Letter of invitation for travelling to Spain: Everything you need to know

29 May 2018 0 Comments Category: blog, expat guide

Arranging a letter of invitation is one of the processes you will have to deal with if you wish family members or friends who are not citizens of the European Union to visit for a few weeks. Grab a pen and note down the procedures you will need to complete.

Despite simplifying the process a couple of years ago, there are still many questions concerning this procedure, the most common are:

  1. Who needs a letter of invitation to enter Spain?

The letter of invitation may be needed by citizens of countries that do and do not require a visa to enter Spain and people who are travelling for a period of up to 90 days, except for nationals of European Union countries.

  1. How do you obtain a letter of invitation if you do not have family or friends in Spain?

The document as such is not a requirement for entry into Spain, what is required is proof of having somewhere to stay; the letter of invitation is optional if you have someone in the country whose house you can stay in during your trip. If you do not have a trusted person in Spain who is happy for you to stay with them and who can request this document, you can make a hotel reservation that will also have the same validity as the letter of invitation if this is required by the consulate for the visa or requested at the Spanish entry controls.

  1. Where do I obtain it?

The letter of invitation is processed at the police station in the sponsor’s place of residence.

  1. How much does it cost?

Currently the processing and the letter cost approximately 80 Euros for the first person invited and 6 Euros for each additional person invited.

  1. How long is it granted for?

The letter is granted for the dates that are provided in the application and for a maximum of 90 days, which is why it is important to be organised and calculate correctly the dates and the length of time you plan to travel.

  1. How long does it take to process?

The time from submission of the application to receiving a reply depends on which city processes the application, the time of the year may also affect this. In short, it varies depending on the workload at the time you make your request, but it does not usually take longer than 20 working days.

  1. Who can apply for a letter of invitation to travel to Spain?


This letter can be applied for by a Spanish person or by a foreigner who is a legal resident in the country and who meets the requirements.

  1. Do you need to have the original of the letter or is a printed copy sufficient?

When the letter of invitation is obtained it is important that the sponsor sends it by post to the person he is inviting, as only the original document is valid.

  1. Once you have the letter, where should it be submitted?

If you are a national of a country that requires a visa, the letter must be attached to the visa application as part of the requirements. It is also vital to have this document on the day you travel, as it may be needed at border controls when entering Spain. Citizens who do not need a visa just need to have the letter in case they are asked for it when entering the Schengen area.

  1. Does the letter of invitation guarantee entry to Spain?

No. The letter of invitation is only one of the requirements.

  1. As well as the letter of invitation, do I need to prove financial solvency?

Yes. Whether for your visa application or to enter the Schengen area, you must be able to demonstrate that you have sufficient resources to cover the costs of your trip.

  1. What are the requirements for obtaining a letter of invitation?

The requirements for obtaining a letter of invitation include the following: you must provide details of the person invited, a copy of the sponsor’s identity document, an application form and documentation proving that the property is available.


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