What exactly is really required for a Spainish student visa?
July 25, 2013 8:10 AM   Subscribe

Can anybody tell me what exactly is necessary to obtain a student visa? Can even still pull this off?

Please see my previous post here. No you can't go to our university! We screwed up. Sorry!

I followed some of the advice in this article and was pretty insistent that I be given the chance to speak with whomever rejected my acceptance after the fact with no luck. I sent several letters to various people explaining the situation and suggested several alternative to show my abilities and knowledge of the field of psychology. No dice. I did however establish a relatively nice relationship with the program coordinator in Barcelona and she helped me secure a second interview with their sister university in Valencia Spain. The interview was yesterday and I should hear back within the next week. The problem is, if I get accepted I may not be able to get a visa on time.

There is a ton of information online and much of it varies and gives different info. Here is the info from the consulate. The consulate also doesn’t answer it’s phones or respond to emails. My biggest questions are;

1. What exactly does a dr.’s note need to say? I have found some websites claiming that a dr. must provide a signed note that I am free of yellow fever, cholera and the plague. Other sites say that it should include that I am mentally stable and suffer no substance abuse.

2. What kind of criminal background check is required? The website states that an FBI check is required or a state check. The FBI check takes up to 5 weeks. This one will not be possible. A state check may take as few as 5 days but there is one with fingerprints and one without. I can’t find any info on which is necessary.

3. Can this process be expedited through a visa service or some other manner?

Honestly, I think I’m screwed. If accepted, the program begins September 23rd and the application deadline is no less than 60 days before departure will visa applications be accepted. Other website claim the deadline is 7 weeks prior to departure. I lost 30 days between my last acceptance and now. In fact, it looks like I am 60 days from the program start date. Even if I get accepted in the next few days I won’t have an original copy of the acceptance letter which I believe is a requirement.

If anybody can give me guidance I would appreciate it. Maybe you just went through this process yourself? Maybe you know somebody that has? Maybe you work in a consulate? Who knows? I just know that the hive mind knows all kinds of things.

Thanks again!
posted by Che boludo! to Travel & Transportation around Valencia, Spain (6 answers total)
It's hard to tell when you actually need the visa, so the time consideration is unclear to me. My visa for South Afica took about three weeks in total.

1. The embassy should probably have a form for the dr. It should basically say you are in good health. You should also have a yellow card that lists all your vaccinations, so send the a copy of that. Also get a TB test for good measure. You can do that in three days at the health dept.

2. I don't know for sure abou Spain, but in SA the criminal check can be done without the FBI, but you need a criminal check from each state you have lived in since you we're 18. Go to the state police department website to find the forms. MeMail me if you need help. Go with th fingerprints if possible, just to avoid any complications down the line. This should only take 2-3 weeks, max and my husband was able to expedite his in less than a weeks think.

3. I used Travisa. They see moderately helpful, but only in that they had a list for my to check off and were able to talk directly to the consulate. I don't know if I wold use them again, but I suppose it was useful for my first time.

Who exactly is requiring the visa days beforehand? The school? Call them (and call and call and call. Do not email.) and find out if they can waive that considering their mistake. I did t need my visa until I actually entered the country. If you show good faith that you are trying to get one, then they may not care. I honestly have no idea what they need it for that early anyway.

MeMail me if I can help more. I'm no expert but I did just get my visa here and the processes are very similar, I expect.

Please excuse any typos. Writing on the iPad!
posted by mrfuga0 at 9:34 AM on July 25, 2013

Response by poster: It is the Spanish gov't requiring the visa. The visa for stays over 180 days needs to be submitted in your home country no later than 60 days before leaving which is exactly today. I assume this is pretty firm but would like to know if anybody has gotten around this.
posted by Che boludo! at 9:49 AM on July 25, 2013

I got a student visa to go to Spain through their conversation assistant's program. With a different program YMMV, but I think the process is exactly the same, only the documents are different.

1. You need a letter from the school saying that you were accepted. If you're getting a fellowship of some kind, that needs to be in the letter. If you aren't going to be employed you need a copy of your bank statement that proves you have money to live off of.
2. You need a background check from the FBI. In my program you could have gotten by with a local police report free of incidents, but I am not sure on that. Go with the FBI one to be sure. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT: Make sure you include a note with your background check application that you need a SIGNED copy because you need to get a Apostille of the Hague on it.
3. You need a letter from your doctor. It should say that you are healthy and suffer no infectious illnesses. GET THIS NOTARIZED. It can be in English or Spanish.
4. Once you have the signed FBI background check and the notarized doctor's note, you must get them both apostilled. This is something of an international notarization. I lived in the DC area so I took them in person to the authentications office by the State Department. If you don't live near DC you can mail the documents to them and they will return them all signed and stamped. If you are currently in Buenos Aires as your profile states, then I have no clue, but maybe it can be done somewhere in country?
5. Make tons of copies of EVERYTHING.
6. Go to your local Spanish consulate with all of this, plus your passport, plus photocopies of your passport and every (stamped) page in it, plus a passport-sized photo. Leave it all with them.
7. They say it should take a month to process. In my experience it took 1 week. But I also went back in person to pick it up.
8. KEEP ALL OF YOUR DOCUMENTS AND PHOTOCOPIES!!!!! You'll need to bring them to Spain and use them again to get your identity card.

As to the "firmness" of the deadline - nothing is THAT firm when it comes to Spanish bureaucracy in my experience. Ask the school for help. They can make it happen. And in the meantime, get your documents requested.
posted by chainsofreedom at 10:43 AM on July 25, 2013

I'm still not sure why your home country needs the visa submitted 60 days before departure. Is that the amount of time they say you need to submit your paperwork to get the visa? As chainsoffreedom says, it usually only takes about a week (if you are mailing info into the embassy, factor in the mail time). Is the 60 days a suggestion so that you get everything done on time? I got my visa on a Friday and left on a Tuesday. My husband got his at 7 pm the night before he left.

I would second the suggestion that you go ahead and get all your documents. That's the part that takes the longest and is most complicated.
posted by mrfuga0 at 5:26 AM on July 26, 2013

Response by poster: From the consulate website - Applications will not be accepted more than 120 days in advance or less than 60 days prior to departure. Yesterday was 60 days and I just checked appointments and I couldn't get one until Aug. 19. That a month prior to the program start date of Sept 23.
posted by Che boludo! at 9:19 AM on July 26, 2013

May as well try. Make the appointment. Get your documents squared away. And call the consulate. Let them know the soonest appointment you could get was the 19th and double check what you need and all that.

If I recall correctly, I applied for my visa about 40 days out from my plane ticket. Different consulate, but no one batted an eye. But grab that appointment slot and call to be sure.
posted by chainsofreedom at 4:37 PM on July 26, 2013

« Older If she tells me I'm same-sex attracted one more...   |   "Stop internet-ing and do your job!" ? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.