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

Eligibility

  • 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

Steps

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!

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

  1. Hi Alyssa,

    I am currently in the process of applying for my Youth Mobility Visa and I have a few questions. Would you be able to email me the contact information for the person at the Toronto consulate?

  2. Hi Alyssa,
    I really appreciate all the work you put into this guide as it helped so many people. I only have one question i still cannot get answer to: how to do I pay for NIF? I am in Canada, so I cannot pop into a Spanish bank to have it paid. Your instructions say to “effectivo”, did you send cash with your application to pay for NIF? I could print form 790 Código 012 and bring it to a Canadian bank to pay, but I have a feeling the bank will not be able to help me.
    Thank you for looking into this.
    Olena

  3. Hey Alyssa! Thanks for all your information! I was wondering if you could help me clear something up, I already have a NIE from a student visa in Spain, do you know if I have to pay the tasa and fill out the 012 form again? Or do I just need to pay the visa fee?
    Thanks !

  4. Hello!

    Great read it helped me a lot, wondering if I am applying for the visa how do I know when to make my travel insurance coverage for? Did you find a insurance company that allows it to start working after the visa is accepted? Thank you.

  5. Hey Alyssa,

    Thanks so much for writing this, it really clears a lot up…but i still have a few questions. I’ve been trying to contact the consulate in toronto for months and never heard back, i must have left them at least 30 voicemails and emails but yet they refuse to get back to me. It’s so frustrating.

    So according to the website it says you must first apply for your NIE number and then once you get it you can apply for the visa. From your post, it sounds like I can do it at the same time. Just trying to get some clarification on this.
    Also it says the application fee for the NIE is $150.00

    On the NIE application form, it asks for your NIE….do i just leave that blank?

    For the TASA 790 form, it says there is a $9.00 Euro fee is that included in the $150 application fee?

    I plan to move to Spain in august so i feel like i am running out of time. You mentioned that the visa can only be applied for 3 months in advance, does that mean i should only apply for the visa only in May?

    Sorry to bombard you with questions but you are my last hope.

    Thanks 🙂

    1. On the NIE application form, it asks for your NIE….do i just leave that blank?
      – Answered this on Step 3.

      For the TASA 790 form, it says there is a $9.00 Euro fee is that included in the $150 application fee?
      – No, hence the added $14.50 for the NIE that must be submitted

      You mentioned that the visa can only be applied for 3 months in advance, does that mean i should only apply for the visa only in May?
      – That is three months before August.

  6. Hi Alyssa,

    I am a Canadian student already studying in Spain. I would like to stay here to work afterwards, do you know if I can apply for youth mobility visa from Spain? Or I have to go back to Canada, apply, then come back? Thanks 🙂

  7. Hi Alyssa,

    Thanks so much for this post. I am from Vancouver and looking online, the process seemed to be a bit different as it looked like I was to send in my NIE application and get the number before sending my Youth Mobility Visa application. I did this and they sent me back all my documents and a sheet with no letterhead, which just says that all my documents need to be presented personally at the Consulate of Spain and that if I can’t come personally, I have to delegate the authority to someone who can and they would have to bring a Notarized letter sign by me. I have no idea how I would go about doing this. There are services online that I can pay exponentially more for to do this, but they look suspicious. The updated link you have is for the Consulate in Ottawa, which seems to have different requirements than the Consulate in Toronto which covers BC. However, you also wrote that you picked up your passport in Toronto, so my question is where did you mail your application from? Do you know why there are different requirements for Toronto and Ottawa consulates and if I could just follow the Ottawa requirements and receive all the materials together?

    Thanks so much in advance! Any help is appreciated.

    Bonny

    1. Hi Bonny,

      Did you end up finding a solution to this issue? I am in the process of gathering all of my documents and also thought I could send by mail. I am also from BC.

      Thanks!
      Kirsten

      1. Hi Kirsten,

        No solution yet…I am flying to Montreal tomorrow morning and taking a bus to Toronto on Friday. Feeling determined…I will let you know how it goes.

        Bonny

    2. Hi all,

      Just confirming Bonny’s situation. I also mailed all of my documents in including my NIE and Visa application to the Toronto Consulate and my NIE documents were returned with a similar letter.

      To delegate authority, you need to write a letter stating that you want someone (friend, family, professional) to apply for your NIE on your behalf and have this letter notarized. This letter should include: 1) your contact information; 2) the delegated persons contact information; 3) why you cannot come in person and; 4) that you give this person authority to submit the application, pay the fee, and pick up any documents that they give back, if necessary, on your behalf.

      I don’t know anyone in Toronto, so I had contacted the Downtown Notary Toronto who were willing to submit my application for me.

      Send the notarized letter along with your other NIE documents to that person and be sure to check the website for updated forms (the EX-15 form has changed slightly from the form above). They will go into the consulate and apply for you. FYI, this cost me $20 to notarize the letter and $60 to have someone at the notary in Toronto apply for me.

      **This is only for the Toronto Consulate as far as I know.

      1. Hi Kirsten! Thank you so much for this information. It is very helpful! Did you have to send in your passport along with the NIE documents or just a photocopy of the passport?
        any insight is greatly appreciated!

    3. Hello!

      I was wondering if any of you found an answer to this problem. I have applied for a Spanish visa twice before from Vancouver. Both times I have mailed my documents to Toronto and it has worked out well. However, someone had to pick it up on my behalf and send it back to me last time. Now, based on the comments, I’m worrying I won’t be able to just send everything in the mail.

      Should I just ask someone else to do the whole process for me? How did you go about it?

      Also, was the whole application returned, or just the NIE portion. I did read the NIE needed to be done in person, but I already have one, so I don’t know if that changes the situation. If anyone knows, I would appreciate the help!

  8. Hi Alyssa,

    Your guide has been a comprehensive help to my looking into the YMV. I’m inclined to rely on it more than the consulate.
    The one thing that doesn’t seem clear is when you say:
    “You can only apply for the visa 3 months in advance of your intended date of departure.”
    I haven’t seen anything official to back up the “no more than 3 months in advance” application window. I hope to depart ~8 months from now, but am mildly worried that if I wait too long the visas will all be spoken for.
    Of course, if this restriction is correct I wouldn’t want to send in my application and risk complicating things.
    If you could tell me more about your experience with the application window, send me some reference material, or possibly contact information for someone who may know more, anything would be appreciated!
    Thank you!

  9. So I just found this page now! My Youth Mobility Visa started Feb 15, I flew from London to Barcelona so I never got the first stamp and I was just studying Spanish. Last week I went to Morocco and just returned with a Spanish stamp…sooooo I’m hoping that I can now validate the working part of my visa? Or was that the same as your situation where you couldn’t get authorization to work?

    Also do you have a different link for the TIE card info? I think the one you posted isn’t active anymore cause it wouldn’t load.

  10. Hi Alyssa!

    I am in the process of applying myself. However, I found on their website that NIE number must be applied in person or through an authorized agent at the Spanish consulate in Toronto? Was the situation different at the time you applied?

    Thank you so much for looking into this!!
    Kai

  11. Hi Britt!

    I am trying to apply for a youth mobility visa myself. Did you apply for the NIE number by mail as in this article? Or did you apply it in person through the consulate..?

    Kai

  12. Hi Alyssa!

    I just wanted to say thank you for writing this blog, this was my go to reference when I was working on my application for the youth in mobility visa application for Spain. I got approved and will be going to Spain in June.

    1. Hey, did you apply in Toronto by any chance? How long did the whole process take? I submitted mine (I already have an NIE) over a month ago and haven’t heard anything.

      1. Did you send it by registered mail right ? And did you included a prepaid return envelope to have it returned ?

        I believe I Emailed back the address that sent me the NIE to confirm they received my visa application.

  13. Once you settle down the visa, what kind of job can you get when arrived in Spain??
    Can I just bring around the resume and pass them around?
    I am not looking for a professional job. I am just looking for a job in a bar or something like this..
    Please advise!!!
    Thank you in advance!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Hi Alyssa!
    You mentioned that you «resigned yourself» to stay only 6 months in Spain but when going through the forms, I don’t see a place where you actually write how long you are planning on staying in Spain… Am I not seeing something?
    Then I guess they give out 1 year to everyone? You are right, the Police check and medical certificate are a pain in the booty.

  15. Hi Alyssa,
    Thank you so much for your help, I am now in Spain on my YM Visa. 🙂
    Just wondering if you applied for this visa a second or third time? I was told you can apply a second time but theyd give you a volunteer visa instead of a work one. Is this true?
    And do you know if I have to wait 3 months after the expiry date to apply for the new one?

    thank you!

  16. Hey Alyssa,

    If I’m applying from Montreal, which consulate would I mail the documents to? And would I need to go to an in-person appointment to get biometrics (photo taken) and all that?

    Thanks

    1. ugh also, I forgot this:

      did you skip out on both the medical and police checks, or just the police checks? did you get the medical checks back in Canada? also would it be more difficult to get the visa from Montreal, bc I could just fly back to gta otherwise.. thx

  17. Hey Alyssa,
    When you got your finger prints done and needed to have it translated into Spanish how did you do that?
    Thank you in advance
    -Hayley

  18. Hi Alyssa,

    Your site is very helpful – thank you!

    Just a quick question – for your Travel Insurance, did you translate the policy wording or just the certificate. Thanks! Jackie

  19. Hey Alyssa,

    Very helpful blog thank you! Was wondering if you knew or heard of people who could apply from outside Canada by any chance? I’m out of the country for a few months but would like to apply..

    Thanks in advance!

    1. I am actually wondering this exact same question. I don’t want to fly all the way back to canada in order to get this visa. Alyssa, do you have this information?

  20. Hi Alyssa!

    Thank you for this guide. It’s great! I had a few questions, and you might know the answers to these.

    If I already have a NIE (previous studies), can I ignore the step and not send the $14.60?
    On the website, it states that you should have a plane ticket before applying. This seems illogical to me. Did you buy your tickets before applying as well?
    Finally, once you get the visa, do you have to enter the country within a certain timeframe? Or does the time (6 months, a year) start running whenever you enter the country?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Yes you can.
      No I did not, you need EITHER a plane ticket OR enough funds to purchase one AKA the $2,400
      See above point re: the TIE.

  21. Hi Alyssa! Thank you for your text!
    I’m in Montreal and planning to stay 9 months in Spain in October and I am applying for a work visa .
    Do you know if it is possible to extend the visa from Spain after the first 6 months. I’d like to avoid the medical and RCMP and translation procedures of the 12 months work visa.
    Thank you!!!
    David

  22. Hi Alyssa! Thanks so much for this post, super helpful. Just one question, do I have to fill out the forms in Spanish, or can it be English? I know the forms have to be in Spanish. Thanks!

  23. Hola! I’m am currently in Spain with my Youth in Mobility.
    My question is around the type of freelance work you did during your time there. Did you apply and declare yourself a autónomo (freelancer) with the government?
    I have been offered a work contract which is not an employment contract, as I would have to invoice this company. I was under the impression that under the youth in mobility visa you could not do freelance.

    Just curious about your experience with dealing with this and if you applied for autónomo status or just worked as a Canadian freelancer that travelled.

    1. Hi Glenda, From what I understand (at least during my time there), you cannot register as an autonomo. I was a Canadian freelancer with my business and bank account in the UK (I lived there previously). I hope that helps!

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