We are US nationals living in Spain on temporary residence permits (renewed every year for the past 4 years now). We have a new baby who has a Spanish birth certificate and a US passport but no official Spanish ID yet. Can we travel with her inside Schengen zone with just the two pieces of documentation we have already? We are thinking of visiting Switzerland.

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    Babies who are born in the zone but have different nationalities have a special immigration status called "tolerated". It lasts until the child exits the zone (or qualifies for citizenship) and they need documentation to get back in. So that means Switzerland is a gray area, very borderline, possibly untested. The canonical advice for this is to get the baby properly documented before leaving the zone.
    – Gayot Fow
    Jul 25, 2016 at 11:00
  • @GayotFow but going to Switzerland isn't leaving the zone, is it?
    – phoog
    Jul 25, 2016 at 11:02
  • It's in the zone but not the EU, hence a gray area (at least for me) because I'm unsure of where Schengen regulations stop and EU regulations kick in. It could be a technicality that makes the child's residence in Spain an inadvertent overstayer. Or it could be just trivial detail nobody wants to make a fuss about. The answers seem focused on having a US passport, but read @phoog's comment below
    – Gayot Fow
    Jul 25, 2016 at 11:10
  • From my (limited) experience, I did not face any border controls during my travels through Switzerland. Jul 25, 2016 at 11:11
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    @MattD. yes, she needs the dependent form of whatever you have (assuming you are the primary).
    – Gayot Fow
    Jul 25, 2016 at 13:45

1 Answer 1


Considering that your kid has a valid US passport he is entitled to the Schengen entry as well. Since you are the parents you may need your marriage certificate and the baby's birth certificate; only for them to verify that she is your kid (they want to be sure you are the legal parents/guardians).

As long as she is a US passport holder (passport valid for 6 months) she won't be denied entry.

As a reference you can read this:



But if she has been in Spain for more than 90 days and doesn't have any Spain resident documentation i.e. on the passport, a resident card etc then you should wait for it. The reason is she may asked to leave the Schengen area and enter it again which may pose a problem for you.

If she isn't 90 days old yet then there would be no issue.

I was a in the Schengen area as a tourist and was offered employment in the Netherlands within my 6-month stay. So during my work stay I wanted to go for a weeks vacation (while my employer applied for a visa conversion). I was told at the Netherlands exit immigration that I wont be allowed to travel within the Schengen area after 1 week (because the 6 months were coming to an end) and I would need to exit unless I have a resident visa of any Schengen country.

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    The baby is not entering the Schengen area because she is already inside it. The potential problem here is that the baby has no documentation to exempt her from the 90/180 rule.
    – phoog
    Jul 25, 2016 at 11:09
  • She doesn't have the Spain resident permit/status on her passport? If no, i would suggest to wait for it provided she is 90 days old. if she isnt 90 days old you wont have any issue
    – Newton
    Jul 25, 2016 at 11:15
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    No she doesn't, as noted in the question: "but no official Spanish ID yet".
    – phoog
    Jul 25, 2016 at 11:16
  • by ID i thought it meant a resident card. the kind of card which you get apart from the visa stamp. my bad. Then if she is 90 days old then definitely wait for it. I had a very similar issue when I was offered employment in the Netherlands.
    – Newton
    Jul 25, 2016 at 11:20
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    She couldn't have a visa if she's never been outside Spain. You can only get a visa if you're outside the country issuing the visa, with a few rare exceptions. So all she could hope to have at this point would be a residence permit, which replaces the visa anyway. You might outline your similar issue in your answer if it sheds light on the current question.
    – phoog
    Jul 25, 2016 at 11:23

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