Spain’s Working Holiday Visa for Australians

Spain’s Working Holiday Visa for Australians
Barcelona, Spain. Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on

If you’re an Australian aged between 18 and 30 years old, you’ve completed at least two years of higher education and you speak at least a basic level of Spanish, you can participate in Spain’s Youth Mobility Programme!

Spain offers up to 500 working holiday visas to Australians each year under its Youth Mobility Programme. Under this arrangement, Australians can live and work in Spain for up to 12 months. You are allowed to work for up to 6 months per employer, study for up to 4 months, and travel freely within the rest of the Schengen Area for up to 3 months within any 6-month period.

With its warm climate, laid-back lifestyle, history & culture, mountains & beaches, and its proximity to the rest of Europe, Spain is a popular destination for young Australians. In addition to modern cities like Madrid and Barcelona, Spain boasts charming beachside towns and islands including Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza and the Canary Islands.

Lanzarote, Spain
Lanzarote, Spain. Photo by Matteo on

This page contains information about Spain’s Youth Mobility Programme Visa for Australian citizens. It was last updated on 24 January 2022.

Travel to Spain is currently possible, but some COVID-19 entry requirements may apply. See the Spain Travel Health website for details.

Key facts about Spain

  • Population: Approx. 47 million
  • Official language: Spanish
  • Capital city: Madrid
  • Largest cities: Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Zaragoza
  • Name of the country in Spanish: España
  • Currency: Euro
Madrid, Spain. Photo by Alex Azabache on

Spain Working Holiday Visa requirements for Australians

In addition to Australians, Spain offers working holiday visas to citizens of Canada, Japan, New Zealand & South Korea.

The information on this page applies to Australian citizens. Please consult the Spanish embassy in your country for information applicable to citizens of other countries.

To apply for a Spanish working holiday visa as an Australian citizen, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Aged between 18-30 years old (inclusive) at the time of application
  • Speak a functional level of Spanish (at least A1 level)
  • Successfully completed at least two years of higher education
  • Have sufficient savings to support yourself initially in Spain (at least AUD5,000)
  • Have a return flight ticket to Spain
  • Agree to purchase travel/medical insurance to cover the entire stay in Spain
  • Are in good health

You cannot apply for this visa if you:

  • Will be accompanied by dependent children
  • Have already participated in Spain’s Youth Mobility Programme
  • Have a criminal record

Documents needed to apply for this visa

When applying for a Work & Holiday visa for Spain as an Australian citizen, you will need to provide the original and a copy of the following documents:

  • National Visa application form (PDF)
  • Two recent passport-sized photographs
  • Valid Australian passport
  • A return flight ticket or proof of sufficient funds to buy one
  • Proof of financial means (i.e. bank statement/s from the past 3 months showing you have at least AUD5,000 in savings)
  • Police criminal record clearance from Australian Federal Police, and/or any other countries where the applicant has lived during the past 5 years (documents must be less than 3 months old, and translated or apostilled if not in English or Spanish)
  • Medical certificate signed by a doctor stating that “the patient has been examined and found free of any contagious diseases according to the International Health Regulation 2005”.
  • Proof of having successfully completed at least two years of higher education (e.g. academic records)
  • Proof of possessing at least a functional level of Spanish
  • Proof of international comprehensive travel/medical insurance covering medical, hospitalisation, medical evacuation and repatriation costs
  • Application for a National Identity Number for Foreigners (PDF) & completed 790/012 form

There is also a visa processing fee of approx. AUD129 (this could change), payable in cash at the time of application.

See the Embassy of Spain in Australia website for more information.

Spanish language requirement

According to the Consulate of Spain in Melbourne, any of the following six things can be accepted as proof of a functional level of Spanish:

  1. DELE (Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language) at level A1 or higher
  2. Completion of the A1.1 and A1.2 Spanish courses (each course is 30 hours) at Instituto Cervantes in Sydney
  3. Completion of Spanish Online Course AVE via Skype with two 12-week courses at levels A1.1 and A1.2
  4. At least four semesters of Spanish during secondary education
  5. At least two semesters of Spanish during higher education
  6. Applicants fluent in Spanish without any formal qualifications or a language certificate can instead prove their fluency during an interview at the Spanish Embassy or Consulate General at the time of application.

How to apply for a Spanish Working Holiday Visa

You can apply in Australia up to 3 months before your intended arrival date in Spain. This needs to be done in person at one of the following Spanish missions, depending on where you live in Australia:

You should make an appointment with the relevant Embassy or Consulate-General well in advance. It usually takes up to one month to process your visa application. This could be longer during Christmas/New Year and Spanish summer holidays. Once approved, you’ll be notified by writing and must return to the place where you lodged your application within one month to collect your visa.

See the Spanish government website for more information.

One last thing: Before you arrive in Spain, you may also find it useful to join a Facebook group such as Australians in Spain or Aussies in Madrid to connect with other Australians who’ve already made the move!

While best efforts are made to keep this information updated, we do not guarantee its accuracy. If you spot an error, would like to suggest new information to be added or simply have a question, please let us know in the comments and we’ll endeavour to respond or update the article as quickly as possible!

Matt Graham

Matt Graham

Matt is the founder of Working Holidays for Aussies. Passionate about travel and always looking for great deals, he believes that gap years & working holidays are the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture and gain invaluable life experience. Originally from Australia, Matt has travelled to over 60 countries and has lived in New Zealand, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.

24 thoughts on “Spain’s Working Holiday Visa for Australians

  1. Hi. I just want to confirm if one needs to arrive in Spain on the youth mobility visa within 90 days of visa issue date or 90 days from application date. If the visa applicatiin date was 15 June 2022 and issue date was 14 July 2022, can Arrival in Spain be 20 September 2022?

    1. It looks like the Spanish embassy has removed all information from its website, so I can’t double-check right now. But I believe you would need to *apply* within 90 days of your planned arrival date in Spain.

  2. Hello,

    As you said, the Spanish embassy has removed all information from its website. Is the two years completion of higher education necessary. At the time I wish to apply, I would have finished 1.5 years, I suppose that would not be sufficient?

    Kind Regards, Jackson

    1. Hi, you would need an undergraduate university degree or to have completed at least two years of full-time study at university. Unfortunately a HSC doesn’t fulfil this visa requirement.

  3. oh jeez that’s actually so unfortunate I’ve been dying to do this and just started looking into it just to find this out. is there no other way around it? do you know any other places similar to Spain that may not require this?

    1. Most airlines unfortunately don’t really offer “open end” tickets any more, you would need to either book a one-way ticket or a return ticket with the leg back to Sydney being within a year of the booking date. That said, you could book a return ticket and change the date of the return flight before you leave Sydney to be up to 365 days after the flight to Spain.

      This may be of interest –

  4. Hi,
    Do you know if ‘Successfully completed at least two years of higher education’ would mean that a diploma that was completed part-time over two years (but which is one year full-time) would not meet the eligibility criteria?

  5. Hello,

    How strict is the Police Criminal Record document needing to be less than 3 months old?
    I have a police cert from when I lived in Japan in 2017 but the cert was issued in June 2022. So over 6 months old.
    Do you think they will have a problem with it even though I have not entered Japan since 2019?


    1. I don’t have any personal experience with this, but I would suggest that if the Spanish government has specified it needs to be less than 3 months old, then this would be enforced. I wouldn’t risk it and would apply for another one shortly before applying for the visa.

  6. How strict are they at the Spanish consulate in sydney with the level of Spanish for this mobility working visa application. Can you go if your Spanish is not up to scratch but you are going to immerse yourself in Spain to learn the language

  7. Hi Matt,
    What are the better travel/medical insurance policies to look at? Are there still covid precautions needed for medical insurance. planning to go in July for 12 months

  8. so if I live in perth I have to go to melbourne to go to one of the spanish missions in person?

  9. Hello,
    Would a diploma, or a cert 4 be accepted as higher education? Or does it have to be a degree

    1. Degrees, graduate certificates or diplomas are generally accepted as tertiary qualifications for a Work and Holiday visa. But a Certificate IV would not be eligible.

  10. Hey,
    Are the Canary Islands included in the Spanish WhV for working rights?
    Also do you know if its possible to apply for an extension of the visa arrival time as I would like to arrive in January/Feb next year but apply ASAP approx 6months in advance for planning purposes? Is the 90days minimum or expectation?

    Hannah 😊

    1. Yes, you can live anywhere in Spain including the Canary Islands.

      You do need to apply for the visa within 3 months of your planned arrival, however.

  11. Hey Matt thanks for you speedy reply. Wow that’s a tough arrival time considering the limited amount of visas issued per year. Does it renew with the calendar year so if I miss out for 2023 then 2024 jan it will start again?

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