wow this is so great! I have a question for you. Can I use this Spain Youth Mobility Visa to allow me to travel to other Schengen countries without having to leave after 90 days? I don’t intend on really living in Spain, but merely want to use it to allow me to travel to Portugal/France/Germany/Spain etc. for a longer period of time (mostly Portugal – there’s no Youth mobility established for that country yet). Thoughts on this?



    1. Hi Sal,

      Officially, no – you can still only stay in other Schengen countries for 90 days. Unofficially, if you have an address or TIE in Spain, and you always leave and enter the Schengen zone via Spain, then it’s difficult to really tell. Keep in mind that if you DO get stopped, the burden is on you to show that you haven’t overstayed in other countries by showing boarding passes and such (and if flying, they have access to flight manifests via the airlines). Of course, you won’t be authorized to work outside of Spain. That said, Canada just signed a youth mobility scheme with Portugal in May. It comes into effect for 2019. Hope that helps!

  17. hi,

    I know this is random/pedestrian, but I’m back in the UK on my Tier 5, what do you think would happen if I just TRIED to apply for the Spain visa from the UK? Do you know anything about the office that oversees the applications (would it be Spanish consulate in UK or Canadian consulate? ), also, what’s the fee for applying? worst case scenario it’s rejected, can I just go back to Canada and apply from there?

    thanks for the time & patience,

    1. I don’t know – they would probably send everything back to you. Spanish consulate. READ THE INFORMATION ABOVE/IN GUIDANCE DOCUMENT. Yes.

  18. Hi Alyssa,

    What a great article, it really helped me during the process. I have a quick question though. I lived in Spain before, so when I applied for this visa I applied to renew my NIE number. They sent the application back to me because I made the check out wrong and was missing .20 cents, anyways, I mailed it back and then today I received my Valid NIE # through my email! Does that mean my visa is coming or is there still a chance I could get denied?

    Great blog!

  19. Hey Alyssa! Thanks so much for putting this article together – I think I can speak for everyone when I say that it has shortened the research process for everyone here.

    Two questions for you –
    1. By applying for the visa three months in advance of my departure date, do you mean that I will have to wait three months to enter Spain once the visa is stamped and approved? Or is this three months just a guideline?
    2. Do you know if a 2017 tax return can be considered proof of residency?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Thanks Iris!

      1. You can enter Spain on or before the visa’s validity date. You cannot apply for the visa more than three months before you wish to enter.
      2. I don’t know.
  20. Hi Alyssa!

    Thank you for a great and clear blog post regarding the Youth Mobility Visa. I am in the midst of gathering my application documents and have a question about the NIE that I can’t seem to answer myself.

    I am going to look for work (most likely travel a bit first) so I do not have a Spanish address to provide for section 3, “Address for Notification Purposes.” Or does this section only get filled out if I am planning on studying? Also, will section 1 and 2 essentially be the same as I am the “foreigner” as well as the “person submitting the application”….I hope my question makes sense… thank you SO much.

    All the best,


  21. Hi Alyssa,
    Thanks for your very informative post about the visa application process! I tried to read everything and all the comments/questions here to make sure I’m not asking the same questions but just was hoping to clarify…

    I’m about to apply for my NIE, then was going to apply for the youth mobility visa once I receive that because the information document on their website states “BEFORE APPLYING FOR YOUTH MOBILITY, YOU NEED TO GET A NIE. Check in our web.”
    is the document I found, I was not able to open the pdf you linked to.

    I’m not sure if this has changed since you applied since it sounds like you applied for the NIE and VISA at the same time? I’m wondering whether you would recommend doing that still, or doing the NIE application separately first?

    My flight to Spain is Nov 6 from BC. I guess I’m a little worried that if I wait for the NIE, and then apply for the visa, and if there are any delays I won’t get my passport and visa back before my flight! Hopefully the 3.5 months is enough time to figure it all out 🙂

    Thanks for your time!

    1. Hi Alisa,

      I’m applying from BC as well currently and was wondering if you were able to get this all sorted out and if so, how? I am struggling at the moment!

      Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

  22. Hi Alyssa,
    Thank you so much for making this post, I’d be lost without it!

    I wanted to get a 1 year visa but am realizing it will take forever to get my Spanish police check done while Im in Canada. You said that you applied for a 6 month visa and received a 1 year visa… Do you know anyone else this has happened to?

    In the case that I only get a 6 month visa, can I keep working past the 6 months if I get a TIE card? Or is my work status only valid with my work visa?

    Thank you!

  23. This is really helpful information! I’m about to start my application for my Youth Mobility Visa because I am going on exchange for 4 months. Do you know if I have to get my Foreign Identification Number (NIE) BEFORE I can send in my application for my visa? Or can I send the whole package all together? Because the website says I need my NIE before I can apply for my visa and now I am getting a little bit confused. Any help is much appreciated!

  24. Thank you so much for this!

    I may have missed this but where did you live during your stay or better questions, what did you do for accomodations?

  25. Hi Alyssa,

    Thank you very much for your article 🙂 I have a couple of questions. Would you recommend travelling to Spain without a job lined up? I have previously been to Spain as an aupair, but was hoping to return on a different basis, ex. finding work in a hostel. I have forgotten a lot of my Spanish and don’t know what my job prospects would be of finding a job if I don’t speak fluent Spanish. Also, have you been to Germany? Do you think I would have any luck finding work there if I get a German visa? (I do speak a bit of German…) The problem is that any hostels I have emailed want me to have a visa before they go forward with an interview, yet I am nervous getting a visa without a job…any advice is greatly appreciated 🙂

    Kindest Regards,


    1. Hi Jesse,

      I don’t know, it’s hard to say. I guess it depends what your goals for employment are in either case. If companies are willing to interview you, that’s probably a good sign. With a visa, you have just as much of a chance of finding a job as anyone else. I’ve been to Germany, but again, it just depends on your goals and your personality. I moved to London without a job lined up and the anxiety about getting a job was stressful, but I did it. I found work as a freelancer in Spain and was headhunted by a company for a full time job, who is now a client of mine.

      If you’re not convinced you want to go and try your luck anyway, you can always try to get hired from Canada. Getting the visa costs and failing to find a job will cost around a couple hundred dollars – getting the visa, flying there, living off your savings, and failing will cost a couple thousand. Just my 2 cents.

  26. hey Alyssa,

    thanks so much for all your posts. do you know if I can get apply/get this visa while on a Tier 5 youth mobility visa in the UK? that way, I could fly directly to Spain without going back / forth to Canada & back, which seems unnecessary.. I know you can do this for UK – AUS apparenty (am I right?), but can you apply directly from UK – SPAIN? also, one problem I have is that upon entering the UK I lost my wallet with all my Canadian ID in it, I still have the passport, and I’ve had the credit cards shipped to my UK address, but I lost my driver’s license / health card, which I’ll have to get when I re-enter canada. do you know if I can apply for the visa directly from the UK (esp w/out these minimal documents), and also, who could I contact to find out more about this — the Canadian embassy in Spain, or the Canadian embassy in the UK?


        1. Yes.

          In order to benefit from the application of this Agreement, young Canadian citizens should:

          a. hold a valid Canadian passport and reside in Canada.
          b. be between the ages of 18 and 35 years inclusively on the date the application is submitted;
          c. hold or have sufficient resources to purchase a return ticket and have the financial resources needed to support themselves at the beginning of their stay.
          d. before entering Spain, agree to purchase medical insurance, including hospitalization and repatriation, for the full period of their authorized stay.

  27. Hi Alyssa,

    Thank you SO much for this post – so helpful in applying for the Youth Mobility Visa. I have come across a few different versions of the paperwork required and wondered if you could provide some clarification, based on your experience 🙂

    NIE Docs Required:
    1. EX15 Form
    2. 012 Form

    Did you use your Canadian address (as well as for your actual visa application form)? I know you mentioned you used your hostel address, I just wasn’t sure for which form. I have not booked any accommodation yet, as I wanted to confirm my application successfully went through first 🙂

    My second question, what did you provide as proof of residency in Canada? I was hoping to use my drivers license – but it would have to be a photocopy. Do you think this would suffice?

    I would be very grateful for your help! Thanks so much!!

  28. We have to apply 3 months in advance but is there a way that I could pay more money to get the visa faster? I’m leaving in a month, traveling in Europe and just thought about working in Spain.

    Thanks a lot

  29. Hi Alyssa,

    Thanks for all of your help here! Quick question for you, to validate the visa, is all that is required is to enter the country and get a stamp?

    As such, would I be able to fly in Spain, get my visa stamped to validate, and then fly right back out again a few hours later (with intent to come back two weeks afterwards)?

    My problem is that I need to apply for the visa now but do not plan on actually moving to Spain until about 3.5 months afterwards. I’m not bothered about losing two weeks but don’t want to get caught out here.


    1. Hi Alex –

      Yes, that’s all you need to validate the visa but to work/open bank accounts/etc., you need a TIE, which you have to apply for within a month of your visa start date.

  30. Hi Alyssa!

    Thank you very much for posting this, it is very helpful. However, do you know if it is possible for me to apply online?

    I live in Quebec city but I am and will be in Mexico until July. After that I would love to go working in Barcelona (where I can have a job). Since I have to send my passport at the Spain ambassy in Montreal, I can not apply because I am already traveling (so I need my passport with me).

    I want to apply before I go back home because I’d like to go to Barcelona in July. Is it possible?

    Thank you very much!

    Ariane 🙂

    1. *I did not mention it but I want to stay for about two months, so only for a summer job.

  31. Hey!

    Just received my YMV this week – I’ve been trying (and will keep trying) to contact the embassy regarding the start and end dates listed on my visa. It has the start and end date listed a year apart, with the start date being June 1st, 2018 and the duration being 365 days. I’m curious – did yours have the dates listed too? If so, did you enter exactly on the start date? I’m trying to get the full 365 days out of it, but I also am in the process of lining up a job before going (which may push me a bit later than June 1st).

    1. Hi Danielle,

      Yes it did, but I went to the UK before the BRP card. That will be valid for the 2 years. No, I went a few weeks after.

    2. Hi Danielle!

      That so exciting you received your YMV… how long did it take to process? I live in Ottawa and will be applying directly at the embassy, so hope that helps expedite the process. Also, did you apply for a year YMV or 6 months?

      Thanks so much,

  32. Thank you for your reply. I am just realizing now that there are 2 types of visas here (youth mobility and working holiday). My plan is to move there for a year and try to get a full time job in my field of study, do you know which one I should apply for? Would I be eligible under the youth mobility even if I don’t have a pre-arranged contract with an employer there?

    1. There’s only one visa. ‘Working holiday’ is the noun – it usually means you’re travelling and working casually to fund your time abroad. The agreements between the countries are usually referred to as youth mobility agreements. So it’s a visa for a working holiday or a visa under the youth mobility agreement… it’s the same thing.


  33. Hi Alyssa, thank you for your post, very clear.
    Do you know if there are any Visas left and/or where we could find out this information?

  34. Hi Alyssa,

    I’m filling out my application form and was wondering what box you checked concerning: 20 Principal purpose of journey? There is not an option for youth mobility visa. Did you just add a box and write that in?
    None of the current options: Studies, Research, Accreditation, or any of the Residence options seem appropriate. Unless you checked “Residence Temporary work as employee (nine months a year)

    Any tips? I checked the link for Canadian girl meets world but she was apply for the purpose of study.


  35. Hello,
    I am planning to live in Spain for a year under the youth mobility visa. I was also wanting to travel around Europe during this time. Your article was very helpful! However I read that “Foreign nationals who hold a valid long term national visa can move freely through other Schengen States for a maximum of three months within any six month period, so long as they meet the entry conditions.”
    I just wanted to clarify if this meant I will not be able to travel to other countries for more than three months.
    I read this at http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/TORONTO/en/InformacionParaExtranjeros/Documents/youth%20mobility%20visa.pdf

  36. Hello Alyssa,

    I currently have a Youth mobility Visa and I am living in Spain now! Do you know how it is possible to renew the visa for one year? Also Im now looking for a job, and was wondering how many hours a week you can work with the visa? Thank you very much


    1. Hey Ryan,

      Did you have to translate all of your documents into Spanish to get the visa? If you did, do you have any advice for who I should get to do that for me?

  37. Hey Alyssa- it’s Alisa again.
    I’m applying for a YMS visa to Spain, but I’m confused about something (and I think my last comment was deleted, for some reason). I applied for my NIE and the 790 Código 012 form in person at the Toronto consulate on the 25th, and the woman was quite unhelpful- she basically said I can’t apply for the visa until I receive the NIE. However, upon reading your blog, it seems like you can apply for your NIE and YMS visa at the same time. If this is the case, that would be incredibly helpful as I need my Spanish Visa before I leave for the UK in the last week of June- and time is not on my side.

    1. Hi Alisa, Unless the rules have changed recently, you send all your documents together and the NIE will come first. Then the visa will be processed. It should say so in the guidance document.

      1. You can refer to this section in the guidance document:

        “A NIE (Foreigners’ Identification Number). Application for this number will be submitted at the
        same time as the visa application
        . Please read the steps listed on our webpage about “NIE” and take
        note of the following remarks:”

  38. Hi Alyssa,
    I applied for my NIE/790 Código 012 form through the consulate in Toronto on April 25th and they told me I couldn’t get a visa without one. However, they weren’t very clear- they made it seem like I need an NIE before I even think about applying for a Spanish WHV, while you seem to have applied for both at the same time. Can I start working on my WHV application now (without having my NIE yet), as I’m going to be flying out of the country during the last few days of July?

  39. Hi Alyssa

    Great post! I’m wondering if you ended up having to contact the Consulate, or if they contacted you (when the issue of waiting on documents to be sent arose). Also, when you sent in your application, did it list your intended date of travel and did that date end up passing during the processing time? I’m at three weeks waiting, and I did end up purchasing my flight (leaving in 3 weeks).

    Thanks very much!

    1. Hi Em, They emailed me about the documents when they received it. I followed up after not hearing back from them. No, my intended date of travel was not exceeded because I applied several months in advance. If you would like to know who to contact, send me an email and I will give you the contact info for the consular official who processes the youth mobility visas in Toronto if that’s where you sent it.

  40. Hey Alyssa!

    Thank you SO much for writing all of this down, it’s helped me quite a bit for my own planning! I was wondering, were you required to purchase your plane ticket before leaving? Or just…the return flight?


    1. Well, yes, you probably are required to buy a plane ticket before you can leave. I don’t think they let you on flights without one nowadays.

  41. Hi Alyssa,

    Thank you so much for this extremely useful information! I have gathered all the necessary documents besides my travel insurance.
    I live in Toronto and have been reading reviews about the consulate online and I am very nervous to send all my documents/passport there as they say they aren’t very helpful or reliable. I’m just wondering if you had any issues?

      1. Thanks so much! I have sent everything in and I am just waiting on my NIE. Do I pick my passport up when the visa is finally issued, or can I go get it at any time? I asked the consulate but all she responded was, “your NIE will be emailed to you” lol

  42. Hello,

    I am trying to get an unpaid internship for more than 6 months in Barcelona while also learning the language, do you think I would be eligible for the Spanish Youth Mobility visa? Under which category would I be applying for? and would I need any documentation from the company I would be interning in for the visa application?

    1. Yes. If you have a contract – the one for internships; if not, the working holiday. The information package tells you what you need from the company. Good luck!

  43. Hi Alyssa,

    This post was super helpful – thank you!
    I am currently working on my application for a Spanish Youth Mobility visa (as a Canadian). I would like to stay for a year but am worried that I don’t have time to get the police check/doctors note before I mail in the application (I’m out of the Canada at the moment, so getting those documents is rather difficult for me!).

    I know that you said “do with this information what you will,” but I just wanted to gauge someone else’ thinking on the process before making my own decision (about whether or not to send these documents in haha). Do you know of anyone else who has skipped that step???! Or, have you skipped sending these in for your UK and France Visas? For these countries was your year contingent on these documents?

    I am thankful for any additional insight/advice you can provide!
    Thanks again for the detailed and helpful post Alyssa,
    Helen Rose

    1. They aren’t required for the other visas. I don’t know of anyone else. Also, you should be residing in Canada when applying. Good luck!

  44. Hi Alyssa,
    I’m a Canadian citizen hoping to move to Spain later this year through the Youth Mobility Program, and this is far and away the most helpful webpage I’ve found yet on the subject, thanks for all the effort you’ve put into the post!
    I have a couple questions if you have time, and I’ve found the consulates here in Canada less than helpful.

    -what is defined as being “working on a casual basis”? Is there any limits on that, as in limited hours a week or not allowed to work the entire year? Or is it a open, free choice year where you can work and do what you like the entire time?

    -Can you be a student part time once in Spain if you’re applying under category E?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Willem, thanks – glad you found it helpful! Not sure exactly, but long story short you can work full time with the TIE. Yes, I believe you can.

  45. Hello Alyssa- it’s Alisa!
    Concur with the above- your information is very clear.
    I have 3 questions (despite your clarity, I am a bit neurotic and this is my first time- so, like many who embark on this, the sheer amount of information is overwhelming):
    1)Once I’ve applied for the WHV/sent in my passport, do I only get my passport back once the Visa is approved? The reason I ask is that I’d like to apply for a WHV for the UK as well, for the summer of 2018 before moving to Spain in September, so I’m concerned about overlapping timelines.
    2) Assuming I get my WHV for Spain for the year- I’d be teaching abroad with a CELTA- am I able to apply for WHV’s in other countries in the EU while residing in Spain? I’ve heard you need to be somewhere 6 months in the EU before you apply for a WHV…so after six months, I’m hoping to apply to a different country without having to return to Canada.
    3)Lastly, and this is a bit off-base- if my end goal is EU citizenship/residency, could you recommend any websites/offer advice as to how to go about that? I’m not sure I qualify for a Blue Card/Work Permit as I have a Bachelor’s in English and a CELTA- but don’t speak Spanish or French (just Russian).

    1. Hi Alisa,

      1) Yes, you only get the passport back when your visa is approved. I’m curious why you’re getting the WHV for the UK. It’s incredibly costly for a three month stay… You also couldn’t apply for the Spanish WHV until June, and you can’t do it from the UK. Just my $0.02.
      2) It depends on the country. You have to read their specific guidelines.
      3) I have no idea what a Blue Card is. You would have to be sponsored by company or get married to an EU citizen. Citizenship generally takes 5-10 years of leave to remain without restrictions (e.g. the WHV in the UK does not count towards citizenship)… unless you have citizenship from a Latin American country. In that case, 3 years’ residence in Spain will grant you Spanish citizenship.

  46. Hi Alyssa,

    Love your site and this information, I agree that is has been very hard to find clear direction and answers about applying for the visa. You mentioned that you can only apply for the visa 3 months in advance of your intended date of departure… I am planning on arriving in August so I wont be applying till May, but does this put me at risk for not being approved? I read that they only give 1000 youth mobility visa’s per year, do you think applying this late will be an issue?

    1. Hi Nicole – You can arrive any time within the validity dates of the visa (although remember you must apply for your TIE within a month of the date it becomes valid). I don’t know if you won’t be approved or if they’ll just move up the start date. My advice is… just don’t apply more than three months in advance?

      I doubt that will be an issue…they’ve never run out of spots.

  47. Hi Alyssa

    How did you find out about the TIE and the limit of one month to apply? I arrived in Spain in November on a Youth Mobility visa from Canada – my visa in my passport is valid for 1 year. The consulate provided no information regarding the need for a TIE upon arrival in Spain.

    Can you send me any details on where this info came from!



    1. Hi Stephanie – You can find the information on the Government of Spain Immigration Portal. The TIE is what proves your status for stays longer than six months. They also told me at my appointment that it was too late to get the TIE.

      On the last page of the Youth Mobility Program document, it says: “Program participants who wish to stay in Spain for a period of time longer than 6 months, but less than one year, MAY apply for a “Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero” (Foreigner ID Card) at their closest “Oficina de Extranjeros”.

      I can say this – though take it with a grain of salt and remember the above Disclaimer where I explain that I am not responsible for loss or damages pertaining to the advice in these posts – I don’t have a TIE, I’m in my 7th month here, and I don’t have a problem travelling. But I’m quite certain I wouldn’t be able to get a job.

    2. Hey Stephanie and Alyssa,

      Did you have any issues (with work or anything else) stemming from not having a TIE?

      When I asked the consulate about obtaining a TIE/residence card, she told me it’s not necessary because I already have an NIE. And on the passport it already says the visa is valid for one year.


      1. Hi Alex,

        I freelance and already have a bank account in Europe, so I didn’t go through any official processes besides registering at my town hall(empadronamiento), which you don’t need a TIE for. That said, I have been asked while travelling whether I have a residence card (e.g. when leaving Switzerland to Croatia outside the Schengen zone). I showed my visa and it was fine. I recommend reading this and this, paying close attention to the statement reading: “La Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero es el documento único y exclusivo destinado a dotar de documentación a los extranjeros en situación de permanencia legal en España” (The Foreigner Identity Card is the unique and exclusive document designed to provide documentation to foreigners in a situation of legal permanence in Spain).

        I believe that if you want to register with a doctor (I didn’t), you need a health card (TSI – tarjeta sanitaria individual). To get a TSI, you need a social security number. To get that certificate, you need a TIE! It’s a process. If you’re employed, your employer will get you the social security number, but usually, employers won’t hire you without a TIE. Long story short – just get the TIE.

  48. Hi!
    Thank you so much for writing this post! I’m filling all of my paperwork to apply for this visa and this is the very first thing I’ve read that really simplifies the process. I really appreciated that you included what you need to do after you arrive in Spain cause I hadn’t thought about that.

    There are some things that I’m still confused about and so far I haven’t been able to get in touch with any official that can answer my questions (fingers crossed someone returns the email I sent to the consulate in Toronto). Do you know another way to get in touch with anyone? I live in Alberta so I can’t pop in to an office to talk to someone although I would give away my hat for the chance.

    I also noticed that the wording for the NIE form is different than what they ask on the fact sheet. Does it matter which one you use?

    And I have a question about flights but the wording on the application fact sheet is funky.. it says that you must present a return ticket or sufficient funds to purchase one.. after considering my options I’ve decided to purchase two one way tickets as I’m hoping to stay for a year so does this mean that I will have to purchase my first ticket at the time of my application or should I wait until after my visa is approved?

    Thanks so much for your time!


    1. Hi Giovanna!

      You should get a response from the consulate – the official who processes the applications is very responsive. Yes, I would recommend using the wording the consular official told me to write under Motivos: PARA VISADO DE MOBILIDAD JUVENIL

      The proof of funds ($2,200) is to demonstrate that you can purchase a return ticket therefore you do not need to buy one. I would suggest waiting until the visa is approved.

      I hope that helps! Good luck 🙂

        1. hey!

          I was just browsing around and found this article again and hands down this was the best and most helpful post I found so I thought I would write a follow up just in case anyone who is applying finds it helpful because lord knows comments on blogs and reddit was how I found my most up to date info while I was applying!

          I ended up tweaking my application just a bit from what you did but it worked out.

          I sent for my RCMP check and that took about three weeks, and it was super straight forward once I figured out where I had to go (if you’re in Edmonton go to the Nexus station, not your closest police station).

          I got my medical note and after my dr googled what I was asking for he had no problem typing that out for me and gave it to me on the spot.

          I applied for my NIE BEFORE sending my full application, (I mailed that around the second week of February if I remember correctly and waited what felt like forever, I think almost a month, but eventually I got that email)

          I got travel insurance but did what Alyssa did and it was fine. I had already researched and gotten quoted for insurance that covered me as was required by the visa before I even applied but it is based in Spain and cheaper so I had that paperwork handy when I arrived (when it actually started) just in case someone asked but no one did (they did check at that I had the travel insurance paperwork at the consulate in Toronto, I know that for a fact)

          I sent my full application (which I filled out with a mantra going over and over in my head ‘as best as you can’) on March 13. Here comes my very first taste of Spanish bureaucracy. I got a call from the Spanish consulate of Toronto on March 22 while driving and a woman went straight in to tell me that I was missing a date, as I couldn’t quite understand her on speaker I asked her to wait while I pulled over. She was annoyed and I was nervous but long story short apparently somewhere in the form YOU fill in when you want your visa to start which I didn’t do (I still don’t know where you do that) and I ended up blurting out the first date of possible flights I had researched. She said ok thank you, have a good day and hung up, and that was it.

          By march 30th I had my passport and visa for a full year in my hands.

          It was super fast and really straight forward once you figured the little pieces out. I finally arrived in Madrid on June 10th!
          and then shit hit the fan.

          it’s funny that I wrote in my original comment that it was helpful to know what to do in the airport because I forgot all about it 🙂 I had a super long layover in Iceland that got longer and longer as they kept delaying my flight and I ended up arriving in Madrid close to midnight, followed the crowd off the plane and through the airport, got my bags, met my cousin at the terminal and off I went.

          a few days, 71 1/2 hours to be exact, I was making sure I had everything to for my TIE app the next week and I realized I was missing an entrance stamp into Spain. PANIC. this is what I learned through that mistake: if you don’t have an entrance stamp you are to go to a police station within 72 hrs to fill out a declaration of entrance (if you are in Madrid I recommend you go to the Oficina de Extranjeria Av. de los Poblados (it’s a horrible place where dreams go to die but it’s your safest bet for anything because I kept being sent there over and over and I have a love/hate relationship with it).. BUT if you happen to fly with a layover in Iceland like I did, THAT stamp that they give you at that airport is the stamp you need (at least nobody questioned mine but do yourself a favour and make sure you’re good BEFORE the 72 hrs, don’t say I didn’t warn you)
          I was too late for the declaracion de entrada, and when I went to ask about it they said I had to present a new boarding pass, after that scare my cousin made a few calls for me and found out the Iceland info so I winged it with that.

          while I was figuring all that out I got empadronada, (easiest thing, mainly because my cousin sorted that paperwork for me before I arrived but the appointment was really smooth and they were friendly) and I got a bank account, (I only had to show my passport and visa for that, I don’t know if that’s everyone’s experience as my cousin knew the bank worker that I went to see but there was no hesitation)

          now the TIE.
          I knew going in that I wanted to work in Spain because money, duh, and because I want to met people and practice my Spanish so I knew I wanted my TIE.
          I got in touch with Ivana from the blog Alyssa linked and she was super helpful as well.
          Her post is a bit different to the TIE application because she applied as an auxiliar so she needed different thing, but it wasn’t that different. I made my appointment before I even left Canada and I had it for the next Tuesday after my arrival, about three weeks after I made the app. Follow Ivana’s instructions and you’ll be fine for that. PRINT THE CONFIRMATION!!

          nowhere official I’ve found gives you the exact details of what you need to bring but I gathered the bits and pieces I had and they didn’t give me problems but I suggest you research and gather as much paperwork as you can, better safe than sorry
          I brought with me:
          -the application
          -the payed tasa from the bank (I got that done the same day I opened my bank acc)
          -the printed page confirming your app (yes, you need that its super dumb because its pretty much line ups and wait times but you need it)
          -the empadronamiento
          -a copy of your passport and visa
          -a letter from my insurance provider in Spain
          -a picture carnet size (if you’re in Madrid you can get this ANYWHERE on those little photo booths, its 5 euro and you’re looking for the smaller size of the bunch you get)
          !!!!!!!!MAKE EXTRA COPIES OF EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!

          now here’s the real super fun part of my story.
          I made my original app for Tuesday March 19 at like 645pm in Alcobendas just cause google map said that that was the closest to my apartment by like 3 mins from the other ones.
          I gathered my paperwork and while still unsure about the whole stamp situation I made my way there for my app. I get there super early and there’s no one (I was expecting a line as long as the eye can see because of my first experience at Av. de los Poblados) so the nice lady takes my paperwork and starts the application (no mention about the stamp), I sign some stuff and she sits down to type some stuff and there’s a problem in the computer and just at that moment an SOB shows up and goes off about how I cannot work with this visa and that he’s an ‘expert of foreign affairs’ and that if I were to be stopped on the street ‘he would let me go with that visa but he couldn’t speak for another officer’ . I was terrified and mad as all hell. I tried to explain to him that the name of the visa in English includes the word WORK and that I can in fact work with it as it says on the Spanish consulate website but he wouldn’t budge and so he ended up sending me to another office to appeal.

          It was too late to go that day so I went the next day… only to find that that office was closed for renos for the next few months. I went to the Oficina de Extranjeria in Plaza de Toros ( I found nothing but very nice friendly people there) where the nice people told me to make an info app (you need appointments for EVERYTHING and the printed confirmations) for that Friday. I show up to this app I explain whats up they tell me I’m 100% correct the entire office makes fun of the ‘foreign affairs expert’ but they can’t tell me whats up with the computer so they tell me to make another app but to Av. de los Poblados instead cause thats the big office, which I did (right there at the front at the computers, and yea you can print your confirmation right there too) but this app was for two weeks later and way to close to my 30 days to feel safe. I asked, and the guy at the front said that that didn’t matter because they take the time of my app rather than when I get it – idk, I didn’t understand but he just said it was fine but if I was unsure I could just pop over to AV. de los Poblados and ask.

          I went there and went straight to information (inside the big blue building with the long lines at the front, immediately to the right and behind you, that crappy table, if you have trouble getting in just talk to whoever is manning the entrance) once I explained what was happening, they pulled me inside and were about to make me fill out the form but I had the completed package from my first app ready to go , complete with a little cardboard piece with my picture stuck to it and my signature that the lady at Alcobendas had given me and a little post it telling me to go to the closed office (they made fun of him there too), so they realized someone had really messed up and they apologized and they pulled me right to the front (as in right next to the table where someone was applying) of the queue (of about like 70 people, I got glared at BAD made me feel slightly bad but I was so relieved that I was not about to say anything). I got my fingerprints taken (no mention of the stamp but she did take my boarding pass which I thankfully had just in case in the back of my little binder and she did write the time I got arrived and all of that) and a second person checked the paperwork and then I was given a signed piece of paper that I have to take back in 30 days to get my actual card and that was it.

          now I did the whole TIE story because as the lady was taking my fingertips she mentions offhand that I don’t REALLY need the TIE card because I have a NIE but it’s nice to have that instead of carrying your passport everywhere. Take that as you will, I personally don’t trust it, after all I went through, and I wanted my TIE because I want to work here and im not taking any chances.

          Moral of my story is, ASK ALL OF THE QUESTIONS, make sure you have your paperwork (just bring everything you think you need and extras just in case AND COPIES), everything in Spain needs an app (a schedule that nobody actually follows, as its more first come first served, get there early you’re gonna wait anyways so might as well, and I would suggest to keep your schedule clear on your TIE app day), be super polite and super nice and be prepared, organized and professional and the government employees will treat you better, they have the bad rep of being mean but I only really encountered three mean ones, everyone else was polite even if they couldn’t help me and I talked to A LOT of them, and if you run into a hiccup just keep asking people and going to different places until you get what you want because you’ll get different versions of everything depending on who’s talking to you, don’t take anything as the final say (I got that from the info app I had while they were roasting that one dude) but most importantly is don’t panic it’ll be fine and theres a solution somewhere.

          so that is my story, I’ve gathered people have different experiences even if its the exact same visa so make sure you do your own research and be prepared for anything and everything.

          Sorry I took up so much space Alyssa, just out here trying to save a life. :’D

          1. LOL ‘save a life’! I’m weak hahaha! Thanks so much for this, I’m sure you’ve saved me a ton of questions – but I hope you have notifications on, because you might get some yourself now! I will just add that when you book your TIE appointment, the page before you get to the appointments has a list of the documents you need: DOCUMENTACIÓN PARA LA EXPEDICIÓN DE LA TARJETA DE IDENTIDAD DE EXTRANJERO

          2. Every little help is welcomed when dealing with a foreign country 🙂

            something I did forget to mention before is that you were very lucky you got a reply back from the consulate.. I never did. my only two interactions with them was the NIE email and the phone call. But it turned out ok, I mostly used your post to answer my question and the hiccups sorted themselves out eventually

            I did see that page about the documents for the TIE and thats where I got the base of my package from but the more I researched the more I realized that people were handing in different documents.. in my case, the insurance letter was a suggestion from my insurance guy as a just in case (because I did change insurance policies between my application and arrival) and they ended up taking it with the whole package but I read about other people handing in similar documentation so I would take something like that in just in case, it doesn’t hurt to have it with you ready to hand in.

            the more surprising one was that they took my boarding pass.. I had not read that they did that to anyone else and thank heavens I had thought of putting it in the back of my document folder just in case the night before.. she not only confirmed the info on the pass, and she made a note that my flight was delayed about 5 hours, but she took it as part of the package as well.

            thats why I would recommend anyone to be type A about it, be organized, be courteous and bring everything you have just in case, better safe than sorry. I even had a copy of my diploma just in case they asked what I wanted to do :’).. by my last appointment I was so paranoid that I went overboard but it definitely gave me peace of mind and confidence to walk in and ask for things to get done.

            one extra thing I wish I had had for my first appointment would have been a printed copy of the fact sheet for the visa just so I could have whipped it out at the arrogant dude.. I did try pulling it out on my phone but the stars were aligned against me that day and my wonderful Spanish 4G network failed for the first (and only since) time and it wouldn’t load. Murphy’s law for you 🙂

            I don’t have notifications but you can find me on ig @fitbum.gio 🙂

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