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Schengen Visa Question!
Lan24
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Hi there,
 
Next year im planning on studying at a university in spain for one semester (4 months – start of feb to start of june)
 
After this i was planning on travelling around the rest of Europe for a few months however after reading about the schengen visa im not sure if thats possible? Does anyone have any idea if i could do that?
 
Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
 
Thanks! [Smile]

Don
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You will need a student visa for Spain to cover your first 4 months. The rest can be used from your 90 days tourist visa. Keep in mind that UK, Ireland, Switzerland, and most of the new EU members in eastern Europe are not part of Schengen border, and US passport holders generally get 90 days each of those (180 UK) to play tourist. Since you will enter Spain on a student visa, you will need to get stamped when you enter another country before your student visa days are finished. If you fly, this will be easy. If by train, then you might have to seek this out. If to UK—no problems—they’re very thorough and you will DEFINITELY get stamped there.

Lan24
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Hi Don,
 
Thankyou very much for such a quick reply. I really appreciate it. Sorry to be a nuisance and ask another question but im still a little confused.
 
The reason being……i rang the Spanish consulate here in Sydney yesterday and they said that once i’ve finished studying for 4 months i will have to leave the Schengen region for atleast 3 months before i can re-enter it to travel around the countries. Then i said to them but what about my 3 months tourist visa and he told me that the tourist visa starts when i enter Spain, regardless of whether im studying or not (which seems ridiculous to me). So he said i could travel 3 months beforehand but not after i study.
 
Just wondering if you have heard of this or if you have experienced, or know of anyone else that has experienced, something different. I just assumed i’d have 90 days from when i started travelling after i finished studying.
 
Once again sorry! I really do appreciate your help though as its so hard to find someone that can answer my questions.
 
Thanks, Alana

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Don,

I’m sort of puzzled by your response as well. Is there any way to check that against some official source?

The thing is, it was my understanding that
1. Once person’s visa expires (s)he must either leave the country (or Schengen area for that matter) or possibly obtain some form of extension. One can’t just say, “now I’m gonna play a tourist.”
2. The idea of short-term Schengen tourist/business visa (as opposed to single country visas issued for any other purposes) is that it may be used for visits adding up to no more then 90 days within each 180 day period, and same applies to any visa-free trips. It feels logical (from the authorities’ point of view) that a person who already spend 90 days or more in Schengen as a student should not be allowed back as a tourist until after 90 days gap.

Therefore what the consulate said sort of makes sense: to play tourist before study is OK, to do that afterwards is not.


Don
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This is a new twist. Hmmm….

My experience is as a foreign employee and employer in Schengen border countries the past 5 years.

I said he should leave Spain before the 4 months student visa is up, to get stamped as a tourist, and therefore activate his 90 days Schengen tourist entry. However, there aren’t border controls (in theory) between Schengen countries, and passports are usually only checked if arriving by air. If what the Spanish consular services in Sydney said is true, then the other Schengen border countries should notice his expiring student visa and then refuse to grant tourist entry.

I’d try this: ring the French embassy, or German or Italian embassy in Sydney (since they’re all Schengen, and all on your itin(?))… and ask them if it is o.k. to enter as a tourist for 90 days at the end of a student visa for Spain.

If they’re noncommital, I would try to make the case that the purposes of the periods (4 months study; 3 months tourist) are different, however, and logically should allow separation of activities and purpose and means of stay.

Keep in mind that all of UK, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Ireland, Hungary, Poland, Baltics, Croatia, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria… Schengen border is not an issue (yet).

Please keep us posted.

Lan24
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Hi again!
 
I did what you suggested and called the Italian Consulate here in Sydney. Unfortunately they said the same thing. Since im studying in Spain for 4 months, that uses up my 90 days so i have to leave the Schengen region for 90 days before re-entering.
 
Although does the Schengen visa allow 90 days per 6 months? If thats the case i wonder if i only have to spend 2 months out of the region since im studying for 4 months or if i still have to spend 3 months out. Hmm ill have to work that one out.
 
Thanks for you help [Smile]

Lan24
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One more thing i forgot to add….
 
I spoke to me friend who went backpacking around Europe for 5 months in 2005-06. I asked her how that was possible as ‘apparently’ you’re only allowed in the schengen region for 3 months and she said he was under the impression it was 3 months in each country and she was all over the place in europe (in schengen countries) for 5 months!!!!!!!! I just don’t get it and am getting so confused with all the different answers.
 
 

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Well, in theory you can read all the 6.6 MB of DF” class=“bb-url”>The Schengen Acquis and find the most authoritative answers to all of your questions []

In reality neither our opinion here nor that of the consulate workers will have to be the same as that of the passport control officers.

However if all the Schengen state consulates in Sidney think that you may not remain in Schengen area after your student visa is up, they probably have a reason. If you are not ready to give up yet, I would only suggest you to write to all of these consulates and give reasons Don have mentioned. Hopefully at least one of them would give you the sort of answer you want. This way, if you will be questioned at any point of you trip, you’ll have a document showing that
1. you didn’t want to break the rules and asked first;
2. some authority already decided that what you were doing was OK.

If your days as a student really count against “90 days in / 90 day out” rule then yes, you must spend 90 days (or more) outside all of Schengen countries before you may return and play tourist again.

As far as your friend’s trip goes, if she had really spent 5 month within Schengen area then she seriously flouted the rules. Even if she got away with it two years ago, it would be much harder to do now. If I’m not mistaken all the European  countries have or are about to have linked databases for border protection purposes. That’s why anyone who overstays is more likely to be caught at the time of departure.

But as far as I know Aussies and their travel habits, your friend might have actually spend 2 out of 5 month in Britain, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Rep, etc. which are not parts of Schengen, and managed to obey the law against her will. []

Don
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Lan, my main point—on which most of what I posted hinges—is that you should have already obtained a student visa before entering the first time. It sounds like it might have been unclear in your, or the consulates’ minds, that they thought you were entering on your tourist-allowed 90 days to study—since that’s often what people (incorrectly) do. If you were crystal-clear on this point with them, and they were crystal-clear that you can not get a (first-time) tourist entry at the end of a study/student visa, then I guess case is (nearly) closed.

Re: your friend and 5 months, if it was all Schengen border, and in less than 180 days span, then that was technically illegal. You get 90 days combined… you can’t just leave for a day and come back with a fresh 90 days. However, if stamped entering or departing a non-Schengen country during that time, each side-trip conserved the same amount of Schengen days. I would quiz her on which countries are Schengen—because without some basic research, most people don’t know.

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After posting the above, I’ve actually looked into opening pages of DF” class=“bb-url”>The Acquis and it indeed says roughly that a person who spent 3 month in any status is no longer eligible for a Schengen visa travel (or visa-free travel).

Well, sorry to say that, but it looks Lan is SOL on the issue.

Don
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Thanks for your Divination of The Acquis (ooh, sounds all spooky an mysterious, don’t it?). I guess Lan is stuck with travels 90 days before beginning study and during his (her?) 4 month study visa term, and maybe saving non-Schengen border countries for after studies.

augustin25
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: Don
 Divination of The Acquis


Wasn’t that a Harry Potter book?


Lan24
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Hey guys,
 
Just thought i’d let you know my latest update for your information.
 
I actually went into the consulate today in Sydney and spoke to a guy who said…….. Do my studies (for however long 4-5 months) Afterwards just leave the area for atleast one day (ie go to UK for any period of time longer than a day) Then just re-enter any country and get stamped as a tourist.
 
Woohoo thats the news i wanted to hear! I still don’t understand why other people have told me otherwise but i guess he knew what he was talking about.
 
So there you go – thought i’d let you know.
 
Thanks again for all you help – Alana

Don
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Thanks for the update. Good to hear it sounds like you’ve got it all sorted.

Quote:
Don: Since you will enter Spain on a student visa, you will need to get stamped when you enter another country before your student visa days are finished.
So I guess I wasn’t too far off on that one! Glad it was clarified as required stamp outside of Schengen in order to return with a fresh, clean 90 day Schengen tourist visa stamp.

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Alana,

Is there any chance to have that guy in the consulate confirm what he have told you in writing?

Don’t want to crash your party, but I’m afraid neither the people in the consulates nor we here actually know what we are all talking about. The law is probably hundreds or thousands pages long. Even if one person in one consulate (based on his understanding of his instructions) thinks it’s OK, another person who’d have to stamp your passport may think (based on his instructions) differently.

IMHO it’s too risky to rely on one person’s verbal statement (even if he works at the consulate) and chance being refused entry back into Schengen.

It would be different if you had a long-term or permanent visa (like Don has). Technically it would only allow you to transit from the entry point to the country that issued the visa. But passport control officers can’t care less about people who already live in Schengen .

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I’m with Seva on this one; get that verified before making plans for after your student visa expires.

Don
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Yep, throwing in my support for this too. Best if you can get it in writing, on letterhead, with person’s name, title, signature, direct phone number.

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You are in going to be in Spain, a Schengen country, when your student visa is ready to expire.  As long as you remain inside the Schengen region after it expires, the opportunity to be caught is small.  BUT, don’t leave the Schengen region and expect to get back in with an expired student visa. All in all, if you stay inside the Schengen zone, the chances are very good that the next and last&nbsperson to look at your visa inside the Schengen region will be an airline employee, not a policeman (ie immigration/customs).
 
This is not the law.
 
 
 

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Hi all,

I find myself in a similar position as the initial poster of this topic.

I was wondering if anyone has confirmed the rules in this situation since this discussion?

I’m an Australian citizen. I hope to study for one semester in france (which will take just over 3 months I think) on a student visa and I would then like to travel about for a month or two in Europe.

I also wonder how they decide on the dates of the student visa. I must give them proof of enrolment (which I doubt will specify more than the semester during which I’ll be studying), as well as a travel itinerary. Surely they can’t set the commencement date for the day before classes begin! And I wonder what they will say if I book a rount trip flight that is a month or two longer than the actual course.

Has anyone tried enrolling for a longer period than they plan to study in order to obtain a longer visa?

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I hold Israeli passport .. with which I am allowed to travel to the Schengen zone for 90 days with visa C and I am allowed to travel one time in the zone to different country
I am in Greece now for 90 days … can I travel to Italy for another 90 days ?

from Israel I can travel to Greece 90 days .. and I can travel to Italy 90 days and I am allowed to travel one time in the zone .. so Iam wondering if that would be possible to travel from Greece to Italy and to each one 90 days ?
will be great help to have an answer

thank you

juma

Don
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@firjana, what you describe makes me think “no” — you can’t — because both Greece and Italy are Schengen border countries. I think it depends what exactly your visa says, however. I am not from Israel and do not have a Schengen C visa, so I can not advise you beyond the general rules and enforcements which I have myself faced entering, working, re-entering Schengen countries over the past 8 years.