Visa for stays exceeding 90 days for studies, training, internships or voluntary work. This visa may also be issued for stays for au pairs and for conversation class assistants.
Study stays of less than 90 days do not require a study visa. Depending on the applicant's nationality, a short-stay visa may be required (see “Schengen visas").
The following family members may obtain a visa to accompany the student:
- The spouse or unmarried partner.
- Children who are minors or who have a disability.
Visas for students' family members do not constitute work permits.
Activities for which a study visa may be obtained
- Full-time studies at an authorized school that will lead to the obtainment of a degree or certificate of studies.
- Doctorate studies.
- Training activities.
- Student mobility programmes at compulsory and/or non-compulsory secondary education level at an officially recognized teaching or scientific centre.
- Training placements at public or private bodies or entities that cannot be covered by internship visas (see “Internship visa").
- Volunteer services in the framework of programmes pursuing public interest goals.
- Au pair programmes.
- Conversation class assistants.
Required documents for the student
1. National visa application form. Each applicant must complete and sign a visa application, 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 be valid at least for the duration of the planned stay and contain two blank pages. Passports issued more than 10 years ago will not be accepted.
4. Proof of acceptance for the study, training or volunteer activity or internship. Original and a copy of the document proving:
- Acceptance at an authorized teaching centre to carry out a full-time study programme.
- Acceptance at a research or training centre.
- Acceptance into a student mobility programme (in this case, the applicant must also provide proof of acceptance at a study centre, of having found accommodation with a family or at an institution, and the commitment of the organizer of the programme to bear the costs).
- Acceptance for a non-remunerated internship on the basis of a signed agreement.
- An agreement with the organization responsible for the volunteer programme.
5. Proof of financial means. Original and a copy of the documents proving that the applicant (or their legal representative or the family member supporting them) has sufficient financial means to cover the expenses of the student's stay and return, as well as the stay and return of the family members accompanying them. The minimum required amount is equivalent to 100% (579,02 € per month) of Spain's Public Multiple Effects Income Indicator (IPREM). To this amount must be added 75% (534,26€ per month) of the IPREM for the first family member and 50% (289,51€ per month)of the IPREM for each additional family member. If proof is provided that accommodation for the entire stay has been paid for in advance, this amount will be deducted.
Provide either of the following:
- Statement from the University/School or US program assuming full financial responsibility for room and board (commonly included in the 'Letter of acceptance').
- Proof of financial aid or scholarship of at least 579,02 € multiplied by the number of months of your stay, for room and board. This document must specify that the funds will be used for your study abroad program and not for tuition.
- Last three month's bank statements of student's personal checking or savings bank account. The name of the student must figure on the bank statements with a minimum stable balance of 579,02 € multiplied by the number of months of your stay. Business accounts are not accepted.
- Notarized letter of parents/custodians assuming full financial responsibility with a minimum balance of 579,02 € multiplied by the number of months of the student´s stay, for room and board. They have to provide also a copy of their ID and the last three months' checking/savings bank statements.
6. Health insurance. The applicant must submit an original and copy of documentation proving that he/she will have public or private health insurance coverage provided by an insurance entity authorized to operate in Spain. The insurance policy must cover all the risks insured by Spain's public health system. Travel insurance will not be accepted. Health insurance cards will not be accepted as proof of insurance. The applicant must have health insurance with coverage in Spain during the entirety of his/her stay. The policy cannot have copays, deductibles, or qualifying periods, meaning that it must cover 100% of medical, hospital, and outpatient costs. Exceptionally foreign companies offering limited coverage could be accepted, as long as they meet the other medical requirements and must demonstrate a minimum general coverage of at least 500,000 USD, with no deductibles or copays and must expressly say that the company offers coverage in the rest of the world, or at least in Spain.
If the applicant is participating in a volunteer programme, in addition to the medical insurance, they must provide a copy of the civil liability insurance policy taken out by the organization.
7. Criminal record check certificate. Applicants of legal age who apply for a visa for a stay of more than 180 days must submit the original and a copy of their criminal background check(s) issued by their country or countries of residence in the past five years. The criminal background check must be issued by the U.S. Department of Justice – Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). State background checks issued by the Department of Law Enforcement and those issued at a local level will not be accepted. The background check must be issued within the five months preceding the submission of the visa application. It must be authenticated with the Apostille of The Hague of Washington DC (US Department of State) and translated into Spanish. The applicant must submit a notarized copy of both the original document in English and the Spanish translation. Under no circumstances will a criminal background check be accepted if it has been altered or damaged in any way, including damages caused by removing staples. If the applicant has lived outside the United States during the past five years, he/she must provide an additional criminal background check from every country where he/she has lived, authenticated with the Apostille of The Hague and translated into Spanish, with a notarized copy of both documents. If the country in which the applicant has lived in the past five years does not subscribe to The Hague Convention of 1961, the background check must by authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the issuing country and then by the Consulate of Spain in that country.
8.Medical certificate: Applicants requiring a visa for a stay of more than 180 days must submit the original and a copy of a medical certificate accrediting that they do not suffer from any disease that could cause serious repercussions for public health pursuant to the 2005 International Health Regulations. Template.
9. Proof of residence in the consular district. Copy of driver's license, State Id or student Id of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee or Texas.
10. Proof of the representative's identity and capacity. If the applicant is a minor, it will be necessary to submit copies of the identity document or passport of one of their parents, as well as of the document constituting proof of kinship. The originals must be shown when submitting the application. 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.
11. Authorization of legal representatives. If the applicant is a minor, it will be necessary to provide the original and a copy of the parents' or guardians' authorization of the minor's temporary relocation to Spain, certified by a notary, which must also name the individual who will be responsible for the minor in Spain. Foreign documents must be legalized or apostilled and, where applicable, must be submitted together with an official translation into Spanish.
12. Evidence of legal residence in the United States (Non-US passport holders): Evidence of legal residence in the United States: resident alien card, valid US Visa. Applicants holding F1 student visa must also submit a photocopy of their I‐20, with the endorsement duly and recently signed. 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.
13. Payment of the visa fee: Money Order pay to the order of The General Consulate of Spain in Houston.
14. Only USPS (Express or Priority Mail) self-address prepaid envelope with tracking number.
15. Postal delivery authorization
- Applicants should not purchase their plane tickets until their visas have been granted.
- We will not accept incomplete applications for processing
Required documents for family members
For each family member accompanying the student, the following must be submitted:
- The documents listed above as 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12. Where applicable, 10 must also be provided.
Moreover, the certificates proving kinship with the student (marriage certificate, unmarried couple certificate, or birth certificate, as applicable) must be provided. Foreign documents must be legalized or apostilled and, where applicable, must be submitted together with an official translation into Spanish.
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 or who are regularly in the consular district for study purposes even if they are not a resident.
Applying for a study visa also entails applying for a study stay permit.
- Who can apply for a visa: Visa applications must be submitted by the student or by one of their parents if the applicant is a minor. They may also be submitted through a duly accredited representative.
- Visa application period: Visa applications must be submitted sufficiently in advance of the beginning of the pertinent study programmes, as the procedure entails consultations with other authorities.
- Place of submission: Applications and requirements must be submitted via postal mail to General Consulate of Spain in Houston- Visa Department (1800 Bering Dr. Suite 750 Houston, Texas, 77057).
- Proof of receipt: The Consular Office might provide the applicant with proof of receipt of the application with a code that enables them to check the status of the dossier through the following link: https://sutramiteconsular.maec.es/Home.aspx
- 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 could be up to 2 month from the day after the application submission date, but this period may be extended if an interview or additional documents are requested.
- Collecting the visa: The Consular Office 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 in writing, 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 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.