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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: https://travel.state.gov/travel/

April 26, 2018

Embassies and Consulates


U.S. Embassy Madrid
Calle Serrano, 75
28006 Madrid, Spain
Telephone: (34) 91 587 2200
Emergency after-hours telephone: (34) 91 587 2200
Ask to speak to the duty officer if you need emergency assistance outside business hours.
Fax: (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.
Fax: (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
Fax: (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
Fax: (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
Fax: (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
Fax: (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
Fax: (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 and Visa Requirements

Spain is a party to the Schengen Agreement. This means that U.S. citizens may enter Spain for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay.  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 information.

Students and prospective students should visit the Embassy of Spain website for additional information on entry requirements.

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.

Follow these links to find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction, and customs regulations.

Safety and Security

Spain’s open borders with its Western European neighbors allow the possibility for terrorist groups to enter and exit the country anonymously; additionally, Spain’s enclaves in Melilla and Ceuta allow for entry into Spain proper from the African continent. Like other foreign governments, Spain has taken robust actions to guard against terrorist attacks, including arrests of suspected extremists allegedly involved in terrorist plots. Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possibly near term 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, 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 normally use in a large U.S city or tourist destination.
Do not leave bags unattended. Keep them in 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 to see their law enforcement identification.
Do not send any money to individuals you have never met in person; please visit the Department of State and the FBI webpages for information on Internet financial scams and how to protect yourself.

Sexual Assault: While the overall incidence of sexual assault is statistically low, attacks do occur. There have been reports alleging sexual assaults by a tour operator based in southern Spain.

Exercise the same caution as you would in any unfamiliar area or with unfamiliar people.
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. 

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of crimes, including sexual assault, should contact the local police at 112 and the U.S. Embassy at (34) 91 587 2200. Remember that the local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes. 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;
with written consent, contact your relatives or friends;
explain the local criminal justice process in general terms;
provide a list of local attorneys;
provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States;
help you contact the Spanish government Office of Victims Assistance for more information;
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 nearest U.S. Embassy, Consulate, or Consular Agency for assistance. Call the toll-free emergency number in Spain, 016, to report domestic violence. For more information, see http://www.violenciagenero.msssi.gob.es/en/home.htm

Demonstrations: Large, public demonstrations related to a variety of political and economic issues take place regularly throughout Spain.

Demonstrations tend to take place on politically significant holidays.
Demonstration organizers must obtain prior police approval, and police routinely oversee participants.
Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence.
Avoid areas around protests and demonstrations.
Check local media for updates on the situation and traffic advisories.
Alerts issued regarding demonstrations are posted on the U.S. Mission’s website.

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 also are prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. See our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website for examples,.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or Consulate 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.

Students: We want you to stay safe during your study abroad in Spain. There have been reports alleging sexual assaults by a tour operator based in southern Spain. .According to media reports, this tour operator sold U.S. citizen students tours within and outside Spain, and also recruited students to serve as interns to recruit other tour participants. Follow the tips below, and exercise caution and good judgment to make your study-abroad experience a positive and safe one.

Do your research before contracting with a tour operator or other service provider. For example, request the names of the guides for your specific tour, and ask what kind of background checks the tour company conducts on its employees.
Exercise caution when agreeing to an internship or to serve as a recruiter for a specific organization or company, especially if the position has not been organized as part of your official study-abroad program.
Be safe online. If someone you don’t know contacts you via social media concerning your upcoming study-abroad program, talk to your program coordinator before you decide whether to respond.
Be aware of your surroundings and keep a low profile.
Drink responsibly and in moderation. Stop and seek medical attention if you begin to feel ill.
The majority of arrests, accidents, and violent crimes suffered by U.S. citizens in Spain involve excessive alcohol. Stay in a group of friends who have your safety in mind when in clubs, bars, or when traveling. Students found alone or incapacitated have been victims of sexual assault.
If you have questions or want to report an incident, contact the nearest U.S. consular office in Spain for assistance.

For more information, see our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

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

Faith-Based Travel Information
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 relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Spain. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our  Human Rights report for further details.

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

Madrid, Barcelona, and many 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; taxis that can accommodate wheelchairs are available, but generally must be booked in advance.
In historic areas and in some other areas, sidewalks can be narrow and have uneven surfaces. Take this into account when planning your visit.

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; do not ship medication from the United States to Spain. Spanish customs authorities will reject and return to the U.S. medication shipped from the United States.

Medications which require prescriptions in the United States require a local doctor’s prescription in Spain. In some instances, a medicine prescribed in the United States will not have a local equivalent. It is important that travelers research this in the European Agency for Medication website prior to travel.

Emergency services are responsive and reliable though the emergency services number, 112. Ambulances and other emergency vehicles are equipped with the most-advanced life support equipment.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. 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 (our webpage) to cover medical evacuation.

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

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

Further health information:

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

Travel and 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; you may encounter 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 Euro fine for violating this regulation, which also may 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 fixed-fare trips originating to and from the Madrid airport), and ask for a receipt.
Private transportation companies (such as Uber or Cabify) are widely used in Madrid and Barcelona, as well as in other big cities in Spain.
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. 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.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Spain should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at www.marad.dot.gov/msci. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website (https:homeport.uscg.mil), and the NGA broadcast warnings website https://msi.nga.mil/NGAPortal/MSI.portal select “broadcast warnings.”

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