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Applying for a visa

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Information for visa applications has been updated for the 2023 cycle


The visa guidelines below are aimed to help you through the application process for your visa to travel to Spain and to participate in the program. However, we strongly encourage visa applicants to confirm all the information with their local Consulate. Visa applications are consulate matters and only the information provided by them is valid. We offer these guidelines but please refer to the instructions set by your local Consulate of Spain for exact procedures and requirements for your visa application.

General Information and Guidelines

Once you receive your Letter of Acceptance (Carta de Nombramiento), your placement in Spain has been officially assigned. Now it's time for you to apply for your visa. You must apply for a visa before leaving for Spain. Know that you will be applying for a student/study visa with certain requirements for this type of visa waived because of your participation in NALCAP.

Visas are issued by the Consulates General of Spain in the U.S. under the jurisdiction of the MInistry of Foreign Affairs of Spain, not the Ministry of Education. Visas are consular matters and as such we have no authority over their rules, regulations and policies. Please study carefully all the instructions for your visa application and direct all questions pertaining to visas to your local Consulate General of Spain.

The guidelines below have all the necessary information on how to apply for a visa and they will take you through the process. In addition, you will find important information concerning the steps that you must take once you have arrived in Spain, in order to validate your student visa and secure a residency card.

Although the following information is found in the guidelines, we would like to highlight some important points.

1. You must apply for a visa to participate in the NALCAP program. It provides you with a legal status in Spain while you are in the program.

2. You must apply for a visa at your local Consulate of Spain in the US. You cannot apply for a visa once in Spain.

3. You will be applying for a Student/Study Visa. This is the category of visa assigned for the NALCAP program.

4. You may begin to gather your paperwork such as the background check - with its corresponding apostille and official translation - as soon as you have a PLAZA ACEPTADA status on the PROFEX portal or if it is already the month of June - whichever comes first. Note that these documents are handled by American offices and that the process can be rather lenghty.

5. Please be aware that you will not be able to submit your application for your visa under any circumstance until you have received your Letter of Acceptance (Carta de Nombramiento).

6. We strongly suggest NOT buying your airline tickets to Spain until you have received the visa and it is in your custody. You can always research flight prices but you shouldn't buy your actual plane ticket until you have your visa in hand. This is due to the fact that at times, visa applications may be delayed and you may find that your travel date has arrived but your visa hasn't and so you cannot travel to Spain. It is truly best to avoid unpleasant surprises. Please do not assume that your visa will be ready by a certain date. You may also want to look into buying flights that accommodate date changes.

The background check and apostille

The following videos provide information on how to get your background check and apostille certification. Please note that you may also have to get an official translation into Spanish for the background check/apostille depending on your local consulate requirements. Detailed information is offered in the Visa guidelines.

Consulates General of Spain in the United States

After carefully reading the How to Apply for a Visa: Guidelines for U.S. Citizens, please click below on your local Consulate of Spain. You will be sent directly to your consulate website with complete information on how to apply for a visa at that particular office, as well as the required paperwork. Please keep in mind that specific instructions from each consulate overrule any information provided by NALCAP.

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