If you live in the United States and want to study Spanish in Spain with us, you need a Spanish study visa for courses more than 12 weeks (> 90 days). It shouldn’t be any problem, if you know what you need. At Linguaschools we have many years of experience helping students get their Spanish study visas when travelling from outside the EU. We will help you along the way. Any questions or doubt, please contact us.
First find out if you need a student visa to study Spanish in Spain.
Staying in Spain <90 days
US passport holders travelling to Spain for holidays, a Spanish course or to visit family do not require a visa for stays of up to 90 days in a 180 day-period. So even if you’re taking a Spanish course the full 90 days, this activity is still considered to be tourism.
Staying in Spain >90 days
US citizens do need visa for travelling for the purposes of residence, (Spanish language) studies for period larger than 90 days, work, professional, artistic or religious activities.
If you want to take a Spanish course or take a University Pathway program in order to access a University in Spain, this is the visa you need.
There are two ways to get a Spanish student visa:
- You either travel to Spain for a short stay (so as a tourist, less than 90 days) and apply for a student visa while in Spain or;
- You apply for a student visa from the US. Because of all the documentation you need from your home country, if you already know you are going to Spain for a long time, this option is recommended.
Here you find a complete list of everything you need to apply for a student visa for Spain.
These requirements are the same for all students over the world. So the documents you bring should have Spanish translations and Apostille authentication. Police Criminal Record clearance must be verified by fingerprints and cannot be older than 3 months from the application date. You must get a police record from the countries you have lived during the past 5 years.
How to get a US Criminal Record for a Spanish student visa?
You can get a US Criminal Record from either one of the following sources:
- The FBI Records for International purposes, issued by the U.S. Department of Justice. The document must be legalized with the “Apostille of the Hague Convention” from the U.S. Department of State. The FBI background check can take over 12 weeks to be processed, so we recommend to apply well in advance. To reduce the processing time, we recommend to submit your request for an FBI background check either electronically or through an FBI-Approved Channeler. More information on the FB website.
- The Department of Justice of the State(s) where you have lived in the past 5 years. The document must also be legalized with the “Apostille of the Hague Convention”, but [important] from your corresponding Secretary of the State. Please visit your state’s website to find instructions on how to request both the background check and the Apostille authentication from your Secretary of State.
Once you have clear what documentation you need, you can get an appointment (cita previa) for the student visa application at the Spanish Consulates General. Please mind that each Consulate General has its own jurisdiction and you should apply to the Consulate that corresponds with the area you reside.
Visa applications must be filed in person. However, applications may also be filed by a duly accredited representative if you do not reside in the town or city where the Diplomatic Mission or Consular Office is located. You can ask the Consulate when requesting the appointment.
Spanish Consulates General contact details:
Tel: (713) 783-6200/05/14
Fax: (713) 783-6166
Tel: (212) 355-4080/81/82/85/90
Fax: (212) 644-3751
Other relevant articles
- Do I need any visa to study Spanish in Spain?
- How to get a Spanish study visa for non-EU citizens? (applying from your home country)
- How to apply for a student visa while in Spain?
- How to renew a Spanish student visa?
- Can I work in Spain with a student visa?
- Medical insurance for Spanish student visa – all you need to know
- What is the NIE and how do I get it?
- What is the TIE and how to get it?
- How to apply to a university in Spain for international students
- PCE University Spain access exam for students from EU, China, Norway, etc.
- Find the best English speaking lawyers in Spain
The Linguaschools complete and comprehensive guide to Spanish paperwork.
DISCLAIMER: We have gathered information to our best knowledge, from our experience, using several different (official) sources. Regulations change and interpretations may vary per country or region, but also between public office or staff. No rights can be derived from any of our articles. The content is merely a guide and we recommend you to check information with official sources before and during the process.