I'm an Indian student studying in the south of France and I plan to visit Barcelona for a day. Is it necessary to take my passport with me? Is it accurante that there is no border control between Schengen states? Can I just take a copy of my student visa?

Also my tiny, private summer school doesn't issue student cards but, rather, gives a lettre d'inscription, an enrollment statement written both in French and in English. Can I show that to the Spanish border guards when I enter Spain?

  • Is there a reason you can't take your passport and visa? Jul 17, 2017 at 21:05
  • Free movement of persons only applies for EEA nationals. All other nationals require their passport when crossing the internal borders of the Schengen Area, even though there might not be passport checks. Jul 17, 2017 at 21:43
  • I should have said appropriate travel document. Jul 17, 2017 at 21:57
  • 1
    If you want to be prepared for the (probably very unlikely) possibility of a thorough investigation of your status, bring a copy of your lettre d'inscription. After seeing your student visa, they might want corroborating evidence that it is not a forgery (that is, that you are actually a student). More likely, if you encounter a checkpoint, they'll just glance at the ID page of the passport and possibly the visa and then send you on your way.
    – phoog
    Jul 17, 2017 at 23:30
  • no, there's only a luggage and ticket control on the high speed train network, but you need to be identified all the time so better take your passport with you.
    – CptEric
    Aug 3, 2017 at 11:06

2 Answers 2


There is a control at the main station but you may not be stopped.

With that said, you HAVE TO have an official document with you and that's only your passport. With every other document you will have problems, since you are "illegally" visiting the country and you're undocumented. (The situation in Europe is hot because of terrorism, so it's not the best time to play with your documentation.)

Now, in Spain (I am from Spain), you need your passport. Without a passport, if you do have to go through a control point, it will be really difficult for you to enter the country. If you are not stopped at your arrival point, but maybe are later, you could be punished, since you are undocumented.

Summarizing, you can try without your passport, but there is a high risk and, of course, your student ID is not valid as official document in Spain, although it may be an official document in your country, so you can use to get some discounts maybe but it is not valid as identification document.

So my tip, travel always with your passport or don't travel.

  • Thanks for your reply. I didn't knew much about the issues here so maybe I was not informed. I'd certainly take my passport now with me. Also, if they ask for my student card and I can give them a letter from my school, would that be enough? It's not like I'm going to live in Spain, I'm just going there for a day to explore.
    – Hawk
    Jul 17, 2017 at 22:26
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    Where do you want to use your student card? I don´t understand it very good... or for some possible discounts? I mean, you will not be asked for your student card, as long as you dont wanna get some student discounts or sth like that.
    – R. Gomez
    Jul 17, 2017 at 23:06

Spanish law requires that you carry identification with you. While you won't face a formal border control, there can be random checks, and you may need to show ID if you are stopped by the authorities for any reason.

As a non-EU citizen (particularly a short-term visitor without a national identity card), valid identification usually means a passport (or passport-equivalent document, such as a refugee travel document, for which you may be subject to additional requirements depending on who issued it and other details). You should carry your passport, which is international proof of your identity and your documentation of your legal status in the Schengen area.

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