How to Get a Walk-in Apostille for Spain Visa Documents

Okay, first of all, does anyone know how to pronounce the word Apostille? A site I found via Google breaks it down phonetically as a-poss-steal. That means I’ve probably been saying it incorrectly throughout years of applying for various visas…

But anyway, regardless of the pronunciation, I am here today to share some information on how to get walk-in Apostille certifications in DC, specifically for applying for a student visa for Spain to participate in Spain’s government teaching program. I am based in Northern Virginia so I am applying for my visa through the Spanish consulate in DC, and because I live near DC it was possible for me to get same day walk-in Apostilles. I am only speaking from personal experience here and I cannot provide information on other consulates. The only way to get official information is to contact these offices yourself, but since we all know that can be tricky and internet information is unclear, I am answering a few questions in the hopes it will help other people going through the same process.

Q. If I am applying for a student visa for Spain through the DC Consulate, what documents need an Apostille?

On August 15th, 2011, the day I applied for my visa, the DC Consulate required an Apostille on two different documents: the FBI background check and the medical certificate.

Some other consulates do not require an Apostille on the medical certificate, but at the time of writing, the DC consulate does. (By the way, for the teaching program they recently announced they will accept state police checks in lieu of the FBI check but I didn’t go that route so I can’t help you there.)

Q. How do I get a walk-in Apostille for the medical certificate and FBI report?

Being young and naive, I thought I could get both documents Apostilled at the same office. Ha! Silly me. That would be convenient and efficient and unrealistic. There are separate offices for each document. Someone told me one office is for federal documents and the other is for state documents so that might be why.

To get a walk-in Apostille for your medical certificate:

Important! Before you go, make sure your medical certificate is already notarized. It has to be notarized by a DC notary. I did mine at a PNC bank in DC which notarizes for free if you are a bank customer.

  1. Go to the Office of Notary Commissions and Authentications. It is right next to the Judiciary Square metro stop on the Red line.
  2. Sign your name in the book at the desk and wait for your name to be called.
  3. The charge for the Apostille is $15 per document. I paid with a credit card but it helps to bring your checkbook as a backup because their credit card machine was broken the day my sister went and she had to leave to get a money order. They don’t take cash.

Phone: (202) 727-3117
Fax: (202) 727-8457

441 4th Street, NW
Room 810S
Washington, DC 20001

Monday through Friday from 9 am to 1 pm

To get a walk-in Apostille for your FBI report:

Important! Your FBI report must be authenticated for this to work. Ben wrote a blog post about authentication so check that out if you’re confused.

  1. Go to the State Department’s Authentications Office. It is near the Foggy Bottom metro stop on the Blue line and close to the Spanish embassy.
  2. Walk in and take a number from the machine by the front door and wait for your number to be called.
  3. The charge is $8 per document. Again, I paid with a credit card and I’m not sure if they take cash.

Phone: 202-663-1848
Fax: 202-663-3636
TDD: 202-663-3468

Columbia Plaza Store Front
518  23rd Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

Open only from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Monday thru Friday except Federal Holidays

Q. I spent all morning running around getting Apostilles and now I need to make photocopies of them for my visa app. Quick! Before the Spanish consulate closes at 1pm! What do I do?

This happened to me. There is a Fedex Kinko’s on 2400 M street (24th and M) near the Spanish embassy which is at 2375 Pennsylvania Ave. It is a pretty short walk (or in my case, run). Good luck!

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5 Responses to How to Get a Walk-in Apostille for Spain Visa Documents

  1. Pingback: How to Get the FBI Background Check and Apostille for Auxiliares Program |

  2. avatar Max says:

    Hi Eve,

    Thanks for this wonderfully informative post–I live in DC as well and am going through this process, too. I have a question for you about the medical certificate apostille, if you have a minute…

    So I’ve actually submitted everything at the consulate, but was told I needed the apostille on my medical certificate and that I should bring it when picking up my visa in a few weeks. I’ve hit a roadblock, however: I can’t get the certificate notarized myself because it’s my doctor’s signature, and not mine, that would be notarized. I was wondering how you got around this problem?

    Many thanks in advance!



    • avatar Eve Richer says:

      Hi Max,
      Here’s the workaround: take the medical certificate to a notary and when you get there you will draw another signature line at the bottom and have them watch you sign it yourself. Then the notary can notarize your signature and it will be sufficient to get the Apostille. I know it sound kind of odd but in my opinion it is equally strange that the DC consulate even requires the Apostille for the doctor form.

  3. avatar Aleksandra Bijelo says:

    OMG, thanks so much for this info! I was worried about the medical certificate and how it would be notarized. I am in a rush trying to get all this stuff in ASAP because I am joining the program late and they said I will not be able to after February. So hopefully I’ll be able to get this all in this week and will get the visa in the next 7 weeks. I am based in DC as well- how long did it take them to process your visa?

  4. avatar andrea says:

    Does anyone know if DC is the only place one can walk-in for an Apostille. I live in LA and it would be so much more convenient. Thanks!

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