If you’ve been accepted as an auxiliar de conversación with the North American Language and Cultural Assistants Program or simply going to study abroad in Spain you’ll have to deal with the most complicated part of the application process, applying for the student visa for Spain. This is something that you’ll have to do before you leave for Spain and it’s the same student visa for anyone studying in Spain or working in one of the English teaching programs such as North American Language and Cultural Assistants, BEDA, or UCETAM.
In this post, I’ve outlined all of the requirements for the student visa for Spain at the Spanish Consulate in Miami, Florida, which is where I applied for my visa back in 2012. I may update this post later with the requirements for all of the Spanish consulates in the U.S., but for now, I’m going to help you apply for the visa with the Miami Consulate. The Miami consulate is where anyone who is a resident (or a student) of Florida, Georgia, or South Carolina has to go to apply for a student visa to be an auxiliar de conversación.
Copies of the Application Form (2)
You’ll need to fill out this form and fill it out as well as be sure to have 2 copies to turn in to the consulate. I highly recommend having 3 copies, two to submit and one to keep for yourself.
Recent Passport Sized Photos (2)
As you see in my Spanish student visa, a photo is needed to process your visa. The Miami Spanish consulate requires 2 copies of a recent passport photo attached to your application forms (mentioned above). You can have these passport photos taken at any pharmacy such as CVS or Walgreens and they’ll be done in minutes for cheap.
Must be valid for at least 6 months and have 2 blank pages. Many people ask if it’s necessary to leave their passport for a few weeks with the consulate and the answer is yes, you need to give them your passport. It might seem a little scary to hand it over, but the Spanish consulate needs the passport because your visa comes in the form of a sticker that goes inside, covering an entire page.
Driver’s License/State ID or Student Card
Bring your driver’s license or state id card, or in case you’re not a permanent resident of Florida, Georgia or South Carolina you can bring your university id showing that you’re studying in one of those states. At the appointment, they’ll look at your ID to confirm your residency and then give it back to you.
School Placement Letter
Your carta de nombramiento is the letter you’ll receive from the Ministry telling you the name and address of the school you have been assigned to as an auxiliar. Bring this letter (and maybe a copy) to your appointment. If you’re working as an auxiliar de conversación this letter meets the “letter of acceptance”, “proof of insurance”, and “proof of funds” requirements for the student visa for Spain.
Part of your application includes a mandatory health certificate printed on letterhead, stamped, and signed by a doctor verifying that you are free from diseases that could cause harm to others. The Miami consulate is known for being sticklers about the wording of the certificate so make sure the following statement is printed on your doctor’s letter:
“This health certificate verifies that Mr. /Mrs. /Ms (…) does not suffer from any illnesses that could cause serious repercussions to public health according to the specifications of the international sanitary regulation of 2005.”
The certificate is only valid for 3 months so don’t get it too early because it needs to be valid when you submit it with your visa application.
At the visa appointment, you need to bring the original certificate translated to Spanish, plus a copy. I used FoxTranslation, now called Rev, and I had my translation back in less than 12 hours.
Like the medical certificate, your background check is also only valid for 3 months. The background check also needs the Apostille of the Hague (a type of certification) and be translated to Spanish. A state background check is perfectly fine unless you have lived in more than one state then you need a background check from each state or you could skip that nonsense and apply for an FBI background check. Also, if you have lived abroad you need a background check from every country you have lived in for more than 6 months.
I applied for the Florida background check which you can do by printing the criminal history information request form and mailing it in according to the instructions on the page. The cost is only $24 and you can mark to request the results in Spanish, meaning you don’t have to pay extra for a translation. Score! Results should be returned to you by mail in 7-10 days. I remember mine came back in about a week.
Once you have the background check, you now need to get it stamped with the Apostille of the Hague. In Florida, you can either mail in your documents to be stamped or you can stop by in person, no appointment needed. You can find more information about the apostille on this page.
For Georgia and South Carolina residents you can find information about background checks and apostilles at the links below:
*Heads up: Always be sure to double check the requirements on the consulate’s website before your appointment. I’ll do my best to keep this page updated each year for new applicants, auxiliares or study abroad students. Unfortunately, knowing Spain, this information could change at any time and I’m not responsible for any changes they may make.
I hope this guide has been helpful for anyone applying for a student visa for Spain through the Miami consulate. My personal experience was a bit overwhelming making sure I had all of the correct paperwork necessary to avoid problems in the visa process, so I want to help you get your Spain student visa with no problems.
If you have any questions or need clarifications about any part of the process leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to help you get the right answer!