Important Message About Visas
If you need a student visa we highly recommend that you immediately begin informing yourself of the process by getting in contact with your corresponding Spanish consulate as soon as possible. The process will vary from consulate to consulate in the U.S. and around the world, so it is important to know the exact requirements at your consulate.
Master's degree students need a long-stay student visa (stays for more than 90 days), allowing students to study for up to one year in Spain. The visa application process requires the student to present documentation at their corresponding Spanish consulate. We strongly recommend starting your visa application process at least four months prior to the beginning of the program.
All students must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after their program end date. It is recommended that you have your passport ready at least four months before your program start date to initiate your visa application. Moreover, students are discouraged from making international travel plans during the months in which they plan to apply for their visas because the local consulate may keep their passport while processing the application.
Visa Delays and Other Issues
Please be aware that many consulates have been experiencing delays in appointment availability and visa processing. Regardless of the delay that you may face in your procedure, we strongly urge you to complete the process before leaving your home country, as students who are not citizens of the European Union, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, and Switzerland need a student visa in order to enter and study in Spain.
Students who are not able to obtain their student visa prior to the semester starting are advised to delay their arrival in Spain until the visa is approved. Academic Affairs will work with the corresponding program director and faculty involved to ensure that the student will be able to start the semester and attend classes and other important events remotely. Attending classes remotely must be approved by the appropriate program director in advance and cannot continue beyond Friday, September 22, 2023. Students who are granted permission to attend classes remotely are required to attend all classes and complete all assignments. The add/drop period for students who begin the semester remotely is the same as the on-campus add/drop period. Students must arrive on campus and start attending classes in person by Monday, September 25, 2023, or they will be withdrawn from the program. In addition, students who choose to apply for their student visa in Spain and don’t receive their visa by Monday, November 20, 2023, will be withdrawn from the program, and refunds, if any, will be processed following Berklee's withdrawal policy.
Who needs this visa?
All master’s degree program participants on the Valencia campus need this visa unless you are a citizen or legal resident of the European Union, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, or Switzerland.
Getting Your Visa
The following information describes the general process in order to obtain a long-stay student visa. However, you should check with your Spanish consulate before beginning the process, as the process varies from consulate to consulate.
Before Entering Spain
Step One: Make a Visa Appointment
Contact your local Spanish consulate and make a visa appointment. You can find the Spanish consulate that corresponds to you here.
- You must go to the Spanish consulate that corresponds to where you are a legal resident. In the U.S., for example, your consulate is assigned to you based on the state you live in.
- Some consulates are busier than others. The first available appointment could be months away, or it could be within a few days. At your appointment you must present official documents provided by Berklee, which we will mail to you in an accept pack soon after sending the acceptance email.
- The date of your visa appointment is important because once your visa is issued, you must enter the Schengen Area within 90 days. For example, if your visa is issued on June 1, you must enter a country in the Schengen Area before September 1. Often, an ideal time to get a visa appointment is in mid to late May, but it really depends on how long your consulate takes to process student visas. Processing times vary at each consulate and it can take anywhere from a week up to three months.
Step Two: Gather Important Documents
Before your visa appointment you should get all the necessary documents together. You may need to have some documents translated into Spanish by an official translator, while some documents require an Apostille of the Hague. Check with your consulate for specific requirements. If you need documents translated into Spanish, here is a list of official sworn translators (the list is organized by the original language and where the translator is physically located).
The following documents are generally required to obtain a student visa, but you should check with your consulate for specific requirements:
- Original, signed passport valid for 6 months beyond stay, with at least one empty page for the visa.
- Visa application form and passport-size photos.
- An official letter certifying admission to Berklee College of Music master's degree program. (Provided by Berklee in your accept pack)
- The program of study outlining the course content. (Provided by Berklee in your accept pack)
- A medical insurance policy covering medical expenses and repatriation in the case of accident or sudden illness for the entire period of the stay in Spain. (Provided by Berklee in your accept pack)
- A letter from a doctor stating that the applicant does not suffer an illness that poses a threat to public health in accordance with international health regulations. This should be on the doctor's or health center's letterhead and stamped.
- Proof of financial means during your stay. For example, an official bank statement or a notarized letter from your parents accepting financial responsibility for you.
- A criminal record certificate issued by the authorities of your country of origin or any country in which you have lived for six months or longer during the past five years.
Again, this is a general list of required documents. You should check with your consulate for specific requirements.
Step Three: Go to Your Visa Appointment
Arrive to your appointment early with all your documents and copies prepared.
- You will present your physical passport, plus all your documents and copies.
- Bring money to pay the visa fee. Check with the consulate beforehand to know the accepted form of payment and the amount.
- At your appointment, ask how long they anticipate the visa processing to take, and how you will know when your visa is ready. Ask how it will be returned to you, if you need to pick it up in person, or if they mail it to you in a prepaid envelope. Each consulate has a different process.
Step Four: Get Your Visa
At your appointment you should ask how your passport and visa will be returned to you, as each consulate works differently.
The busiest time for consulates is the summer, when they process a high volume of visas for students coming to Spain in the fall, so this process could take up to six weeks or more.
As you pass through immigration upon entering the Schengen Area, an immigrations officer will stamp your passport. Make sure your passport gets stamped.
Once in Spain
Get Your Student Residency Card
From the time you enter the Schengen Area, you have 30 days to apply for your student residency card, which will be your national identification card while in Spain.
It will take approximately two months to complete the process and get your student residency card, which is valid for up to one year and renewable if you continue to meet the student visa conditions.
You will receive information on how to apply for the residency card before orientation.
What is the Schengen Area?
What is a Schengen Visa?
Do I need a Schengen visa to study in a Berklee master´s degree program in Valencia?
Does my student visa allow me to travel around Europe while I am studying at Berklee?
Applying for a Student Visa
Can Berklee Valencia assist me with my visa application?
- The academic documentation required by authorities.
- A list of local lawyers and gestors (people who help with administrative and bureaucratic processes).
- A list of official translators.
Berklee Valencia does not:
- Vouch for external providers.
- Provide any advice or assistance, legal or otherwise, with the procurement of the visa. Students are responsible for any and all costs associated with this process.
My local consulate does not have any appointments available before the graduate program start date (or in the next months/weeks). What should I do?
How many entries should I request?
What are the most important insider tips to remember about getting a student visa?
I live in one country now but I used to live in another. Where do I get my criminal background check from?
If I apply for a student visa and then decide not to come, would my visa still be valid next year?
If I present a defective visa application, how long do I have in order to correct it?
Will I be provided a letter from the university or school in Spain or in the U.S. assuming full financial responsibility during my stay?
The Spanish student visa requires students to have proof of housing for their visa appointment. I don’t have my housing in Valencia yet, what should I do?
I have a visa appointment in late August, and my visa won’t be ready in time to come to Spain. What are my options?
What happens if I arrive late for my program due to visa issues?
Do I have to pick my visa up in person?
Will the health insurance letter provided by Berklee in my accept pack meet the health insurance requirement for my Visa application?
Will the official acceptance letter provided by Berklee in my accept pack meet the requirement for my Visa application?
Immigration Issues in Spain
Can I enter Spain before the date posted on my Visa?
The police didn’t stamp my passport when I entered the Schengen Area with my visa. What should I do?
Can my wife/husband and child/children accompany me?
What is a NIE?
What is the difference between a student residency card and a NIE?
Once I get to Spain, how do I get my student residency card?
Does the time I spend in Spain as a student count toward getting Spanish citizenship?
Can I fly to Spain with a tourist visa and apply for the student visa upon arriving?
- If you don’t receive a visa by November 20 of your first semester of enrollment in your program, you will be withdrawn from the program, and refunds, if any, will be processed following Berklee’s withdrawal policy. Based on our experience, it is unlikely students will receive a visa by November 20. Please keep in mind that if you arrive in Spain without a visa, you most likely can only stay for 90 days, depending on which country you are from.
- Should you be withdrawn from a master’s program, you will have to reapply for the program. Should you be readmitted to the program, you will have to restart the program from the beginning. Readmittance to the program is not guaranteed.