Visa Problems
November 23, 2009 9:23 PM   Subscribe

I'm supposed to be at the Spanish Consulate in Miami getting a student visa tomorrow (appt. at 9:25am), but I don't have all the paperwork I need because some of it hasn't arrived from the school that I'll be studying at next semester(as a visiting student). What do I do? What can I do? Fun complications after the jump.

So, i'm studying abroad next semester through Saint Louis University's Madrid campus. They (SLU) were supposed to send me the documents I need to apply for a student visa, but they have not arrived to me in the mail. These documents are (I believe) coming from the Saint Louis campus of SLU. Because of the time difference and the fact that I have an appointment with the consulate at 9:25am tomorrow and that I live in Tampa and i'll be driving to Miami (which takes about 5 hours), there's no way I can wait and call SLU in the morning to see what's up and/or potentially get them faxed to me.
I'm going to call the Madrid office when they open in 2 or 3 hours, and see if they can do anything, but what should I do in the meantime? Is there anything I can do, realistically?
Also, as a sidenote, what do you wear when applying for a visa? Should I put on a shirt with a collar/tie/etc?
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew to Travel & Transportation around Miami, FL (5 answers total)
Try to change your appointment. I haven't dealt with the Spanish consulate, but experience with a lot of other consulates tells me they're unlikely to proceed without the proper materials. Faxed materials are not okay (they lack official stamps/seals/whatever).

No dress code, just be clean. Pants rather than shorts, maybe.
posted by acidic at 9:53 PM on November 23, 2009

What paperwork are you missing? What do you have so far?

I'd guess that your best option is to show up and explain what's missing, and see if you can send that to them directly but conduct the interview tomorrow. Why on earth did you wait until now to fret about this, instead of calling SLU before midnight? Never mind. It's too late to worry about that. But make a note to yourself to not take this path in the future.

Wear a suit, or at the very least a sport coat, a dress shirt, and a tie. Going over-dressed can't hurt, and going under-dressed can. No, there's no dress code, but can it hurt you to look professional? No. Can it hurt you to look otherwise? Possibly. Not worth the risk, frankly.

And of course be polite and deferential. These people are on the front lines of their country's national security, and they expect you to respect them for that.
posted by Capri at 9:58 PM on November 23, 2009

I don't have items 6,9,and 10 on this list. Everything else is all set.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 10:08 PM on November 23, 2009

I studied abroad in Madrid. I wore my normal clothes to apply for my visa, looking like any other student in the summer.

But without documents 6,9, and 10, they have no proof you're going there to study abroad, and thus you really should just change your appointment. It will be a waste of time for you to go there without any documents that show you're a student enrolled in an approved program and aren't just going to bum around once you're in the country.
posted by cmgonzalez at 11:35 PM on November 23, 2009

Just as a resolution, I ended up going a day late with everything RIGHT as it opened and explained what was up and they were cool about it and let me snag a recently cancelled appointment in the early morning. Wore a shirt with a collar and I shaved. Thanks, guys.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 9:29 AM on February 11, 2010

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