Spain visa guidelines
Spain visa guidelines
A Spanish student visa will serve as approval from the Spanish government for you to legally remain in Spain for the duration of your study abroad program. If your program will be longer than 90 days, obtaining your student visa is an essential first step to preparing for your study abroad experience. So how do you get started? Let's dive in!

Once you enroll, EF will provide a visa letter and letter of acceptance so that you can begin to apply for your student visa. It is your responsibility to research the individual rules, deadlines, and policies specific to your consulate and apply for your visa in time to travel.

Each Spanish consulate in the United States has its own rules, deadlines, and policies. To begin, it is essential to contact your local consulate and verify their unique instructions. Spanish consulates in the U.S. have the following jurisdictions:

  • Boston: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont.
  • Chicago: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin.
  • Houston: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas.
  • Los Angeles: California (counties of Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Barbara y Ventura), Arizona, Colorado, Utah.
  • Miami: Florida, South Carolina, Georgia.
  • New York City: New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey.
  • San Francisco: Alaska, Northern California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.
  • Washington, D.C.: Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, District of Columbia, North Carolina.
Some Spanish consulates allow students who attend a college or university in their jurisdiction to apply there even if their permanent address is in a different jurisdiction. However, you should always check with the consulate directly, as policies change and vary from consulate to consulate. You can find your consulate’s specific visa application requirements, address, and contact information here.

You cannot apply for your visa until 90 days before your program starts; however, it can take up to 8 weeks to process. You should plan to start to gather your application materials as soon as you enroll in the program.

Things to consider:

  • You will be required to submit a passport valid for up to 6 months after your program end date with your application, so make sure you have plenty of time to apply for both, if necessary.
  • If your consulate requires an in-person appointment to apply for your visa, we recommend you book this as soon as possible. The number of in-person appointment times can be extremely limited.
  • Make sure you consider any local or Spanish holidays that will occur around the time you submit your student visa application. Consulates are often closed for both Spanish and U.S. holidays.

  • An original copy of your acceptance letter(s) and visa letter
  • A copy of your health insurance Information
  • Any additional items required by your consulate; make sure to check their website for their full list prior to your appointment

  • National visa application
  • Passport photo
  • Valid and current passport
  • Proof of admission
  • Proof of availability of economic means
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Medical Certificate
  • Proof of current residence (ex: driver’s license)
You can find more information regarding the documents necessary for the student visa here.

Your consulate’s website will have specific guidelines on how to meet this requirement. There will be several options. One example may be to present a letter from EF that states you have paid the program fee in full.

The combination of your visa letter from EF and a copy of your program health insurance information will suffice as “proof of health insurance.”

Though processing times vary by consulate, it typically takes 7-10 weeks to issue a visa once your application has been submitted. Always check the consulate’s website for the most up-to-date estimations on processing time.

The consulate may keep your passport while processing your student visa. Plan accordingly if you are traveling abroad between the time that you apply for your visa and the time that you depart for Spain.

Some consulates will mail you your passport with your visa inside, while others require that you go back to the consulate to pick up your passport and visa in person. Check the consulate website for specific instructions.