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Schengen visas

General information 

The Schengen visa is issued to third-country nationals listed in Annex I of Regulation (EU) 2018/1806It opens in new window. This visa allows the holder to stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days (in any 180-day period) for the purposes of tourism, business, visiting family, medical treatment, studies, training placements or volunteer activities that last under 3 months, or for other non-gainful activities. It also allows transit through the territory and airports. 

The Schengen area encompasses 26 European countries without border controls between them: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. 

The Schengen visa allows the holder to travel to any of the Schengen States and to transit through their territory, but it does not automatically entitle them to enter the Schengen area. The border authorities can refuse entry if proof of the reason and conditions of the trip are not provided or if the rest of the entry conditions are not fulfilled.

Required documents 

1. Schengen visa application formIt opens in new window. Each applicant must complete and sign an official application form and a photocopy, filling in each of its sections. If the applicant is a minor, one of their parents must sign the application. 

2. Photograph. A recent, passport-size, it must have a white background, the face should be clear and visible, the size of the photo should be 2x2 inches(5x5 cm).  

3. Passport or Official Travel Document Original and a photocopy of the page or pages of the passport that contain biometric data. Valid for a minimum of three months, counting from the expected date of return to the United States. The passport cannot be older than 10 years. Please, make sure that your passport has two consecutive blank pages to affix the visa. Your passport will remain at the Consulate during the visa application process.

4. ID and a photocopy: Proof of residency in one of the States under our jurisdiction(Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas ): US Driver's license, US State ID or current Student ID.

5. US Resident Alien card or a valid US long‐term visa and a photocopy: Your visa must be valid for at least three months beyond the intended departure date from the Schengen territory. Applicants holding F-1 student visas must also submit the original and a copy of their I‐20.

6. Accommodations: Hotel reservations with name, complete address, phone for the entire time you will be in the Schengen area. If you are staying with friends or family, they need to request an official ¨Letter of Invitation¨ issue by the Local Police Department of the Schengen territory or territories in which they live. (You will then need to present the original with the visa application).  If you are part of a tour or cruise, please include a letter from your travel agent stating a complete itinerary of cities that you will be visit and the addresses of hotels you will be staying in.  

7. Round-trip airline ticket reservation: If you are traveling to several Schengen countries you will have to provide the means of transportation to all of them: plane, train, bus, etc.

*Please, be aware that the dates cannot be changed once the visa application has been submitted.

8. Bank statements of the last three months: Make sure that your name appears on the bank statements. Applicants must demonstrate sufficient means of economic funds available. The minimum amount is €95 per person per day of your stay, with a minimum of €950 or its legal equivalent in foreign currency.

9. Travel medical insurance. Must cover sanitary assistance, accident, medical emergencies, evacuation, medical repatriation, return of remains with complete international coverage, with zero (0) deductible or, no copayment, and a minimum of €30,000. Insurance must be valid for the complete duration of your time while in Schengen territory.

10. Original signed verification of employment letter indicating type of job, length of time employed and annual salary. If you are self‐employed or a dependent, you must submit your latest Income Tax Return. *If you are going on a business trip, the letter should also indicate the purpose of your trip and who will cover your expenses.*You should also provide an invitation letter from the Spanish company or, in case that you are attending a conference, the conference registration.

11. Visa fee: money order addressed to the ¨Consulate General of Spain in Houston¨.

12. Envelope: Prepaid, self-addressed envelope with a tracking number to return your passport.

In addition ,for study, un-paid interships and voluntary work provide one of the following that applies:

A. Acceptance letter and a photocopy: From the Spanish University/ Formal School as a full-time student indicating: name, address, contact person, telephone and email of the institution, dates of the program, subjects of study and hours of study per week.

B. Agreement with the company where the intern will be working and a photocopy. It must include a description of the activities that the intern will perform as well as the hours of work and it must be signed by both parties.

C. Agreement with organization where the voluntary work will be performed and a photocopy. It must include a description of the activities and conditions, the hours of work, the resources available to cover your trip, accommodation and living expenses. You must also provide the civil responsibility insurance of the organization.

When necessary to assess the application, the Consular Office may request additional documents or data and may also ask the applicant to come in for a personal interview. 

Only those applications meeting the requirements will be accepted. 

Procedure​ 

This Consular Office is competent to accept visa applications from third-country nationals residing in the consular district who are travelling to Spain as their only or main destination. 

  • Who can apply for a visa: Applications must be submitted in person. If the applicant is a minor, the application must be submitted by their legal representatives. 
  • How to apply for a visa: Applications must be submitted in person at the Consular Office with prior appointment. For appointments email  FORM FOR SCHENGEN APPOINTMENT.pdf to  cog.houston.vis@maec.es .
     
  • Visa application period: Visa applications must be submitted between 6 months and 15 days before the scheduled date of travel. Seafarers may apply for the visa up to 9 months before the date of travel. 
     
  • Proof of receipt: When a visa application is submitted, the Consular Office could provide the applicant with proof of receipt of the application with a code that enables them to check the status of the dossier through the following link: https://sutramiteconsular.maec.es/Ho​me.aspxIt opens in new window 
  • Biometric data capturing: The applicant's facial image and fingerprints will be captured during the visa application procedure. Applicants under 12 and applicants whose fingerprints have been taken in the last 59 months are exempt from fingerprint taking. However, in the latter case, if the applicant's prints are of poor quality, the Consular Office will request that they come back in to have their fingerprints retaken. 
  • Rectifying the application: The Consular Office may ask the applicant to submit any missing documents, or to provide additional documents or data that are necessary for a decision regarding the application. The applicant may also be called in for a personal interview. 
  • Decision period: The legal period for reaching a decision is of 15 calendar days as of the day after the application submission date, but this period may be extended to 45 calendar days if an interview or additional documents are requested.
    Visa applications submitted by nationals of certain States require consultation with the central authorities that could affect the duration of the visa procedure. 
  • ​Return of passport and other documentation: The Consular Office or Visa Application Centre will inform the applicant regarding the procedure for the return of the passport and any other original documentation.  
  • Permission granted by the visa: A visa does not automatically entitle someone to enter the Schengen area. The traveler must meet all legal entry requirements (see section "Conditions for entry into Spain"). 
  • Visa refusal: Visa refusals will always be notified in writing, setting forth the grounds on which the decision adopted was based. 
  • Appeals: If a visa is refused, the applicant may submit an appeal for reconsideration to this Consular Office within 1 month of the day following the date on which notification of the refusal is received. An application for judicial review may also be filed with the High Court Justice of Madrid within the 2-month period beginning the day after the date on which the applicant receives notification of the visa refusal or of the dismissal of the reconsideration appeal. 

Complaints or suggestions about the service received or about the visa application procedure can be submitted online through this website. They may also be submitted in writing at this Consular Office.

 

Data protection​ 

The processing of personal data of visa applicants is done in accordance with the General Data Pr​otection RegulationIt opens in new window

Persons wishing to exercise their rights of access, rectification and erasure of their personal data in the Visa Information System (VIS) may do so by addressing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation: 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation
Inspección General de Servicios
Postal address: Plaza de la Provincia, 1, Madrid, España
Email: dpd@maec.es​It opens in new window 

The following forms may be used to do so: 

Persons whose visa application has been refused because they are banned from entering the Schengen area may exercise their rights of access, rectification and erasure of their personal data in the Schengen Information System (SIS) by addressing the Ministry of the Interior.   

To obtain more information on your rights and duties and on how to exercise your rights of access, rectification and erasure of data included in the SIS, please refer to the website of the Spanish Data Protection AgencyIt opens in new window.

Basic legislation 

 Community Code on Visas 

  • Regulation (EC) No 810/2009It opens in new window of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code). 
  • Regulation (EU) 2019/1155It opens in new window of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 amending Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code).

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