The Schengen visa is issued to third-country nationals listed in Annex I of Regulation (EU) 2018/1806. This visa allows the holder to stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days (in any 180-day period) for the purposes of tourism, business, visiting family, medical treatment, studies, training placements or volunteer activities that last under 3 months, or for other non-gainful activities. It also allows transit through the territory and airports.
The Schengen area encompasses 26 European countries without border controls between them: 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, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
The Schengen visa allows the holder to travel to any of the Schengen States and to transit through their territory, but it does not automatically entitle them to enter the Schengen area. The border authorities can refuse entry if the visa holder does not provide proof of the purpose and specifics of the trip, or if any of the other entry requirements are not met (please refer to the section “Conditions for entry into Spain").
If you intend to visit only one Schengen country, you must apply at the Consulate of that particular country.
If you intend to visit several Schengen countries, you must apply for a visa at the Consulate of the country, which is your main destination (where you are spending most days). If you are part of a cruise, please take note that every port will count as one day.
If you intend to visit several Schengen countries but do not have a main destination (same amount of days), you should apply for a visa at the Consulate of the country which is your first point of entry.
The Consulate of Spain in Chicago will consider applications for all kind of visas by appointment and in person only if you study or your permanent address in your Driver´s License or US State ID shows that you live in: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Schedule a free appointment per person following these instructions.
1. Schengen visa application form. Each 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. 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. Photographs of minors must not show any part of the adult holding them. Photographs must be glued to the form.
3. Valid, unexpired passport. Original and a photocopy of the page or pages of the passport that contain biometric data. The passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the planned departure date from the Schengen territory. It must also contain at least two blank pages. Passports issued more than 10 years ago will not be accepted.
4. Travel medical insurance. The insurance must cover the costs of repatriation for medical reasons or death, as well as for urgent healthcare and/or emergency hospital treatment for the entire stay and throughout the Schengen area. Coverage must be of at least €30,000 or its equivalent in local currency, with no deductible, no co-payments and no reimbursements. If the application is for a multiple entry visa, the medical insurance must be valid for the first planned entry. The applicant must undertake to purchase insurance for future trips. An Insurance card will NOT be accepted as proof of coverage. Be aware that most US insurance policies don’t meet these requirements and only cover in the US.
5. Payment of the visa fee. Children aged 5 and under are exempt from the fee. Different fees are applied for nationals of several countries, pursuant to the respective Visa Facilitation Agreements formalized with these countries. Please visit our website to check the most recent visa fees.
Only money orders are accepted, no personal checks, no credit cards, no cash. The processing fee will not be returned even if the visa is not granted or cancelled.
6. Documents corroborating the purpose of travel and the specifics of the stay, that the visa applicant has sufficient financial means, as well as the intention of the visa applicant to leave the Schengen area before the visa expires. Round Trip Flight RESERVATIONS are required. It is highly recommended not to confirm the reservation or buy the ticket until you get your visa. Detailed Hotel reservations or an original Local Police invitation from the Spanish National Police (Policía Nacional) from a family member or friend who resides in Spain. If you are part of a tour or cruise, include a letter from your travel agent stating a complete itinerary of cities and hotels.
7. Proof of residence in:
- United States like US Permanent Resident Card or a valid US long-term Visa and in
- The consular district like a Driver´s License or a Student ID card or Voter´s Registration card.
Documents to be submitted in original and a photocopy.
Holders of B-1/B-2 visas cannot apply in the United States; they must apply in their country of residence or country of origin. Applicants holding F1 student visas must also submit original and copy of their I-20.
8. Latest Credit Card Statement of a minimum credit of US €868,5 plus €96,5 (or its equivalent in USD) per person an day of stay in Spain or latest 3 bank statements with the name of the applicant on it. If the bank statement is under the spouse's name only, bring the marriage certificate.
9. Original, signed employment letter indicating type of job, length of time employed and annual salary. In case of business trip the letter should also indicate the purpose of the trip and who will cover the expenses. Fax, copies or PDFs will not be accepted. If the applicant is financially independent, the last Income Tax Return. If the applicant is financially dependent, the last joint Income Tax Return with marriage certificate. If the applicant is a self-employed, a “Good Standing Certificate" issued by the Secretary of State, as well as the last year's Income Tax Return. Students need to present a registration letter from their school or college.
10. Minors (under 18 years of age). Notarized, written authorization of parents/custodians to travel abroad. Original minor's Birth Certificate (issued in the last 12 months). The certificate should match both parents' names. At least one parent with ID matching the name on the birth certificate needs to be present with the minor; the other absent parent must give notarized authorization to present parent to apply in his/her behalf.
The notarized authorizations from parents along with the photocopies of both parents passports and the Birth certificate of the minor must be legalized with the Apostille of the Hague convention in the US or at the Consulate of Spain abroad.
For the Apostille of The Hague Convention in the US, please visit here.
11. Relatives of European Union citizens. A Schengen visa is issued free of charge for these applicants who must provide ALL of the following:
- Spouse of the EU citizen should present a marriage certificate registered and issued by the EU country of the spouse (issued in the last 12 months), original and one photocopy and duly translated into English or Spanish language.
- Round Trip Flight reservation of the applicant/s and the EU spouse/children travelling together.
- Original and one photocopy of EU citizen's passport.
- Dependant children of the EU citizen should present a birth certificate issued in the last 12 months.
- Dependant relatives in the ascending line should present the documents corraborating the relationship, original and one photocopy and duly translated into English or Spanish language.
12. One Express Mail envelope self-addressed and with prepaid stamps from the US Postal Service per applicant. Once the visa is approved, the Consulate will return applicant's passport inside the Express Mail envelope. Applicant can check the status of the shipment by tracking the envelope at www.usps.com
13. Disclaimer form must be presented with application. Please download it here.
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. The Consulate does not track mail or answer emails asking for visa status.
Only those applications meeting the requirements specified in sections 1, 2, 3 and 5 will be accepted.
This Consular Office is competent to accept visa applications from third-country nationals residing in the consular district who are travelling to Spain as their only or main destination.
- Who can apply for a visa: Applications must be submitted in person. If the applicant is a minor, the application must be submitted by their legal representatives.
- Biometric data capturing: The applicant's facial image and fingerprints will be captured during the visa application procedure. Applicants under 12 and applicants whose fingerprints have been taken in the last 59 months are exempt from fingerprint taking. However, in the latter case, if the applicant's prints are of poor quality, the Consular Office will request that they come back in to have their fingerprints retaken.
- 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 of 15 calendar days as of the day after the application submission date, but this period may be extended to 45 calendar days if an interview or additional documents are requested.
Visa applications submitted by nationals of certain States require consultation with the central authorities that could affect the duration of the visa procedure.
- Return of passport and other documentation. The Consular Office or Visa Application Centre will inform the applicant regarding the procedure for the return of the passport and any other original documentation.
- Permission granted by the visa: A visa does not automatically entitle someone to enter the Schengen area. The traveller must meet all legal entry requirements (see section "Conditions for entry into Spain").
- 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.
Complaints or suggestions about the service received or about the visa application procedure can be submitted online through this website. They may also be submitted in writing at this Consular Office.
The processing of personal data of visa applicants is done in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation.
Persons wishing to exercise their rights of access, rectification and erasure of their personal data in the Visa Information System (VIS) may do so by addressing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation
Inspección General de Servicios
Postal address: Plaza de la Provincia, 1, Madrid, España
The following forms may be used to do so:
Persons whose visa application has been refused because they are banned from entering the Schengen area may exercise their rights of access, rectification and erasure of their personal data in the Schengen Information System (SIS) by addressing the Ministry of the Interior.
To obtain more information on your rights and duties and on how to exercise your rights of access, rectification and erasure of data included in the SIS, please refer to the website of the Spanish Data Protection Agency.
Community Code on Visas
- Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code).
- Regulation (EU) 2019/1155 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 amending Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code).