To tell you that Spain’s visa process
isn’t hard or confusing to say the least, I wouldn’t be telling you the truth. The moment I found out I could be potentially returning to Spain, I searched and searched every little detail needed to know in order to move. Everything was so confusing or outdated. If I could tell my past self not to stress too much when going through the process, I would have saved myself a lot of whining and stress headaches.
After going through the process, it’s fairly simply to be honest. Just make sure to have everything in order and copies of everything needed. When applying for a student visa, you have to go to the Consulate closest to you. Mine so happened to be the one in Los Angeles. Take note that each Consulate requires different wording, maybe a different document or so on. Make sure to read the checklist for your specific Consulate to ensure you have done everything correctly or else you could be turned away.
First things first make an appointment early with at least two months of leeway for you to gather all documents. Your appointment can’t be any earlier than 3 months from the date you’re leaving. If all appointments are booked, make sure to email not call them because they never pick up the phone. No matter how many times you call. Email them to ask if you could be given an expedited appointment.
Here are the instructions for Spanish student visa for more than 180 days. Visa which I applied for. Although most of the Spanish student visas have the same required documents.
Next step is to print out the 1. checklist and application form.
Application tips: Write in all caps as stated in the instructions (although they didn’t really seem to care if you didn’t) and make sure to sign any date information DD-MON-YEAR
- Fill out parts 1-9
- Leave 10-11 blank
- Number 12 – check ordinary passport
- Fill out parts 13-17
- Number 18 – check no
- Number 19 – write in STUDENT
- Number 20 – check studies
- Number 21 – write in the date you will be arriving to Spain
- Number 22 – check and write in MULTIPLE ENTRIES
- Number 23 – unless you have a host family or an apartment already – write in the address of your program’s office/center – usually on the acceptance letter you will receive from the school abroad.
- Leave 24-25 blank
- Number 26 – fill in your programs information, the office location, email, phone number and the start and end of classes
- Leave the next part blank
- End of application write the city you’re currently in and date then proceed to sign.
2. Have a recent passport photo taken with a white background
3. Have a passport and make a copy of your passport
4. Have a form of ID that shows your residence for that specific Consulate’s jurisdiction and make a copy of the ID
5. Only for Non-US Citizen
6. Acceptance letter: If you will be attending a University or program in Spain, you should be receiving an acceptance letter with information regarding dates and site information. The consulate needs to know you will be attending a school for an expected 20 hours a week.
7. Evidence of funds – Few ways to show proof of funds: 1. Your bank statements showing that you at least have $1000 dollars a month to support yourself. 2. Your parents sign a letter stating that they will support you with at least a $1000 dollars a month and must be notarized (Consulate website has wording of the letter) and also bank statements 3. Have your school draw up a letter stating how much or an estimated amount of financial aid you will receive.
8. Medical insurance – Your program should or could provide you with medical insurance and if they do, they should be sending you the letter of coverage. If not, the Consulate his a list of medical insurances you can buy from, which will then send you a letter of coverage. (I believe you need at least $30,000 in coverage)
9. Medical certificate – Depending on how lenient your Consulate is they may accept two formats. On the checklist there is a link to the wording in both English and Spanish, all your doctor has to do is write your information, sign, date and stamp it. I followed the instructions that stated it must be on letter head of the doctor. My doctor typed up both the English and Spanish version on two separate documents. Signed, dated and stamped them.
You may get the doctor to do it on one sheet or have him do the English part and have a translation group do the Spanish part. Each doctor is different and abides differently to what is needed for the medical visit. Some require blood and cup work, others don’t. BUT make sure the doctor follows the SPECIFIC wording, this is very important!!
10. Police records – Now this one was the pain in the butt. Make sure to do this first! You have two options for how to get a police record. You need an official background check letter, an Apostille (meaning the document can be used for another government) and translated into Spanish.
- Going through the FBI DOJ – which means getting finger printed through one of their approved channelers. After receiving the background check, you must then send it to Washington D.C. – State Department to get an Apostille. Sometimes the channelers can provide this service as well. Google Apostille instructions for FBI background check.
- State DOJ – Going through your state’s DOJ background check process for a visa. Google your state’s requirements as they may vary. I did my background check through the State of California, since it was shorter waiting period. Thus I will explain the process I went through. I filled out the visa immigration form online printed it out and took it to a UPS to get finger printed. About two weeks later I received a type writer looking note from the DOJ. You must then call or email DOJ at firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know you know need an official letter with a seal and signature on it. It should take about a week to receive this. Depending on where you are you may either mail it Sacramento with the fee included with the original background check or walk into the office. I live in LA which meant I could go to their region office for an Apostille. 30mins later I walked out with a piece of paper that cost me $26 dollars. When going to the regional office bring all original documents.
- After receiving both the official background check letter and Apostille, you must have both this documents translated into Spanish. I had them translated by the Spanish Group which signed and placed a seal to ensure it was a certified Spanish translation.
11. Only needed if your under the age of 18.
12. Visa fees are $160 = 100 euros. It needs to be in a money order or cashier’s check. You can get one done at 7-11 (there’s one right across the street from the LA Consulate).
13. Print out the disclaimer form – print the date and location then sign.
If you live near the Consulate you have the option to pick up your passport. I went ahead and picked mine up which only took a week of processing. You may also get it mailed to you, in which you need a prepaid express envelope from the USPS that has both the TO and FROM filled out with your information.
Have copies of every single document you must bring. They take almost all the originals and only substitute copies for 3,4,9,10 since they have to return those to you for the N.I.E/T.I.E process you complete in Spain.
Once you turn in all your documents you can officially breath and destress until you get to Spain and have to do the N.I.E./T.I.E process. So, stay tuned for that fun process.