Purchasing property in Spain is easy to do these days, as is visiting the country for a holiday. However, since the advent of Brexit, the ability to stay long-term in Spain is conditioned on getting a visa. If you plan to get yourself a retirement home, or you plan to stay in the country for any serious period, this is stuff you’ll need to pay attention to.
We’ve tried to look at some of the most common questions people have about getting residency in Spain now, as well as about visas.
Q: How does the 90/180-day rule work for me?
So, when it comes to staying in Spain, you can only do so for up to 90 days inside 180 days.
You can use the 90 days however you want. Some people choose to stay for a full 90 days, and others will visit multiple times for a few weeks each trip.
It is important to note that the countdown for 180 days begins when you enter the Schengen Zone – an area of 26 European countries which have abolished all border control and passports. So, for example, if you stopped off in France for a week before heading to Spain, that still counts within 180 days.
Q: How are the 180 days calculated?
The entire 180 day period is rolling, so try to imagine it as being a period that starts the moment you enter the Schengen Zone.
You want to calculate backward 180 days from the day you enter and use that as the basis for your calculations.
Q: What happens if I accidentally stay more than 90 days?
You need to make sure that you calculate your days carefully. The penalties for staying too long can range from immediate deportation to fines.
Your penalty will vary from one place to the next. In Spain, a fine can be anywhere between €501 and €10,000. You can even run the risk of being kicked out of Spain from six months to five years.
If this isn’t your first offence, then you might find that you will be barred from entering the Schengen Zone or applying for residency in the future.
Q: I already own a holiday home in Spain. Does the 90/180 rule still apply to me?
So, even if you own a home in Spain, you still need to follow the rules surrounding the 90/180-day rule. If you want to get around this, you need to try and apply to get a visa.
Q: I have an Irish passport and dual citizenship. Does the rule still apply?
If you have an Irish passport or any other EU-member state passport, the rules for 90/180 days don’t apply. You can stay for as long as you’d like in any country in the Schengen Zone.
Q: So, how can I stay in Spain permanently, or longer than 90 days?
You’ll need a long-term visa to stay in Spain for more than 90 days. You’ve got a couple of options on offer with this option.
Expats need to look at the non-lucrative visa. It allows you to be a resident in Spain, but it doesn’t let you work for a company in the country. So, if you’re retired, or you work remotely, this is for you.