Nationals of the following countries require a visa to transit through the international area of any airport located in the territory of the Schengen States in order to take a connecting flight to a country outside the Schengen area.
- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Sri Lanka.
In addition, nationals of the following countries require a visa to transit through the international area of any airport located in Spain in order to take a connecting flight to a country outside the Schengen area:
- Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, India, Liberia, Mali, Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Syria, Togo and Yemen. Holders of passports issued by the Palestinian Authority also require a visa.
Nationals of the States included on the foregoing lists do not require an airport transit visa if they have a Schengen visa, or another type of visa, or a residence card permitting their return, issued by a Member State of the European Union or of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, or by Andorra, Canada, the United States of America, Japan, or San Marino, or by any of the overseas countries and territories of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, or if they are a diplomatic passport holder, or a family member of a citizen of the EU or of the EEA, or a flight crew member of a State that is party to the International Civil Aviation Organization.
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 airport transit visa enables transit through the international area of airports located in the Schengen area but does not permit entry into the territory of the Schengen States. When a connection entails a change in airport terminal that requires going through a border control, it will be necessary to apply for a Schengen visa (see the “Schengen visas" section).
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.
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 date of airport transit in the Schengen area. It must also contain at least two blank pages. Passports issued more than 10 years ago will not be accepted.
4. Payment of the visa fee. The amount of the visa fee is $85 for people aged over 12 and $45 for children of 6 to 11. Children aged 5 and under are exempt from the fee. Different fees are applied for nationals of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Cabo Verde, pursuant to the respective Visa Facilitation Agreements formalized with these countries: $68. CASH OR MONEY ORDER under: Embassy of Spain.
5. Documents concerning the continuation of the journey onto the final destination following the planned transit. Applicants must provide proof of the journey they are taking that involves an international layover in an airport in Spain or a country represented by Spain, as well as of the necessary entry permits for the country of destination and any other layovers.
6. Documents corroborating the applicant's intention not to enter the territory of any Member State. (Flight ticket reservations).
7. Proof of residence in the consular district: Driver License or ID from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and Washington DC.
8. 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.
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 4 will be accepted.
This Consular Office is competent to accept visa applications from third-country nationals who reside in the consular district and who plan to transit through the international area of an airport located in Spanish territory.
- 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: 2375 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington DC 20037. You need to ask for an appoinment at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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 interested party 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
- 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 15 calendar days as of the day after the submission date of the application, a period which may be extended to 45 calendar days when 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 the Visa Application Centre will inform the applicant regarding the procedure for the return of the passport and other original documentation.
- Permission granted by the visa: The visa does not entitle the holder to enter the Schengen area; rather, it only permits the holder to transit through the international area of airports in the Schengen area.
- 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 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.
Complaints or suggestions regarding the service received or the visa application procedure can be submitted online through this website. They may also be submitted in writing to 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:
Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, Unión Europea y Cooperación
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 July 2019 amending Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code).