Spanish Visa Application Instructions

Step #1: Choose your consulate

Nicole Chance (I) needs to know which consulate you will apply through because the program acceptance letter Middlebury provides will be consulate-specific. You  may usually apply at the consulate with jurisdiction over your permanent or your school address. Use this list to help you decide: 

Step #2: Make a plan to apply

If you live or go to school in Boston’s jurisdiction (ME, VT, NH, MA, or RI) I can send your materials and apply on your behalf. I will plan to send your applications to BLS in early May. Plan to send me physical application materials by mail (or drop them off if you’re in Middlebury) by April 30.

Those of you who do not have a permanent or school address in Boston’s jurisdiction will have to apply on your own. Usually, students may not apply more than 90 days before the start of their program, but some consulates have just extended this to 180 days.

If you cannot go through the group application process, please try to make an appointment now to apply within the 90/180 window allowed by your consulate. 

  1. Boston I can apply for you only if your driver’s license or valid student ID is from MA, ME, VT, NH, or RI. Boston expects study abroad advisors to apply for their students, so do not miss our group application process—individual appointments are available now, but become very difficult to secure later. Those of you who must apply on your own will find the scheduling link through BLS on their student visa page.
  2. Chicago Schedule an appointment (now, if available) on their website through the BLS processing agency to appear not more than 90 days before the program start date. Once you open an account with BLS, they send you a link to schedule the appointment, and you’ll need to keep checking until your window of opportunity is open. 
  3. DC Schedule an appointment (now, if available) on their website through the BLS processing agency to appear not more than 180 days before the program start date. Once you open an account with BLS, they send you a link to schedule the appointment. 
  4. Houston Schedule an appointment (now, if available) on their website through the BLS processing agency to appear not more than 180 days before the program start date. Once you open an account with BLS, they send you a link to schedule the appointment, and you’ll need to keep checking until your window of opportunity is open. 
  5. Los Angeles Schedule an appointment (now, if available) on their website through the BLS processing agency to appear not more than 90 days before the program start date. Once you open an account with BLS, they send you a link to schedule the appointment, and you’ll need to keep checking until your window of opportunity is open. 
  6. Miami Schedule an appointment (now, if available) on their website through the BLS processing agency to appear not more than 90 days before the program start date. Once you open an account with BLS, they send you a link to schedule the appointment, and you’ll need to keep checking until your window of opportunity is open. 
  7. New York 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, if offered. For an individual appointment, email​. In the email requesting an appointment you should provide the following information:

    -Full name and address
    -Name of your college 
    -Dates you are planing to stay in Spain
    -Copy of your college ID (if a student in the NY consulate’s jurisdiction)
    -Copy of your driver’s license 
    -Proof of residence within NY’s jurisdiction if you do not have a driver’s license   

  8. San Francisco is accepting visa applications by mail. They will email when your visa ready, at which point you must go to the consulate in person to pick up your passport with visa inside. Plan to submit yours by early May (or before) to beat the rush.

As you follow the above steps, please let Nicole know if you learn any processes have changed and she will note them here.

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

Consulates require you to leave your passport with them for processing (different consulates quote between 4-6 weeks, but Boston can take up to 10). 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 do not hear back from them.

Boston will currently allow applicants to apply using only a notarized copy of the passport in the case of students who are traveling, then present the original passport to obtain the visa stamp during pick-up. Talk to Nicole if you hope to make travel plans outside the US to be sure they will work with the timing, as she will need to have your passport in early August to present to the consulate for pick-up. Some travel may not be possible.

Alternately, or if applying at a different consulate, if you will need your passport for travel while your passport must be at the consulate for visa processing, consider getting a second US passport through a processing agency like CIBT.

Step #4: Gather your materials

Checklist of application materials for BOSTON—please refer to your own consulate’s list, linked from their websites above. Many of these items have more information in the next section, so keep reading:

  • Your original, valid, signed passport + copy (those traveling during visa processing may apply with a notarized copy to Nicole in lieu of physical passport, otherwise, if you’re also applying with your physical passport, the copy doesn’t need to be notarized).
  • Your completed, double sided (preferred), signed application for national visa (1 original)
  • 1 passport photo, paper clipped to the visa application. This must be a passport-sized photo, such as those taken at UPS, USPS, Walgreens, etc. and must be printed on photo paper with white (or very light) background. If your passport is more than six months old, you may not recycle extra photos you have from that—it must be a more recent photo.
  • $160 cash + BLS service fee (TBD, but recently was $18). $160 is the fee for US citizens—other nationalities have different fees, so check the fees section of your consulate’s website).
  • Notarized proof that you live in or go to school in the consulate’s jurisdiction (driver’s license or student ID card, both sides)—our office can notarize these for you if you are on campus and bring the original to us to copy. The document must list your name and address, so if your student ID doesn’t list your college address, they will not accept it.
  • Certificate of admission in Spanish—Nicole prepares this for you and will send it to you if you’re applying on your own.
  • Availability of financial means: original + copy showing at least $700/month of stay (see below for different ways to meet this requirement).
  • Health insurance coverage of at least $500,000—Nicole prepares this for you and will send it to you if you’re applying on your own.
  • Pre-paid priority mail envelope addressed to a secure address where you’ll be before leaving for Spain. This can be FedEx, UPS or USPS. If USPS, it’s important to ask the post office affix actual stamps for the postage (don’t use a metered label with a date) AND the tracking number. Keep your tracking number safe so you can follow keep tabs on your passport in transit. Students who will be on the Middlebury campus in December can skip the return envelope—if I don’t collect the passports before the holiday break, I’ll ask for envelopes then.
  • Either the disclaimer (if applying on your own) OR the notarzied letter that allows Nicole to pick up your passport. 
  • GROUP ONLY: Notarized letter allowing Nicole to apply and pick-up on your behalf (see wording below).
  • YEAR REQUIREMENT: Medical certificate in Spanish + copy. This cannot be more than 3 months old at the time of application.
  • YEAR REQUIREMENT: FBI background check, apostilled and officially translated, if required + copy. This cannot be more than 5 months old when you enter Spain. The Boston consulate will accept the apostille when I pick up the passports if you do not have it in time for the group application.
  • Non-US citizen requirement: notarized copy of permanent resident card, valid US student visa along with Form I-20, work permit, passport stamp or parole.

If applying with the group through Nicole, bring/send your materials, to arrive by April 30.

Nicole Chance
356 College St.
Room 125 Sunderland Language Center
Middlebury, VT  05753


Word of warning: each consulate makes its own rules—and they change these rules at will.  They tend to re-evaluate their application fee in 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 to the consulate/send to Nicole originals, plus one photocopy when indicated. 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 within 30 days of arrival (our staff will help with this during orientation). 

  • National Visa Application—Some boxes have been filled in. See below for help answering other questions.
  • Passport AND PHOTOCOPY of the ID pages including all numbers across the bottom. This passport copy needs to be a copy of the two ID pages, not a photo of the passport, and should not include your fingers. Open the passport, put it in the middle of where the 8x11 paper would go on a photocopier, and make a photocopy. This would be a good time for you to make a clear scan of the ID pages for your own records.
    • The passport must be signed and valid for three 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 notarized copy of your driver’s license or both sides of the student ID (the back often has the address on it) as proof that you may apply at your chosen consulate. If you don’t have a driver’s license or student ID that lists your address (looking at you, Harvard), you may use a utility bill with your name and address or an enrollment verification from your registrar with your name and address (you may not use the electronic one from the Clearinghouse because it doesn’t list your school address). 
  • One recent, color, passport sized photo with a white (light) 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). In Middlebury, you can get passport photos at the post office (call 802.388.3020 for an appointment), the UPS store (no appointment required—arrive before 4:30pm), or Kinney Drugs. Alternately, you can try an on-line service like this one: Do not try to print this photo yourself. Write your name on the back. Attach it to the form with a paperclip only (no glue/tape/staple). Some students have used photos that are too small in the past (looking at you, Pomona), so be sure yours are 2x2 inches square, even though that’s too big for the square provided on the form. Do not trim the photo to fit the box on the form.
  • Letter of acceptance as a full-time student from Spain’s University/School or US program that indicates: 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. If I’m applying for you, I won’t send this to you—I’ll keep it here to match with your other application materials.
  • Health Insurance: International insurance coverage for health/accident with $500,000 coverage amount. I will provide you with a letter (in Spanish) you can use if you’re applying on your own; I’ll match it with your other materials if you’re sending them to me. Do not enroll yourself in health insurance through GeoBlue—the cost of this is included in your tuition. Later, once we have actually enrolled you in the health insurance plan, you will get an email from GeoBlue. You should follow their instructions to register and print your insurance card from their website.
  • Proof of the availability of financial means. Original and a copy of the documents that prove that the applicant (or the legal representative or family member who supports the student) has sufficient financial means to cover the expenses of the stay and return of the student and accompanying family members. The minimum amount required is equivalent to 100% of the IPREM. To this amount must be added 75% of the IPREM for the first family member and 50% of the IPREM for each additional family member. If the student travels to Spain without relatives, the minimum amount required for 2024 is $700 dollars per month.
    • One of the following documents must be presented:
      • Student’s own personal bank account statements (past three months—you can email me September after it’s available and I’ll print it for you) showing at least $700 per month of stay.
      • Letter from the financial aid office showing aid or scholarship for at least $700 per month for room and board.
      • Notarized letter from the parent or legal guardian assuming full financial responsibility for at least $700 per month for room and board. In addition, a copy of the past three months of their bank statements and the applicant’s (student’s) birth certificate.

Template for letter from parent—use both the English and Spanish to avoid having to pay for an official translation:
I [name of parent or guardian] hereby take responsibility for air tickets between the United States and Spain and for all monthly accommodation and living expenses of my son/daughter [full name of the child] during their stay in Spain, as well as any emergency that may arise during it.

Yo [nombre del padre o tutor] por la presente asumo la responsabilidad de los boletos aéreos entre los Estados Unidos y España y de todos los gastos mensuales de alojamiento y manutención de mi hijo/hija [nombre completo del niño] durante su estancia en España, así como cualquier urgencia que pueda surgir durante la misma.

  • Visa fee + BLS processing fee (+SMS fee), in exact cash. Currently the visa fee is $160 and I will check again for the exact cost just prior to collecting applications. Some BLS locations take only cash; others take only debit cards. I do not yet know how the BLS in Boston will take funds for a group application, so stay tuned. 

BOSTON GROUP APPLICANTS: notarized letter (our office, banks, major post offices, schools, and law offices have notaries on staff) from you allowing Nicole to apply on your behalf:

To the Consulate General of Spain in BOSTON

I, (your name), give permission for Nicole Chance to apply for my student visa to study in Spain for the (spring/fall semester/academic year) of 2023-24.  Furthermore, I grant her permission to pick up my passport with visa stamp when it is ready.
(Your signature—WAIT to sign it in front of the notary public)
(Your printed name)
(Signature from the notary public)

There is a list of campus notaries here. Please call to schedule an appointment and be sure to take your photo ID with you. In Sunderland, see Alessandra Capossela in room 124. She’ll be available to notarize documents for you on April 30 from 3-5pm.

  • BOSTON GROUP APPLICANTS who will not be in Middlebury in August should provide Nicole with a pre-paid, priority mail envelope addressed to a secure address where you’ll be before leaving for Spain. Please have the post office affix actual stamps for the postage (don’t use a metered label with a date) AND a tracking number. Save the receipt with the tracking number so you’ll be able to track your passport when I return it to you.

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

  • Medical Certificate: Doctor’s statement on practice or medical center letterhead or with stamp from the practice (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). Use this template to avoid having to get it translated. It can either be printed on practice letterhead (so send it to the doctor’s office in advance of your appointment) or the doctor can use their office stamp.
  • Background check—consulates require an FBI background check and have stopped accepting the state-level background checks. While the background check itself is fairly quick, the requisite apostille can take months. The consulate requires a background check from every country you’ve lived in during the past five years, including Spain. In Boston, I can apply for students with results of the background check + translation—I am then permitted to present the original apostille when I return to collect the visas. You must take the original apostille with you to Spain, so I will include it when I return your passport to you. 

First, make an appointment to get fingerprinted. In Middlebury, make an appointment on-line (very limited availability—do not wait to book an appointment) and pay the processing fee. 

Next, complete your on-line request with the FBI.  You’ll submit your email, then 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 (be sure to request the results are sent to you by email). After you pay, you get another email that is from the same email as before (Criminal Justice Information Services) with the subject line: Identity History Summary Request Confirmation. This email 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

Next, go to the post office/UPS/FedEx and buy a prepaid mailing envelope, which you should address to the above.

Finally, take the following with you to your appointment to be fingerprinted:

  • Government-issued (passport or drivers’ license) photo ID
  • Email receipt from the on-line background check application
  • Prepaid trackable mailing envelope (UPS, FedEx or USPS all okay), addressed to the FBI at the address above.

Once you receive the results of your FBI background check (which come in the form of an email—you then print the results yourself), you will then need to send those results away for an apostille from the US Dept. of State. 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). Send the 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

For the return address of the apostille, use Nicole’s (save a step):
Nicole Chance
356 College St.
Room 125 Sunderland Language Center
Middlebury, VT  05753

The consulate also requires a translation, which you should have processed concurrently with the apostille (the apostille itself does not need to be translated and the translation doesn’t require an apostille—only the results of the background check require the apostille). The American Translators Association recognizes many services: Students have found good results with You may send the document electronically for the translation.

Students may see the option to apply at the UPS store, which is an option. You can get fingerprinted, send your request to the FBI for the background check and have those results sent to the Dept. of State for the apostille in one appointment, but it’s pricey: the apostille will cost you ten times more (less postage) than if you received the results of the FBI check yourself and mailed them to the Dept. of State to request the apostille. There are also on-line services that will charge about $200 for expedited service. If you start early enough, the processing time of 11 weeks costs $20. 

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 requires a notarized copy or, in some cases the original, which they will return to you, as well as a copy.


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, two digit month, four digit year (ex. 15-03-1985)
5. Place of birth means city and state
6. Country of birth
7. Current nationality, then list your nationality at birth, if different, then list any other nationalities you hold
8. Gender—male or female as stated in your passport
9. Marital Status
10. None of you are minors, leave blank
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: whatever country issued your passport
17. Use your home address, even if outside the consulate’s jurisdiction AND email address
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 may have up to 90 days in Spain outside the dates of the visa. Use the actual date your plan to travel, even if you haven’t bought your ticket—it must be at least one day prior to the program start date, which we list on your calendar as your arrival date. If you will be going a week early to look for an apartment, include this additional week. The guideline from the Boston consulate is they won’t give you a start date earlier than 14 days before your program start.
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

Universidad Carlos III 
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—this is like your social security number, so if you already have one, write it here)
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/Córdoba/Logroño (indicate YOUR site)

Middlebury College School in Spain: Madrid/Córdoba/Logroño (indicate YOUR site)
Calle Prim, 19 Primera Planta; 28004 Madrid SPAIN (regardless of site—this is our official program address)
Email address:

I do not yet have 2024-25 dates, but I will before it’s time to send me your materials. If your consulate/BLS allows applications 180 days n advance, you may go ahead and book anytime after March 1; those of you with only a 90 days window will need to book no earlier than the last week in May, Please use these PROGRAM DATES (when available) on your application, but remember to arrive earlier than the first day of the program (calendars here):


  • Undergraduates in Madrid (UAM or Sede Prim only) for the fall: TBD
  • Undergraduates in Madrid (UC3M ) for the fall: TBD
  • Undergraduates in Córdoba for the fall: TBD
  • Undergraduates in Logroño for the fall: TBD


  • Undergrads in Getafe for the year: TBD
  • Undergrads in Madrid (UAM or Sede Prim) for the year: TBD
  • Grads in Madrid for the year: TBD 


  • Undergraduates in Madrid (Sede Prim, Getafe UC3M or UAM courses) for the spring: TBD
  • Undergraduates in Córdoba for the spring: TBD
  • Undergraduates in Logroño for the spring: TBD

30. The place (city and state) you are when signing the form and the date you are signing.
31. Original signature required—print the form before signing/dating in blue ink.


Picking up your visa
Now that everyone will apply through BLS, I don’t know the pick-up procedures, so please ask and keep me informed so I can share. It seems as though some will return it to you by mail, but whether you take a prepaid envelope, or you pay for their courier service depends on the BLS office. they all get to make their own rules. Please let me know what you learn so I can tell others. 


Updated 2/22/2024 NC