My daughter, a US citizen who has been studying in Granada since late August, bought a ticket to fly from Granada to London to visit a friend this coming weekend. She has a study visa for 180 days but evidently the trave visa for some reason is only for only 90 days, and it expired at the end of Nov. She is planning to return to the US on Dec. 18th.
My concern began when another student in the same program had difficulty returning to Spain this past weekend, as her 90 day visa had also recently expired. They did let her back in, but I guess it was a bit nerve-wracking!
How strict is Spain in a situation like this? She hates to miss the trip and just stay in Spain, because her ticket is paid for and she was really looking forward to seeing London and her friend! On the other hand, if she could have trouble returning (or worse yet, denied entrance back into after her 3 nights in London) she needs to know that now! What would the penalty be, if any, for doing this? Do they even check?
I don't know much about this, and I hate to rain on her parade and lose the nonrefundable ticket...but I don't want her to have problems! Her semester ends in 2 weeks and she will be returning to the US right after her exams in mid-Decemeber. She can prove she is a student (at University of Granada) but is this risky, and if so, what are the odds she'd have problems?
Thanks in advance for your quick advice! Time is running out ; )
She shouldn´t have any problem if she can show the student visa. Spanish police is very strict with illegal inmigrants trying to get into EU, but an US student should pass easely
Tell her not to panic, nor mention that she is a student. All she has to say is that she visiting friends. I have lived illegally in Spain for 8 years, and never had a problem entering or leaving when I wanted..I am a Canadian citizen so same rules apply.
She probably won't have a problem, but it's by no means guaranteed.
Because the UK operates passport checks on flights from Spain, Spain does the same thing on flights from the UK. Generally it's a cursory wave-through, but a non-EU passport may attract a little more attention. Then given the hassle people get entering the US, it's possible that they will be stricter on a US passport holder. I'm not saying they will be: just that it is a possibility.
I was recently with a New Zealander crossing from Spain into Gibraltar. That is usually the most laid-back border-crossing I have ever come across, but the Spanish police just happened to decide to spot-check him. As a Kiwi he only had the right to stay in the EU for 3 months at a time, and the stamps in his passport showed he arrived in the EU about 15 months before (which was true). After much discussion, it became apparent the police didn't actually know what to do about it, so finally they pretended they hadn't seen him and we turned around and walked back in to Spain!
Maybe the best would be to get a flight between London and the U.S?
Hmm, I know a bit about Schengen visa law and I don't get your daughter's problem.
If she has a student visa for Spain she should have the following sticker in her passport:
"Type of visa" should be "D", valid for Schengen, from - to with the appropriate data.
If this visa is not expired yet she should have no problem returning to Spain. All she needs to do is to point to it and show a copy of her flight ticket from Spain to the USA if questions arise.
She should also have no problem returning to Spain if she has a valid residency permit for Spain. (That should be a similar sticker in her passport.)
The only problem will be if she entered Spain on a tourist visa.