Spanish Visa Application Instructions

Step #1: Choose your consulate

I need to know which consulate you will apply through because the acceptance letter I provide you will be consulate-specific.  Most of you have two choices of consulate—the one with jurisdiction over your permanent address or over your home address, if different.  Use this list to help you decide.

Step #2: Make the appointment to appear in person and apply for the visa, if applicable

All consulates are now requiring a personal appearance to submit documentation, though some will allow “an authorized representative” to apply on your behalf.  This means you may write a letter authorizing a parent to apply on your behalf (this letter needs to be notarized).  In this case, however, you will be required to appear in person to pick up the visa.  Students applying through Boston may apply up to 120 days before their program starts; students applying elsewhere may apply up to 90 days before the start of their program.

Make the appointment: *BE SURE TO SELECT “STUDENT VISA” from the drop-down, where applicable. In the case of NY, you need to select “long stay visa.”

    1. New York appears to have no availability until January.  I don’t know what the story is there, but let me know if you need to apply through NY and your school will not apply on your behalf.  You may see a note some place about only applying for an individual appointment if your school will not apply on your behalf.  Middlebury will not apply on your behalf in NY (only in Boston), so you should make an individual appointment or go through your home school’s process.
    2. Boston Nicole will secure a group appointment for the Boston consulate for any student who can show residency in the Boston consulate’s jurisdiction.  I can apply for you only if your driver’s license or valid student ID is from MA, ME, VT, NH, or RI. Send all visa materials to Nicole arrive no later than October 1: 356 College Street; Middlebury, VT  05753.  If you do not attend Middlebury, please include a Priority Mail Envelope addressed to wherever you will be just before heading to Spain (hold onto the receipt with the tracking number).  You can buy the priority mail envelope when you buy your money order at the post office. Boston opens very few slots during the peak months, as they expect study abroad advisors to apply for their students, so it’s very difficult to get an individual appointment there.  If you cannot go through the group process, make an appointment very early.
    3. Chicago has opened ALL of its fall slots but they will fill as soon as students get accepted into their programs.  Do not wait to schedule one—mid October to mid-November is when you want to apply, but you may not apply more than 90 days before your program start date, so do some careful arithmetic, then schedule. 
    4. DC doesn’t accept appointments, so you should make a plan for when you would like to go (no more than 90 days before your program start date) and plan to arrive early that day.  The consulate only accepts a limited number of applicants each day, so if you’re not one of those, you’ll have to make a second trip.
    5. Houston has opened all of its slots, so schedule now if you hope to apply there.
    6. Los Angeles has opened All of its slots so book immediately—there will not be more/better options later. 
    7. Miami doesn’t accept appointments, so you should make a plan for when you would like to go (no more than 90 days before your program start date) and plan to arrive early that day.  The consulate only accepts a limited number of applicants each day, so if you’re not one of those, you’ll have to make a second trip.  I would advise making an appointment at your “back up” consulate for after your intended trip to Miami, and then cancelling it only after your Miami appointment works out.
    8. San Francisco has opened All of its slots so book immediately—there will not be more/better options later. 

Step #3: Make sure your plans do not include travel outside the US

The consulate requires you to leave your passport with them for processing (different consulates quote between 4-6 weeks).  They will not call you when it’s ready, nor will they answer your call.  Make a plan to return to the consulate to pick it up six weeks after your appointment.  If you want to leave the country while the visa is processing, you’ll need to plan ahead and apply for a second US passport (which requires you to send away your original US passport to get, if you want to use a processing agency).  The link above is for a processing agent we have used many times. You will be able to use the second US passport for travel for five years. 

Step #4: Gather your materials for your appointment


Boston Consulate website and Student Visa requirements

Chicago Consulate website and Student Visa requirements

DC Consulate website and Student Visa requirements

Houston Consulate website and Student Visa requirements

Los Angeles Consulate website and Student Visa requirements: semester / year

Miami Consulate website and Student Visa requirements

New York Consulate website and Student Visa requirements

San Fran Consulate website and Student Visa requirements



Word of warning: each consulate makes its own rules—and they change these rules at will.  Their favorite one to change is the application fee, which they tend to re-evaluate each June.  You will need to research your individual consulate’s requirements, but these are standard across many consulates, including Boston, so I’ll offer them here with a brief explanatory note for some of the questions I get most often.  Please take originals, plus one photocopy of everything to the consulate, including a copy of your passport.  Also, make one copy of everything for your own records to take with you to Spain. Year-long students will only be granted a 90 day visa and will need to take your original documents to Spain in order to register with the local police (our staff will help with this upon arrival). 

  • National Visa Application—PRINT DOUBLE SIDED from your consulate’s website.  Some consulates have the form only in Spanish.  Consulates sometimes require an original signature on both copies, so print, complete all but signature, photocopy, then sign. 
  • “Application 2” IF applying in Boston (download from Boston consulate website—not required by other consulates)
  • Passport AND PHOTOCOPY of the ID page--copy the photo part and the signature part (do not take a picture with your fingers in it)
    • The passport must be signed and valid for six months after the intended period of stay in Spain. 
    • The passport must be in good condition (they’ve turned down ones that are damaged and students have had to get replacements).
    • The passport must have at least two blank visa pages (the ones that say “visa” on the top—the last two pages of US passports do not count).
    • If you need to obtain/renew a US passport, do so immediately:
  • One COPY (the original document isn’t necessary if someone is applying on your behalf): US driver’s license, US State ID card, Voters registration card, or current student ID as proof that you may apply at your chosen consulate. 
  • One (sometimes two) recent, color, passport sized photo with a white (not off-white—double check when you get yours taken) background. This photo does not need to match the photo in your passport, and it cannot match the photo in your passport unless you’ve renewed your passport within six months of your visa application (because these photos must be no more than six months old).  You should have this photo taken at a place that takes passport photos, like Kinney Drugs in Middlebury—do not try to print these yourself.  Alternately, you can try an on-line service like this one:  Attach one photo to the original application form (glue sticks work best, though if your consulate asks for tape or staples, do as they instruct—if no instructions are given, use a glue stick).  *CA students (especially—there must be a nearby place to campus) have used photos that are too small in the past, so be sure yours are 2x2 inches square, even though that’s too big for the square provided on the form.
  • Letter of acceptance as a full time student from Spain's University/School or US program indicating: name, address and registration number of the school with Spain's Department of Education; (Ministerio de Educación de España) full payment of tuition, duration of the program, subjects of the study and hours of study per week which must be no fewer than 20.  [This is the letter in Spanish provided for you by our office—signed by Patricia Rodriguez.]
    • San Fran and Los Angeles consulates have also begun requiring the acceptance letter from your university in Spain (for students in Madrid, this does not apply), so if you are attending one of the sites (Getafe, Córdoba, or Logroño) and applying at a west coast consulate (or see this requirement on your own consulate’s website), let our office know so we can get this letter for you as well.
  • Health Insurance (original form): International insurance coverage for health/accident with a minimum coverage equal to €30,000 during the planning period of stay in Spain (or its equivalency in dollars).  [This letter is also provided to you by our office, since Middlebury College purchases your health insurance for the time you are abroad.]  Later, once we have actually enrolled you in the health insurance plan, you will get an email from GeoBlue (our insurance company); you should follow their instructions to register and print your insurance card from their website.  Los Angeles and Chicago require that this be translated into Spanish. If you’re going through one of those consulates, let Nicole know so she can provide you a copy in Spanish.
  • Proof of financial means during your stay: Please provide one of the following (Los Angeles and Chicago require that this be translated into Spanish—translation follows, and you should print both the Spanish and English so the notary can see what the parent is signing, rather than paying to have it translated after the fact):
    1. **SUGGESTED**Notarized letter from your parents or legal guardians assuming full financial responsibility for $1,000 (each consulate has its own requirement, but it’s always better to aim high in case your consulate changes its requirements) per month for room and board. Suggested wording: “I hereby certify that I'm the (father/mother/other) of (...). I will support him/her with a monthly allowance of at least $1,000 while he/she is in Spain and I certify that I'm financially responsible for any emergency that may arise".  [This is what the majority of students, even those not financially supported by their parents, have found easiest to procure.]  Have the responsible party sign the letter before a notary public (found at banks, post offices, college campuses, etc.).  *Some consulates also require proof of parental income accompany this letter.

Spanish translation: Por la presente certifico que soy el (padre / madre / otro) de (...). Lo apoyaré con una asignación mensual de al menos $ 1,000 mientras esté en España y certifico que soy financieramente responsable de cualquier emergencia que pueda surgir "

  • LA further requires supporting three months of bank statements be translated as well.
    1. Proof of financial aid or scholarship for at least $1,000 per month for room and board. Your financial aid award letter (original) can be this proof if the amount is high enough.  **This document requires notice and you cannot request it from Student Financial Services on the same day you expect to have it back; please plan accordingly. It must explicitly state that these funds are for use in Spain, which it will not unless you tell your financial aid office.  It must not be marked “copy.” It must bear an original signature.
    2. Student’s personal bank account statements (past three months) showing at least $1,000 per month of stay.  Some consulates also require an actual letter listing the end balances for each month signed by a bank representative.
  • Money-Order (no personal checks or cash accepted at consulates) payable to “Consulate General of Spain” to pay the non-refundable visa fee of $160 for US citizens or $68 for other nationalities (double check this amount with your consulate—they seem to change it whenever the exchange rate between the dollar and the Euro fluctuates or the US raises its visa fee). 
  • Notarized letter from you allowing someone else to apply on your behalf (applicable only if you are not applying in person for your visa and if permitted by the consulate).  Some consulates do not permit anyone to apply on your behalf. 

    To the Consulate General of Spain in (City)
    I, (your name), give permission for (name of person applying) to apply for my student  visa to study in Spain for the (semester/year) of (year(s)).
    (Your signature—WAIT to sign it in front of the notary public)
    (Your printed name)
    (Signature from the notary public)

    • Notaries on campus include Nicole Chance, Emily Kimberly, and Lesley Huston in Sunderland.  Law offices, banks and major post offices have them as well.
  • Postage paid, Priority Mail envelope addressed to you (wherever you will be 4-6 weeks after you apply for the visa) if the consulate will mail it back to you (not Boston, and not any place where a parent has applied on your behalf—the consulate must see you once).  Save the receipt you receive from the post office, as your tracking information will be on that.  Consulates will not let you know where your passport is, so you’ll only know it is on its way to you by tracking it yourself with the numbers on that receipt.
  • Some consulates also require proof of round trip flight itinerary—though no consulate requires that you have actually purchased the ticket prior to applying.  Boston does not require this.

Additional Requirements for Students Staying the Full Academic Year, ***including graduate students*** (US citizens abroad for only one semester do not currently need any of the following):

  • Medical Certificate: Doctor's statement on practice or medical center letterhead (important) indicating that you have been examined and found to be in good health.  This cannot be written on a prescription pad—it must be a typed letter signed by a doctor (not a nurse practitioner or other medical professional).  Some consulates ask for specific wording, like New York: “The student has been examined and found in good physical and mental health to travel to study abroad and is free of contagious diseases or any other illnesses which could lead to Public Health repercussions according to the International Sanitary Regulations”  or Boston "This medical certificate attests that Mr. X does not suffer from any illness that would pose a threat to public health according to the International Health Regulations of 2005.”  If your consulate doesn’t give specific wording, you may use some combination of the above; otherwise, use whatever your consulate provides.  The only consulate that requires that this document be translated is Miami. 
  • Background check—you may choose for an FBI background check or a state background check from each state in which you’ve lived for 6 months or more in the past 5 years.  Most of you will find the FBI check is a more straightforward way to go and the FBI website is easy to follow.  Whatever you get, the document may not be more than 90 days old when you apply for the visa at most consulates; the Boston consulates requires that it be no older than 90 days from your departure date to Spain.  It’s a narrow window.

OPTION 1: FBI background check:  If you apply electronically (with follow up mailing of your fingerprint card), the process is now quite fast, but if you apply by mail, it can take up to four months.  You’ll want to complete the on-line request, which will come to you notarized by default (though you won’t see a raised seal).  To get fingerprinted in Middlebury: call the Sherriff’s office at 388.2981 to make an appointment (available Tues. & Thurs. 1-3:30pm).

First complete your on-line request with the FBI.  You’ll submit your email and receive an email back with a link that says “Click here to access your request” and a PIN that you’ll input.  Then you’ll complete the on-line request.  After you pay, you get another e-mail that is from the same e-mail as before (Criminal Justice Information Services) with the subject line: Identity History Summary Request Confirmation.  The e-mail is a receipt that has your order number, the payment verification code, the preference (e.g. you indicated your fingerprints would be delivered by mail), and instructions to mail your fingerprints here:

FBI CJIS Division
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, WV 26306

Then take the following with you to your appointment to be fingerprinted:

  • $25 check (preferred) or exact cash (for the fee to get fingerprinted)
  • Government-issued (passport or drivers’ license) photo ID
  • Pre-paid trackable mailing envelope (UPS, FedEx or USPS all okay), addressed to the FBI at the address above.

You may also choose to use an approved “handler” to expedite the FBI background check process, though this might not be necessary with the electronic application process.  Students have used with good results. You must be a US citizen to use this service.

Once you receive the results of your FBI background check, you will then need to send away for an apostille from the US Dept. of State on the original document they send you.  You’ll see they ask for a document with a raised seal, but this is apparently the exception (if you want to read that for yourself it’s in the FAQs on the FBI background check). If your consulate requires a translation, scan a copy before putting the original in the mail so you can have the translation processed concurrently with the apostille.  For the apostille on the FBI background check, send the original FBI background check results, Form DS-4194, payment, and return mailing envelope (not FedEx—that one is now excluded in the directions, but still listed as an option on the form—don’t use it) to:

Office of Authentications
U.S. Department of State
44132 Mercure Cir, P.O. Box 1206
Sterling, VA  20166-1206

The American Translators Association recognizes many services:

Here is an on-line one we have used.

OPTION 2: State-issued background check(s).  You will need a notarized and apostilled background check from every state in which you have lived during the past five years for more than six months (usually one for your permanent address and one for your school address will suffice).  And if you’re applying at the consulate with jurisdiction over your permanent address, you can usually skip the one from the state where you go to school.

You DO need a notarized version because you’ll then have to send the completed background check to the secretary of state’s office for an apostille (and they will only apostille documents that have already been notarized).

  • Other states: Google: [Your state] state background check for the police records check—you must get a notarized version so you can later send it for the apostille.

If your state does a “live scan” for the background check, they may ask for the ORI code and the employer.  If so, the ORI code is AE709 and the Employer would be the consulate you plan to use to process your visa.  You do not need to know the mail code for the consulate.

All consulates require that this document be apostilled; Miami and Boston require that it be officially translated, which means you’ll have to pay a service to translate it for you (no, you cannot translate it yourself, not even if you are a native speaker).  Chicago further requires that even the apostille itself be translated.

The American Translators Association recognizes many services:

You may also choose an on-line service such as this one.  Whichever service you choose, be sure the translation will have a notary stamp on it.  And remember, you send a copy of the document for translation, so if you need an apostille and translation for your background check, scan a copy of it before sending the original for the apostille so you can order the translation with the copy.  The apostille itself does not need to be translated, just the document (except Chicago).

Apostille: A secondary level of certification for use in foreign governments.  If you get a notarized state background check, send it to the secretary of state office in the state in which it was issued. 

Additional Requirement for Non-U.S. Citizens

  • Evidence of your migratory status in the USA (Only for non US citizens): Provide your “Permanent Residence Card,” "Alien Registration Card," or “US Visa with I-20/IAP-66” (except B1-B2).  The consulate must see the original, which they will return to you, so also make them a copy.

Checklist of application materials:

  • Your original, signed passport + copy
  • Your completed, double sided, signed 4 page application for national visa (2 originals)
  • Proof that you live/go to school in that consulate’s jurisdiction (Driver’s License or student ID, usually)
  • 1-2 passport photos—one each glued to each required visa application
  • Your completed, signed “Application 2” form (1 original) [Boston only]
  • Proof of financial means + copy
  • Money order for $160 (US citizens) payable to the “Consulate General of Spain”
  • YEAR REQUIREMENT: Medical certificate [apostilled and officially translated, if required]  + copy
  • YEAR REQUIREMENT: FBI or State Police background check, [apostilled and officially translated, if required] + copy

Submitting your Application to the Consulate

Submit one set of originals (include the passport and money order in this set) + one set of copies (include the passport copy in this stack) + keep one set of copies for you to take with you to Spain.

DIRECTIONS FOR COMPLETING THE NATIONAL VISA APPLICATION (these numbers correspond to Boston’s form, but some consulates have different numbering—knowing that is the case, you’ll probably be able to figure it out).

Print the form and GLUE (unless your consulate specifies tape/staple) one passport photo to the front.  It doesn’t matter if you complete it in English or in Spanish.

1. Last name as it appears in your passport

2. Leave blank if your name has not changed since birth (married women use your maiden name, if different)

3. First, middle names as they appear in your passport

4. Date of birth: written two digit day, spell out the month, four digit year (ex. 10 May 1983), unless otherwise specified by your consulate.

5. Place of birth means city

6. Country of birth

7. Current nationality (list them all, then list your nationality at birth, if that is different)

8. Gender—male or female as stated in your passport

9. Marital Status

10. None of you are minors, write “N/A”

11. Unless you are a grad student who has been recently living in Spain, you do not have one—leave blank

12. Type of passport is “ordinary passport” (unless your parents are diplomats or you’re in the military, in which case, you might have a “diplomatic” or a “service” passport)

13. Your “travel document” is your passport and your passport number is the nine digit number in the upper right corner of the ID page (of a US passport). 

14. Date of issue (use same format as for date of birth throughout this form).

15. Valid until—give the expiration date.

16. Issued by: For most: “Dept of State”—it should be written on the passport, middle, right.  This is held over from when the different agencies would write “Boston passport Agency,” etc.  Alternately, it could be the government and city (government of South Africa, Johannesburg) if your passport was issued abroad.  If yours doesn’t say anything, write “Dept. of State.”

17. Use an address within the consulate’s jurisdiction through which you are applying (either your home address or your school address—they do not like to see PO boxes, so use a physical street address).  If you are a Middlebury student (or grad student) applying in Boston, use mine: 356 College Street, Middlebury, VT  05753. Also include your email address and phone number.

18. US citizens should check “no.”  Otherwise, check yes and list your current residency status and validity.

19. Current profession: “student.”

20. Principal purpose of journey: “studies.”

21. Date you plan to enter Spain.  If you are not a US citizen and you require a tourist visa to travel to Spain, you may not enter until the date your visa begins, so be careful not to plan to arrive too early.  US citizens (and others) may have up to 90 days in Spain outside the dates of the visa.  IMPORTANT: Use whatever date you plan to travel, unless it’s after the start date of your program (because you’re reserving housing ahead of time and don’t need the extra week), in which case, you should use the day before the program start date.

22. Number of entries: “multiple” or “more than two”

23. Applicant’s address in Spain--select the bolded information from your site below (the unbolded part is there for your information):

Madrid: Grads and Undergrads in Madrid at the Sede Prim, including those taking courses at the Autónoma

Middlebury College School in Spain

Calle Prim, 19 Primera Planta

28004 Madrid SPAIN

Telephone: Fax:

Contact: Patrícia Rodriguez

Email address:

Juan de Dios Torralbo:
Universidad de Córdoba
Facultad de Filosofía y Letras
Plza. Cardenal Salazar, s/n
14071 Córdoba, SPAIN

Tel: +34 957 218 752

Penélope Barrero:
Universidad Carlos III International School
C/ Madrid, 126
28903 Getafe, Madrid

Tel: +34 91 624 9326

Ana Pajares Ciércoles:
Relaciones Internacionales
Universidad de La Rioja
Avda. de la Paz, 93
26004 Logrono (La Rioja)  SPAIN

Tel: +34 941 299 152

24-25. Leave blank (unless you’re a grad student who does have an NIE)

26. The “Data of individual resident…” section does not apply to you.  Leave all questions here bank.

27. The “Data of employer or company…” section does not apply to you.  Leave all questions here bank.

28. This “Data of educational establishment” section is the one you need to complete:

Name of educational institution in Spain:

Middlebury College in Spain: Madrid/Getafe/Córdoba/Logroño (indicate YOUR site)

Middlebury College School in Spain: Madrid/Getafe/Córdoba/Logroño (indicate YOUR site)

Calle Prim, 19 Primera Planta; 28004 Madrid SPAIN (regardless of site—this is our official program address)

Email address:

Please use these dates for purpose of your application—they match the dates in your letters. 

If you are studying in Madrid or Getafe, note the two arrival dates—the earlier arrival date (the one in your letter) applies for anyone who is planning to look for housing upon arrival.  It takes time to find housing, often more than one week, but we give you a week before the orientation program begins for some concentrated apartment hunting time.  The later arrival date you’ll see on-line is for anyone who has confirmed housing, usually in a homestay or residencia, prior to arrival.  Your complete calendars are linked below. Regardless of your housing choice, please use the earlier date as listed here and in your letter.


  • Undergraduates in Madrid for the fall: August 21, 2019– January 23, 2020 (156 days)—students not taking courses at the Autónoma will finish and may fly home on December 14, 2019, but please use the dates above for purposes of your visa.  If you’re sure you won’t be taking courses at the university, you may purchase your tickets according to the Sede Prim calendar, but we can only have one set of dates per site, so we use these.  It will not be a problem to leave prior to the end of your visa.
  • Undergraduates in Córdoba for the fall: August 28, 2019 – January 31, 2020 (157 days)
  • Undergraduates in Getafe for the fall: August 18, 2019 – December 21, 2019 (126 days) 
  • Undergraduates in Logroño for the fall: N/A


  • Graduates in Madrid for the year: September 3, 2019– May 30, 2020 (271 days)
  • Undergraduates in Madrid for the year: August 21, 2019 – May 30, 2020 (284 days)
    Students taking all of their courses at the Sede Prim will finish exams earlier than those taking courses at the Autónoma.  Please use the dates above for purposes of program dates on your visa application, but Sede Prim calendar and/or Autónoma calendar for purposes of planning your travel.
  • Undergraduates in Córdoba for the year: N/A 
  • Undergraduates in Getafe for the year: August 18, 2019 – May 30, 2020 (287 days) 
  • Undergraduates in Logroño for the year: N/A 


  • Undergraduates in Madrid for the spring: January 6, 2020 – May 30, 2020 (146 days)

Students taking all of their courses at the Sede Prim will finish exams earlier than those taking courses at the Autónoma and may fly home May 15, 2020.  Please use the dates above for purposes of program dates on your visa application, but Sede Prim calendar and/or Autónoma calendar for purposes of planning your travel.

  • Undergraduates in  Córdoba for the spring:  January 29, 2020 – June 14, 2020 (138 days) 
  • Undergraduates in Getafe for the spring: January 6, 2020 – May 30, 2020 (146 days)
  • Undergraduates in Logroño for the spring: January 26, 2020 – June 7, 2020 (134 days)

27. The place you are when signing the form and the date you are signing.

28. Original signature needed on all copies, so complete the form but do not sign it, photocopy it double sided, then sign all copies.

Directions for completing the “Application 2” form for Boston

Complete all information, but these are the trickier questions:

Place of Birth: city and state of birth

Legal status: citizen (or whatever your immigration status is—if you don’t know, then you’re a citizen)

Maiden name: maiden name for married women—others leave blank unless you’ve changed your name

Address of residency: use your street address (not your PO box), city, state, and zip

Type of visa/number/expiration: leave blank if you are not in the US on an F-1 student visa

Profession: student

Company name: Middlebury College
Address: Middlebury, VT 05753

Number of entries: multi

Dates: Use dates of your program from above (questions #29 & 30)

Port of entry: Madrid unless you’re coming overland through another border

Main destination: whatever city you’ll be studying in

Purpose of travel: study

Contact information: Patricia Rodriguez, Middlebury College School in Spain

Address: Prim 19, Primera Planta 28004

City: Madrid

Zip code: 28004

Province: Madrid

(This IS the address they ask for—this is the official address of our school in Spain, but if you are going to a site other than Madrid, it’s possible that they will want you to change the address to one of the addresses listed above for Córdoba, Getafe, or Logroño.  I would list the address for Madrid, and if they give you any problem at the consulate, change it—you’ll have the other address on your application form.)

27. Place and Date: where you are and the date you are signing the form (should be close to the actual date of application)

28. Signature: Sign each of the two copies (so copy it before signing), preferably in blue ink so it’s easy to see that your signature is original.

What to expect at the consulate
Consulates can be intimidating places, so here are a few things to keep in mind: 

  1. You should know that the security officers in the building will not let you go up to the consulate until it officially opens, so get to the general vicinity early, then grab a coffee and wait. 
  2. You will need to show ID and sign in, and in some cases pass through metal detection, so be prepared.
  3. Use the bathroom before you go, as some consulates only have bathrooms on the first floor, and you don’t want to have to duck out of the waiting room.
  4. Some consulates do not allow food and beverages (Boston, for example) in the waiting area, so plan accordingly (especially if you grabbed that aforementioned coffee).
  5. Some consulates do not allow you to use your cell phone, so pack a book.
  6. If you want to make the process easier on yourself, photocopy each of your documents twice and make one pile of originals and two piles of copies.  Keep one stack of copies for yourself.  Put the passport and the money order on top of the pile of originals—you should have copies of the passport, but not of the money order.  Have the photocopy of the passport on top of the stack of copies for the consulate.  The consular officer will return the originals to you, as you will need them when you get to Spain and go to register yourself at the police station (which you must do within 30 days of entering Spain).  This will be explained to you once you get to Spain, but make sure you pack these originals and take them with you to Spain.

Picking up your visa
Some consulates will return the visa to you by mail, so if this is an option, you should definitely take advantage of it and include the pre-paid, self-addressed USPS Express or Priority Mail envelope. 

For the majority of you, when your visa is ready, no one will call you; when you apply, you should ask when it will be ready.  They’ll probably quote you sometime between four and six weeks.  After the wait they quote you has passed, give one additional week (if your timing allows), then you can reasonably assume your visa is ready for pick-up. You could call so you feel as though you’ve done all you can to be certain, but they do not answer their telephone and you are equally unlikely to receive a return to your call.  You can either go in person to pick it up or, at some consulates, you may send a “legal representative.”  This means you should prepare the following letter and sign it before a notary public. The person picking up your visa does not need to be a relative, but will need to have this notarized authorization from you as well as photo ID (for him/herself).  The letter should read:

To the Consulate General of Spain in (City)
I, (your name), give permission for (name of person picking it up) to pick up my student visa to study in Spain for the (semester/year) of (year(s)).
(Your signature—WAIT to sign it in front of the notary public)
(Your printed name)
(Signature from the notary public)

If a parent applied on your behalf, the consulate will require that you pick it up yourself (they all require you to make at least one personal appearance).  Nicole will need a letter like this one if she is applying on your behalf in Boston, so send it to her with your other visa application materials.


Updated 09/11/2019 NC