My fiancée has a student residence card for Spain that expires on December 15. We are leaving Spain on December 16 to go to the US, and coming back on Jan 1.

The Spanish consulate site says: ( http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/LOSANGELES/en/InformacionParaExtranjeros/Pages/FAQ-Study-Visa.aspx )

“16. I am an American citizen; can I stay in Spain or other Schengen countries as a tourist after finishing my classes? You can stay in the Schengen area for 90 days in a period of 180 days before your Student Visa begins or after it ends. Make sure that you contact the police in immigration to have your Visa stamped when entering or leaving Spain, so that you start or end your stay with your Student Visa.”

This is a bit unclear to me. Is the idea that she has entered with a student visa and if she doesn’t get it stamped but continues to stay she will be overstaying her visa, even though she is allowed for 90 days in 180 days?

Will it be fine if we just don’t get any stamps but we leave on December 16th? It is only one day after her residence card expires.

2 Answers 2


With the residence card that is valid until the 15th of December, the 90/180 days rule starts on the 16th of December.

Togeather with the card, that is proof enough.

If you also have a visa, on which the residence card is based on, in the passport and that has a enter stamp is also proof.

  • it is not clear from you question if this is the case

When reentering (on 1st of January), bring the expired residence card with you just in case. The 16th of December will count in the 90 day period (i. e. 1st of January will be day 2 of 90, assuming the student visa had at least a 3 months duration).

  • Some countries have taken the position that it is indeed necessary to leave after the expiration of a long-stay visa or residence permit, even though there is nothing to that effect in the Schengen codes. But long-stay visas and residence permits are controlled by national law. For example, the Netherlands has a law requiring one to depart at some point in connection with the expiration, regardless of the 90/180 rule. I think in practice one is unlikely to have trouble on this, and I don't know Spain's law or policy, but one ought to be aware nonetheless.
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 19, 2019 at 18:17
  • @phoog the quoted Spanish Foreign Office statement seems to imply this for otherwise visa free citizens. Commented Oct 19, 2019 at 18:25
  • Indeed, it does to seem to imply that, but I agree with Claudiu that it is confusing.
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 19, 2019 at 18:27

There was no need to exit and re-enter and no stamp was required.

To complicate matters the residence card itself was lost right before we left. We got a police report stating it was lost and there was no issue leaving the country.

My fiancée was able to re-enter with a full 90 days on a tourist visa.

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