How to get a Visa: Chicago Consulate

All of the information for a long term visas is at the Chicago consulates website. The directions are not exactly what I would consider easy. Here are some basics to translate the document for you.

To be an auxiliar you need a “Long Term Visa

Let’s break down your needs using the numbers they provided to us, some things you should already have and are easily obtained. Other things are not as easy, so I will try to explain how to obtain these documents. Comment if you still don’t understand and I will help you! If you are through CIEE, BEDA, the ministry, whichever program, the visa is the same for all of us at the Chicago consulate.

For the 2014 Applicants I actually found a specific link for the “Language and Culture Assistant Visa“…Here is the breakdown of the documents you need to submit with your application (in order following the order on the website linked above)

  1. Visa Application in English can be found here and here is how to fill it out…line-by-line-visa-instructions_madrid. 23 and 26 should be filled out with your schools information.
  2. Passport and ID (Can be driver’s license or state ID): You have made it this far so I am assuming you have these documents.
  3. Affix a recent passport sized photo to your visa application (You DO NOT need to cut it to fit into the box!)
  4. Letter of Appointment (“Carta de Nombramiento” in Spanish) provided to you by e-mail from the Spanish Ministry of Education (late May or June)
  5. Your “Carta” will state the dates that you will be in Spain. You can also print out purchased airline tickets if you already bought them anyways.
  6. State level background check: (FBI NOT RECOMMENDED, it takes FOREVER). *MUST GET THIS NOTARIZED FOR AN APOSTILLE!* Call MorphoTrust and set up an appointment in your city. Go to your appointment with appropriate documents and money order in hand. Save TRN # and call your state police 24 hours later and ask them to send you a notarized copy of  your State Level Background Check. Here is mine: Notarized State Level Background Check It must have a notary statement and stamp in order to get an Apostille of Hague. (This has things blocked out for my protection and protection of the notaries)
  7. Medical certificate, stating: “The applicant has been examined and found in good physical and mental health to travel to study abroad and is free of contagious diseases susceptible of quarantine and drug addiction or any other illnesses which could lead to Public Health repercussions according to the International Sanitary Regulations” On company letterhead with a doctor’s signature. It doesn’t have to be notarized or apostilled this year, so that is one less worry!
  8. Self addressed Express Mail PREPAID ($19.95 in Summer 2013). If you do this, you don’t have go to pick up your visa at the consulate. If you don’t get the right envelope, you have to go pick up your visa in person because they won’t mail it on their own dime.
  9. $160 money order made out to the Consulate General of Spain

You have to get your Apostilles done at the Department of Index (There is one at 17 N State Street, Chicago, IL (downtown) which is a few blocks from the Spanish Consulate in Chicago). I went to the walk-in hours at the Dept of Index downtown because that’s one of two places to get apostilles in Illinois. I went about an hour and a half before my scheduled visa appointment.  It took about 40 minutes and then I went to make copies of my new Apostilles (VERY CAREFULLY) and walked to my visa appointment. I was early to the appointment. If you have to make a special trip into the city to get your paperwork done, I would say do it all in one day (the apostille and the consulate). Then enjoy the city afterwords!

You must have all of the ORIGINALS plus ONE COPY! Anything you turn in you WONT get back.

Plus, bring an envelope for them to send it back to you in. Must be a USPS Express Mail Envelope $19.95. They have a $19.95 stamp but were all out at my post office so they put $19.95 worth of random postage on it (talk about making me nervous and unsure if the consulate would put it in the mail!!) Don’t worry, the consulate sent mine back in my envelope even though it had a thousand stamps on it…USPS Express Mail Envelope

I hope that this covers the Chicago Consulate visa process efficiently! If there are any confusions feel free to comment or send me an e-mail and I will help you as best I can or direct you to someone who would be able to help! I hope you are getting excited for your big move to Spain! All your hard work will pay off in the end!


7 thoughts on “I have to get a Spanish visa, and so do you my dear.

  1. Hey! Thank you for this, this is really helpful. Do you know if I would need to get an additional background check from the state I went to college in, since I got a new drivers license when I lived out there (California)? Thank you!


    1. If you were registered as a resident there, then yes you need a background check from there too! I imagine if you got a driver’s license then you were or still are a resident of California, and voted there (if you voted), as well as paid taxes there. Anywhere that you were a resident is what they are looking for and where they will want background checks from. Any short stays in a different place, they don’t care. If you e-mail the Chicago consulate, they are usually pretty good at responding to emails. Also, if you are unsure, you can get a federal background check, however, this takes a lot more time, so start ASAP if that is the route you take! Good luck and welcome to the world of auxiliares!


  2. Hey, so, for the state background test: I did it differently and I’m not sure if it’s right… I live in Missouri so I did the name-based criminal record test through the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and told them to notarize it. Is this correct?


  3. Hey so this is sorta a silly question, but for the express mail envelope when you get the addressed slip of paper do you attach all three pieces, or just the piece that has the adhesive on the back? The post office didn’t really let me know what I needed to do with it! Thanks!


    1. I’m not positive I know what you’re talking about. However, I know you just have one address on the envelope, so it would be just the one with the adhesive on the back! (It should have your own address because you want your passport sent to you!) The other two pieces of paper you need to keep because they have your tracking number on the back!


  4. Hello, thanks for all of the helpful information. so just to clarify, the medical certificate for the 2014-15 applicants (cultural ambassadors) doesn’t need to be notarized or apostilled? I apologize in advance as this has probably become an annoying question for you. thanks again for the help.



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