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Researcher visa


​There are not paid appointments or expedited processes. If you do not see appointments available, it means the slots are full.

This Consulate will not answer emails regarding appointments with the BLS company.

​Visa to engage in training, research, development and innovation activities at public or private entities in the following cases: 

  • Research staff referred to in article 13 and additional provision one of Act 14/2011 of 1 June on Science, Technology and Innovation.
  • Scientific and technical staff carrying out scientific research, development and technological innovation work at business entities or R&D&i centres established in Spain.
  • Researchers hosted, in the framework of an agreement, by public or private research bodies.
  • Teaching staff hired by universities, higher education and research bodies or centres, or business schools established in Spain. 

The following family members of the researcher may also obtain the visa: 

  • The spouse or unmarried partner.
  • Children and adult children who are financially dependent on the researcher and who have not created a family unit of their own.
  • Relatives in the ascending line in the researcher's care.

Required documents for the researcher​​​​​

1. National visa app​lication formIt opens in new window. Each applicant, or their representative, must complete and sign a visa application form, filling in each of its sections. If the applicant is a minor, one of their parents or a duly accredited representative must sign the application. 

2. Photograph. A recent, passport-size, colour photograph, taken against a light background, facing forward, without dark or reflective glasses, or any garments concealing the oval of the face. 

3. Valid, unexpired passport. Original and a photocopy of the page or pages of the passport that contain biometric data. The passport must have a minimum validity period of 1 year and contain two blank pages. Passports issued more than 10 years ago will not be accepted. Emergency passports are not accepted.

4. Residence permit. Original and a copy of the residence permit issued by the Large Companies and Strategic Groups Unit. 

5. Criminal record check certificate dated no more than six months before the application date, stating that the applicant does not have criminal record where he has lived in the last five years. Not applicable for students under 18 years old.

You must request a background check verified by fingerprint comparison. The crimin​al background check must be issued by the US Department of Justice - Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). We do not accept state or local police criminal certificates.

The criminal record must be legalized with the FBI Apostille certification and translated into Spanish by a sworn/certified translator. The translation does not need an Apostille and the Apostille does not need a translation.



If the applicant has spent six month or more during the last five years in another country/State, he/she must submit the police records from that country/State, legalized with the Apostille Certification and translated into Spanish. If the country is not part of the Hague Convention the document must be legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then by the Spanish Consulate in that country.​

Any criminal record certificate that has been tampered with or damaged (including staple removal damage) will not be accepted under any pretext.

6. ​​Proof of residence in the consular district. 

7. ​Proof of the representative's identity and capacity. If the visa application is submitted through a representative, a copy of the identity document or passport of the representative and of the power of attorney or document accrediting representation must be submitted. The originals must be shown when submitting the application. Foreign documents must be legalized or apostilled and, where applicable, must be submitted together with an official translation into Spanish. 

8. Payment of the visa fee. Money order of $190 for U.S citizens. For nationals of Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, United Kingdom, Ethiopia, Mauritania, different rates are applied for reasons of reciprocity. In these cases, the amount of the fee must be consulted with the Consular Office. 


Required documents for family members​​ 

For each family member accompanying the researcher, the following must be submitted: 

  • All the required documents specified in sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8. Where applicable, those specified in section 7 also. 
  • Documents proving family relationship with the researcher: birth or marriage certificates issued by the civil registry, certificate of registration as an unmarried couple or any other document proving that the relationship is an unregistered partnership. Foreign documents must be legalized or apostilled and, where applicable, must be submitted together with an official translation into Spanish. 
  • In the case of adult children, documents proving their financial dependence and civil status. Foreign documents must be legalized or apostilled and, where applicable, must be submitted together with an official translation into Spanish.  
  • In the case of relatives in the ascending line, documents proving they are in the researcher's care. Foreign documents must be legalized or apostilled and, where applicable, must be submitted together with an official translation into Spanish.
  • Medical insurance certificate. 

When necessary to assess the application, the Consular Office may request additional documents or data and may also ask the applicant to come in for a personal interview.


This Consular Office is competent to accept visa applications from individuals residing in the consular district. 

  • Who can apply for a permit: Visa applications must be submitted in person by the applicant or by one of their parents if they are a minor. They may also be submitted through a duly accredited representative. 
  • Place of submission: Applications must be submitted in-person at the corresponding BLS International Services Ltd. offices (Visa Application Center): 15 Court Square, suite 520, Boston MA 02108. A previous appointment is always required.
  • ​Proof of receipt: provided by BLS. ​
  • Rectifying the application: The Consular Office may ask the applicant to submit any missing documents, or to provide additional documents or data that are necessary for a decision regarding the application. The applicant may also be called in for a personal interview. 
  • Decision period: The legal period for reaching a decision is 10 days as of the day after the submission date of the application, but this period may be extended when an interview or additional documents are requested. 
  • Visa collection: Passports with issued visa and other original documents submitted will be available for in-person pick-up by the applicant or a duly accredited legal representative at the corresponding BLS International Services Ltd. office.
  • Visa refusal: Visa refusals will always be notified in writing, setting forth the grounds on which the decision adopted was based. 
  • Appeals: If a visa is refused, the applicant may submit an appeal for reconsideration to this Consular Office within 1 month of the day following the date on which notification of the refusal is received. An application for judicial review may also be filed with the High Court Justice of Madrid within the 2-month period beginning the day after the date on which the applicant receives notification of the visa refusal or of the dismissal of the reconsideration appeal. 
  • Validity period of the visa: The visa is valid for 1 year, or for the same period as the residence permit granted, provided that this permit is for less than 1 year.

    The visa accredits residence in Spain during its validity period, making it unnecessary to obtain a Foreigner Identity Card. However, this card may be applied for at the Foreign Nationals' Office or the corresponding Police Station.