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Schengen visas

January 7, 2024


General information 

The Schengen visa is issued to third-country nationals listed in Annex I of Regulation (EU) 2018/1806It opens in new window. 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 27 European countries without border controls between them: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, 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 proof of the reason and conditions of t​he trip are not provided or if the rest of the entry conditions are not fulfilled. 

​​​SCHENGEN VISAS (Tourism, Family Visit, Business, etc.). To apply for a Schengen visa, it is required to request a Schengen visa appointment FOR THA​T, send an email to 


​​​Required documents 

1. Schengen Visa Application form 20240701.pdf Applicants must legally reside within the jurisdiction of the Consulate General of Spain in San Francisco. The application form must be thoroughly filled out and signed. For minors, the form must be signed by all their parents/legal guardians.

2. Photograph.pdf​. Recently issued (not older than 6 months).An updated photo-paper picture, passport size, facing forward, light/white background, 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. Passport or official travel document. (Original and a Photocopy): Passport should be no older than 10 years and be valid for a minimum of 90 days after your expected departure date from the Schengen zone. The passport must have at least two blank pages in it.​Passports issued more than 10 years ago will not be accepted.

4. Travel insurance. Must cover sanitary assistance, accidents, emergencies, evacuation, medical repatriation, return of remains with complete international coverage, with ZERO (0) DEDUCTIBLE and NO COPAYMENT Coverage must be of at least 30,000 euros or its equivalent in local currency.  Insurance must be valid for the complete duration of your time while in Schengen territory.

If you are requesting a multiple entry visa, travel insurance must be valid from the first day that the travel starts and provide either proof of coverage for one year or a signed declaration that will have the required insurance when travelling in all future trips.

5. Payment of the visa fee: Payments are made at the time of your appointment, only money order or exact cash are accepted (no credit cards, no debit cards, no personal checks). Money orders are to be addressed to the "Consulate General of Spain San Francisco". 

Payment of the visa fee :

  • General fee (citizens age 12 and over): $99​.00
  • ​Children of 6-12 years: $49.00
  • Children aged 6 and under: Exempt.
  • Countries subject to Visa Facilitation Agreements: Citizens of Cabo Verde: $66.00; Citizens of Azerbaijan and Armenia: $39.00.

The visa fee will not be reimbursed even if the visa is not granted or is cancelled.

6. Documents proving the reason for the trip and the conditions of the stay, the availability of sufficient financial means, and establishing the applicant's intention to leave the Schengen area before the expiry of the visa.

AIRLINE RESERVATION TICKETS: It is absolutely necessary to provide complete itineraries of your trip, they must be round trip flights, showing entry and departure from the Schengen space.
LETTER FROM EMPLOYER (Original and a Photocopy): An original letter from the applicant's employer with letterhead and original signature and/or stamp, with the following information: type of job, length of time employed and annual salary.

If the signature and/or stamp is NOT original ink, you must also provide 3 months of paystubs.

If you are self-employed you must submit a copy of your latest Income Tax Returns and bring the originals for verification. In some cases a “Good Standing Certificate” issued by the Secretary of State may be requested by the Consular authorities.

PROOF OF FINANCIAL MEANS: Your 3 latest complete bank statements (all pages) obtained directly from the bank (with signature or stamp from the bank), with your name on each statement and an ending balance that meets the minimum requirements for the length of your stay. Each adult applicant must provide their own individual bank statements under their name (even if travelling with their spouse).
Please review the Financial RequirementsIt opens in new window.

The availability of means of living can also be presented by means of cash, convertible monies, certified checks, traveler checks or letters of payment. Neither letters from bank entities, nor printed statements obtained online will be accepted. ALL PROOF OF FUNDS MUST BE IN ORIGINAL FORM.


The latest complete statement from a major Credit Card. Each adult applicant must provide their own individual bank statements under their name (even if travelling with their spouse).

HOTEL RESERVATIONS: with name, complete address, phone and e-mail for the entire time you will be in the Schengen area.

- Or, if staying with friends or family, they need to request an official “Letter of Invitation” (Carta de Invitación) issued by the Local Police Department of the Schengen territory or territories in which they live, and the original copy sent to you.(You will then need to present the original and a photocopy).

- If you are part of a tour or cruise, please include a letter from your travel agent with a complete itinerary of the cities that you will visit and the addresses of the hotels you will be staying in. 

7. Identification (ID) that proves residence within the jurisdiction of the Consulate of Spain in San Francisco (original and photocopy). Any of the following forms of identification are acceptable, always when and where they are valid the day of the appointment: driver's license with current address, state identity card, voter registration card, student ID. 

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. 

Only those applications meeting the requirements specified in sections 1, 2, 3 and 5 will be accepted. 

8. US resident alien card or valid US long term visa (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 U.S. student visas must also submit a copy of their I-20with the endorsement on the back, and copies of their F1 visa.

9. Under 18 years of age: The physical presence of the applicant is mandatory in every case. ​Applicants under 18 years of age must submit a notarized authorization letter from their parents or legal guardians.

If traveling with both parents/guardians, copy of birth certificate.

If traveling with only one parent/guardian:

Guardian with sole custody: original proof and copy of birth certificate.

Guardians with shared custody: notarized letter of the parent/guardian that is not traveling giving permission for minor to travel with the traveling parent/guardian, and copy of birth certificate.
The Consulate Administration has full authority to evaluate and request more documents than those listed above. Please be informed that submitting the mentioned documents does NOT guarantee issuance of the visa. Documents presented for the visa application will not be returned.


1. If you plan on visiting only one Schengen country, you must apply at the Consulate of that particular country of which you are visiting.

2. If you plan on visiting multiple Schengen countries, you must apply for a visa at the Consulate of the country which will be your main destination (where you are going to be spending most nights).
3. If you plan on visiting multiple Schengen countries but do not have a ​main destination (you spend equal number of nights in two or more Schengen countries), you should apply for a visa at the Consulate of the country which is your first point of entry in Schengen territory.

4. The taking of biometric data (fingerprints and a photo) and submitting these documents make it essential that the applicant be present at the Consulate with an appointment.

5. Applications are not accepted more than 90 days in advance. It is recommended to apply, at the latest three weeks (21 days) before your first day of travel. 


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. 
  • Place of submission: Applications must be submitted in person at the Consular Office or, when available, at the Visa Application Centre. In either case, an appointment is necessary. ​  
  • Visa application period: Visa applications must be submitted between 6 months and 15 days before the scheduled date of travel. Seafarers may apply for the visa up to 9 months before the date of travel. 
  • Proof of receipt: When a visa application is submitted, the Consular Office will 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:​me.aspxIt opens in new window 
  • 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"). ​When you receive the visa check the dates and lenght of stay to be sure it matches with what you submitted in your application. Contact the Visa section immediately via email if you observe any discrepancy that may affect your trip.
  • 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.


Data protection​ 

The processing of personal data of visa applicants is done in accordance with the General Data Pr​otection RegulationIt opens in new window

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

Email:​It opens in new window 

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 AgencyIt opens in new window.

Basic legislation 

 Community Code on Visas 

  • Regulation (EC) No 810/2009It opens in new window of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code). 
  • Regulation (EU) 2019/1155It opens in new window 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).​