A student visa is required for all students participating on the Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Spain unless the student has a current EU passport. Therefore you must make sure that your current passport is valid through the end of your stay in Spain. BEAR IN MIND THIS MEANS THE EXPIRATION DATE MUST POSTDATE YOUR RETURN DATE BY AT LEAST SIX MONTHS. If not, you should renew it as soon as possible since it can take 4-6 weeks to get a new passport. Students acquire this visa in a two-step process described below. However, the Office of International Studies on the Vassar or Wesleyan campus will provide you with the most current information. Students accepted into the VWM program must contact the campus representative to review procedures. Before leaving the United States:
- Application must be made at the Spanish consulate in the United States from one to three months in advance of the date of departure. Most consulates require an appointment. These appointments tend to fill up quickly so it is important to schedule your appointment sooner rather than later. Students can apply for their visa at either the consulate that has jurisdiction over her/his permanent address or her/his college address. Requirements for individual consulates can vary so be sure to check the website of the consulate where you will be applying. Click here to access general visa information from the Embassy of Spain in the US.
- All students should apply for a “long-term” visa. For students studying for one semester (more than 90 days but less than 180 days), the consulate will issue a non-renewable 180-day visa.
- Students who will be in Madrid for the full year or who are considering extending their stay for the year, should consult with their study abroad office about additional requirements including the “Certification of absence of police records” and “Health Certificate”.
- The US State Department has an excellent website that students should review when preparing for their journey: studentsabroad.state.gov.
(Check the VWM website’s Student visa & residency under the section “Life in Madrid” for information about how to proceed once in Spain.)