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Can you apply for a student visa after arrival?

Travel Forums Europe Can you apply for a student visa after arrival?

1. Posted by arshia1984 (Budding Member 5 posts) 7y

Nationality: Australian
Current Residence: Australia
Purpose of Stay: Study
Main country of stay: Spain
Duration: 6 months

Hi all. It is really hard to find any information on this, so I thought I would post here. Can you apply for a schengen study visa after arriving in the area? For circumstances I will not go into, I can't get a visa in time prior to my departure. I was thinking of entering Europe a tourist, then applying for my student visa once in Spain. Does anyone know if this is possible?


2. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 7y

Since student visa are long-term visa, they are not part of the uniform Schengen regime. Their conditions depend on national legislation, which may be why you have a hard time finding information.

I looked into the rules for Spain, and they require that you apply for the visa "at the Spanish Diplomatic Mission or Consular Office in your country of origin or the nearest to your legal residence". In other words, application after arrival is not possible.

You may want to contact an Aussie consulate elsewhere in Europe, and see if you can apply through them. I don't think this is possible, but it might be worth giving a try.

Please post back if this doesn't answer your question. By the way, thanks for actually sticking to the guidelines; it makes answering a whole lot easier.

3. Posted by geeadamg (Budding Member 23 posts) 7y

Apply for it and have it granted before you leave or just stay a tourist while you're there. If you get to the country and they ask your purpose of stay and its study they will let not you in. So to get in you'd have to lie and say tourist but then if you try and apply to become a student after you're in and it looks as though you lied to get into the country to then apply you'll be denied and your tourist visa may be cancelled.

I used to work for UK immigration and most EU countries are similar with the rules. I wouldn't risk it and it may effect future applications to other countries in the same region if you did. Last thing you want is restrictions on future travel.

4. Posted by arshia1984 (Budding Member 5 posts) 7y

Thank you both for your replies.

I have actually been approved for a 6 month student visa now for Spain, so my problem regarding that is sorted. But I also wanted to know, is it easy to extend your student visa once you are there? The course I am doing is quite complicated with respect to its length, and may need to apply for an extension. Is this easy?

Sorry to bring up another question within this thread, but thought it would be unnecessary to create a new thread for this.

5. Posted by geeadamg (Budding Member 23 posts) 7y

cool, glad you got granted.

Yes, its easier than your original application. Basically, if your conditions don't change then you can apply for an extension to your visa. To give yourself plenty of time make sure you're making sure you start this within 90 days of your other visa running out. In most european countries you won't be kicked out if you have an application pending so your visa could expire and be allowed to still be there but you'd have to answer the extra question, why didn't you apply sooner.

Your student office will probably have a specialist office that deals with applications anyway.

6. Posted by arshia1984 (Budding Member 5 posts) 7y

Thanks again!