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​North American Language and Culture Assistant Program, NALCAP Visa

May 15, 2024

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Spanish Government has signed a contract with an external company (BLS International) for processing visas for Spanish Consular Offices in the United States.


FOR NALCAP VISAS must request an appointment through this website


Visa for stays exceeding 90 days to participate in the North American Language and Culture Assistant Program – NALCAP - sponsored by the Ministry of Education of Spain.

  • The Consulate of Spain in Chicago will consider applications for residents in this jurisdiction: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.


1.     National visa application form . The applicant must complete and sign an official application form, filling in each of its sections. If the applicant is a minor, one of their parents must sign the application. 

2.     Photo has to be glued to the application form. An updated photo-paper picture, passport size, facing forward, without dark or reflective glasses, or any garments concealing the oval of the face. Photographs of toddlers or babies must not show any part of the adult holding them. 

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

4.     Proof of residence in the consular jurisdiction:  Copy of the State ID, Driver´s License or Student ID.  

5.     Visa fee: US$ 160.  The processing fee will not be returned even if the visa is not granted or cancelled. BLS International will charge their aditional services.

​6.     Acceptance Letter in Spanish issued by the Regional Education Authorities -“Nombramiento"-. It must contain this information:

  • Student`s full name.
  • Passport number.
  • Initial and ending dates of the program.
  • Name of the School the applicant has been appointed to with address, phone number and contact email.
  • Grant and the insurance policy. 

​For stays of more than 180 days, add: 

-         Criminal record check certificate (valid for 6 months). Applicants over 18 must present original and copy of the criminal record check certificate issued by FBI and legalized with the Federal Apostille of the Hague Convention requested to the Department of State in Washington DC.

  • The applicant must present criminal record certificates from the countries of residence of the last 5 years.
  • The certificates must be translated into Spanish by a certified. translator : American Translators Association  
  • Local State background checks and Apostille will not be valid.  

-         Bilingual Medical certificate, accrediting student´s good health pursuant to the 2005 International Health Regulations. It must have the Doctor's Stamp, or can be printed on medical center´s letterhead; it must not be older than 3 months. It is recommended to use our template​. ​ 

Required documents for family members:

The following family members may obtain a visa to accompany the student:

  • The spouse or unmarried partner.
  • Under 18 children or who have a disability.

For each family member it will be necessary to submit:
  • All the required documents specified in sections 1 to 5 and when applicable the ones for stays of more than 180 days. Visas for students' family members do not constitute work permits. 
  • Proof of financial means.  The minimum required amount is equivalent to the 100% of IPREM . For 2023 is aprox. US$ 700 per month, to this amount must be added 75% for the first family member and 50% for each additional family member. Provide either of the following:
      • Bank statements of the last 3 months from all bank accounts.
      • Any other source of income totaling the minimum required.
      • Last 3 years of  TAX  returns (Form 1040)​.
  • Proof of relationship with the applicant:
    Children: Original and copy of birth certificate apostilled and translated into Spanish by a certified translator.​
    Spouse: Original and copy of Marriage certificate issued in the last 6 months or certificate of registration as an unmarried couple Apostilled by the Hague Convention or any other document proving an unmarried partnership (joint taxes), and translated into Spanish by a certified translator.

The Consular Office may request additional documents or data.


Applying for a NALCAP visa also entails applying for a study stay permit if studies are longer than 180 days.

Who can apply for a visa: This Consular Office is competent to accept visa applications from individuals residing in the consular district.

​Place of submission: Applications must be submitted in person by appointment at BLS International Office, located at 121 W Wacker Dr. Suite 1307, Chicago, IL​. Book it  through this link:

Visa application period. Visa applications must be submitted sufficiently in advance of the beginning of the pertinent study, as the procedure entails consultations with other authorities.  Incomplete applications will be returned, only complete applications will be admitted.

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: Once the application is accepted as complete, the legal period for reaching a decision is of 1 month from the day after the application has been registered on the visa system (not from the date of the application is received in this Consulate General), but this period may be extended if an interview or additional documents are requested.

Collecting the visa:  BlS International will inform the applicant regarding the procedure for the return of the passport and any other original documentation.  ​​

​Refusal of the visa or study stay permit. Refusals of the visa or study stay permit will always be notified by mail, setting forth the grounds on which the decision adopted was based.

Appeals. If a study stay permit or visa is refused, the applicant may submit an appeal in Spanish language (by mail with tracking number) 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 of 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. If the study stay does not exceed 6 months, the visa will be valid for the entire stay and it will not be necessary to obtain a Foreigner Identity Card.

If the study stay is for longer than 6 months, the visa will be valid for a 90-day stay. The student must apply for a Foreigner Identity Card within a period of 1 month from their entry into Spain, at the Foreign Nationals' Office or the Police Station of the province in which the permit was processed. ​