The Documentation: The Student Visa Process

When I decided to make the move to Spain, my life kicked into fast gear.
In order to present the papers for the visa, you have to travel to your embassy and present it in person. 
Getting all your papers together and CORRECT the first time is key, especially if you have a 10+ hour drive to present the papers like I did.

If you are an American looking to move to Spain, you will need: 


  • An appointment at your embassy. It could be up to a month to get this, so don’t expect to get it on the day you want.  Some embassies do not require this. 
  • Money order filled out to the Consulate of your embassy (mine was 160 euros).
  • Bank statement showing sufficient funds (you can also show your parents).  I had to show a few thousand dollars.  Check the exact amount with your embassy. 


[cml_media_alt id='273']spanish flag[/cml_media_alt]


  • 2 passport-sized photos
  • Letter of invitation from the family with work conditions, hours, etc. (I had to submit a family picture, but no one else I know had to do that).
  • Official letter of acceptance and receipt of payment from the university or official language school (I had to show 20 hours/week of classes, but many girls at other embassies came with 8 hours/week in the official language school).  You are NOT able to take classes at a unofficial school and get your student visa. 
  • Copy of driver’s license or some sort of ID that shows your permanent residence.
  • Copy of birth certificate and social security card.
  • 2 application forms (filled out in blue or black with your passport picture GLUED in the corner).
  • Small prepaid UPS package. (If you want them to send your visa and documents by mail, or you can pick it up yourself if you are close). 
  • Original letter showing full international health insurance at a minimum of 30,000 euros and Repatriation coverage for the period of the stay.


If you want to stay more than 180 days add this:
  • Medical certificate original and copy (I just had my nurse practitioner write a doctor’s note saying I was examined and free to travel and work abroad, however I think now they require a full letter stating this and translated into Spanish).
  • FBI or state background check with apostille (translated in Spanish with photocopy).


[cml_media_alt id='269']Mi papel es exactamente así [/cml_media_alt]

This is was exactly like my paper

 .I went to Spain on a 6 month visa, however you are able to renew your Spanish residency card once you are in Spain as long as you are studying Spanish in the language school. (You could stay over 2 years if you start from basic Spanish 1). 

Do not book your flight before you get your visa.  Some embassies could take longer than others and you don’t want to miss your flight. 

This is a an accurate checklist, HOWEVER you still need to check with your embassy to see if they require anything additional

If you are trying to get all of this put together yourself my biggest piece of advice is: 
I had to wait a little over a month to receive my call from the embassy.
At 8:14 a.m I received a call saying, “Okay, you can FINALLY stop calling us everyday, your visa is ready!” I couldn’t help but laugh, although she was not meaning it to be funny (I was obnoxious through the process).
On June 4th I was up in the air and on my way to Zaragoza, Spain to start my new adventure!
[cml_media_alt id='271']Mi avion: Arkansas-Madrid [/cml_media_alt]

My plane: Arkansas-Madrid

Don’t forget to check out:


  • Have you ever went through the pain of getting a visa for another country?
  • Was it difficult? What country was it?
  • Share your stories below! 
Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.comThe Documentation: The Student Visa Process