Are you applying for a Spanish student visa? You have found the right resource. Even if you are applying for a student visa somewhere else, there are some helpful points here that you NEED to know. Like, really. Read on or watch the video below for everything you need to know about applying. Good luck! If you aren’t sure whether or not you need one, check out yesterday’s post all about that. For a specific document list, scroll down.
Congrats! You’re applying for a visa. You’ve taken the first step toward the success of your study abroad trip. Proactivity is crucial, so well done. Before you start applying, there are some things you need to know about applying for a visa, regardless of what country you’re applying to.
GIVE YOURSELF TIME
This is SO important. You need to give yourself time. Visa processing takes a few weeks to a month and a half. If you don’t apply in time, you might not get a visa, which means that you might be cancelling your study abroad plans. If you get rejected and you applied with enough time between your application and your departure, you will have room to reapply. Not like 6 months early, but two to three months should be good. You have to apply in person, and you have to make a visa appointment before you arrive.
EVERYTHING MUST BE PERFECT
You must follow directions to the letter. If the application says to write in all CAPS, write in all CAPS. If they want three copies of your passport, give them three copies, even if they don’t use them. Your handwriting must be legible. All the information, obviously, must be correct.
SOMEONE ELSE CAN APPLY FOR YOU
You can’t apply online, or through the mail. Sad day, I know. BUT, you can have someone else apply for you. I used a visa processing service through my study abroad provider. This saved me a bunch of money and the hassle of submitting everything. How is this done? Well you have to have a power of attorney form officially notarized for whoever is applying for you to take with them. This isn’t the same for every country, so if you’re not applying for a Spanish student visa, double check whether or not this is required for you.
- Passport – must be valid for up to six months after your return to your home country, must be signed
- Letter of Acceptance – must be an official document from your Spanish university, must have a seal
- National Visa Application – two original copies that you used ink to fill out, printed front and back
- Evidence of Financial Means – proof that your tuition is paid and you are prepared for living expenses, usually from your program or your Spanish university
- International Health Insurance – an official letter outlining the basic coverage of your plan, usually from your program or your local university
- Notarized Parent Letter – official, stamped/sealed, notarized letter that you and your parent signed, states that a parent will provide you with $1000-$1500 a month (they don’t actually have to give you the money, just sign the form)
- Supplemental Application – some consulates require additional forms; if you need a supplement, make sure you have it
- Money – U.S. citizens must pay $160 to apply for a visa
- Express Mail Envelope – a specific type of envelope with the required amount of postage with actual peel & stick stamps–not a metered stamp; this is how they are sending your passport back to you
- Background Check – (only if you’re going to be there for 180+ days) must be through state police–NOT local–or the FBI, must be fingerprinted, can take 2 weeks to a month and a half
- Medical Certification – (only if you’re going to be there for 180+ days) a doctor’s medical certification stating that you are physically and mentally healthy enough for an extended stay
- Proof of Immigration – (only if you are applying in a country of which you are not a citizen) documentation showing your official immigration to the country you are applying from
And there you have it! Make sure to double check with the consulate you’re going to apply to in order to make sure that you have the proper documents. Sometimes they ask for extra copies, or have slightly different forms. If you have any questions, comment below, and I’ll get back to you!
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