How to Apply for a Visa to Spain

Explore the gorgeous and historic depths of Spain. With celebrated vineyards, mesmerising architectural heritage and exciting nightlife, you are sure to have the time of your life. Follow this step-by-step guide on how to apply for your Spanish visa (Schengen visa). We’ve included everything you need to know about the tourist visa application process, and soon you’ll be visiting breathtaking Spanish cities, including Barcelona, Granada and Madrid.

South African passport holders do require a Schengen visa for Spain, but luckily the process is a relatively painless one! You will need to apply at BLS International (Spain Visa Application Centre) in Cape Town or Pretoria. Always apply at least 15 days prior to your departure date.

Please note this process is applicable to South African passport holders.

Spain Visa Travelstart

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Types of Visas

  • Tourist Visa – for people who wish to stay in Spain for a maximum period of three months. If you’re visiting family, friends or visiting on holiday, this is the visa you need.
  • Business Visa – for people who wish to stay in Spain for a period of three months for work purposes.

Note: South African citizens do not require a transit visa if transiting through a Spanish airport between non-Schengen countries.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Spain Visa?

Once your application is presented at the Spain Visa Application Centre, it will be submitted to the Embassy of Spain/Consulate General of Spain the next business day. Processing time can be anywhere between 15 and 30 days, and be extended if additional documentation is required.

The decision to grant Spanish Schengen visas is made by the Embassy or Consulate General.

How to Book an Appointment?

All Spain visa application appointments must be scheduled on the BLS International website. Register online and the earliest available date will be shown.

Spain Visa Travelstart

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Visa Costs

Visa Type Visa Fees Service Fees
Tourist Visa R938 R242
Children between 6-12 years R547 R242
Children between 0-6 years No fee No fee

Payment must be made in person at the Visa Application Centre during your application.

All visa and service fees must be paid with a debit or credit card only. Cash payment is not allowed at the Visa Application Centre.

Spain Visa Requirements

  • Schengen visa application form (fully completed and signed).
  • Passport (original) – (a) Must be valid at least three months beyond the stay in the Schengen area. (b) Issued with a maximum of 10 years validity. (c) Must have at least two blank pages. (d) Copy of the passport – biometric page only.
  • One recent colour photograph: 45x35mm against a white background, not more than six months old.
  • Travel itinerary in Spain – (a) Dates of your trip. (b) Entries and exit from each Schengen state. (c) Amount of days in each country and total amount of time in Schengen states.
  • Means of transport – (a) Booking of flight ticket/train/ferry ticket booked according to passport showing Spain as the main destination, reservations are accepted. (b) Movement between the Schengen states must be shown (flights, car hire, train bookings).
  • Accommodation for entire period of stay in the Schengen territory must be presented.
  • Medical Travel Insurance – Minimum coverage of €30,000.
  • Letter of Employment – (a) Must provide a signed original letter of employment stating salary/annual cost to company and date of employment. (b) Certified copy of last three months’ pay slips. (c) Self-employment (directors, CEO, board members): proof of company registration/ commercial license and latest VAT/Tax clearance certificate. (d) Pensioner/retired applicants should provide proof of pensioner slip. (e) For students, letter from the school/university confirming attendance.
  • Proof of economic means – (a) Original last three months bank statements. (b) Statements must be stamped by the bank with an original stamp.
  • For minor applicants – (a) Certified copy by Commissioner of Oaths of the full unabridged birth certificate. (b) Certified copy of both parent’s ID or passport by Commissioner of Oaths. (c) The application form must be signed by both parents.

Please note: all original documents must always be accompanied by at least one photocopy.

Use the Tourist visa checklist to make sure that you have all the necessary documents.

Travelstart Spain Visa

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Where to Apply

All Schengen visa applications for Spain are done at BLS International – Spain Visa Application Centre in Cape Town and Pretoria. You must apply in person for your biometric data to be collected. Children under the age of 12 do not need to appear in person or have their fingerprints taken.

Residents in Pretoria, Limpopo, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, North West, Free State, and Lesotho must apply at the Visa Application Centre in Pretoria.

Residents in the Northern, Eastern, Western Cape, as well as KwaZulu Natal, must apply at the Visa Application Centre in Cape Town.

Cape Town

Address: 1st Floor, Block B, North Park, Black River Park, 2 Fir Street, Observatory, Cape Town, 7925
Contact: 021 003 8050 /
Business Hours: Passport Collection Time
Monday to Friday 12:30 – 16:00
Submission Time
Monday to Friday 09:00 – 12:30 and 13:30 – 15:00

Taxis, cabs, and busses are readily available to get you to the Visa Application Centre in Cape Town. If you’re driving by car, there is parking located in the front of the building.


Address: Regus Lakeview, Ground Floor Lakeview Building 1277, Mike Crawford Avenue, Centurion, 0157
Contact: 012 007 0030 /
Business Hours: Passport Collection Time
Monday to Friday 12:30 – 16:00
Submission Time
Monday to Friday 09:00-12:30 and 13:30-15:00

There are various public transport options available to get you to the Visa Application Centre, including busses, taxis, and cabs. If you’re driving in a car, you can park at the back of the building.

Travelstart Spain Visa

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Where to Print Documents and Take Photos

Cape Town

PostNet Woodstock

Address: 399 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town, 7925
Contact: 021 447 7235
Business Hours: Monday – Friday 08:30-17:00
Saturday 09:00-13:00


Aces of Spades

Address: 78 Botha Ave, Lyttelton Manor, Centurion, 0157
Contact: 060 623 2556
Business Hours: Open 24 hours
Travelstart Spain Visa

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With all this helpful information on how to apply for your visa to Spain, by now you should be ready for the application process. Sign up for our newsletter and discover the best flight specials to Spain.

If you haven’t booked your tickets yet, find cheap flights to Spain with Travelstart!

Have you recently applied for a Spanish visa? Share your experience in the comments below.


All information on this blog page was correct at the time of publishing and may change at any time without prior notice. Travelstart is not affiliated with immigration authorities or their application centres and will not be liable for loss or inconvenience arising from the use of this volatile information.

Featured image courtesy of @visit_spain via Instagram

Our Readers Comments

  1. How long is the processing time for long-term student visa for one year to Spain?

    • Hi Yawar,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      For this you would need to follow up with the Embassy direct as the process the visa’s on their side.

      The contact details of the Spanish Embassy in South Africa are:

      Pretoria: The Spanish Embassy
      Telephone No 012 460 0123
      Fax No 012 460 2207
      Postal Address P.O. Box 1633, Pretoria, 0001
      Street Address 337 Brooklyn Rd., (Lord Charles Building, Brooklyn Rd corner Charles St) Menlo Park, Pretoria 0181

      Cape Town: Consulate-General of Spain
      Telephone No 021 422 2415
      Fax No 021 422 2328
      Street Address 37 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town, 8001
      Spanish Tourist Office

  2. Is the BLS visa application centre open in DURBAN-KZN?BLS does not answer the phone or respond to emails

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Try contact the following number:

      BLS: Spain Visa Application Centre (Durban)
      Telephone No : 010 500 2032

      If you don’t get through you can try e-mail them on:

      And their address is: 1st Floor Silver Oaks Building, 36 Silverton Road, Musgrave, Durban 4001

  3. If there are one or two of the info they want on the visa application form I’m not sure about and will ask them there- will they accept that?

    • Hi there,

      To my knowledge all the information needs to be completed on the visa application form before. However you welcome to contact the Embassy direct to see what they advise as they are granting the visa’s.

  4. We are going on a cruise from Buenos Aires to Canary Islands. Malaga and then disembark in Barcelona. Are the Canary Islands part of Spain? Will that be our first entry into Spain as stated on the visa application form?

    • Hi Laetitia,

      Thanks for contacting us. Canary Islands are part of Spain so that will be your first entry into Spain. However I would recommend you contact the Embassy direct before submitting your visa application to get the most up to date information.

  5. The visa checklist states that one needs to show movement between Schengen states. We intend travelling by train from Spain to Portugal however train tickets are not available yet for our dates. They will only be available from October. What do we do in this instance?

    • Hi Sara,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      For this you would need to contact the Embassy or official visa handling agency direct. I’m not sure where they say you need to travel between Schengen states as a requirement when applying for a Schengen visa.

      However if you are travelling and that is part of your itinerary then you will need to provide them with the relevant documents.

      I would suggest contacting the Embassy or official visa handling agency direct for the most up to date information.

  6. Hi there,

    I’m wondering when you say “Always apply at least 15 days prior to your departure date.” are you referring to 15 working days?

    Thank you very much

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch and the interesting question.

      Always apply at least 15 days prior to your departure date. It is recommend to start applying up to three months prior to travel to avoid disappointment.

  7. Hi

    I want to know whether the bank statement printed through autoATM already printed with colour stamp (called as an original stamp by the bank but in the machine) is accepted as a proof for Spain visa application. Please clarify. I mean is it a must to go to bank and get a signature in person for the bank statement

    • Hi Srini,

      Thanks for getting in touch and the interesting question.

      I would recommend contacting the Embassy or official visa handling agency direct to get the most up to date information. This way you will know if you have the correct documents when applying.



    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      for this you would need to contact the Official Visa handling agency direct. They have access to their data base and would be able to advise accordingly.

  9. Very poor service. I phoned from Spain (during office hours) and sat on the phone for 5 minutes while nobody answered the phone.

    I also emailed regarding a family member with special needs who was told during his interview that he could not call his mother when there was something he didn´t understand.
    I have stated that I will sponsor him and asked what documents are required. Nobody has ever replied to my email.

    • Hi Tracy,

      Sorry to hear this feedback. When it comes to calling from within the Embassy usually making calls are not permitted. I think there might even have signs up. This is done for security reasons.

      You welcome to send your feedback direct to the Embassy. We hope your family member came right and his visa was granted.

      Wishing him a safe trip.

  10. BLS has to be the worst company i have ever dealt with. I have had numerous visas in the past, got notifications informing me of where my application was. BLS? Not one sms. No answer to any e mails. The customer call center? I don’t think it actually exists as nobody answers the phone. Ever!!! The visa tracking service has not been updated since I submitted my application. I fly in less then a week and have no idea who to contact other then driving through to where i made my application in the first place. Very sad state of affairs!!!

    • Hi Wendy,

      Regret to hear this feedback. If you are flying in less then a week I would suggest driving through to where you made your application. And when there you could also give feedback advising you have been struggling to get through.

      We do hope you come right and get your visa in time.

  11. This is very informative and helpful for those proposing to go to Spain.
    The Travel agents I have dealt with have never mentioned that I have to travel all the way to Cape Town to apply for a visa. I live in Durban so my planned trip from Barcelona will have to be shelved.

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