Spain and Andorra - Consular Information Sheet
April 4, 2001
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Spain and Andorra are both highly
developed and stable democracies with modern economies. Additional
information may be obtained from
the Tourist Office of Spain, telephone: (212) 265-8822, or
via the Internet at http://www.okspain.org.
Entry Requirements: passport required. A visa is not required
for tourist or business stays of up to 90 days. For further information
concerning entry requirements for Spain, travelers should contact
the Embassy of Spain at 2375 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington,
D.C. 20037, telephone (202) 728-2330, or the nearest Spanish Consulate
in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans,
New York, San Francisco, or San Juan. The
web site of the Spanish Embassy in the United States is: http://www.spainemb.org.
Further information on Andorra should be obtained from the Andorran
Mission to the U.N., 2 U.N. Plaza, 25th Floor, New York, NY 10018,
telephone (212) 750-8064.
In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments
have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include
requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission
for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not
present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required,
may facilitate entry/departure.
DUAL NATIONALITY: In addition to being subject to all
Spanish laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may also
be subject to other laws that impose special obligations on Spanish
citizens. For additional information, please see the
Consular Affairs home page on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov
for our Dual Nationality flyer.
SAFETY AND SECURITY: The ETA Basque terrorist organization
remains active in Spain. ETA efforts have historically been directed
against police, military, and other Spanish government targets.
Since November 1999 ETA has conducted scores of attacks, resulting
in over two dozen deaths. In March 2001, ETA issued a communique
announcing its intention to target Spanish tourist areas. While
ETA has targeted tourist areas in the past, the size and the location
of past bombings suggest that they were not intended to cause
serious injury. Since 1999, a smaller Marxist group, GRAPO, has
mounted several attacks, and has killed three people. Americans
have not been the specific targets of the attacks of either of
CRIME: While most of Spain has a low rate of violent crime,
the principal tourist areas are experiencing increasing crime
directed against tourists. Madrid and Barcelona, in particular,
have reported a growing incidence of muggings by gangs brandishing
weapons and/or using force. Travelers using public transportation
should be alert to the potential for muggings or pickpocketings.
Crimes such as pickpocketing, robbery, and theft from cars are
frequent, and scams are often employed. For example, thieves often
attempt to distract their victims by squirting mustard on their
clothing, asking for directions on the street, or otherwise diverting
attention from an accomplice. Thefts of small items like radios,
luggage, camera or briefcases from parked cars are a common problem.
Roadside thieves posing as "Good Samaritans" to persons
experiencing car and tire problems typically attempt to divert
the driver's attention by pointing out a mechanical problem, and
then steal items from the vehicle while the driver is looking
elsewhere. Drivers should be extremely cautious about accepting
help from anyone other than a uniformed Spanish police officer
or Civil Guard. Travelers who accept unofficial assistance are
advised to protect their valuables by keeping them in sight or
locking them in the vehicle. Andorra has a low rate of crime.
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported
immediately the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet,
A Safe Trip Abroad, for
ways to promote a more trouble-free journey. The pamphlet is available
by mail from the
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs,
or via the
Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov/.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Good medical care is available. U.S.
medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States.
U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for
medical services outside the United States. Doctors and hospitals
often expect immediate cash payment for health services. Uninsured
travelers who require medical care overseas may face extreme difficulties.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: The Department of State strongly urges
Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior
to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas
and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as medical evacuation.
U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs incurred
outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased.
Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment
for medical services outside the United States. However, many
travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that
will cover health care expenses incurred overseas including emergency
services such as medical evacuations.
When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans
should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require
payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical
evacuation to the U.S. may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured
travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme
difficulties, whereas travelers who have purchased overseas medical
insurance have, when a medical emergency occurs, found it life-saving.
When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, please ascertain
whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider
or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses you incur.
Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric
treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas
insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's bureau
of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical
Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via
the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202) 647-3000.
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations and
other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers
at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax: 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299),
or via the CDC's
Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign
country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions which differ
significantly from those in the United States. The information
below concerning Spain is provided for general reference only,
and it may not be totally accurate in a particular location or
Safety of Public Transportation: Good
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Excellent
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Good
Traffic in Madrid and Barcelona is faster-paced than in U.S.
cities. Night driving on Fridays and Saturdays in urban areas
may be dangerous due to drivers under the influence of alcohol.
Night driving in isolated rural areas can be dangerous because
of farm animals and poorly marked roads. Traffic is generally
heavier in July and August as well as during the Christmas and
Public transportation in large cities is generally excellent.
Taxi services are relatively inexpensive, although taxi drivers
occasionally overcharge tourists coming from the airport. Travelers
are advised to use registered cabs only.
For additional general information
about road safety, including links to foreign government sites,
please see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs
home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. For specific
information concerning Spanish driving permits, vehicle inspection,
road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact the
Spanish national tourist organization offices in New York
via the Internet at http://www.okspain.org.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) has assessed the Government of Spain's Civil Aviation Authority
as Category 1 -- in compliance with international aviation safety
standards for oversight of Spain's air carrier operations.
For further information, travelers may contact the Department
of Transportation within the U.S. at telephone 1-800-322-7873,
or visit the
FAA's Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa. The
U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign
air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services.
For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers,
travelers may contact DOD at telephone (618) 229-4801.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: It is advisable to contact the Embassy
of Spain in Washington, D.C. or one of Spain's consulates in the
United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.
This is especially important if you are attempting to send any
medications to Spain through postal channels.
Spain's customs authorities encourage the use of an ATA (Admission
Temporaire/Temporary Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission
of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for
exhibitions and fair purposes.
ATA Carnet Headquarters, located at the
U.S. Council for International Business, 1212 Avenue of the
Americas, New York, NY 10036, issues and guarantees the ATA Carnet
in the United States. For additional information, please call
(212) 354-4480, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit
http://www.uscib.org for details.
CRIMINALPENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S.
citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which
sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States
and may not afford the protections available to the individual
under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe
than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating
Spanish law, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned.
Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking of illegal drugs
in Spain are strict and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences
CHILDREN'S ISSUES: For
information on international adoption of children and international
parental child abduction, please refer to our Internet site
at http//travel/state.gov/children's_issues.html or telephone
REGISTRATION/EMBASSY AND CONSULATE LOCATIONS: Americans
living in or visiting Spain or Andorra are encouraged to register
at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Madrid or at the
U.S. Consulate General in Barcelona where they may obtain updated
information on travel and security within Spain or Andorra. The
U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Spain is located at Serrano 75; telephone
(34)(91) 587-2200, and fax (34)(91) 587-2303. U.S. citizens who
register in the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate
listed below can obtain updated information on travel and security
within Spain or Andorra. Additional information is also available
U.S. Embassy's Internet homepage at http://www.embusa.es/indexbis.html.
There is a U.S. Consulate in Barcelona, at Paseo Reina Elisenda
23-25; telephone (34)(93) 280-2227 and fax (34)(93) 205-5206.
There are also Consular Agencies in the following locations:
Malaga, at Avenida Juan Gomez Juanito #8, Edificio Lucia 1C,
telephone (34)(952)474-891 and fax (34)(952) 465-189, hours 10:00
a.m. to 1:00 p.m.;
La Coruna, at Canton Grande 16-17, telephone (34)(981) 213-233
and fax (34)(981) 222-808,
hours 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.;
Las Palmas, at Edificio Arca, Calle Los Martinez de Escobar 3,
Oficina 7, telephone (34)(928) 222-552 and fax (34)(928) 225-863,
hours 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.;
Palma de Mallorca, Ave. Jaime III, 26 Entresuelo, 2-H-1 (97),
telephone (34)(971) 725-051 and fax (34)(971) 718-755, hours 4:00
p.m. to 7:00 p.m.;
Seville, at Paseo de Las Delicias 7, telephone
(34)(954) 231-885 and fax (34)(954) 232-040, hours 8:30 a.m. to
Valencia, at Doctor Romagosa #1, 2-J, 46002, Valencia telephone(34)(96)-351-6973
fax (34)(96) 352-9565, hours 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
For Andorra, please contact the U.S. Consulate in Barcelona.