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Student Visa, Entering from within Schengen Area

Hi, RS Forum folks. My daughter will be studying abroad in Granada in the fall of 2022, and we are running into a logistical challenge. She will be starting her trip from the US with a few days visiting family in Milan, then flying into Malaga from there. Since she will be arriving into Spain from within the Schengen area, it is our understanding that she will not be going through passport control/immigration at Malaga. Does anyone know if there is an immigration office at the Malaga airport where she could get her student visa stamped? Any other suggestions about how do handle this?

Thanks so much for your input!

  • Jeff
Posted by
1126 posts

I’d start with your daughters’s study abroad program, either her home university or, preferably, the office or university connection in Spain. No doubt they’ve dealt with this question before and have an easy answer.

Posted by
339 posts

As a former director of an international office, I second the previous poster's advice. The study abroad office at your daughter's institution and/or the program in Spain are the most reliable sources for this advice.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks, jmauldinuu & jeff. The home university was no help, but we'll try the program in Granada!

Posted by
9309 posts

Am I correct to conclude that you had to deal with the Spanish Embassy/Consulate to get the student visa?

If so, I would follow up with them on what needs to be done and how to do it.

Posted by
1334 posts

I can't speak directly to the student visas, but I've been doing research/future planning around gaining Spanish residency. The passport stamp for entry is something of an antiquated formality that is being phased out across Europe in the coming couple of years. Setting stamped in at Milan shouldn't present any issues. If she's just there for one term she won't even be getting a residency card (which would take most/all of the term to process anyway.) The date of entry into, and exact number of days in, Spain becomes an issue at times of renewing longer-term residency and when calculating tax residency. Even for that, the stamp is not the sole means of proof, and people entering via other countries are counseled to save boarding passes as records of their travel.

Posted by
1334 posts

TomMN- The TIE is only issued for student visas with stay over... it's either 6 or 9 months. One fall semester will mean no TIE.

Posted by
6380 posts

I agree with the others, you think someone associated with the program would have a clue as to what is required to validate the start of the student visa.

She would have the same issue as any student not having a direct flight to Malaga, or at least Spain. Her passport will be stamped/scanned at the first stop in the schengen area, in her case, sounds like Milan, so very possible that any entry to the Schengen area is acceptable for the student visa. For regular visas, and for those countries requiring a visa just to visit, entering through another Schengen country is not an issue. I have heard it be an issue in the UK, if someone enters Ireland, then has no immigration going into the UK due to the Common Travel Area, but not the issue here. An Edit: To be a bit more clear, if Milan is her first stop in the Schengen zone, then when she goes through Immigration, the question naturally is "how long are you here for?" that may be when she pulls out the Student Visa and they validate it. That may be fine as long as she does not go over some predetermined number of days that the visa allows.

You are correct, flying Milan to Malaga there will be no immigration for her. There is passport control activity at Malaga, since they get quite a few flights from the UK and Ireland, so an office someplace.

Like you said, I would contact the office at the university in Granada, they must get this question often due to the lack of direct flights.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks to you all for your thoughtful and insightful replies. The home university has been decidedly unhelpful, and we are having difficulty contacting the destination school. Meanwhile, we got some helpful info from the Policia Nacional, explaining that, as expected, she won't be able to get stamped by passport control on entry, but if she presents her documents within 3 days of arrival at any police or foreign office, they'll stamp her docs, and all will be good. There appears to be a National Police station in the terminal at Barcelona, so she'll probably be able to pop in there during her layover.