I'm an American citizen who has been living in Spain since last September on a type D student visa. My visa expires this Thursday, September 12. As I understand it, I have an additional 90 days in the Schengen zone. I plan on moving back to the US after these 90 days are done.

What I'm wondering is if I can make a short trip to the UK during these 90 days, and then re-enter into Spain? I know UK is not Schengen. I've read that as an American passport holder, you are allowed 90 days within a 180 day period. But does this 180 period exclude the whole year I've been living in Spain on the student visa? I don't think I will have a problem entering the UK, but I'm scared about not being allowed back into Spain.

Thanks for any insight.


Yes you may stay within the Schengen area after your visa D expires. And on paper you certainly can travel in and out of the zone as long as you don't violate the 90/180 rule.

That brings me to my next point. Which is that according to Article 6 Section 2 of the Schengen Border Code (emphasis added):

  1. For the purposes of implementing paragraph 1, the date of entry shall be considered as the first day of stay on the territory of the Member States and the date of exit shall be considered as the last day of stay on the territory of the Member States. Periods of stay authorised under a residence permit or a long-stay visa shall not be taken into account in the calculation of the duration of stay on the territory of the Member States.

So your stay with the long-stay visa is not counted toward your 90 day limit, but it is used to determine the 180 day period. (Can be confusing so hope that is clear).

In short:

-You have 90 days

-You can enter and exit at your discretion as long as you're within 90 days

-A border guard still has final say on your entry into the Schengen area.

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