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Julian is an Australian au pair who will come to Spain next September 2017. He will live with a host family in Madrid from September to February, and after that will be an au pair for another family in Sevilla for another 6 months. He just got a working holiday visa and wrote this document to help future au pairs to obtain the WHV for Spain. Many thanks Julian!

Working Holiday Visa Guidelines for Australians: Obtaining a Working Holiday Visa for stays up to 12 months in Spain 

Within this document are some helpful guidelines/tips to assist you with the process of applying for a Working Holiday Visa by ensuring that you prepare all the necessary documentation, as well as some of the key aspects you need to remember to allow for a smooth and unproblematic application.

What is the Working Holiday Visa?

The Working Holiday Visa was established after an agreement between both the Spanish and Australian governments to allow up to 500 Australian citizens annually to travel to Spain for an extended amount of time (up to 12 months). Under this scheme, it was hoped that citizens of both Australia and Spain would gain a greater understanding and appreciation of respective cultures through the opportunities for study, work and leisure given to those who applied.

What is required to apply?

Firstly, I should start off by saying the process of obtaining a Working Holiday Visa is not easy. However, if you prepare efficiently and leave yourself plenty of time to collect all necessary documents you should be fine. Before preparing the documents below, ensure you book an appointment at your respective Spanish Consulate (Canberra, Sydney or Melbourne) by email. If you already have a travel date planned, allow at least one month from the date of your visa appointment to the date you fly out to ensure that you allow enough time for the application to be processed. This means you should start preparing your application 1-3 months prior to your visa appointment. It should be noted that an application cannot be lodged earlier than 3 months before the start of entry into Spain, and many of the documents required for the visa cannot be older than 3 months. So, for example, if you wanted to leave in June, you could apply as early as March, ensuring your documents, however, have not been collected before this.

It is also very important to note that, in the worst case scenario, you’ll need to leave as much as 20 weeks (approximately 4-5 months) between now and booking your appointment due to the language requirements of the visa. In short, you need proof of a functional level of Spanish, and in the instance above, you would have to enrol in two ten week long courses of Spanish. There are other options, most notably an online course that I completed in under two months, or more simply providing proof of learning Spanish at school or university or a series of tests if you believe you are competent/fluent in Spanish. Look up Instituto Cervantes for more information on this requirement.

Personal requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age and no older than 30 years
  • Be an Australian citizen
  • Not have been a recipient of the program before

Other requirements:

  • Functional level of Spanish (as mentioned earlier)
  • Passport with validity that will cover the entire time you are in Spain. You will also need at least 2 blank pages and a photocopy of the details page of your passport
  • Booked a return ticket or proof of sufficient funds to do so. This can be done by printing out bank statements showing at least $915 AUD a month credits. Ensure that your name is on each statement otherwise they will not be accepted.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance for the entirety of your trip. Shop around and look for the cheapest deal, but make sure it is comprehensive.
  • A medical certificate from your Doctor or GP (less than 3 months old from the date of your appointment) with the following text both in Spanish and English:
  • “This medical certificate states that Mr/Ms…. Does not suffer from any of the diseases that can have serious implications for public health, pursuant to the provisions of the International Health Regulations 2005”
  • “Este certificado medico acredita que el Sr/Sra….. no padece ninguna de las enfermedades que pueden tener repercusiones de salud publica graves de conformidad con lo dispuesta en el Reglamento Sanitario Internacional de 2005”
  • A National Police Check (less than 3 months old from the date of your appointment) with fingerprints included. Ensure you apply for a check with fingerprints not just a standard police check. To do this check if you local police station takes fingerprints. If so, they can arrange for your fingerprints to be taken and sent to the AFP for processing. Your passport, license, a copy of both these, an A4 envelope addressed to the AFP in Canberra and a fee are required. This also takes up to 30 working days so leave ample time to do so. For more info see
  • A letter of government support from the Australian Department of Immigration. Simply email outlining that you are applying for a Working Holiday Visa for Spain and they will help you out
  • One visa application formed filled out. These can be requested by email from your respective Spanish consulate. Include two official passport photos.
  • EX-15 form filled out which will also be sent to you by email from the Spanish consulate.
  • NIE (foreigners identity number) application form filled out. You must fill it out, download it and print it out to bring to your appointment. It can be accessed from this website:
  • A non-refundable fee of $98.60 (as of June 2017) in cash. Ensure you have the exact amount as they do not dispense change.

Once again, make sure you leave ample time to not only collect all necessary items, but also to complete one of the required Spanish courses provided by Instituto Cervantes, which undoubtedly takes up the most time and therefore should be your number one priority. Other than that, good luck! I hope you found this helpful and that the process is a smooth one.


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