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Country Specific Info.

The United States State Department produces Consular Information Sheets with health, safety and other country information for every country in the world. They are one good source of information, though you should look at multiple sources of information and take your own personal situation into account when selecting a country to study in.

The latest Consular Information Sheet for Spain is below. We do not take responsibility for this information or edit it in any way. You can access the State Department travel site directly at: http://travel.state.gov/travel/

December 28, 2016

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Madrid
Calle Serrano, 75
28006 Madrid, Spain
Telephone: (34) 91 587 2240
Emergency after-hours telephone: (34) 91 587 2200
Ask to speak to the duty officer if you need emergency assistance outside business hours.
Facsimile: (34) 91 587 2303
E-mail: askacs@state.gov

U.S. Consulate General Barcelona
Paseo Reina Elisenda de Montcada, 23
08034 Barcelona, Spain
Telephone: (34) 93 280 2227
Emergency after-hours telephone: (34) 91 587 2200
Ask to speak to the duty officer if you need emergency assistance outside business hours.
Facsimile: (34) 93 280 6175
E-mail: BarcelonaACS@state.gov

U.S. Consular Agency Fuengirola (Málaga)
Avenida Juan Gómez "Juanito", 8
Edificio Lucía 1º-C
29640 Fuengirola (Málaga), Spain
Telephone: (34) 95 247 4891
Facsimile: (34) 95 246 5189
Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
E-mail: malagaconsagency@state.gov

U.S. Consular Agency Las Palmas
Edificio Arca
Calle Los Martinez de Escobar 3, Oficina 7
35007 Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain
Telephone: (34) 92 827 1259
Facsimile: (34) 92 822 5863
Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
E-mail: canariasconsagency@state.gov

U.S. Consular Agency Palma de Mallorca
Edificio Reina Constanza
Porto Pi, 8, 9-D
07015 Palma, Islas Baleares, Spain
Telephone: (34) 97 140 3707 or (34) 97 140 3905
Facsimile: (34) 97 140 3971
Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
E-mail: pmagency@state.gov

U.S. Consular Agency Seville
Plaza Nueva 8-8 duplicado
2nd Floor, Office E-2 No.4
41101 Sevilla, Spain
Telephone: (34) 95 421 8751
Facsimile: (34) 95 422 0791
Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
E-mail: sevillaconsagency@state.gov

U.S. Consular Agency Valencia
Doctor Romagosa 1, 2-J
46002 Valencia, Spain
Telephone: (34) 96 351 6973
Facsimile: (34) 96 352 9565
Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
E-mail: valenciaconsagency@state.gov

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s  Fact Sheet on Spain for information on U.S. – Spain relations.

Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements

Spain is a party to the Schengen Agreement.  Entry into any of the 26 European countries in the Schengen area for short-term tourism, a business trip, or in transit to a non-Schengen destination requires that your passport be valid for at least three months beyond your intended date of departure.  You need sufficient funds and a return airline ticket.  For additional details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen fact sheet.  Visit the Embassy of Spain website for the most current visa and entry requirement information.

Passport should be valid for at least three months beyond your departure.
Students and prospective students should visit the Embassy of Spain website for additional information on entry requirements.

Prospective residents or those wishing to stay in Spain longer than 90 days must obtain prior information about the procedures from the relevant bodies, namely the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Employment and Social Security.  You will need an official criminal records check from the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS).  These documents carry the Apostille of the Hague from the Department of State for the FBI records.  HIV/AIDS RESTRICTIONS.  The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Spain.

Find information on dual nationality, Preventing Abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

Spain’s open borders with its western European neighbors allow possible terrorist groups to enter and exit the country with anonymity.  Like other foreign governments, Spain has taken actions to guard against terrorist attacks, including arrests of suspected extremists allegedly involved in terrorist plots.  Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Europe.  All European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations.  U.S. citizens are reminded to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security.

Crime:

Street crimes against tourists occur in the principal tourist areas.  In particular, Madrid and Barcelona report frequent incidents of pickpocketing, mugging, as well as occasional violent attacks, some of which require the victim to seek medical attention.

Use common sense and the same personal security measures you would use normally.
Do not leave bags unattended.  Keep them in your line of sight and avoid placing passports, cash, cell phones or other valuables in the outer pockets of backpacks or purses, or on tables in public places. 
Be alert to criminal schemes.  Thieves may work in teams to distract your attention, while an accomplice makes off with your valuables.  If you are stopped by a plainclothes policeman while walking or driving, ask for a uniformed law enforcement officer.
Before sending any money to individuals you have never met in person, please visit  the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on Internet financial scams and how to protect yourself.

Victims of Crime:

Report crimes to the local police at 112 and contact the U.S. Embassy at (34) 91 587 2240 or the Emergency after-hours telephone: (34) 91 587 2200.  Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

help you find appropriate medical care
assist you in reporting a crime to the police
contact relatives or friends with your written consent
explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
provide a list of local attorneys
provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
local resources available to victims of crime can be found at http://www.mjusticia.gob.es/cs/Satellite/Portal/es/servicios-ciudadano/oficinas-asistencia-victimas
provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence:  U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance. The emergency number 016 should be used in instances of domestic violence. For more information see http://www.violenciagenero.msssi.gob.es/

For further information:

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
See the State Department's travel website for Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts.
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties:  You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law.  For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification:  If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately.  See our webpage for further information.

Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking illegal drugs in Spain are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
Most cities in Spain have banned the consumption of alcohol in the street, other than in registered street cafes and bars.  You could be arrested or fined if you break the law.
Driving under the influence could land you in jail.
Local police can require you to produce identification to establish your identity upon request and detain you for further questioning.
In some cases, a copy of your passport may serve as sufficient identification if you do not feel comfortable carrying your actual passport.  If you choose to carry your passport with you, remember this also increases the risk that it could be lost or stolen.

Faith-Based Travelers:  See our following webpages for details:

International Religious Freedom Report – see country reports
Human Rights Report – see country reports
Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad

LGBTI Travelers:  There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Spain.  Spain welcomes LGBTI travelers.  See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of the Department of State's Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance.   Spanish law mandates access to buildings for persons with disabilities. The government generally enforces these provisions; levels of assistance and accessibility differ between regions.

Madrid, Barcelona, and many of the other major cities have made great strides in making public transportation, museums and other public buildings accessible to those with physical disabilities.
Most buses have ramps to accommodate wheelchairs and many metro stations have elevators for the same purpose.
Taxis that can accommodate wheelchairs are available, but must generally be called in advance.
In historic areas and in some other areas, sidewalks can be narrow and have uneven surfaces. Tourists should take this into account when planning their visit.

Students:  See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers:  While the incidence of sexual assault is statistically low, attacks do occur.

Be aware of “date-rape” drugs.
Be cautious in bars and clubs where alcohol is served, and do not leave your drink unattended or accept a drink from strangers, as they may have slipped drugs into the drink.

See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

Good medical care is available in Spain. However, regulations regarding medications vary from those in the United States. Spanish regulations do not permit the international shipment of medication, so please do not ship medication from the United States to Spain.  Spanish customs authorities have the legal right to retain medication shipped from the United States.

We do not pay medical bills.
Be aware that Medicare does not apply overseas.

Medical Insurance:  Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas.  Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments.  See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the Government of Spain to ensure the mediation is legal in Spain.  Always carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.

Vaccinations:  Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For further health information, go to:

World Health Organization
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Travel & Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:  Road conditions in Spain can differ significantly from those in the United States.  Traffic in Madrid and Barcelona is faster paced than in the United States and can be unnerving because of unfamiliar signs or motorbikes weaving between traffic lanes.

Obey the traffic light located at your stop line, as there are separate traffic lights for each side of the intersection.
Be alert when driving at night in urban areas because of the possibility of encountering drivers or pedestrians under the influence of alcohol.
Night driving in isolated rural areas can be dangerous because of farm animals and poorly marked roads.
Rural traffic is generally heavier in July and August as well as during the Christmas and Easter seasons.
Emergency services, including roadside assistance, are plentiful, competent, and can be easily accessed by dialing 112 from any phone.

Traffic Laws:

You must obtain an International Driving Permit prior to your arrival if you plan to drive in Spain.  The permits are only valid for one year.
It is illegal to rent a vehicle if you don’t have an International Driving Permit.  Your rental car may be impounded and you will be required to pay a fine if stopped.
It is against the law to use a mobile phone without a hands-free device while driving.  There is a 300 Euros fine for violating this regulation, which may also cause you to lose your license.
All drivers and passengers are required to wear a reflective vest if they need to stop on the roadside. A reflective triangle warning sign is also mandatory if you stop on the roadside.
You must have liability insurance to operate any car or motorcycle.
If you are stopped by the Spanish National Police or the Guardia Civil, they may levy fines on the spot and issue a receipt for payment.  This ensures that the fine is paid by a foreigner who may not return to Spain to pay the fine.

Public Transportation:  Public transportation in large Spanish cities is generally excellent.

Only use clearly identified cabs, ensure that taxi drivers always switch on the meter, except for trips originating to and from the Madrid airport, and ask for a receipt.
Official taxis to and from the Madrid airport to the city center charge a €30 flat rate.
Rail service is comfortable and reliable, but varies in quality and speed. Intercity buses are usually comfortable and inexpensive.

See our Road Safety page for more information.  Also, we suggest that you visit the website of Spain’s national tourist office  and national authority responsible for road safety.

Aviation Safety Oversight:

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Spain’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Spain’s air carrier operations.  Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

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