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Hope this is the right place to ask this. My partner and I have a situation and we don't know what to do.

We live in Spain and soon we will move to the US. She is American and I'm Spaniard. She is here with a student visa, which granted her the ability to move in the Schengen zone. Her student visa is expiring on May 31st and will go back to the US by mid-July as we are selling everything we have, sending stuff home, and the likes.

Now, for personal reasons, we planned a trip to Greece and Italy in June, just a few days after her student visa expires. That's the first problem. But I was researching and it seems that with her American passport, she can legally enter Spain, Greece, and Italy on tourist terms, which seems perfect. Is this correct?

Then, researching and thinking a lot about this, my partner recalled that Europe banned US travelers because of COVID-19. So, if instead of having a valid student visa, she is planning to use her American passport instead, the ban would apply to her? I mean, she is already in the EU. Does the ban apply to her case?

After leaving Spain to live in the States, coming back to do this long-awaited trip would be very difficult. So, do you think is doable?

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    Visiting Greece and Italy after relocating to the US may well be more expensive and involve more travel time. But doing it now isn't exactly ideal. In some parts of Italy it's currently forbidden to leave the house except to work, buy groceries, or for health reasons. Similar extremely strict rules apply in Greece. You mentioned personal reasons - it may be that they are compelling enough to override other concerns. But assuming the trip is possible, do also consider whether it's sensible. – Chris H Mar 24 at 15:23
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    @ChrisH That's certainly true but I understand that the OP is planning a trip in June. Unlikely to be ideal conditions but hopefully a bit better. I don't know that I personally would feel good about doing but for better or for worse, Greece certainly seems intent on welcoming international tourism by then. – Relaxed Mar 24 at 15:44
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Now, for personal reasons, we planned a trip to Greece and Italy in June, just a few days after her student visa expires. That's the first problem. But I was researching and it seems that with her American passport, she can legally enter Spain, Greece, and Italy on tourist terms, which seems perfect. Is this correct?

Yes, see How to switch from Resident visa to Tourist visa status in the Schengen area? and related questions.

Then, researching and thinking a lot about this, my partner recalled that Europe banned US travelers because of COVID-19. So, if instead of having a valid student visa, she is planning to use her American passport instead, the ban would apply to her? I mean, she is already in the EU. Does the ban apply to her case?

One thing that hasn't changed since last Spring is that US citizens residing in the US are not allowed to come to Europe for tourism. That rule doesn't prevent a US citizen residing in Europe from coming back from outside Europe nor does it apply to US citizens already in Europe.

Many countries have, at one time or another, imposed additional restrictions, including on EU citizens. This could prevent travel between countries, even for you as a Spaniard or for US citizens with a valid residence permit. In my (limited) experience, enforcement focuses on travel purpose and other restrictions (PCR test), the expired residence permit wouldn't make a big difference.

May is still some time away by current standards so it remains to be seen what the exact restrictions are going to be.

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  • Does this mean that an American (my partner) is allowed to have a tourist visa and move in the Schengen zone right now because she is already here? – Miguel Alejandro Morales Mar 24 at 16:49
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    @MiguelAlejandroMorales An American citizen cannot get a short-stay visa, they don't need one (Covid or not). An American citizen residing in one of the few safe countries left (Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore…) is currently allowed to enter the EU visa-free. Your partner is in a completely different situation anyway as she holds a residence permit from a Schengen country. As explained, EU-wide rules are strictly about entry. – Relaxed Mar 24 at 17:03
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    Whether she may or may not move within the area depend on other things and not primarily on her citizenship. I don't mean to suggest she may go anywhere (that's not the case), it's just that there is no EU-wide rule against it. – Relaxed Mar 24 at 17:04
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    The advice here (Q16) exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/LOSANGELES/en/… states “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”. Your partner’s university/place of study should be able to confirm. – Traveller Mar 24 at 17:28
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    @MiguelAlejandroMorales You can follow the link I provided and check the other related question. From an immigration angle, there is absolutely no doubt that your partner is allowed to be in Europe. Which doesn't mean that each and every country will welcome tourists in May. – Relaxed Mar 24 at 18:41

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