The Schengen visa
Spain is one of the so-called Schengen States. In order to attend any of our programs, you may need to apply for a Schengen visa, which is a short stay visa allowing its holder to circulate in the Schengen area. The Schengen area covers 26 countries without border controls between them. Besides Spain, these countries are: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland.
A Schengen visa is an authorization issued by a Schengen State with a view to, among other reasons, an intended stay in the territory of the Schengen States of duration of no more than 90 days in any 180 days period (“short stay visa”). This is the visa that typically applies in the case of our students.
Who must apply?
The EU has a common list of countries whose citizens must have a visa when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement. Please, check if you need a visa (if your country is under “List of third countries whose nationals must be in possession of a visa when crossing the external borders”) or not (“List of third countries whose nationals are exempted from holding a visa when crossing the external borders”).
Where and how to apply?
You must lodge the application for a Schengen visa at the Consulate of Spain, except if you intend to visit more Schengen States and you are going to spend the longest period in another country. In this case, you should do it at the Consulate of the latter country.
If you intend to visit several Schengen States and the stays will be of equal length, you must apply at the Consulate of the country whose external borders you will cross first when entering the Schengen area.
As a general rule, you must apply for a visa at the Consulate with territorial competence for the country in which you legally reside. If you have doubts about this, e.g. there is no Consulate of the Schengen State that you intend to visit in the country where you reside, you should contact the central authorities (Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Immigration Office) of that country. There you can get information on whether that Schengen State is represented by another in the country where you reside.
The application must, in principle, be submitted to the Consulate at least 15 days before the intended journey and cannot be lodged earlier than three months before the start of the intended journey. You may have to book an appointment before lodging the application. We strongly recommend that you book your appointment as soon as possible, since acting too close to the minimum 15 days may result in not finding an appointment in time. Sometimes, consulates are very bussy and the next available appointment may be in more than 1 or 2 months.
More detailed information on the procedures for lodging a visa application can be found on individual Member States’ dedicated websites. Ask at the nearest Spanish consulate.
In order to apply for a visa, you need:
- A passport with at least two empty pages. The passport should have been issued within the last 10 years. The passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date on which you intend to leave the Schengen territory, or, in the case of multiple journeys, the date on which you intend to leave after the last stay.
- A visa application form completed and signed.
- A recent identity photograph conform to ICAO standards.
- In the countries where the Visa Information System is operational, your fingerprints will be collected when you submit your application.
- A visa fee to be paid when you submit your application.
- A service fee to be paid if you are requested to submit your application at the offices of a service provider.
- A travel medical insurance covering emergency medical, hospitalization and repatriation costs. The minimum cover should be of 30,000 euros. This insurance must be valid for the entire Schengen area and throughout the duration of the stay.
- Various documents relating to the purpose of your stay, evidence of means of support during your stay and your accommodation.
The complete list of documents can be consulted on the website of the consulate. During the processing time, the consulate may, in individual cases, ask you to submit additional information or documents or you may be contacted for an interview.
What will we do for you?
If you need a visa, SpaCIE or one of our partner universities will provide you with an invitation letter and any required documents showing that you are registered and have paid the costs of your Program.