Tedium: Or, Applying For A Spanish Student Visa At The Washington D.C. Consulate…

Whilst returning to Spain is a blessing that I do not take lightly, admittedly, there’s quite a bit of rigmarole to get through even before I arrive in the country–and there’s nothing quite as tedious as the student visa application process…
Inspired by some of my fellow auxiliars, past and present, I’ve decided to give some insight into the nature of this ordeal (and to help any confused D.C.-, V.A.-, M.D.-, W,V.-, N.C.-based Spain hopefuls), I’m elaborating over all that it requires…
Disclaimer: I am in no way, shape, or form an omniscient “Spanish Student Visa Expert”–I’m just laying out my own personal experience with this sort of thing…As always, you should consult the Consulate’s website for the latest requirements!!…
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…Eyes on the prize, people [not my visa]!!…

1) Visa Application Form–You can download the form from the consulate’s website (look under the section that says “Student Visa”)…If you’re confused about what goes where on the application, look here!!…

2) Passport (original and copy)–Obviously, they need your passport in order to be able to attach your visa to it…

3) A recent passport-sized photo–You can buy a sheet of these things from CVS for like, $12…

4) Carta de nombramientoO.K., this is why your carta is SO important: It serves as your “letter of acceptance” to the program, as well as information about your health insurance…I might bring the e-mail from your coordinator as well–just to be safe!!…
5) Proofs of financial means during your stay–Basically, you need to show that, you know, you actually have enough money for food, rent, electricity, and so forth, every month…I have a notarized letter from my Mom saying, “I hereby certify that I’m the (father/mother/other) of (…), will support him/her with a monthly allowance of at least $1,000 while he/she is in Spain and that I’m financially responsible for any emergency that may arise.”–but you can also show them your bank account statements…
6) $160 in exact change (cash or money order)–The actual amount of $$ required to get your visa…
7) Self-addressed and pre-paid “Express Mail” USPS envelope–If you want them to mail back your passport, you’re gonna need it…
8) Certificate of Absence of Police Records–Essentially, it’s a state-wide background check…I don’t know how it works in other states, but in N.C., it’s called the “Right to Review”…A few weeks ago, I called someone at the S.B.I. (State Bureau of Investigation), and they e-mailed me the application form (which can also be found here)…Essentially, the only thing I had to do to get the dang thing was to fill out the form I was sent, and mail it to the address indicated, along with a money order for $14 and a set of fingerprints…To get the fingerprints, I just went down to the police station and let the nice lady do her thing for $14…After mailing all of that off on June 6, I got my background check in the mail exactly a week later….
Now, the background check–which (at least in N.C.) is already notarized–must bear something called the Apostille of the Hague Convention, which is an internationally recognized seal of document authentification…As an N.C. resident, I mailed in my Right to review, along with a cover letter (which can be found here), money order for $10, and pre-paid, self-addressed envelope on June 23 and got everything back–apostille included–exactly a week later…
9) Medical Certificate–Basically, it’s just a signed note by your physician that confirms that you don’t have any majorly serious communicable diseases and are mentally sound enough to do the program…My doctor’s agreed to do it for $35 dollars, based on my last physical, and all you really need is to follow this template:

This health certificate verifies that Mr./Ms. ____________________ is free of drug addiction, mental illness, and does not suffer from any disease that could cause serious repercussions to public health according to the specifications of the international sanitary regulation of 2005. These contagious diseases include, but are not limited to smallpox, poliomyelitis by wild polio virus, the human influenza caused by a new subtype of virus and the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), cholera, pneumonic plague, yellow fever, viral hemorrhagic fevers (e.g.: Ebola, Lassa, Marbug), West Nile Virus and other illnesses of special importance nationally or regionally (e.g.: Dengue Fever, Rift Valley Fever, and meningococcal disease.)

 

Mr./Ms. ____________________ is a very healthy individual in all senses, he/she has no pre-existing medical conditions, and she/he is capable of traveling abroad.

 

Physician: ____________________ Date: __________

Add all this together, and you’ll be short around $240-$280

Other tidbits:

1) Be timely–Get your stuff together, A.S.A.P.!!…You have to stop in that window between 30 days and 3 months before going to Spain, and your visa may take at least 6 weeks to get back to you if you’re not picking it up at the Consulate in person, and certain stuff (like your medical certificate) may expire within a certain time period, so it’s best to go to the consulate as soon as you can…

2) Copies, copies, copies–Hey–it’s better safe than sorry!!…

3) Bring multiple forms of I.D.–Again, better safe than sorry…

4) Arrive early to the consulate–The sooner you can get your stuff in, the sooner you can leave…

I’ll admit that all this red tape makes things frustrating (why can’t all countries be as efficient as Germany or Austria??), but in the end, I know it’ll all be worth it when I’ve finally made it to beautiful España, :-)…
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Anyone else enduring the whole visa nonsense???…Any thoughts/tips/personal experiences???…
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5 thoughts on “Tedium: Or, Applying For A Spanish Student Visa At The Washington D.C. Consulate…

  1. Ughhh getting a visa is the worst! So stressful. But it sounds like you’ve got it down to a science! Which means that you’ll have no problem jumping through hoops to get your residency card once you arrive in Spain 😉

  2. Pingback: A New Season… – The Pumpkin's Head

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