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Schengen Visas


The Schengen visa is issued to 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, 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 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"). ​

Please make sure that your main destination is Spain. If you plan to travel to different Schengen area countries, you must apply in the Consulate of your main destination, depending on the purpose of your trip and the length of stay, or in the first country of entry if the length of stay is the same in different Schengen States.

Applications for short-term Schengen visas (stays of up to 90 days, including tourist, study or business visas) must be submitted in person by appointment only to the BLS Spain Visa Application Center in Washington DC.

​To find more information and schedule an appointment for Schengen visas at BLS Spain Visa Application Center in Washington DC, please follow the link: BLS Spain Visa Application Center​

​​​​BLS Visa Application Center: 1660 L Street. NW, Suite 216, Washington, D.C., 20036


Phone number: 516-888-1169 (BLS call-center for USA)

Direct family members of EU, EEA or CH citizens are entitled to submit their applications for short-term visas at the Visa Office in the Consular Section of the Embassy if they are traveling with the EU, EEA or CH citizen, or are on the way to joining them. In this case, the applicant must request an appointment in advance to the Visa Office of the Embassy via email attaching scanned copies of the required documentation. Please write the email subject as follows: “APPOINTMENT REQUEST. Shengen visa for EU Family member. Given Name FAMILY NAME of the applicant”. They can also submit their application at the BLS Spain Visa Application Center in Washington DC.


​​1.- Schengen visa application form.pdfEach applicant must complete and sign an 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 color 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.- Passport issued in the last ten years (otherwise it will have to be renewed) and valid for at least six months counting from the expected date of return to the US

Non-US citizens: Green Card or valid visa in the United States. The visa or Green Card must be valid to re-enter the US after your trip to Spain. B1/B2 visa holders do not qualify to apply for a visa at this Consular Office.

4.- Travel health 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 approximately $32.000 USD. If the application is for a multiple entry visa, the health insurance must be valid for all planned entries. ​

5.- Payment of the visa fee: By cash or money order only. 

  • ​General fee (citizens age 12 and over): $85
  • Children of 6-11 years: $42
  • Children aged 5 and under: Exempt.
  • Countries subject to Visa Facilitation Agreements:
    • ​Citizens of Cabo Verde: $64
    • Citizens of Azerbaijan and Armenia: $37
6.- Documents corroborating the purpose of the travel and specifics of the stay:

  • Complete travel itinerary (round trip from the U.S.): Copy of flight reservation with booking reference number. Travel itinerary should include:
    • ​Applicant’s name;
    • Clear details of travel dates;
    • When traveling from one country to another within the Schengen area:
      • ​Flight numbers, bus tickets, euro pass (if applicable). 
      • Car rental details (if applicable). 
  • ​Proof of accommodation for entire duration of stay: Can be any of the following:
    • Copy of confirmed hotel reservations containing applicant’s name, address and telephone, matching with flight dates;
    • Official invitation letter from a Spanish national or foreign legal resident in Spain: Issued by the Police Department or other governing body. Invitation letter should specify:
      • ​Address of stay;
      • Copy of host’s passport;
      • Copy of host’s proof of residence (if not a Spanish national).​​
    • ​If trip is arranged by a tour operator or travel agency​:
      • Confirmation of booking of the trip;
      • Travel itinerary: Specifying hotels outlined day by day and including each location’s address, phone number and email;
    • For cruises: Itinerary with ports outlined day by day.​

7.- Proof of financial means: Applicant must corroborate having sufficient financial means for the entire duration of their stay. Sufficient financial means are considered to be:

  • If trip is less than 9 days: Minimum average balance of $120 per day of stay.
  • If trip is 9 days or more: Minimum average balance of $1100, independent of the duration of the stay.​​
Applicants can submit an original (when electronic signature is included) or notarized copy of three most recent bank statements where final balance exceeds minimum average balance required.

  • Statements must show the last four digits of the applicant’s account number.
  • Statements must include checking and savings of each account.
  • If current statement is older than one week, applicant must submit a stamped bank letter reflecting the current balance of accounts.
  • Brokerage statements, credit lines or equivalents can be submitted.
Only 1st degree relatives can financially support (“sponsor”) an applicant. To certify this sponsorship, applicant must submit:

  • Notarized letter from relative assuming full financial responsibility for the applicant’s stay;
  • Notarized copy of relative’s ID;
  • Relative’s proof of employment: Letter from the company that the relative is working for;
  • Relative’s three most recent bank statements;
  • Proof of relationship:
    • Notarized copy of birth certificate, or;
    • Tax returns certifying dependence.​​
2nd degree relatives may be eligible for spo​nsorship; however, this decision lies at the discretion of the Consular Office.

8.- Proof of employment: Applicant must submit a letter from his/her company indicating length of employment, position, wage or salary, and vacation period. This employment letter must be stamped and include the company logo​.


  • Self-employed individuals:
    • Most recent yearly income tax return(s);
    • Last 3 corporate bank statements;
    • Professional license (if applicable);
    • ​Certificate of incorporation.
  • Retirees: Letter from the Social Security Administration confirming monthly retirement income.
  • ​Students: Proof of enrollment (can be copy of F1 visa, school ID card or transcripts).
  • Business travelers
    • Letter from their U.S.-based company indicating purpose and length of stay;
    • ​Letter of invitation from the Spanish company or conference, or invitation letter from a host.
9.- Proof of residence in the consular district: Applicant must be a legal resident or enrolled in in-person studies within the Consulate’s jurisdiction. Residence must be demonstrated by submitting a notarized copy of: U.S. Drivers’ License, State ID, or University Student ID.
Non-U.S. citizens must submit a notarized co​py of their U.S. Green Card or long-term stay visa.


  • Notarized authorization letter to apply for a visa from parent or legal guardian who is not accompanying minor;
  • Application form signed by both parents;
  • Notarized copy of Family Court Order if only one parent has full custody. Must be translated to Spanish;
  • Notarized copy of parent(s)’s passport;
  • Notarized birth certificate. Must be translated to Spanish;
  • If the minor is a student, original (if electronic signature is included) or notarized copy of letter from school or college, F1 visa and student ID​
In the case of unaccompanied minors, when a minor is traveling alone:

  • Notarized letter from tutor or person responsable for the child while duration of stay, assuming full responsibility of applicant’s care and accepting that a sexual criminal background check is conducted;
  • Notarized copy of tutor’s passport;
  • Notarized letter from both of applicant’s parents granting permission to the minor traveling alone and acknowledging that the abovementioned tutor will care for the minor during their stay in Spain.


Who can apply for a visa: This Consular Office is competent to accept visa applications from individuals residing in the consular district or studying (even if they are not a resident) in our consular district: Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina.

Please note that if you are a minor (less than 18 years old) in the moment you apply for the visa, you must apply like a minor. If you are 18 years old (or more) in the moment when you apply for the visa, you must apply like an adult. Different required documents apply if you submit the application like a minor or an adult. 

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.   ​

Place of submission: The application must be submitted in person by appointment only to the BLS Spain Visa Application Center for Spain in Washington DC. 

To find more information and schedule an appointment for Schengen visas at BLS Spain Visa Application Center in Washington DC, please follow the link: BLS Spain Visa Application Center

Please note that there are different sections for Schengen visas and for Student visas appointments.

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​.

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. The time frame to receive a resolution may be extended and is​ not possible to expedite. Visa applications submitted by nationals of certain States require consultation with the central authorities that could affect the duration of the visa processing.
The Consular Section does not provide information about the status of a visa. If extra documents are needed you will be contacted.

Rectifying the application: The Consular Office may ask the applicant to submit additional documents or data that are necessary for a decision regarding the application.  The applicant may also be called in for a personal interview.

Collecting the visa: The applicant must collect the visa and/or other documents in person at the BLS office once BLS notifies the applicant (via SMS text) that the visa or documents are ready to be picked up.

Refusal of the visa or study stay permit: Applying for a study visa also entails applying for a 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 in 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.