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Ways to get a long-stay visa

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Past OR future Camino
2015 & 2016 (partial)
Maybe someone knows something about this or how to find a lawyer who does. I would like to spend longer than the ninety no-visa-required days offered to Americans. I have all the requirements for a jubilado visa except for "contract for lease or purchase of a place to live." I can get an apartment easily, but I don't want to—I want to spend a lot of time on the Camino, and some of the time volunteering in different places, not all of them on the Camino.

Another option I am aware of requires an invitation from Spanish non-profit for me to work with them as a volunteer and their promise to "be responsible" for me. I do have such invitations from places I would help, but since I won't be with them the entire time, I can't expect them to make that sponsorship promise.

Can someone point me to a lawyer or other expert or an on-line source that can explain to me a way to get a visa for such a nomadic approach? The income requirements, insurance requirements, police report, medical certification, etc. are no problem.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I have heard that if you enroll in a language school you can sometimes get a longer term visa.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
Try this out first. Come to Spain, do your Nomad thing, go back home after the visa days are up, and see if wandering around is something you really want to do full-time. I spent a summer doing that, looking for a place to settle in. It got really old after about two months.
Don't make any big plans until you've tried out that lifestyle full-time for at least three months. Spain and France are gorgeous and sweet, but wow can they push back sometimes!!
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
>
I can get an apartment easily, but I don't want to
If that's the only obstacle, just rent the cheapest cupboard of an apartment in the cheapest town you can find. Use it as a storage locker. Be seen coming and going sometimes by the neighbours.
 
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Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
If you want to stay longer somewhere in the EU but not necessarily in Spain I think it is easier to get a long term visa in France. Also Denmark and Poland will allow you as an American to stay in their countries past the Schengen 90 day limit. If you reconsider the language school option remember that Spain has other languages to learn other than Spanish/Espanol/Castellano.
 

Jersey

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
July 2017
I am also American and plan on staying in Spain 6-12 months a couple years down the line. ( with a fixed address )
I have casually looked into what I need to do.
First you have to prove means of self support and second you need to show proof of healthcare insurance. I will be in Spain next month staying with a friend of mine who is a lawyer in Spain. I'm going to have him look into the qualifications a little closer as to exactly what I need to do.
But the two above requirements I mentioned above I believe are set in stone. Except for an exchange student or such.
Or I would guess being employed in Spain.
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Past OR future Camino
2015 & 2016 (partial)
Try this out first. Come to Spain, do your Nomad thing, go back home after the visa days are up, and see if wandering around is something you really want to do full-time.
Actually, since my 2014 retirement, I have lived five months in an albergue in Navarra, two in Burgos, two in a shantytown in Perú, and fifteen weeks in seven other countries; and biked or walked probably a thousand kilometers. So I have done the test!
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Past OR future Camino
2015 & 2016 (partial)
First you have to prove means of self support and second you need to show proof of healthcare insurance.
The pertinent websites explicitly quote an income level lower than what I have, but considerably higher than what has allowed me to spend three years on the road. One of them hinted that officials may have discretion to vary it a little. Criminal records check is also required, and a certificate from a doctor that you aren't contagious. Then the health insurance. Officially, full coverage with zero deductible or co-pay. This is galling, because it requires me to pay for coverage I won't use in Spain, because anything beyond routine care, my traveler's insurance gets me back to USA where the government takes care of it (they also cover emergencies outside of USA).

I (and maybe others) would be interested in what your lawyer friend has to say.
 
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WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Past OR future Camino
2015 & 2016 (partial)
If you want to stay longer somewhere in the EU but not necessarily in Spain I think it is easier to get a long term visa in France. Also Denmark and Poland will allow you as an American to stay in their countries past the Schengen 90 day limit. If you reconsider the language school option remember that Spain has other languages to learn other than Spanish/Espanol/Castellano.
True, Basque and Polish are on my wish list, but I think I need to first get better at the languages I've already started on. A long-stay visa has to be received from the country you are actually going to stay in and it does not change the ninety-day rule for the rest of Schengen. Allowing longer than ninety without a long-stay visa is a violation of the Schengen Agreement—are you sure they do that?
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Past OR future Camino
2015 & 2016 (partial)
If that's the only obstacle, just rent the cheapest cupboard of an apartment in the cheapest town you can find. Use it as a storage locker. Be seen coming and going sometimes by the neighbours.
That's what I'll end up doing if I can't persuade the government that Spain does have hotels and hostels. :)
 
Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
A long-stay visa has to be received from the country you are actually going to stay in and it does not change the ninety-day rule for the rest of Schengen.
That is my understanding.
Allowing longer than ninety without a long-stay visa is a violation of the Schengen Agreement—are you sure they do that?
I'm not going to provide any legal advice here but I will pass on information and links that provide you with something useful to discuss with lawyers.

For information on staying in Poland see this post on this forum:

For Danish visas see the following:


This site is geared for Australians wanting to stay over 90 days in the Schengen area but could be useful for people with other nationalities:
For example it says:
New Zealand citizens can remain 51 months in the territory of the Schengen area (3 months Schengen visa-free stay plus 48 months on the basis of 16 bilateral visa waiver agreements)​
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Past OR future Camino
2015 & 2016 (partial)
I'm not going to provide any legal advice here but I will pass on information and links that provide you with something useful to discuss with lawyers.
Thanks, lots of good things to check out. I was referred to some lawyers from SpainGuru.com and will probably make an appointment.
Update: After reading a few of them (and a few others), it becomes clear that these agreements are not a way around the 90/180 rule. If I spend 88 days in Spain, then take advantage of the Nordic agreements to spend three days in Denmark, then fly directly to Poland for another three days, as far as any other Schengen country is concerned, I have spent 94 consecutive days in Schengen. If I go from Poland, even to a non-Schengen country, but have to change planes in Schengen, I can be fined, detained, and put on the SIS II blacklist right then. If they don't catch me there, and I try to return to Spain a year later, I can be denied entry on the basis of the prior year's overstay.
 
Last edited:
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Jersey

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
July 2017
The pertinent websites explicitly quote an income level lower than what I have, but considerably higher than what has allowed me to spend three years on the road. One of them hinted that officials may have discretion to vary it a little. Criminal records check is also required, and a certificate from a doctor that you aren't contagious. Then the health insurance. Officially, full coverage with zero deductible or co-pay. This is galling, because it requires me to pay for coverage I won't use in Spain, because anything beyond routine care, my traveler's insurance gets me back to USA where the government takes care of it (they also cover emergencies outside of USA).

I (and maybe others) would be interested in what your lawyer friend has to say.
I will be in Spain next month to walk Leon to Santiago. Then a week in Valencia. After that I'll be with my buddy for three weeks in Spain & then he's coming to Jersey to spend 10 days with me. Plenty of time to pick his brain clean on this immigration thing. He's not an immigration lawyer but I'm sure he can give me more information than I have now.
If you get back to me in the beginning of September I should know a lot more.
Do you live near a Spanish consulate?
I'm 5 miles from the Spanish consulate in NYC. That is where I plan to go when the time comes.
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Past OR future Camino
2015 & 2016 (partial)
One person told me they applied for and received their visa in Madrid in spite of the statements on consulate websites (and confirmed by an immigration lawyer in Madrid) that you are not allowed to apply anywhere but the consulate for your district (home), and you have to do it in person.

The consulate websites (all but one that I checked) say your application must include proof of a place to stay in the form of an actual contract for lease or purchase. In other words, go to Spain, find a place, sign a contract, and then pay for it without living in it for however many weeks it takes to get the visa. But I can find no evidence of that requirement in Spanish law (not that I am very good at such research) and the immigration lawyer in Madrid that I already mentioned said it is not the law (and for a fee, she'll educate the consulate).

Many people, including realtors, said you can't buy or rent without NIE and bank account. But I did it.

Many people, including bankers, said you can't get a bank account without NIE. But I did it.

I'm wondering how many other "impossibilities" are just old wives' tales.
 

Jersey

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
July 2017
One person told me they applied for and received their visa in Madrid in spite of the statements on consulate websites (and confirmed by an immigration lawyer in Madrid) that you are not allowed to apply anywhere but the consulate for your district (home), and you have to do it in person.

The consulate websites (all but one that I checked) say your application must include proof of a place to stay in the form of an actual contract for lease or purchase. In other words, go to Spain, find a place, sign a contract, and then pay for it without living in it for however many weeks it takes to get the visa. But I can find no evidence of that requirement in Spanish law (not that I am very good at such research) and the immigration lawyer in Madrid that I already mentioned said it is not the law (and for a fee, she'll educate the consulate).

Many people, including realtors, said you can't buy or rent without NIE and bank account. But I did it.

Many people, including bankers, said you can't get a bank account without NIE. But I did it.

I'm wondering how many other "impossibilities" are just old wives' tales.
For me the health insurance requirement is a sticking point.
My health insurance will reimburse me for health care in Spain but only after I laid out the money.
If you or me or anyone has to use there health care system ( without up front coverage ) for a major expense I'm pretty sure that's where we would into trouble.
 

Jersey

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
July 2017
One person told me they applied for and received their visa in Madrid in spite of the statements on consulate websites (and confirmed by an immigration lawyer in Madrid) that you are not allowed to apply anywhere but the consulate for your district (home), and you have to do it in person.

The consulate websites (all but one that I checked) say your application must include proof of a place to stay in the form of an actual contract for lease or purchase. In other words, go to Spain, find a place, sign a contract, and then pay for it without living in it for however many weeks it takes to get the visa. But I can find no evidence of that requirement in Spanish law (not that I am very good at such research) and the immigration lawyer in Madrid that I already mentioned said it is not the law (and for a fee, she'll educate the consulate).

Many people, including realtors, said you can't buy or rent without NIE and bank account. But I did it.

Many people, including bankers, said you can't get a bank account without NIE. But I did it.

I'm wondering how many other "impossibilities" are just old wives' tales.
Obviously it's not impossible if you did it. I take you at your word. The question is
is it legal?
If I get hit by a car and run up a $60,000 hospital bill.
Will they just take it out of my Spainish bank account?
I have no problem with Spains requirements. They are a sovereign country and I have no right to complain about there visa or immigration policy.
My problem is with my insurance company that won't cover me up front. I have to lay the money out and then get reimbursed.
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Past OR future Camino
2015 & 2016 (partial)
Obviously it's not impossible if you did it. I take you at your word. The question is
is it legal?
Well, I assume the banker and realtor that prepared all the documents thought they were legal.
If I get hit by a car and run up a $60,000 hospital bill.
Will they just take it out of my Spainish bank account?
I have no idea, but I would guess not without your cooperation or a court order. And obviously not if you only have twenty Euro in the account.
My problem is with my insurance company that won't cover me up front. I have to lay the money out and then get reimbursed.
My insurance gripe is (if this is not another case of misinformation) that I am supposed to buy duplicate insurance. I already have health care that covers emergencies anywhere, and if I need non-emergency hospitalization, other insurance will get me back to USA where my current health care pays all. So I bought a €30/month policy for routine care only, but people tell me I have to get full coverage, no deductible, no co-pay to get a visa.
 
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Jersey

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
July 2017
WGroleau
So we both pretty much have the some problem. The freaking health care. You would think American health care insurers would be happy to pay the Spanish prices instead of dragging us back home.
I'm leaving tomorrow for Spain. I'm going to be there 45 days so I bought extra insurance to be safe, plus the trip home insurance.
I'm curious as to what full coverage, no deductable, no co pay insurance would cost in Spain
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Past OR future Camino
2015 & 2016 (partial)
I'm curious as to what full coverage, no deductable, no co pay insurance would cost in Spain
If I remember correctly, Adeslas from LaCaixa would be €120/mo. Same place I got my €30/mo which only covers office visits and labs. I don't really have "insurance" in USA. I am a "veteran" so the government does everything for me in USA but outside USA, emergencies only. If I were not a vet, I would still have the COBRA from the company I retired from, which pays anywhere in the world, but has a high deductible outside of northern Indiana.
 

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