Your school or university may have already informed you that if you are going to stay in Spain for more than three months it is mandatory to have an identification card (NIE). If you are from a country included in the Schengen area, you’ll also need a residence certificate. For other countries, the process is more though: to start with, you must go to the Spanish Embassy or Consulate of your home country and get a student visa. The provisional visa you receive from the Embassy will help you to carry out the procedures here in Spain. The problem usually arises when trying to request an appointment at a police station to have your fingerprints taken and process the resident card: the service is under very heavy strain and you may have to visit the police website and fill in the form several times in different days before getting the appointment. It is also quite common that you get an appointment at a police station in a town in the province of Barcelona, but far from the city. The legally established deadline for obtaining your resident card is one month from your arrival, but it is often impossible do so in advance, so they accept appointments after one month (but we recommend you doing the procedure as soon as possible). You are not a legal resident till you visit the police station! Depending on the office, they may not speak English, which makes things more complicated for non-Spanish speaking students.
In ISR we can obtain an appointment for you. We can’t make sure it will be in the city of Barcelona, but anyway, we’ll accompany you!