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I intend to fly to Spain for a conference before heading home to renew my F-1 Visa.

I have a valid I-20 and entered with a valid F-1 visa for the duration of stay.

My question is: if the Spanish Embassy in NYC mentions that they require a valid US visa, (to apply for a short-term schenghen) does that mean that it requires the stamp and everything or just a proof of legal residence?

Additionally, I will be going home after Spain and thus they have no need to check if I can re-enter the US after leaving Spain.

Thanks,

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Given that the US is rather particular in that an expired visa does not equal expired legal Status in the country, the Spaniards are not necessarily going to be aware of it.

The Website of the consulate does say that a valid visa is required, meaning they may not be aware of the rules.

In my opinion, before applying you should get an explanation letter from your DSO (designated school official) stating that you are in F-1 status (emphasising that an expired visa is not equal to expired status) and will obtain a new F-1 visa in your home country after Spain in order to re-enter the US.

In fact, you are required to present a letter from the school regardless, so there's no reason for them not to include this information.

When applying for the Schengen visa, present the expired visa, valid I-20 and letter from your DSO.

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