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I (Spanish citizen) am currently living abroad with my girlfriend. We want to take a relatively long trip to Spain and, while possible, she would have some trouble collecting enough money to prove subsistence means for visa purposes for such a long trip. My plan was to act as a sponsor, hopefully avoiding the need to send money to her bank account (since that would mean wasting money on an international transfer).

That arises a seemingly simple question: Can I, as a Spanish citizen, declare that I will cover all her expenses while she stays in the country?

I assumed the answer would be yes, since I suppose sponsorship is a common thing. However, I still asked this question to my local consulate just in case, and that's where things got confusing. On the one hand, I got this reply from them (translated from Spanish):

[...] invitations by Spanish residents may not, in any case, replace the accreditation by the interested part of the fulfillment of the obligation of stating their own economic resources. Whoever invites a foreigner to Spain may take responsibility -if desired- for their accommodation, but never for the subsistence expenses their stay may imply.

On the other hand, I checked the document in the consulate's website detailing the required documentation for a tourist Schengen visa application. The section regarding economic means states the following:

Confirmation of employment (with salary information) or, failing that, any other accreditation of economic means and intention to return (for example, a bank account extract [...] or a proof of sponsorship).

So my question still remains unanswered. I don't really know how to proceed considering both answers come from the same, supposedly reliable, source (Spanish consulate). Which one should I trust?

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You can declare that you will cover all the costs of the trip, sure. If this declaration is found credible, that could suffice to demonstrate her means of maintenance during the trip. This is especially natural and unremarkable if you're traveling together as a couple.

However, verifying means during the trip is not the only reason consulates want economic information about applicants, and the other reasons are not affected by your intention to fund the trip.

So she will still have to document her own economic situation to show that she has a credible reason to want to leave the Schengen area when she says she will. Put crudely, she needs to show that her long-term situation in her country of residence is not so bleak that it would look attractive to her to seek a better life as an undocumented immigrant to Europe.


The first of your quotes concern "invitation by Spanish residents" -- since you're not a Spanish resident, that doesn't apply to you. (It also correctly point out that being sponsored -- by anyone -- doesn't mean you don't still have to document your own economic circumstances).

The second points out that there are various ways one may legitimately afford a visit to Spain. Being sponsored by a travel companion is certainly one of those.


By the way, you write:

hopefully avoiding the need to send money to her bank account (since that would mean wasting money on an international transfer).

Even worse, having a large sum of money sudden appear on one's bank account is a pretty reliable way to be rejected for a visa. (Search for "funds parking" on this site). If you are funded by someone else, the application needs to describe that funding honestly (including the funder's motive and ability to pay) rather than pretending it's your own money.

  • Nice answer. Could it be worthwhile for the OP to explain his own economic and familiar ties to his current residency country? While he does not need it for entering Schengen (because he is a UE national) it could show that, as he plans to return there, his girlfriend will also have an incentive to return back with him. – SJuan76 Sep 10 at 9:13
  • Very solid answer, thank you. What was bothering me is this part of my first quote "Whoever invites a foreigner to Spain may take responsibility -if desired- for their accommodation, but never for the subsistence expenses their stay may imply.", which seems to imply it is not possible at all to sponsor someone. It wouldn't make any sense for it to be like so, but since this was a reply from the consulate I didn't know how to interpret it. – kredes Sep 10 at 10:10
  • @SJuan76 I am enrolled in a Master's degree and have a student visa for around one more year. I assume this would be a pretty solid reason to trust I will come back. – kredes Sep 10 at 10:14

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