I’m attending a master program at school in Barcelona and from Vietnam. I have the visa but due to Covid I haven’t been to Spain yet. I’m planning to fly over either at the end of February or the first week of March(around March 3). But my visa is expiring on March 9. Also there’s a line on the visa called Duration of stay that says 90 days. Can I still enter Spain if I fly on intended date?

I used to study in the US and I can stay after visa expires as long as I don’t leave the country. Is this the case for Spain? Can I stay there after my visa expiration date or do I need to renew my visa before coming to Spain? And what does the duration of stay mean? Thank you

  • 1
    What kind of visa do you have? i.e., Is it a Spanish student visa or a short-term Schengen visit visa?
    – mlc
    Commented Feb 17, 2021 at 18:27

1 Answer 1


Your visa is still valid for entry until the date of expiry.

If your visa is a short-term one for studies under 90 days for example, then it would be hard to justify your entry since you will have to leave Spain before the visa expires.

Assuming your intended stay (i.e. time of studies left) is over 6 months though, you would have obtained a category D visa (see the letter on your visa) and you will need to apply for a residence permit at the local Comisaría. You should do this as soon as possible before your visa actually expires.

From what I heard, the appointment slots are scarce due to Covid, but you can make an appointment online beforehand if you know your arrival date and has a place to live ready.


The residence permit will be your status document in Spain (and for entering/exiting the Schengen area).

Note that without a valid visa or residence permit you will not be allowed to exit Spanish territories to e.g. visit other Schengen countries, even if your presence in Spain is tolerated when your application is under processing.

  • I didn’t think there were checks between Spain and other Shenghen countries? In either case, I flew from Spain to Portugal, and I was allowed into Portugal with no checks.
    – Alex
    Commented Feb 19, 2021 at 16:19
  • 1
    @Alex There are no regular checks. Some airlines also insist on checking proper documentation for third-country citizens. Customs and border checks also happen frequently on certain routes (e.g. IT/CH). Additionally you may be subject to ID check for whatever reason while you are in a country. If you cannot produce a valid visa or residence permit, you are in the country illegally and can be subject to detention, deportation (usually to your Schengen residence country) and/or fines. Spain is relatively notorious for doing this to other Schengen residents without proper documents.
    – xngtng
    Commented Feb 20, 2021 at 12:08

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