Quicker Auxiliares de Conversación VISA Appointments
i. Getting an earlier Student VISA Appointment at Your Nearby Spanish Consulate
The below recommendations are only for North American Language & Culture Assistants who have already tried to get an appointment through the normal means, but currently have an appointment after their official start date in Spain. Please note that while I’ve done my best to ensure this information is accurate, I cannot guarantee that this will work.
1. Email the Consulate (with your specific travel plans)
All consulates are really busy, and there is no doubt a very full calendar of student VISA applications. My first recommendation is to email the consulate, explaining that:
You will be a North American Language and Culture Assistant in Spain in 2019-2020
Your start date is __ , your placement is in __ , and you just received this information on __ . As such, you were not able to request an appointment earlier.
Send your proposed travel plan (i.e., what flight will you be taking and when)
Say when you’re available to come into the consulate and add that you can come in early or stay late, or just wait for an opening between people if need be…
2. Call the consulate (and talk with a person)
I know it can be really, really frustrating to call the consulate and have the number always be busy, but keep trying. Just keep calling back until you can get through to the receptionist and see if there is any way you can talk to a person instead of leaving a message for someone. If absolutely necessary, leave a message with the same information as above, and try calling more. Explain it’s a personal matter.
3. Contact Another consulate
In my case, I had an especially hard time scheduling something, even after emailing and calling. I ended up calling a different consulate, and they were much more helpful. They had other recommendations, but only after knowing I had exhausted all other options.
Above all, don’t give up. Unfortunately, this is good preparation for papeleo adventures that await you in Spain (if you don’t know about the concept of “vuelva usted mañana” take a look at it here.)
II. how to handle a “rejected” visa
A few weeks after my appointment at the consulate, I got a voicemail on a Friday afternoon saying my student visa application was denied. FULL PANIC MODE ensued. Over that weekend I think I got canas, aged 5 years, and ate 10 containers of creamy peanut butter (which you soon have people shipping to you in Spain! Capitán Mani just didn’t do it for me).
Sunday night (Monday morning in Spain), I called the auxiliares de conversación coordinator for my comunidad autónoma (Castilla y León), who left a message for my consulate to say my visa should be accepted.
The consulate called the next day to say “we are calling to tell you that the message left had no effect on your application.” Plus, they couldn’t tell me anything aside from “your visa has been denied.”
So, what do you do if your visa is denied?
Contact the Ministerio de educación directly
If this happens to you, email the main Ministerio de Educación Auxiliares de Conversación program contact if it’s outside of 10 AM-2 PM Madrid time email@example.com and explain the problem. Then, ASAP during business hours, call the main program in Madrid (+34 91 506 55 94, i.e. from the US dial exactly this: 01134 91 506 55 94) and re-explain the problem. What will then happen is once your paperwork on the Spain side is updated through the Ministerio de Educación, the consulate will need to reprocess your visa.
This is the only way that your visa paperwork can be fixed if it was denied due to an error through the ministerio.
If you still have questions about VISAs or paperwork, I highly recommend joining the Auxiliares de Conversación en España Facebook group.