Big news for foreign students in Spain
Last week we received an email from Joshua Garber, from the United States, who was featured as student of the month in March. He was asking how he might renew his residency as it was due to expire on the 20th May, whilst immigration offices have been closed since the declaration of a state of emergency on the 14th March. At the time we advised him that the procedure could be carried out online without any issues- many of our students had already undergone this procedure. As you know, all of our team here at BCN LIP have been continuing their work on-line, keeping up our courses and Irada Gardashova has continued to process level tests and send out the necessary certificates. On the other hand, our lawyer Francesc Ordeig, in whom we trust completely, has continued to offer his services to all who may need them, providing legal advice regarding the procedure.
Unfortunately, not all schools have had the capacity or the means to be able to adapt to on-line studies, nor have foreign students been advised correctly nor have they been able to renew their papers via telephone. This has caused panic amongst many foreign students in Spain. Is my time here up? Won’t they renew my papers? Do I have to go home to my country and re-start the visa process? What will happen once the state of emergency is over?
Many can find themselves in an irregular situation in Spain with expired residency permits, all because of a situation they are not responsible for.
For this reason the Spanish Government passed a ley last wednesday allowing all student permits that have expired under the state of emergency (or those that would have expired three months before the declaration on the 14th March) to be automatically extended. That is to say that if your student card is due to expire between the 14th December and the 2nd of June, which is the official end date for the state of emergency, your card will be automatically renewed for 6 more months, For example, our student Joshua Garber will have his residency extended from the 20th of May to the 20th of November.
In any case, this law which was thought to alleviate the worries of many foreign students, still raises many questions. Given that this is still very recent news, not all of them have an answer; however, in BCNLIP we are striving to resolve all of your queries and we hope to be able to provide confirmation on certain issues in the near future, For now here are some of them:
- If my card expires during the state of emergency, on what date should I present the certificate? You should count 6 months from the date currently written on the card.
- Should I adapt the start date of my course inscription to the new application period? No, the start date should be the day your card expires.
- Can I justify a period without studies during the state of alarm? If the school has not adapted to online learning, or you have not been able to continue your studies due to connection issues, you may be able to justify a period without study. In any case, we still await confirmation.
- Do my financial means need to be adapted to this new period? Yes, you only need to show your financial means from the beginning of the new application period.
- Should my medical insurance be adapted too? Can I justify a period without medical insurance? No, your medical insurance must be renewed from the end date written on your card. You cannot be in Spain without medical insurance- imagine you were to have an accident during this period without coverage.
- If my card expires after the state of emergency, let’s say in July, is there anything I can do? No, the conditions remain the same, you can remain here for up to 90 days after the expiration date. On the other hand, our legal adviser has noted that it is wise to treat these time limits and assistance with caution.
Despite the reasonable doubts that this law raises, this news is very positive for foreign students. But this is not the only news, this week we saw our first student to have their student visa authorised by the immigration authorities in Barcelona! The permit was issued, starting on the 19th May for a Russian student who found themself here on a tourist visa and subsequently went through the procedure for a long-term visa.
More good news? We are starting to receive replies from Spanish consulates regarding the student visa procedure and we have received news that the São Paulo consulate in Brazil is opening up its agenda for appointments.
From BCNLIP, we wish to encourage all those who seek to study Spanish in Spain, or indeed continue their studies here. This week we have received excellent news, and we hope that you may soon be able to continue with your projects and your dreams. As always we remind you that we continue to offer payment services, discounts as well as being available for any enquiries.