Well y’all, I can officially leave for Spain now that I have two things: a visa, and a diploma (or two!)
So as a member of the facebook groups, I see about 10,000 questions regarding visas everyday. Some brilliant people put together a list of blogs that outline each consulate’s path to success to getting a VISA! I figured since not everyone is a member of that exact facebook group, I would recopy that list onto my blog for keepsake for future auxiliares, as well as post the addresses and phone numbers of each of the consulates! At the end, I will outline my own personal experience with what I needed for BEDA and my experience through the Houston Consulate, and how I literally had the easiest, relaxing experience EVER.
**I was also recently pointed to “How to Apply for a Long Term Residence Visa in Spain by Two Bad Tourists, another great resource for applying for a Long Term VISA. My post focuses on getting a STUDENT VISA, as required by my program. This might be a good resource if you are looking to get to Spain through a different means than the traditional English teaching programs!
NOTE: any of these requirements can change year by year, without notice. If you have questions, I can try to help you figure them out, join a facebook group like language and culture assistants in Spain (insert school year here), or call your consulate… not that they are always helpful, but it’s worth a shot!
*I currently have no information on the Consulate in Puerto Rico. If anyone has any details on this consulate, please email me or leave me a comment below!
General Consulate of Boston
-Pre-Visa Appointment: http://lifeaftercollegelvt.blogspot.com/2013/06/applying-for-spanish-student-visa.html
-Post-Visa Appointment: http://lifeaftercollegelvt.blogspot.com/2013/07/visa-in-progress-flight-purchased-and.html
Address: 31 St James Avenue, Suite 905 Boston, MA 02116 USA
Telephone: (617) 536.2506 — Telephone (Int): +1.617.536.2506
Fax: (617) 536.8512 — Fax (Int): +1.617.536.8512
General Consulate of Chicago
-Step-by-Step with specific details on the doctor’s note notarization, Apostilles, and background checks: http://travelsuntranslated.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/how-to-apply-for-a-spanish-student-visa/
Address: 180 North Michigan Ave., Suite 1500 Chicago, IL 60601 USA
Telephone: (312) 782.4588 – Telephone (Int): +1.312.782.4588
Fax: (312) 782.1635 – Fax (Int):: +1.312.782.1635
General Consulate of Los Angeles
“If you do not live in California: In order to avoid delays or trips to the Consulates, you may send your visa application and the required documents to either one of the following addresses…”: http://www.educacion.gob.es/exterior/centros/losangeles/es/normativa/visado.shtml
Address: 5055 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Telephone: (323) 938-0158
General Consulate of Miami
Address: 2655 Him Jeune Road, Suite 203, Chorale Gables, Florida
Telephone: (305) 446-5511
Fax: (305) 446-0585
General Consulate of New York
Address: 150 East 58th St., 30th floor, New York, NY 10155
Telephone: (212) 355.4080; International: +1.212.355.4080
Fax: (212) 644.3751; International: +1.212.644.3751
General Consulate of San Francisco
“If you do not live in California: In order to avoid delays or trips to the Consulates, you may send your visa application and the required documents to either one of the following addresses…”http://www.educacion.gob.es/exterior/centros/losangeles/es/normativa/visado.shtm
Address: 1405 Suttter St. San Francisco, CA 94109 USA
Telephone: (415) 922.2995 – Telephone (Int): +1.415.922.2995
Fax: (415) 931.9706 – Fax (Int):: +1.415.931.9706
General Consulate of Washington D.C.
Address: 2375 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20037
Phone: (202) 452-0100
Fax: (202) 833-5670
General Consulate of Houston
Address: 1800 Bering Drive, Suite 660, Houston, Texas 77057
Telephone: (+1) 713 783 6200
Fax: (+1) 713 783 6166
^Welcome to my consulate! Trevor Huxham, whose blog is the link above, did a FANTASTIC job at explaining the VISA process! As of 2013, those were the requirements necessary.
*No appointment is needed at the Houston consulate*
Here is an abbreviated list, which you can find more in-depth detail about when you click his link:
–2 VISA application forms
–2 Passport photos: (1 glued to each application- go to CVS)
–$160: cash or money order
–Pre-paid Envelope: 12.5×9.5-inch Priority Mail flat rate; keep track of your tracking number if you can!
–Acceptance letter: (BEDA-ers: 2 letters from Universidad Pontificia de Comillas by snail mail, 1 email from UMAS, 1 email from Adeslas SegurCaixa) This covers the acceptance letter, the proof of financial means, and the proof of health insurance
NOTE: I got an email from Samantha and Esther suggesting we might need a letter of our parents to state intent of support. I never needed this at the Houston consulate.
–Certificate of Good Health: On letterhead from an MD
This health certificate verifies that Mr./Ms. _____ is free of drug addiction, mental illness and does not suffer from any disease that could cause serious repercussions to public health according to the specifications of the international sanitary regulation of 2005.
These contagious diseases include, but are not limited to smallpox, poliomyelitis by wild poliovirus, the human influenza caused by a new subtype of virus and the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), cholera, pneumonic plague, yellow fever, viral hemorrhagic fevers (e.g.: Ebola, Lassa, Marburg), West Nile Virus and other illnesses of special importance nationally or regionally (e.g.: Dengue Fever, Rift Valley Fever and meningococcal disease.)
Mr./Ms. _____ is a very healthy individual in all senses, she/he has no pre-existing medical conditions, and she/he is capable of traveling abroad.
–Background Check: Apostilled State background checks accepted for Houston, however there has been some rumors that this could change in the next couple years; If you have moved around, I heard that the background check that you have a license with is okay. If you studied abroad, I also heard you did not need one from that country you visited. Please double check these statements.
*Louisiana Background Check*:
First, I went around midday to the Louisiana State Police Headquarters:
7901 Independence Blvd
This process took about an hour and a half. After, I went straight down the street to the State Archives to get it Apostilled, which is a fancy word for the “official” state notary:
3851 Essen Lane
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
This part took 5 minutes, give or take. BOOM. Background check complete.
– COPIES: COPIES COPIES COPIES COPIES. Make 2 copies of every document/item you have
Some how I had the easiest time ever getting all of my documents ready. No one else I talked to got their documents in 2 days except me. Most took weeks, especially for the consulates who needed FBI background checks, so GET STARTED NOW. If you are at a consulate where you need an appointment and can’t get one until late in the summer, keep checking back because people cancel and you can pick up theirs.
AT THE CONSULATE:
I stayed at this hotel:
Best Western Fountainview Inn & Suites Near Galleria
When you drive up to the consulate (on your left coming from this hotel) pull in and park under the attached parking garage. Go inside, go up the elevator to floor 6, and BAM. you’re at the consulate. Wait in line, turn un your paperwork, and congratulations, you’ve officially applied for a VISA, so do a cartwheel! (Mentally, not physically please.)
I received my VISA in the mail 2.5 weeks later :).
Questions, comments, concerns, or corrections? Had a different experience with a consulate? PLEASE comment below!