Spain Visa Guidelines

The Padnos International Center (PIC) provides the general information below as a service to GVSU students. We strive to maintain accurate information regarding visa procedures, however, changes to policies and procedures may occur frequently without our knowledge. Students are responsible for obtaining the appropriate visa for their program and must consult the consulate for the most up to date information on application procedures.

Please look over the visa information carefully and do not delay, as visa procedures are time sensitive.


Do I need a visa?

All students participating in study abroad programs in Spain longer than 90 days are required to apply for a student visa.

Please note, if you will be in Spain longer than 180 days, you will have additional requirements that can lengthen the time is takes to receive a visa.

Processing Time and Visa Appointment

Processing time is approximately 4 weeks from the date of application.

All applicants must schedule and appointment and appear in person at the consulate in Chicago to receive a visa. It is recommended that you schedule your appointment as soon as you have all of your required documents but within 90 days of your departure. Appointment slots fill up quickly and it can be challenging to get an appointment closer to your departure time.

Application Instructions

Consulate of Spain in Chicago 

Student Visa Guidelines

Student Visa Checklist

Students will need to purchase health insurance that meets the specific requirements of the consulate in Chicago. Students' current personal insurance will not meet these requirements. Review the information regarding health insurance on the visa guidelines carefully. The Spanish Consulate in Los Angeles provides a few options for coverage.

Students are encouraged to refer to the Spanish Consulate in Los Angeles for very clear instructions on student visa procedures. Please note that the requirements may vary slightly at the consulate where the student will lodge an application and it is recommended to always verify with your nearest consulate for specific application procedures.

Estimated Cost

$160, refer to the website of the consulate for updated fee information

Nearest Consulate or Embassy

Consulate of Spain in Chicago
180 North Michigan Ave., Suite 1500

Chicago, Illinois 60601

Contact Information

E-mail:  [email protected]     

Phone: (312) 782-4588

Additional Information

The Spanish consulate requires certified translation of documents to Spanish for your visa application. The consulate in Los Angeles provides a list of certified translators. It is your responsibility to determine if the translation service you choose to use will be accepted by the consulate where you lodge your application.


Please note that if you are staying in Spain for more than 180 days, there are additional visa requirements including an FBI background check.

The FBI background check can take 3-5 days to process electronically or 2-4 weeks by mail. The FBI background check must be current (issued within 4 months) when you apply for your student visa. The timing of this process will be important to make sure you apply for the FBI background check in plenty of time, but not too early that it will expire before you are ready to apply for your student visa. You must apply for your study visa within 90 days prior to your departure. You can find out more about the process on the FBI website.

You will need to have an apostille for the background check from the State Department.

Alternative to applying directly to the FBI for background check:

Past students have been able to expedite the process of securing the FBI background check by utilizing the Fieldprint Services Team for an extra fee (currently $50). This service can provide a background check within 24 hrs of your appointment.


For programs over 180 days: Your visa will be issued for 90 days with multiple entries. No later than 30 days after arrival in Spain, you must request a Student Card (Tarjeta de Estudiante) at the Subdelegación del Gobierno (Oficina de Extranjeros), which will allow you to stay in the country for the duration of your program. You will need to submit the following documents when applying for the student card:

- Original Medical Certificate

- Original Criminal History Information/Police Background Check


Page last modified March 28, 2022