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.
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.
First you need to apply for an appointment at the National Police Station for your area.
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
Complete form Modelo – 790 -12
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.
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
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.
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.
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