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Travel to Italy prior to study abroad in Spain, Study Visa

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May 2nd, 2013, 02:28 PM
  #1
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Travel to Italy prior to study abroad in Spain, Study Visa

Hello,
I was wondering if anyone can confidently inform me about the rules regarding traveling around Europe before beginning a study abroad program with a study visa.

I will be doing an exchange through my master's program in Spain, and am in the nightmare process of attaining a Spanish study visa from the consulate in Miami.

My partner is Italian, and I will be staying in Italy with him for the next 7 weeks as a tourist. Then I will return home for a couple weeks (hopefully to pick up my visa), and will re-enter Europe.

I was planning to fly into Italy in early August and stay with him for another month before starting my program in Barcelona. However, I understand this means that I will be stamped as a tourist, and will not have another opportunity to have my Spanish visa stamped since there are no immigration procedures when traveling between Italy and Spain.

So, do I need to leave the Schengen zone between going from Italy to Spain in order to get the study visa stamped by arriving on an international flight into Spain? To avoid the cost of this, has anyone simply gone to an immigration office purposely when arriving the country of study, to be officially stamped in?

Would it be more advisable to first fly into Spain when I return in early August, get the student visa stamped, spend a few days to get my residency or to establish myself there, and then fly back to Italy to spend the month with him, as part of travel days allotted under my student visa?

I also read something somewhere about only 5 travel days in other Schengen countries being allowed for study visas - I assume this means prior to getting stamped and landing in your study country, and not throughout the entire period of study, because that would be pretty stingy!
If anyone has done anything similar and can inform me, I'd greatly appreciate it!

Thanks,
Megan
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May 2nd, 2013, 02:42 PM
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Can't answer about all the laws relating to the visa, but for all your other travel, don't you have a regular tourist passport? That is what I think you will need for all the travel to/from Italy.

Just guessing here, but if only five days of travel are allowed using the student visa, then you couldn't go for a month to Italy, could you, without a valid passport? The visa is only good in the country giving it, not for use in all the others.
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May 2nd, 2013, 03:02 PM
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Thanks for your reply! I'm not sure about the 5 days, so I'm hoping someone on here might know - I only saw it mentioned, and like I said there is conflicting information on the consulate website, other forums, and in repeated emails and phone calls with consulate employees who keep saying different things (because they may not necessarily know about the extra travel rules).

I am hoping that 5 days means you can be in Europe for 5 days before arriving in Spain and getting stamped there, making your study visa active. After that, you can be in other Schengen countries for 90 days or less, which is the allowance for tourists. That's what I'm hoping. But I'm not sure, and I'm still also wondering about the procedures for getting stamped if I choose to arrive somewhere else in Europe first, where they'll stamp me as a tourist and not on my Spanish study visa.
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May 3rd, 2013, 06:18 AM
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A study visa should be for 6 months or so. How long are you intending to stay?
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May 3rd, 2013, 08:44 AM
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They will release the study visa with specific dates on it, based on the dates that my university tells them (which should be September 1-December 15, around then). If I apply for an amount of time that is 6 months or more, I have to provide additional documents for the application, so I am keeping it under 6 months.
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May 3rd, 2013, 09:13 AM
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What is your nationality?
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May 3rd, 2013, 09:31 AM
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Read this thread.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...sitor-visa.cfm

And this one from Lonely Planet.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntre...readID=1930743

When DD got her study visa for Spain, she requested a specific time and didn't have a problem staying afterwards, but I think she included the time in the original application. She attended two universities at the same time in Madrid. Classes ended a month or so before finals and she did some traveling after finals.
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May 19th, 2013, 05:26 PM
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Hi @megglea,

I'm running into the same issue as my boyfriend lives in Germany and I live in the US going to Spain on a student visa. Did you ever find a solution? I need to fly into Germany before I go to Spain. Is this possible? I've read a lot of stuff and still haven't seen a solution.

Thanks!
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Jun 20th, 2013, 07:23 AM
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Hi Amanda,
It seems that when you get the visa, you have 5 days after the starting date of the visa to enter the country it is issued for.

For example, if they give you a visa to enter Spain on September 1st, you can fly to Germany first but you have to enter Spain and make yourself known (to the local police or something) by September 6th.

Otherwise, you can go to Germany first as a tourist for up to 3 months, then leave the EU (Turkey, Morocco, UK, Albania, etc) and enter Spain via an international flight and get stamped in on the student visa instead of as a tourist.

This is my general understanding from asking the Spanish consulate girls, although I guess we can never be sure what the border guards will say. I recently entered Italy for the first leg of my trip as a tourist, and I flew in through Germany, and the border guard barely glanced at my American passport. It seems the visa is something that you should announce by saying you are coming as a student - if you want to come in as a tourist you can ask them to ignore the study visa until later, when you want to officially enter with that?
Hope it helps...
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Jun 15th, 2017, 05:59 AM
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HI Megan and Amanda,

I am in a very similar situation and could really use some advice.

My student visa for Barcelona is valid starting September 22. I have plans to visit my boyfriend in Rome starting August 7th and then go to Spain to start my program. My visa appointment in Chicago is next month and I am worried I need some sort of document(s) making it okay for me to in Italy as tourist before my program begins in Spain. Currently I have print outs of my flights. Do you know if I need anything else?

Can I enter Spain from Italy without compromising my visa?

Thank you for your time

SIena
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Jun 15th, 2017, 08:22 AM
  #11
 
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Definitive answer -call the appropriate Consulates in the U.S.
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Jul 8th, 2017, 05:31 AM
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Of course I called the Chicago Consulate many times. It is not a working number, it just rings and rings. However, they do respond to emails within a couple hours during business hours. Make sure your emails are clear, to the point, and specific. Otherwise they will just say all the answers are on the requirements document.

So....I was approved for my visa!!!! Hooray hozaah!

Update- I did not need to present any documents in order to travel to Italy as a tourist before my VIsa begins. I can enter Spain as a tourist before my visa begins because I am still in the Schengen zone and they won't even look at me visa. Turns out I do not need to leave the Schengen zone to activate my visa. I can simply go to the local police station and say I want to begin on my visa and they will stamp it and thats it. This is what I was told at the consulate when I had my student visa interview
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Jul 9th, 2017, 01:51 PM
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Ahhhh! Great!
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