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Expired EU visa

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1. Posted by Frank2 (Budding Member, 2 posts) 28 Jun '13 03:07

I am currently in Spain and will be in Romania on August 1 when my Spain visa expires. From Romania I will travel to the UK and from there back to Spain. Will I have any problems?

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator, 4362 posts) 28 Jun '13 03:20

That depends on what type of visa you are currently on (and potentially also your nationality, but for now I'll assume you can get a Schengen Visa on arrival). If you're in Spain on a student visa / work visa / something similar and specific for Spain, then you should be fine. (Make certain to have your passport stamped when leaving Spain, so you can prove you were outside the Schengen area when that visa expired.) When re-entering Spain from the UK, that'll be a separate visit under a new visa (the Schengen Visa), and you'll be allowed to stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days over the following 180 days. How you divide that time is up to yourself.

The only problem you'd have would be if you're currently in Spain on a Schengen Visa. If that'd the case, it becomes relevant how long you've been in the Schengen area already, but you'd probably have to stay outside the Schengen area for nearly three months before being allowed to re-enter.

3. Posted by Frank2 (Budding Member, 2 posts) 28 Jun '13 03:31

I am a U.S. citizen and entered Spain on a 3 month tourist visa (M 048), having entered on may 1st. The visa will expire while I am in Romania on August 1st. On August 20 I will enter the UK and on August 27 will fly to Madrid

4. Posted by Sander (Moderator, 4362 posts) 28 Jun '13 04:07

I have never heard of this "M 048" visa, nor can I find anything about it on google. I suspect (but hope I'm wrong; and as I'm not an expert in this field that's quite possible) that it's just the regular Schengen Visa. Did you get it on arrival (in which case it's really almost certainly that Schengen Visa), or did you apply for it beforehand? Can you link to a page with information about it where you applied?

If it is a Schengen Visa, and you haven't left Spain since May 1st, you actually have to leave by July 29th (the 90th day since entering into the Schengen Zone), and if leaving on that day, wouldn't be allowed back in until October 28th (91 days later; please check my math if it turns out this case actually applies to you). Romania and the UK aren't part of the Schengen Zone, so time spent there doesn't count toward the "90 days out of any 180 day window". That is, if you'd leave to Romania on, say, July 22nd, you could re-enter Spain August 27, and be allowed to stay for a further 7 days before having to leave again.

5. Posted by frank-too (Budding Member, 6 posts) 28 Jun '13 04:32

Thanks for the reply.
The visa was stamped on my passport the day we arrived by ship in Barcelona from Miami and dated 01.05.13 33. I am sure that it is a regular Schengen visa. We have tickets to leave Spain for Romania on July 30th. Since Ro is a member of the EU, I don't suppose that my passport will be reviewed when we fly from Madrid to Ro, right? What will happen when we try to board a plane to Spain from London on August 21st? If allowed to board, what will happen when we arrive in Spain? We have return tickets from Barcelona to Miami on the same ship in September.
Thanks,
Frank
;)

6. Posted by Sander (Moderator, 4362 posts) 28 Jun '13 04:54

"Member of the EU" isn't relevant, unfortunately. "Member of the Schengen zone" is (the Schengen Zone is the area of Europe without internal borders; see the link in my previous post - some non EU-countries are part of it, while some EU countries aren't). Romania isn't a part of the Schengen zone, so your passport will be checked, and you will be found to have overstayed by a day at that point (as the Schengen visa allows for "90 days", including day of entry and day of departure, not "3 months"). I'm uncertain what'd happen at that point; you might be fined or denied entry into the Schengen Zone for a couple of years, or they might let you off with a warning. (I don't know what's realistic, but hopefully someone who will know will speak up later on this.)

However, with this plan, you would definitely not be allowed to re-enter Spain on August 21. I'm not certain if this'll be detected in London already before boarding the flight, but it should be.

You still have time to radically change your itinerary at this point. If you leave Spain, say, on July 5th (next week), heading to Romania, (or Turkey, the UK, Croatia, or somewhere else outside the Schengen Zone), you could spend 3 weeks there, then head to the UK as planned, and fly into Spain without any problem on August 21. You'd then have spent 31+30+5=66 days in the Schengen zone already, so would have a further 24 days before you'd have leave again. If your departure to Miami happens before September 13th, that'd work out just perfectly. Otherwise you could try changing the date of your flight from the UK to Madrid from August 21 to however much later would be necessary.

The most important thing is to make sure that from your entry on May 1st through to your departure in September, you will not go above those 90 days spent in any of the countries of the Schengen zone (again, for the full list, check the link in my previous post).

7. Posted by frank-too (Budding Member, 6 posts) 28 Jun '13 05:53

Thank you so much. You have been extremely helpful! I will reschedule a few reservations and at a cost of around 400 euros for un-refundable prepaid reservations, but worth it to have peace of mind and avoid hassles. I have been told that the Spanish authorities would not bother me about entering on an expired visa, but it is better to not take the risk.

Again,

Thanks

Frank

8. Posted by Sander (Moderator, 4362 posts) 28 Jun '13 06:01

Before you reschedule, do please wait a few hours or so to make certain no one else here speaks up about some loophole or other which I'm not aware of. I am pretty certain such a thing doesn't exist, but it'd suck to spend that much money on the say-so of a single person who turns out to be wrong. :)

9. Posted by frank-too (Budding Member, 6 posts) 29 Jun '13 01:18

I am going the safe way, although I did learn of one loop-hole.

"All you need to do is enter France (Schengen zone) via the Chunnel (train service) from England. England doesn’t issue exit stamps (so there’s no outbound immigration) and France does not have entry stamps in the Chunnel. So technically there is never any proof of when you entered the Schengen zone. Then from France you can go by plane or train back to Spain without having your documents looked at."

Sounds good, but I am not going to try it.

10. Posted by frank-too (Budding Member, 6 posts) 13 Nov '13 09:13

Well, I flew to Spain from London with my expired Spanish visa in my passport. The customs officer did not even look at my expired visa. He stamped in a new 90 day visa. Go figure...