**SIDE NOTE** Want to learn Spanish? Click here to see the best school in Barcelona.
I get a lot of messages asking how I applied for a visa to Spain so I will try my best to explain because sometimes the website doesn’t give you all the information you need. **NOTE** This process was done in January 2017 so always check for updates on requirements as things may change.
A Non-Lucrative Visa – I’m moving to Spain. The longest I can stay is 90 days therefore I had to get paperwork done to extend my stay. This means I cannot work in Spain and therefore you need to show proof that you have money in a bank account.
Depending on the time of the year, it can be very hard to get an appointment (keep in mind the students looking to get their visa to study abroad) I made my appointment in January with no problems at all.
When filling out the forms – use blue ink and block letters. **NOTE** Dates are filled out DD/MM/YY instead of the typical US way MM/DD/YY.
Here’s the website with details but if you read below, mine is more detailed and easier to follow.
Make an appointment at the Spanish Consulate by clicking here. You must register your email address and create a password. Timing is important – After your visa is approved, you will have to enter Spain within 3 months. You will have to give them your passport so don’t plan any out of country travels. My turn around time was 18 days but again, it can be different for others.
5055 Wilshire Blvd Suite 860
Los Angeles, CA. 90036
Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
firstname.lastname@example.org – email if you have any questions.
There is a parking lot so you can park there – make sure to bring cash to pay.
Step 2: Paperwork
Document Check List – I will go over each item in detail
- Document Check List – print this page itself and make a copy
- Visa Application Form – Fill out in blue ink and block letters. Make a copy
- One Passport Photo – Specs
- Passport (Original and photocopy)
- ID Card (aka Driver’s License – Original and photocopy)
- EX01 Form – You can see a sample here to help fill it out (doesn’t require a photocopy but I would make a copy anyways)
- 790 Form – You can see a sample here to help fill it out (doesn’t require a photocopy but I would make a copy anyways) Also, BRING $11 for the tax fee. CASH ONLY
- Medical Certificate – Make an appointment with your general physician. Explain to them that you are moving out of the country and that the doctor needs to sign this letter. This must be issued within the last 3 months of your appointment with the consulate. The nurse practitioner CANNOT sign – only the doctor and make sure it gets an office stamp. AFTER the letter is signed and stamped, you must get it translated to Spanish by an official translator. Print exactly this:
Medical Certificate of Good Health
This certificate verifies that Mr./Ms. ………………………………………………………………………
is free of drug addiction, mental illness, and does not suffer from any disease that could cause serious repercussions to public health according to the specifications of the International Health Regulations of 2005. These contagious diseases include, but are not limited to smallpox, poliomyelitis by wild polio virus, the human influenza caused by a new subtype of virus and the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), cholera, pneumonic plague, Bellow fever, viral hemorrhagic fevers (e.g.: Ebola, Lassa, Marbug), West Nile Virus and other illnesses of special importance nationally or regionally (e.g.: Dengue Fever, Rift Valley Fever, and meningococcal disease).
Certification of “absence of police records” (Original, translation, copy of both)
This one is a pretty long process.
a. Print out the Request Form and fill out what you can
b. The fee is $32 (I think you’re supposed to make the check out to “Department of Justice” but I’m not totally sure so leave it blank and wait till you get to the fingerprint place.
c. I found a local place that does fingerprinting and I think it cost me $20. After they do your fingerprinting, they submit it electronically and it took 7 days to get a letter saying that I was clear of any criminal history.
d. IMPORTANT – Get the letter notarized, translated to Spanish, and you must get the Apostille Stamp.
Los Angeles Regional Office for Apostille Stamp
300 South Spring Street, Room 12513
Los Angeles, CA. 90013
Cost: $26/item Credit Cards Accepted! There is street parking and/or parking lot right next to the building ($10 flat rate) You have to go through a metal detector when you enter the building so don’t bring anything crazy! Take the last set of elevators up to there 12th floor. You’ll see signs pointing to the office. GRAB A NUMBER. Grab a yellow form and fill it out. Have your ID/form of payment ready when they call your number. When I went in the morning, it took about an hour. The last time I went around 1:30 pm, it took 20 minutes.
I know the website wants you to send in all your paperwork to the Sacramento office but if you live around the LA area, you can get it done the same day and you don’t have to worry about your paperwork making it there and getting back to you on time.
If for some reason you forget to get some documents notarized or photocopied, there is a notary/print office around the block from the place where you get the Apostille Stamp.
Proof of financial funds (Original, Copy, and translation)
Tip: I have Wells Fargo so I went online and had everything translated to Spanish. When you do it this way, you save money on having someone translate your bank statements which can be a lot of pages! Print the last 3 months of bank statements. I did checking and savings because most of my money is in my savings account. They want to see an income of at least €2,130/month. If you don’t have that kind of income, you have to show at least €25,560 (€2,130 x 12 months = $30,131 USD – minimum amount you must have in your account) Also, this MUST be NOTARIZED and you must go get the Apostille Stamp.
Medical Insurance – (Original, copy and translation) It is important that you select an actual health insurance plan and NOT A TRAVEL INSURANCE plan. It must be 0 copay and 0 deductible. This was probably the most difficult for me because some of the insurances listed on the site was all in Spanish. I ended signing up with Sanitas insurance and I believe it was around €80/month. I definitely did not use this during my first year living in Spain so when this plan ends, I plan on finding a cheaper insurance. Upon arriving in Spain, I was able to register at a local hospital for their public healthcare system. Please do your research and again – make sure it’s 0 deductible and 0 copay. TIP: Insurance companies in Spain will NOT cover you if you have “pre-existing conditions.”This was a pain in the butt to get. My bf speaks Spanish so he helped me with this. After I was approved for Sanitas, they had me send a copy of my passport. This is the letter I had to print out to prove that I had coverage.
** Update as of January 2, 2018 – I signed up for another insurance – AME Insurance and it cost me 37€/month. With Sanitas, I had to have a Spanish bank account to make monthly payments. With AME Insurance, I did a one time online payment for the whole year and they provided me with all the documents in Spanish. Please contact email@example.com – she speaks English.
Proof of Accommodations – I had to have my boyfriend write a letter saying that I would be living with him and what he did for a living. He wrote a letter and emailed it to: firstname.lastname@example.org along with a copy of his ID and his passport.
**NOTE** If you need an official translator, I recommend: Rocio Corredor email@example.com. She charges $25/page
Step 3: The Day of Your Appointment
Triple check your documents. When in doubt, make copies if you are unsure of anything. Be on time! Once you walk into the door, there is no sign in sheet. Just wait until you’re called. I, myself, had to write on a piece of paper WHY I was moving to Spain. I wrote that I would be moving in with my boyfriend and that I would NOT be working – just touring. The clerk will check all your paperwork and you will hand over your passport. The turn around time for me was 18 days. I got an email saying my visa is ready. Remember – different processing times for different types of visa and also based on how busy they are.
When I picked up my passport, there was a sticker of my visa into Spain valid for 90 days. Along with that visa page is your NIE number (basically your social security number for Spain)
Step 4: Once You Land In Spain
Once you enter Spain, you have to get your residency card and that’s a whole other process. I can’t remember exactly what the process was but when I do, I will write continue writing in this blog.If you don’t have a Spanish speaking friend helping you, I recommend contacting:
These two companies can help you with paperwork and appointments etc. so you can get your residency card. Residency card will be good for 1 year and must be presented with passport every time you travel out and into Spain.When it’s time for your renewal – you can find out how I did it by clicking here (Just renewed January 2, 2018)
Packed in 5 Home Depot cardboard boxes were my whole life. I got quotes from Fedex, UPS, etc. and it was so expensive! Then I found parcelmonkey.com. Boxes came within 7 days. I saved a couple hundred dollars. When your boxes arrive at Spain customs, they will email you for information as well an amount for custom tax day that would be paid in cash when you boxes come.