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Invitation Letter to Enter Spain as a Foreigner

Who needs a Carta de Invitacion to visit Spain and how to apply for invitation letter to enter Spain as a foreigner

By Nick Nutter | Updated 20 Sep 2022 | Andalucia | Living In Andalucia | Login to add to YOUR Favourites or Read Later

Non EU residents wanting to visit Spain and stay with friends and relatives must have a Carta de Invitación. This is nothing to do with visas, it is proof that the visitor has somewhere to stay in the absence of booked tourist accommodation.


Who can apply for a Carta de Invitación

Only people registered as resident in Spain may apply for the Carta on behalf of their friends or family. The friends and family must stay in the applicant’s home, second home or the rented accommodation occupied by the applicant (if the rental agreement does not prohibit guests lodging at that address).

Non resident home owners cannot apply for the Carta de Invitación. If they want to allow friends or family to stay in their holiday home in Spain then the property must be listed with the Registro de Tourismo and they must issue a tourist rental contract and a confirmation of booking.

How to Apply for the Carta de Invitación


Making your Appointment

First you need to apply for an appointment at the National Police Station for your area.
Click here
This page should open in your browser language
- Click on your province
- Click Accept
On the next page
- Select the office for the appointment
Under ‘National Police Force Procedures’
- Choose ‘Police Letter of Invitation’
- Click Accept
- Enter contact details as requested (email, mobile number)
You will receive notification of your appointment time and date

Paying for the Appointment

Complete form Modelo – 790 -12
Click here
This form will open in Spanish
On the Form 790-12, complete the top part of the form
In the section Autoliquidacion
- Select Principal
Under Tarjetas de identidad de extranjeros (TIE) y certificados de registro de residentes comunitarios
- Click in the round box by ‘solicitud carta de invitación’
In the Declarante Section
- Enter the locality of the bank you will pay at
In the Ingreso section
- Note that 74.31€ has been automatically filled in
- Click in the round box by En efectivo
- Enter the Capture code
- Click on Descargar impreso rellanado
- Print the forms as they appear
Take the forms to your bank and pay in cash. The bank will stamp the forms and will keep one and hand two back to you.


Going for your Appointment

Take with you:
- Escritura or rental contract for the property where the guests will be lodging
- Your padrón certificate not older than 3 months
- Your TIE or green EU residency certificate and passport plus copies
- Copies of the passports of the guests that will travel to Spain to stay with you

How long does it take for an application for a Carta de Invitación?

The application process can take up to 20 or even 60 days so allow plenty of time, including the time it will take to send the original cartas to the person visiting Spain.

Picking up your Carta de Invitación

You will receive notification that your carta(s) are ready. At this point you need to pay for each guest. At the moment (May 2021), the amount to pay is 6.43 Euros per person. This amount changes every year.

Repeat the process for completing and downloading Form 790-12 but this time select ‘Expedición de Carta de Invitación’. No amount will appear in the payment box so you have to fill this in by hand (6.43 x number of guests) after you have printed the form.
Pay at the bank, receive your proof of payment and then pick up your carta de invitación from the police station. Take with you your passport and TIE or green certificate of residencia.
Send the original cartas to the guest.


UK visitors to Spain

At the moment (May 2021) the official Home Office guidance says that UK visitors to Spain may (please note the word may) also need to:
- show a return or onward ticket
- show you have enough money for your stay
- show proof of accommodation for your stay, for example, a hotel booking confirmation, proof of address if visiting your own property (e.g. second home), or an invitation from your host or proof of their address if staying with a third party, friends or family. The Spanish Government has clarified that the “carta de invitation” is one of the options available to prove that you have accommodation if staying with friends or family.

Talks to regularise the situation are ongoing. In the meantime, up to date information can be found at the Home Office advisory page

We Welcome Your Comments

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  • Opoku Isaac - 20 Sep 2022
    Please kindly send me the details of ur invitations letter's and I'm capable to do everything
    • Nick Nutter - 20 Sep 2022
      Sorry, It doesn't work like that. You have to make an appointment and go to a National Police Station, they complete the forms. Read the article to see how to make an appointment and the forms you need to take with you.
  • Pat - 10 Aug 2022
    Is there a specific time to check for appointments in the website? As I've been checking for the past week and could not get an appointment in any office in Barcelona
    • Nick Nutter - 15 Aug 2022
      People are having trouble. Try in the early hours of Sunday morning when the site is quiet.
  • Colin - 4 Aug 2022
    Does the Spanish resident have to pay Euro 74.13 each time the same guest visits, or just a small 'renewal' , fee each time the same or different guests visit them in Spain?
    • Nick Nutter - 5 Aug 2022
      It is one letter, one payment, per visit there is no such thing as a renewal fee.
  • Paul Clayton - 20 Apr 2022
    Hi. After paying for the appointment with the guardia, does that then give you the option to invite family and friends for life, or is it yearly?
    • Nick Nutter - 19 Jun 2022
      Hi Paul, Sorry for the delay replying, server problems. The letter of Invitation is for one visit only.
  • Hecham Dahbi - 11 Apr 2022
    I don't have relatives in Spain, and I want to visit.
    • Nick Nutter - 11 Apr 2022
      No problem, just show proof of booking accommodation.
  • Carol Foster - 3 Mar 2022
    Is this actually enforced because people we have spoken to say they have not been asked for this letter. what is the penalty if you dont have a letter thanks
    • Nick Nutter - 4 Mar 2022
      It's one of those bits of paper that the Guardia can ask for if they feel so inclined. Most people risk it. As regards the fine, between 500 and 1000 Euros.
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