You have been accepted to the Language and Cultural Assistant program, you have sent your “acceptance letter” to Sevilla…even though you aren’t 100 percent sure what you exactly signed. Now, the horrible visa process needs to be complete. JODER
Now don’t panic…it can and will be accomplished. First things fist, take a look at this manual. It is the one for auxillares de conversacion with the Spanish government. It is full of information, including links to the consulates here in the US as well as the visa application. GREAT resource. Before you start running around to get your documents, you need to make an appointment at your appointed consulate. I have to go to the Chicago consulate, click here to the appointment website. Remember, this takes some time for the visa to be processed.
If you don’t have time for such manuals (which I totally understand!) here is a nice list:
Although these are the general required documents, please check with your Consulate first:
1. National visa application form: application form signed and filled in, in legible print.
2. Original Passport and ID (plus 1 photocopy of both): Valid passport for a minimum of 1 year, with at least one blank page to affix the visa. Your passport may remain at the Consulate. Please, provide proof of residency by means of a copy of US Driver’s license or US State ID or Voter’s Registration Card or current Student ID.
3. One recent passport sized photo: (White Background, 2×2’’) attached to the form.
4. Original Acceptance Letter by the Regional Education Authorities: This letter must provide information on the school you have been appointed to (address, phone number, contact email). It must also contain information about your grant, the duration of your program and the insurance policy. The Consulate of Spain will ONLY accept original signature or electronically signed letters. No FAX or copies will be accepted.
5. Planned Round Trip itinerary/printout: We highly recommend you not to purchase your travel tickets until your visa has been approved.
6. Recent Conviction Information Request Form The certificate must be issued from either:
a) State Department of Justice. Original Conviction Information Request Form (from all the States where applicant has lived during the past 5 years). Legalized with the Apostille of the Hague Convention by the corresponding Secretary of the State.
b) FBI Records, issued by the US Department of Justice – F.B.I. Legalized with the Apostille of the Hague Convention by the US Department of State in Washington DC.
*Local Police background check will not be accepted.
7. Medical Certificate A recent doctor’s statement (not older than 3 months in doctor’s or medical center’s letterhead) indicating that “the applicant (identified by Passport’s First and Last name) has been examined and
found free of any contagious diseases according to the International Health Regulation 2005’. Signed by a M.D.”
8. Self-addressed Express Mail USPS envelope: Passport will be returned by mail. Please bring a pre-paid self-addressed Express Mail envelope of the US Postal Service with a stamp accepted.
9. A money order for the visa processing fee: US$ 160 (for US citizens). Fee must be paid by money order, made payable to the Consulado General de España. You can get these at the post office or gas stations!
***MAKE SURE TO HAVE COPIES OF ALL THE DOCUMENTS! EVEN THE APOSTILLE***
Now, since I live in Minnesota, my consulate is the Chicago one. No need to fret about an interview or even having to speak Spanish. You just walk in tell them your appointment time and wait for them to call you up. They will ask you for each document and that’s it! Like I said, NO BIG DEAL.
Some things to remember:
-Your visa goes INSIDE your passport. So you will be leaving your passport at the consulate. That means you cannot leave the country without it. Basically you can’t go to Spain and have your passport/visa sent to you; you wouldn’t even get past security at the airport.
-It takes about 4 to 5 weeks for your visa to be processed and sent to you. Write down the tracking number of your envelope so you can track where it is when you start to worry about it. Trust me, that time will come.
-Your passport/visa WILL come. If it takes longer than expected (things don’t always go smoothly in Spain) you can always contact your school and explain. They will understand…you need your visa to do your job and if you don’t have it, you don’t have it!
-Finally, if you are worried you won’t get your visa so some odd reason…remember: You have your letter from the Spanish government, there should be no reason why you wouldn’t get your visa. TRANQUILA!
Now go out there and get ‘er done!