Visa or residence permit: How long can I be in Spain?

Visa or residence permit: How long can I be in Spain?

In Spain there is the difference between visa and authorization lo live, to work or to study.

Some visas have attached and authorization for live or to work. However, you should apply at the Police Station, once you are in Spain, for the ID card that states that information. That ID card will states how long you are allow to be Spain. With the only exception of the VISAS for investors and entrepreneurs.

In the cases that the visa has not attached one of those authorizations, you may wonder: My visa says I can be in Europe until next month, is this correct? This is a common question, in order to answer it we have to learn how to read the visa according to Schengen code.

How long can I be in Spain?

In order to do this, there are two important data you must know: Duration of Stay stated on the visa and the stamps on your passport.

how long can I be in Spain?

DURATION OF STAY………DAYS: indicates the number of days you may stay in the Schengen area. The days should be counted from the date you enter the Schengen area (the entry stamp) to the date you exit the Schengen area (the exit stamp), i.e. both days included.

Also, these days can only be spent in a determined period (“FROM….. UNTIL”) No matter how many days you have stayed in the Schengen area, you must leave no later than the date printed in the “UNTIL” field.”

For this reason, the period of time between “FROM …UNTIL” is usually longer than the number of days printed in the “DURATION OF STAY” field.

The difference in period is meant to give you flexibility to plan your entry into and exit from the Schengen area, but your stay in the Schengen area must never exceed the exact number of days in the “DURATION OF STAY …DAYS” field.

The visa, in most of the cases, only allow your entrance to Schengen area (notice that some visas allow several entries other just one). In case of multiple entry visa, each new entry takes into account the previous days you were in Schengen area.

Therefore if you have a one-year multiple entry visa of 90 days, you are only allow to be 90 days in a whole year (in the dates stated on the visa) divided as you need or wish.

The stamps will let you know how many days you already were in the Schengen area.

Finally, if you have a residence card you have to show it to the authorities at the border, you won’t be a tourist and consequently you time to be in the Schengen Area will depend on your residence status.


If are in this situation already or you are about to start the procedure and want to prepare your application properly, you can contact us and in the consultation we can study your case.

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