Being Illegal in Spain - TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards!



Go Back   TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards! > Backpacker College Student Travel Message Boards > Studying, Living, Working, Volunteering Abroad, Expats

Studying, Living, Working, Volunteering Abroad, Expats Currently or planning on studying abroad, living abroad, working abroad, and volunteering abroad. Expats talk for all of you Huck Finn's out there. You rebels with a without a cause. Summer travel is child's play to you.

Raileurope.com: See Europe by train
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-25-2008, 05:30 PM   #1
Members
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Wink Being Illegal in Spain

I would like to hear the thoughts of those experienced in this aspect of travel/living abroad.

Here is my situation:

I will be a Legal in Spain under a Student Visa, for a year.

So, I will not have legality issues living in Spain.

HOWEVER....my boyfriend is going to come and live with me while I'm there. My boyfriend will not be a Legal.

I want to make sure that my boyfriend is as safe as possible undertaking being an Illegal in Spain, since he's doing it for me. (Since it's a Student Visa that I'll have, he still wouldn't be able to be Legal if I married him.)

Here are some further details, and then I'll ask my questions!

-He's an American citizen.
-He's white.
-He has a Spanish last name.
(These are also all factors that perhaps naively (?) make me feel it will likely not be so risky for him.)

My questions are:

-If nothing happens while in Spain, upon return to the U.S., will have have problems when Customs/Immigration sees that he's been in the Schengen states for a year with no Visa? Or is he homefree once he is back in the U.S.?

-Is there anything we can do, such as him border hopping across to non Schengen countries every three months to get stamps, that will render him not an Illegal Tourist in the Schengen states? If so, would he have to do this more frequently than every three months?

-Is it even really a big deal at all if he is an Illegal? What do you think the odds are that my boyfriend will be found out?

-What would happen to my boyfriend if found out?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts, and thanks for reading!!
MayaPaya71 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2008, 06:03 PM   #2
TPunk Moderator
 
Elizabeth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 1,401
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Default

If your bf does not intend to work, and has enough money to support himself for the duration of your stay then maybe he can get some extended tourist visa.

The border hopping will not work bc the Schengen rule is that you are only allow 90 days out of every 180 in the zone. However they are not consistent with the stamping. In fact one member, Joey (joe7f) did this super awesome trick where he entered Spain via Gibraltar and they did not stamp his passport (therefore there being no proof he was ever in Spain) so I'm sure he will be along shortly to share.

If you are able to avoid the stamp then if you wanna travel outside of Spain in the Schengen countries, just cross the border by road. They don't give out stamps, but they sometimes still do on the train.

And the US doesn't have any jurisdiction over the Schengen zone so they won't have a problem with his lack of legality in Spain.
Elizabeth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2008, 06:08 PM   #3
No one regrets traveling
 
joe7f's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 2,072
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via AIM to joe7f Send a message via Skype™ to joe7f
Default

The chance of anyone finding out about your boyfriend is next to zero. I was illegal for a few months during my stay there and I even got an apartment.

Not sure if this helps him or not, but I ended up flying to London and then to Gibraltar (a British territory). From there I walked into Spain without anyone checking my passport. There was no record of me being in Europe (although one could guess that it was shortly after the arrival day (it was stamped in the old passport).

I wouldn't worry about it, but maybe he can get a student visa (is he thinking of studying Spanish while there?)

--Joey

PS Haha, damn you Lizz and your beating me by 5 minutes! :P
__________________


Countries visited: USA, Netherlands, Norway, France, Switzerland, Germany, Spain (and Gibraltar), Italy, Belgium, Hungary, Austria, Ireland, UK, Japan, Canada , Portugal, Czech Republic, Poland, Andorra, Croatia, Montenegro

Next up: Mongolia, China

"I sought trains; I found passengers" - Paul Theroux

Help Travelpunk's continued existence with a small donation

Last edited by joe7f; 07-25-2008 at 07:50 PM.
joe7f is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2008, 10:54 PM   #4
TPunk Moderator
 
Elizabeth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 1,401
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Default

Haha sorry but your story is awesome. Who did you fly with and how much did it cost to Gibraltar? I wonder if anyone has ever got in trouble though for overstaying Schengen. I could totally see the Germans deporting someone but not Spain which has a rep for being more relaxed!

They really should make it longer than 90 out of 180 days. Since it expanded who could backpack the Schengen zone, which is now practically the whole of Europe, in three months??!
Elizabeth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2008, 09:21 PM   #5
No one regrets traveling
 
joe7f's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 2,072
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via AIM to joe7f Send a message via Skype™ to joe7f
Default

I flew on British Airways (which apparently is being spun off into Gibraltar Airways). Usually it is more expensive to fly them than Easy Jet (around 50-70GBP each way) but when I did it in January it was the same price.

With the borders being so lax nowadays, I think you can make an argument for yourself that you have been in the UK, Switzerland, and the like and no one stamped your passport. I think that law was put in place, not to keep tourists/backpackers out but to give law enforcement a vehicle to eject someone who has broken other laws from the country when other immigration laws fall short.

I agree they should extend the days, but I have a feeling there is little need for it. Most backpackers never hit 90 days.

I have been in Europe for about 7 months of my life and have met hundreds of backpackers and not once has anyone told me that they or anyone else have run afoul of immigration officials (well, at least based on Schengen).

This is a side note but...I think there is some confusion in Western Europe about Eastern Europe. I was told by a few (highly educated and well informed) people that no Eastern Bloc country was on the Euro. Really? Slovenia? Montenegro? Kosovo? I bet you could say you were in non EU countries if anyone asked...

--Joey
__________________


Countries visited: USA, Netherlands, Norway, France, Switzerland, Germany, Spain (and Gibraltar), Italy, Belgium, Hungary, Austria, Ireland, UK, Japan, Canada , Portugal, Czech Republic, Poland, Andorra, Croatia, Montenegro

Next up: Mongolia, China

"I sought trains; I found passengers" - Paul Theroux

Help Travelpunk's continued existence with a small donation

Last edited by joe7f; 07-27-2008 at 09:31 PM.
joe7f is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2008, 10:08 PM   #6
 
SGRHewitt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Indiana
Posts: 602
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via AIM to SGRHewitt Send a message via MSN to SGRHewitt Send a message via Skype™ to SGRHewitt
Default

I guess the only issue would be, what do you say when you get to customs and they ask where you've been for the past year. (Being that you'd only have a stamp for the UK).

With the state of security in the U.S. and 'terrorist' activities. I would be worried about suspicion along that front.

Do they stamp your passport when taking the chunnel? I was going to say I didn't get stamped coming from Athens to Rome, but I forgot Greece is a Schengen country anyway.

What about flying into eastern Europe and railing it? Regardless, the Gibraltar deal would be much easier.

I really seemed like I never got stamped, but I'd have to look at my passport which is at the parents house.
__________________
US Soccer and Toronto FC Fanatic.

July 23 - Sept 13: Back in Europe! Off to Brest, France for a French language course. Schedule is open before August 7 and after August 28, suggestions?
SGRHewitt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2008, 10:08 AM   #7
TPunk Recognized
 
MeTurk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Ireland
Posts: 1,590
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via Skype™ to MeTurk
Default

You'd more than likely get away with it. I'd get him to stay well away from the government though. Spain is a bit of a gateway country for illegal immigrants into Europe so they more than likely have tough laws on illegals. I doubt they'd ever be used on American tourists but he could face a few days in the nick if he's caught.
__________________
"It's nice to have a nun around. Gives the place a bit of glamour." Fr Ted
Couchsurfer (:_irritainment_
MeTurk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2008, 11:26 AM   #8
No one regrets traveling
 
joe7f's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 2,072
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via AIM to joe7f Send a message via Skype™ to joe7f
Default

I meant to address Lizz's suggestion about an extended tourist visa. I spoke with a woman at the Spanish consulate in Miami and she said that was not possible. Perhaps it is because Spain as a country will not issue it, but the Schengen board would or it could be that she doesn't know what she is talking about. Anyway back to the original poster, if your boyfriend doesn't speak Spanish already this would be an excellent time to do so. Most private language schools will send a student visa invitation for anyone to study more than 12 weeks.

I just did a search on BA, you can still get 58GBP - 74GBP tickets starting in September. Easy Jet is cheaper to the tune of about 20 GBP once you include their fees for checking a bag and paying with a credit card.

I should also note that I did not leave that night. I thought there would be a better chance of someone checking me immediately after a flight landed so I stayed at the Emilie Youth Hostel on Gibraltar that night. The next day around 2p I came strolling out with a group of tourists.

If you had normal luggage, you may not be get more attention. I think my backpack made me look like I was among the many just there for the day.

--Joey
__________________


Countries visited: USA, Netherlands, Norway, France, Switzerland, Germany, Spain (and Gibraltar), Italy, Belgium, Hungary, Austria, Ireland, UK, Japan, Canada , Portugal, Czech Republic, Poland, Andorra, Croatia, Montenegro

Next up: Mongolia, China

"I sought trains; I found passengers" - Paul Theroux

Help Travelpunk's continued existence with a small donation
joe7f is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2008, 01:11 PM   #9
 
SGRHewitt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Indiana
Posts: 602
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via AIM to SGRHewitt Send a message via MSN to SGRHewitt Send a message via Skype™ to SGRHewitt
Default

I guess the issue is, as long as they don't know you're boyfriend and you are a couple, they will probably never find out. I'm sure you'll have to register your address with the government, but as long as he doesn't once he flys to Spain, then you should be alright, or of course provide a false address. Especially you two are on different flights(from the U.S. and from the UK on the second leg if thats where you're coming from).

All-in-all, I think you'll be alright. Just do your best to try and not be together 'in-transit', and if possible do the Gibraltar trick.
__________________
US Soccer and Toronto FC Fanatic.

July 23 - Sept 13: Back in Europe! Off to Brest, France for a French language course. Schedule is open before August 7 and after August 28, suggestions?
SGRHewitt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2008, 04:45 PM   #10
TPunk Recognized
 
BedtimeontheMoon's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 223
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

The officials missing passports stamping is highly likely... When I flew into Paris CDG they didn't stamp me in. I didn't get stamped until i flew out of Spain to the UK... I mean that still wouldn't answer where you were for a year in the case that you are questioned by customs... but as a last resort it's a good starting point :/
BedtimeontheMoon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2008, 02:09 PM   #11
Members
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Wink

all of your advice is really helpful. i just found a site called allthingsspain.net and it seems like there's some advice there on being illegal in spain.
this spanish language school thing that i think joey suggested is a great idea and i'm looking into it.
hope you are all having a fun/nice weekend wherever you are!
MayaPaya71 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2009, 06:50 AM   #12
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Hope all went well for you as anticipated!
unique07 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply






Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:09 AM.



 

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.2.0

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121