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We present a low-temperature (73 K) study of the optical properties of multi-layer type II InP/GaAs self-assembled quantum dots by means of surface photovoltage (SPV) spectroscopy, taking advantage of its high sensitivity and contactless nature. The samples contain 10 periods of InP quantum dot planes separated by 5 nm GaAs spacers. The SPV amplitude spectra reveal two major broad peaks, situated at low and high energies, respectively. These features are analyzed taking into account the type II character of the structure, the quantum coupling effects, the spectral behavior of the SPV phase, and the photoluminescence spectra. As a result they have been attributed to optical transitions in the quantum dots and the wetting layers, respectively. The main mechanism for carrier separation in the SPV generation process is clarified via the analysis of the SPV phase spectra. The influence of the substrate absorption on the SPV spectra is discussed in details.