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Study visa

February 28, 2024


Visa for stays exceeding 90 days for studies, training, internships, or voluntary work. 

    • Activities that Merit a Student Visa
      • Full-time (minimum of 20 hours per week) studies at an accredited school or educational center that will result in a degree, diploma, or certificate
      • Doctoral studies
      • Training activities
      • Secondary school (middle or high school) exchange programs with an accredited school or scientific center.
      • Internships or traineeships at public or private entities that do not qualify for an internship visa (see “Internship visa")
      • Volunteer services for programs working in areas of general and/or public interest
      • “Au pair" programs see ("Au Pair Visa").
      • Teaching assistants (auxiliaries de conversación)  ​see ("NARCALP VISA").

Note: Those studying in Spain for less than  90 days do not need a student visa. Depending on the applicant's nationality, a short-stay visa may be required (see “Schengen visas"). 

Consular Jurisdiction:

The Consulate General of Spain has jurisdiction over the following States: North California, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii.

Visas applications:

​We ONLY accept applications BY POSTAL MAIL​ from USPS, WITH NO APPOINTMENT : No specific carrier is requested but it is necessary that the envelope has a tracking number:

SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94109-5417

Visa applications must be submitted sufficiently in advance of the beginning of the pertinent study programmes, as the procedure entails ​consultations with other authorities. 

The application must be submitted no earlier than 180 days prior to the planned date of travel.

The processing time until approval for the student visa can take between 5 to 8 weeks since receiving your application in the office, if all required documents are provided. Missing documents are subject to cause delays in the approval times.

This General Consulate recommends not purchasing plane tickets until your visa has been granted.

The Consular Section does not provide information about the status of the visa. If extra documents are needed you will be contacted via email.

The Consulate General of Spain in San Francisco has full authority to evaluate and request documents in addition to those initially submitted by the applicant.

Required documents:

1. Visa Application form 2024.pdfIt opens in new window Each applicant must complete and sign a visa application, filling out every section, including the e-mail address(clearly written or typed) of the applicant, so we can contact if documents are missing. If the applicant is a minor, a parent or duly accredited representative must sign the application. In the event that the application must be signed​ by a duly accredited representative, said accreditation may be demonstrated by way of a notarized letter from the applicant or a letter from the applicant’s university or school.​​

Note:In the application form, it is important to fill in the email field in uppercase and with clear handwriting, as the consulate will contact you through this means if any documents are missing.

2. Photograph.pdf​. A recent, passport-size, color photograph, taken against a light background, facing forward, without dark or reflective glasses, or any garments concealing the applicant’s face. Applicants name must be on the back of the photograph.Please send a photo with all these requirements. Copies of photos will NOT be accepted.

3. Valid, unexpired passport. Original and PHOTOCOPY in color of the biometric data page(s). The passport must be valid for at least the duration of the planned stay and contain two blank pages. Passports issued more than 10 years ago will not be accepted. As part of the visa application process, you will be required to leave your passport at the Consulate. This is a mandatory step in the process, as we need to affix your visa to the inside of your passport. 

It is an essential requirement that if you wish to process your visa, you must leave the original passport with us. Otherwise, we will not initiate the process. While your application is being processed, you will not be able to travel with your passport. 

Important note: To apply for the visa you must be in the USA and wait in the USA for approval of your visa.

​4. Acceptance letter in SPANISH issued by the school/university/training center indicating: 

  • Student`s full name.
  • Passport number.
  • Initial and ending dates of the program (Maximum one scholar year).
  • Minimum 20 hours per week.
  • Contact name, phone number and email of the person at the school.
  • For a non-remunerated internship or volunteer program, a signed agreement. 

​​​​​5. ​​Proof of financial means.  The minimum required amount is equivalent to the100% 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:

  • Letter in Spanish from the School or US program assuming full financial responsibility.
  • Proof of financial aid or scholarship of at least 100% IPREM.
  • Three (3) last bank statements of the student's bank account showing a minimum balance for the complete stay in Spain.
  • Notarized letter of parents/custodians, assuming full financial responsibility for room and board, along with their bank statements of the last three months.

Suggested wording: "I hereby certify that I the (name of father, mother, other) of (student´s name), will support her/him/them with a monthly allowance of  us$700 per/month while she/he/them is in Spain and that I am financially responsible for any emergency that may arise."​ 

6.Health insurance. Certificate in Spanish issued by an Insurance Company operating in Spain specifying:
  • Name of applicant.
  • Start date of the coverage.
  • Repatriation coverage.
  • Minimum coverage $500.000. Without deductibles, copays or waiting periods.
  • If the applicant is participating in a volunteer program, he/she must also provide a copy of the civil liability insurance policy taken out by the organization.
  • An Insurance card will NOT be accepted as proof of coverage.
  • Travel insurance is not accepted. 

​​7. Criminal record check certificate ONLY when the stay of ​STUDIES EXCEEDS 180 DAYS. Applicants over 18 must present original and copy of the criminal record certificate(s) issued by their country or countries of residence for the past 5 years.The Criminal record check certificate cannot be issued more than 6 months preceding the submission of the visa application.

Residents in the US:​

- Certificate must be based on fingerprins and issued by FBI and legalized with the Federal Apostille of the Hague Convention requested to the Department of State in Washington DC and translated via an official Translators - Sworn Interpreters (



Translations: Páginas - Traductores e intérpretes (

Applicant(s) that has lived outside the United States during the past 5 years 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 5 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 said country.

Note: Criminal record check certificates issued by US Local/State authorities will not be accepted. Applicant will be informed in the cases when they can be required in addition to the FBI records.Apostilles are required: Contact Official Apostille authorities to get an estimate on processing times before submitting your visa application.​

8. Bilingual Medical certificate ONLY when the stay of ​STUDIES EXCEEDS 180 DAYSaccrediting 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​, must be signed by an MD – Medical Doctor: name,last name and license number of the MD must clearly appear in the document,  also contact information. It must not be older than 3 months​. It is recommended to use our templateMedical Certificate.pdf​. 

​9.  Proof of residence in the consular jurisdiction:  Copy of State ID, Driver´s License or Student ID, please don't send the originals.

Non-U.S. citizens must also submit their U.S. Green Card or long-term stay visa (notarized copy). B-1 and B-2 visa holders cannot apply for a student visa in the United States; they must apply for it in their country of residence or origin.

10. Payment of the visa fee. Present the payment the day of your interview. Only money orders are accepted payable to Consulate of Spain. No cash, personal checks, nor credit cards. The processing fee will not be returned even if the visa is not granted or cancelled.

APPLICANT                          FEE

Americans                         $   160

Other Nationalities          $     88

Payment must be ma​​de by MONEY ORDER (not refundable). We do not accept any other type of payments to: "CONSULATE GENERAL OF SPAIN". For citizens of the United States of America, the fee is $160. For nationals of Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, and the United Kingdom different rates are applied for reasons of reciprocity. In these cases, the amount of the fee must be consulted with the Consular Office. For other nationals, the visa fee is $88.

11. Self-addressed and Pre-Paid US “Express-Mail" envelope from the Post Office to have your passport returned by mail. We do NOT accept any other type of courier or messenger service (No FEDEX – No UPS). Tracking of mailed items is the sole responsibility of the applicant. (MANDATORY)

​12. Proof o​f the representative's identity and capacity. If the applicant is a minor, he/she must submit a copy of one of his/her parents’ or guardians’ ID or passport, as well as a document proving kinship. The originals must be shown when submitting the application. If the application is submitted through a representative, a copy of the representative’s ID or passport, as well as power of attorney or a document accrediting the representative relationship, must be submitted. An original and notarized copy of the applicant’s birth certificate, showing the parent-child relationship, or the ruling or decision by which a legal guardian was established, must be submitted to prove kinship; these documents must be issued a maximum of 90 days prior to submitting the visa application. Non-Spanish documents must be authenticated with the Apostille of The Hague. The copies of the identification documents must be notarized. If the visa application is submitted by mail, the originals of the identification documents must be shown when the passport with the visa is retrieved.

13. Authorization of legal representatives. If the applicant is a minor, he/she must submit the original and a copy of the parents’ or guardians’ notarized authorization for the minor to go to Spain and indicate the person who will be responsible for him/her during his/her stay in Spain. This notarized authorization must expressly include the following information of the person who will be responsible for the minor in Spain: full legal name, DNI or NIE number, address. This person or persons must also submit a notarized copy of his/her ID.

Non-Spanish documents must be authenticated with the Apostille of The Hague and translated into Spanish, if Spanish is not the original language. Copies must be notarized.

If the applicant is a minor, the person or persons respons​ible for the minor during his/her stay in Spain must submit a certificate ensuring they are not a sex offender (certificado de Delitos de Naturaleza Sexual) issued by the Registro Central de Delincuentes Sexuales, part of the Spanish Ministry of Justice (application found here), or express permission for the Spanish Government to obtain said certificate (authorization document found here). This person or persons must also provide a declaration in which they officially take responsibility for the child, which must be authenticated by a Spanish notary public.​

If the applicant is a minor and is traveling alone or with an autho​rized person, an original and notarized copy of power of attorney, signed by both parents or guardians, and authenticated with the Apostille of The Hague, must be submitted, along with a copy of both parents’ or guardians’ passports. If the minor is traveling with an authorized person, said document must also include the following information about the authorized person: full legal name, passport, DNI or NIE number, address, travel dates and route.

If the minor is traveling with only one of his/her parents or guardians, an original and notarized copy of power of attorney signed by the non-traveling parent or guardian must be submitted, authorizing the other parent or guardian to travel with the minor.

Required documents for family members

The following must be submitted for each family member accompanying the student:

  • The documents listed above under numbers 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 12, and, if applicable, 10.
  • Documentation proving kinship to the student (marriage, civil union, or birth certificate, or other documentation, depending on the relationship).
  • For married couples, an original copy of the marriage certificate, authenticated with the Apostille of The Hague and translated into Spanish, must be submitted.
  • For civil partners, a certificate confirming that the relationship is accounted for in a civil registry or documentation proving that the couple qualifies for a civil partnership, even if not legally registered as such, must be submitted. This documentation must be authenticated with the Apostille of The Hague and translated into Spanish.
  • For children, an original birth certificate, authenticated with the Apostille of The Hague must be submitted.
  • For children of divorced parents, the final divorce and custody filings for the minor, authenticated with the Apostille of The Hague and translated into Spanish, must be submitted.
  • For au pair visas, an original and notarized copy of the applicant’s contract with the host family with which the applicant will be living must be submitted.

When necessary, the Consular Office reserves the right to request additional documents or information, and/or call the applicant in for an interview.

Documentation issued by government authorities of countries that do not subscribe to The Hague Convention of 1961 must be authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the issuing country and then by the Consulate of Spain in said country.


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.There aren't appointments for students VISA.

Applying for a study visa also entails applying for a study stay permit.

  • Who can apply for a visa: Visa applications can be submitted in person by the applicant or by one of their parents if the applicant is a minor or sent through BY POSTAL MAIL​ . They may also be submitted through a duly accredited representati​​ve.
  • Visa application period:  The application must be submitted no earlier than 180 days prior to the planned date of travel. Visa applications must be submitted sufficiently in advance of the beginning of the pertinent study programs, as the procedure entails consultations with other authorities. 
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94109-5417​​

  • 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 i
  • Decision period: The legal period for reaching a decision is of 1 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.