What happens when you hear nothing from the Spanish Embassy or Foreign Office?

Spanish embassy in Rome - Italy - Costaluz Lawyers

Our immigration team at Costaluz Lawyers regularly gets asked what happens if you’ve applied for a visa or permit and don’t get a reply. How long should you expect to wait? And then if the stipulated period comes and goes, what happens when you hear nothing from the Spanish Embassy or Foreign Office? In this article, we answer those questions.

How long does the Spanish Embassy or Foreign Office legally have to reply?

The period of time they have to reply to you by law depends on the type of permit or visa. In general, it ranges from one month to three months as follows:

Notifications of official decisions on applications

In this case, the organisation has a period of three months to answer you. The three months start on the day after you have registered your application with the appropriate official body.

Notification of applications for residence permits for family regrouping, seasonal work permits and residence permits for minors whose parents are foreign residents in Spain

The official body must notify the interested party within one month and a half of the decision. The time period starts the day after the application is registered.

Find out more about the requirements and how to apply for long-term visas in Spain

Notification of visa application except non-lucrative visas

Spanish embassies or the Foreign Office have one month to answer applications for visas. The month starts the day after you register the application at the appropriate Consular Office.

Notification of non-lucrative visa applications

The time limit for this type of Spanish visa is three months.

What happens if the Spanish Embassy or Foreign Office requests more documentation?

If you receive a request for additional documentation or information from the official body in charge of your application, the stipulated time period for a reply is interrupted. It restarts when you present the required documentation.

So, for example, if you register your visa application on 1 February and on 5 February you receive a request for more documentation, the Embassy or Foreign Office has more time to reply (10 or 15 more working days). This means that the deadline for the authorities to respond would be 1 March plus 10 or 15 working days more.

Looking for information on residency options in Spain?

What happens if you hear nothing?

Just because official bodies must reply within a certain time frame does not necessarily mean they do. Silencio administrative, as it’s known in Spanish, is relatively common and in some cases, you may hear nothing at all.

If this is your case, you should assume that your application for a permit or visa has not been approved.

Can I appeal against the silence?

Yes, you can and in many cases, our immigration team advises that you should appeal. It can, however, be an onerous process and we advise getting professional assistance to ensure your appeal is as effective as possible.

An appeal typically involves the following procedure:

  • You request confirmation of the rejection of your application from the official body.
  • If you do not receive this confirmation within 15 days, you make another request for confirmation.
  • If this confirmation also fails to materialise within a month, you present a case at the Spanish courts requesting that the Spanish Embassy or Foreign Office answer your application.

What can I do to improve my chances of success?

Our experience at Costaluz Lawyers has shown us that in most cases, the best way of getting a visa or permit application approved is to present all the required paperwork. You should also ensure that the application form is correctly and completely filled in.

Contact our team now for a free, no-obligation consultation and assistance with your Spanish visa or permit application. 

6 thoughts on “What happens when you hear nothing from the Spanish Embassy or Foreign Office?”

  1. Good day, Mrs Maria,
    I bought an apartment in Spain, I applied for a non lucrative visa from the Spanish embassy in Kuwait, and I got it in March 2023. My family, who is living in Cairo, Egypt, applied on 13th March 2023 in the Spanish embassy in Cairo and fulfilled all the documents required. Till now we didn’t receive a reply from the Spanish embassy in Cairo.
    When we send them emails, we only get the same reply that they did not receive any reply from the Spanish ministry of foreign affairs.
    What should we do?


      At this stage, the only thing you can do is to keep contacting the Spanish Consulate, as they have to give you a response about your case. Unfortunately, we do not have a direct channel with them, so we recommend you to continue to put pressure on them.

      It always depends on their workload. We receive decisions after more than 3 months. Therefore, we recommend you to keep insisting.

  2. A person from Pakistan,known to us, has applied his work permit visa form Spain using his mother’s Spanish residency card. There are two concerns mentioned below if the can be answered.
    1 . He has purchased a contract from a dissolved company in Spain . Isn’t buying of contract in € 8000 an illegal act? And buying contract from a company , which pretends it’s self in debt and so has dissolved it’s business ,an illegal act?
    2. The applicant has travelled to another country , and knows that the embassy will ask for character certificate of last 5 years , he has obtained fake travel history record and provided to the embassy. Isn’t providing fake documents and illegal act?

    How to contact the embassy in Pakistan to share all the evidences?


      Dear Zulaikha:

      Thanks for your email. I am offering below some guidelines:

      Purchasing a Contract: Buying a work contract can indeed be considered fraudulent, especially if it’s from a company that has dissolved or claims to be in debt. This could be seen as an attempt to deceive the immigration authorities into thinking that legitimate employment awaits the applicant in Spain, when in fact there might not be any real job opportunity. This would likely be considered a fraudulent act.

      Providing Fake Documents: Submitting fake documents or information to an embassy or consulate is typically considered a serious offense and can result in the rejection of the visa application, a ban from applying in the future, and potentially other legal repercussions.

      Reporting to the Embassy: If you believe you have evidence of wrongdoing and feel the need to report it, you can contact the Spanish Embassy or Consulate in Pakistan. Here’s a general approach you could consider:

      Written Communication: Write a formal letter explaining your concerns, providing as much detail as possible. Include any evidence you may have.
      Email or Phone: Many embassies and consulates have contact emails or phone numbers listed on their official websites. You can use this contact information to reach out.
      Visit in Person: If you believe the situation warrants it, you could consider visiting the embassy or consulate in person. It’s a good idea to call ahead and potentially schedule an appointment if this is possible.
      We hope we have clarified

      Best regards


  3. Hi, I need to book an appointment with the Spanish embassy in Kenya for Study Visa application, but not sure whether sending them an email will enable me to quickly get a date for the appointment. What should I do? Urgently need help with this.

    1. Maria Luisa Castro

      Hi, Patricia:

      To book an appointment with the Spanish embassy in Kenya for your study visa application, here are the steps you should follow:

      Check the Embassy Website:

      Visit the official website of the Spanish embassy in Kenya. They often have detailed instructions on how to book an appointment, including any online booking systems they might have.
      Online Appointment System:

      Many embassies use an online appointment system. Look for an option to book your appointment online. If available, this is usually the fastest and most efficient way to secure a date.
      Contact Information:

      If there is no online booking system, use the contact information provided on the website. This typically includes phone numbers and email addresses. While email can be effective, calling the embassy might result in a quicker response, especially for urgent matters.
      Visit in Person:

      If you are near the embassy, you can visit in person to ask about booking an appointment. This might help you get immediate assistance.
      Prepare Your Documents:

      Ensure you have all the required documents ready for your study visa application. This includes your acceptance letter from the educational institution in Spain, proof of financial means, medical insurance, and other relevant documents.
      Follow Up:

      If you choose to email, make sure to follow up if you do not receive a response within a few days. A polite follow-up email or call can sometimes expedite the process.
      Here is a sample email template you can use to request an appointment:

      Subject: Urgent Appointment Request for Study Visa Application

      Dear [Embassy Contact Person/Consulate],

      I hope this message finds you well. My name is [Your Name], and I am writing to request an urgent appointment for my study visa application. I have been accepted to [Name of Educational Institution] in Spain and need to secure my visa as soon as possible.

      Could you please provide me with the earliest available date for an appointment? I have all the necessary documents ready for submission.

      Thank you very much for your assistance. I look forward to your prompt response.

      Best regards,
      [Your Full Name]
      [Your Contact Information]

      Feel free to adjust the email according to your specific needs. Good luck with your visa application!

      Best regards,

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