Important Update Regarding Changes to Visa Regulations in Spain

May 20, 2024
spain visa regulations

At API, we are committed to keeping our students informed about any changes that may affect their study abroad experience. Recently, we received an announcement regarding some changes implemented by Spain. It concerns the end date of the National Study Visa and exiting Spain and the Schengen area. 

Plans to go to Spain before your program starts? Or stay after it ends? This update is for you.

For those who may have plans to stay in Spain or another Schengen country after the last date of your program, it’s important to be aware of these new rules, as they may affect your plans. 

What are the Schengen Countries?

The Schengen countries include Germany, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Based on the guidance received this week from NAFSA: Association of International Educators, Spain is now enforcing new regulations related to visa validity and exit dates.

Here’s What You Need to Know

Early Arrival

If you carry a U.S. passport, you may arrive in Spain within 90 days of your program’s start date. You do not need to exit and re-enter to activate your national study visa. 

Travel Outside of Spain or Stay Past Your Program End Date

If you plan to travel outside of Spain to other countries in the Schengen area after your program ends, you must first check the end date on your visa. If your travels begin before the end date of your visa and extend beyond, you must leave the Schengen area and then re-enter again to continue your travels on a tourist visa (if you are a citizen of the U.S. or another country that permits you to visit as a tourist without a visa). 

Please note that the UK is not a part of the Schengen area, so a trip to England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland would reset your status when you re-enter Spain.

Staying in Spain After Program End Date

If you plan to stay in Spain after your program’s end date and not travel outside of Spain, you have 15 days past your visa expiration date before you could face fines for overstaying your visa. 

We want to ensure that you have a smooth and enjoyable experience during your time abroad. If you have any questions or concerns about these changes, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Safe travels in the coming days and weeks, and we look forward to hearing about your experience.


You May Also Like…