CANZUKUS Euro-Nomads can obtain an extension for the Schengen country they are visiting. Extensions apply only to the government who grants the extension. Visits to other individual Schengen countries revert to the maximum of 90 days per 180.
The official Spanish government advice is here:
So helpful being written in Spanish! Make sure you have a web translation add-on enabled on your internet browser. The critical component is that you must have a good REASON for the extension. This is entirely in line with EU rules which provide for extensions in extreme situations. A typical scenario in which an extension would likely be granted is if you became extremely sick while you were about to leave – so sick as to rule out the possibility of travel. Think of a good reason. Let’s assume you have one. Or could plan to have one 😉
Making an Appointment
In preparation, you need a Spanish mobile telephone number. Without this, you cannot make an appointment – the appointment system will not let you as all confirmations etc are sent by SMS to Spanish phone numbers only. You also need internet data to get voice translation at other offices because no one speaks English! Also, it is hard to imagine how you could document everything without access to a computer and printer.
Making an appointment is half the battle. Most offices are booked solid for a month. Not all offices are designated to deal with the full range of interactions.
The Procedure you are seeking is Extension of Stay with Visa (Prórroga de estancia de corta duración). Appointments are made online.
As you move thru the appointment website, you will reach the critical page offering two drop-downs: one for National Police Office (CNP) and one for the Aliens Office (Oficinas de Extranjeria). The dropdowns are not standardized or comprehensive. You may find that the office you identified previously as offering the service may not have that service listed in its dropdown. So if you cannot find Prórroga de estancia de corta duración, you might consider something like Information (Información de Tramites de la Comisaria). This is a long shot that I haven’t tested, but often it is the only choice in the dropdown that could conceivably fit.
Note: the system only allows one appointment at a time. You cannot re-login and make a second backup appointment. So if your first appointment fails – guess what. Start again with a new appointment. For this reason you should choose your intended location sufficiently in advance and choose strategically. Offices in large cities are usually booked solid. Smaller towns have vacancies but may not do visa extensions.
Before your appointment, over-prepare all your documentation. Translate as much as possible into Spanish as you can. Google Translate is your friend here.
I tried twice.
First Try at A Coruna
My first attempt was on 10 August at Coruna – with this covering letter blurb in Spanish and a dead-tree worth of paper meeting all the documented requirements.
I wish to apply for an Extension of my Short Stay Schengen Visa by 90 days to 25 November 2021 … I have purchased a sailboat in France and am transporting the boat to Australia. This is taking significantly longer than planned due to COVID constraints and mechanical problems, forcing me to spend additional time in the Schengen zone. To cross the Atlantic safely, we must wait till the end of the Hurricane season in November before commencing travel from Gran Canaria.
The lady at the counter of the Departamento de Extranjeria at Coruna was very kind and accommodating. Stamp, stamp, stamp, and then called the Boss. An Alpha male. With a dismissive raspberry – “I could walk faster than you sail” (in Spanish, thru Google Translate on the phone). I was shown the door.
After I contemplated this and confirmed that at our average 11nM (22km) a day leisurely-trip-down-the-coast-with-many-stops-to-enjoy-the-highlights, it did indeed mean that Mr Alpha Male probably could walk faster.
2nd Attempt at Pontevedra
Luckily we still had time, so I decided to try again at our next port of call – Combarro.
I booked online on 16 Aug for an appointment on 20 August at Pontevedra Police Superior Headquarters – 60 minutes from Combarro by bus. At this meeting, I took a Cover Letter explaining in far more detail a plausible reason to wit: Read More
I have purchased a sailboat in Les Sables D’Olonne, France and am transporting the boat to Australia. The ship has suffered a series of mechanical problems requiring attention before we can proceed. Our planned departure date from Les Sables D’Olonne was delayed 18 days from 1 June to 18 June due to significant issues with the Sail, Refrigerator, Water Pump, Waste Pump, Heating/Cooling, Dinghy, Outboard Motor and several other minor technical issues requiring rectification. Since leaving Les Sables D’Olonne, we have had significant problems requiring specialized attention for the Engine, Water-maker, Heating/Cooling, Electric Insulation, and Radio Distress System. Most recently, the Water Maker failed, requiring removal on 18 August at Combarro, transport to the Factory in France, repair, return, and re-installation. This is expected to take at least three weeks. Other issues related to the Engine, Generator, Heating, Refrigeration and Electrical Insulation remain outstanding and will take time to resolve.
I got a piece of gold out of this meeting – the internal checklist used by the officers to verify completeness of the paperwork. Original and translation are posted in the Resources section.
My wodge of paperwork consisted of:
• Application Form EX00 – Request for authorization of stay and extensions
• Original and photocopy of my passport, including affiliation page and entry stamp page
• Two passport photos
• Proof of medical insurance
• Bank Statement showing a balance >95 euros/day for the intended duration
• Proof of Purchase/Export of Boat
• Registration of Boat
• A selection of the 300+ emails with the Boat Builder and equipment manufacturers confirming the technical problems.
Did this work? No, I received an email 13 days later, on 1st September, requesting a letter from the Shipyard confirming my story and specifying the exact date all repair work would be complete. Luckily the Shipyard was both amenable and quick.
I submitted additional information on the 6th of September, handed over my passport and then, with the clock ticking away to office closing time, was asked for the bank receipt certifying payment. Whaaat? Cash – nope. Credit card – nope. Only a bank receipt.
I flew out, looking for the nearest bank. Got stuck in a 20-person queue. I got to the head of the line and begged the concierge for help thru Google Translate. Just deposit the cash in the ATM and ask for a bank receipt in favour of the account. Whaaat? Cash? Join another queue. Get cash. At this point, a lovely old Spanish lady took pity on me, dragged me to the head of the ATM queue and, between her and the concierge, manipulated the ATM to issue an official bank receipt for Euro 111.66. I got back to the police office with 5 minutes to spare. I later discovered that the bank payment can be done in advance using a standard form.
The next day I retook the 60-minute bus from our Marina to Pontevedra for the grand finale. Happy days – I got the extension!
Segue to this story. Three days later, I discovered that Portugal had granted a year-long amnesty on Schengen visas due to COVID. So we continued our trip as planned to Portugal and stayed the rest of year anyway.