Family members of citizens of the European Union or of the States of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland are entitled to a preferential free-of-charge visa, provided that they are travelling with the citizen of the European Union, the EEA or Switzerland or are on the way to joining them.
Nationals of third countries listed in Annex I of Regulation (EU) 2018/1806 require a Schengen visa for stays of up to 90 days (in any 180-day period).
The following can obtain a visa for family members of a citizen of the Union:
- The spouse, provided that there has been no annulment or divorce.
- The partner registered in a Member State of the European Union or EEA or Switzerland, provided that such registered partnership has not been legally terminated.
- Direct descendants of the Union citizen or of their spouse or registered partner (provided that there has been no annulment or divorce or legal termination of the registration) who are under the age of 21 and above that age if they are dependent or disabled.
- Direct relatives in the ascending line of the Union citizen or of their spouse or registered partner (provided that there has been no annulment or divorce or legal termination of their registration) that are their dependants.
- Family members other than the above who, in their country of origin, live with the citizen of the Union or are their dependants.
- Exceptionally, other family members when serious health grounds or disability strictly require their personal care by the Union citizen.
- The unregistered partner, provided that stable cohabitation for a minimum period of one year can be duly attested. When there are children in common, it will be sufficient to ascertain stable cohabitation.
The visa for family members of a Union citizen entitles the holder to stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. It also allows transit through the territory and airports.
Family members of Union citizens who wish to remain in Spain beyond 90 days must, once in Spain, submit an application with the competent authorities for a residence card as Union citizen family member.
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.
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 6 months beyond the planned departure date from the Schengen territory. It must also contain at least two blank pages. Passports issued more than 10 years ago will not be accepted.
4. Documents proving family relationship with a citizen of the Union or a State of the European Economic Area or Switzerland: Civil registry certificates (birth or marriage, accordingly), certificate of registration as an unmarried couple or any other document proving that the partnership is analogous to a marital relationship.
5. In the case of descendants over 21, ascendant relatives or other relatives, documents proving they are in the care of a citizen of the Union or a State of the European Economic Area or Switzerland or, if applicable, their state of health.
6. Documents proving that the applicant is travelling with a citizen of the Union or a State of the European Economic Area or Switzerland or is on the way to joining them.
7. Proof of residence in the consular district: ID or Driver License from Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC, North Carolina or West Virginia.
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 and 3 will be accepted.
The visa is free of charge if the relationship was registered in a European Civil Register.
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 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: 2375 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington DC 20037.You need to have an appoinment from our general email: email@example.com.
- Visa application period: Visa applications must be submitted between 6 months and 15 days before the scheduled 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 to be reached 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. The Consular Office shall process the application on a preferential basis.
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: You need to provide a Prepaid Express Envelope from USPS (United States Postal Service), NO UPS - NO FEDEX.
- 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").
- 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.
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.
- Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States.
- Royal Decree 240/2007 of 16 February, on the entry, free movement and residence in Spain of citizens of Member States of the European Union and of other States parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area).
- 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 June 2019 amending Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code).