Expats and Brits Complain About Confusion Over the 90-Day Rule

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Confusion Over the 90-Day Rule
Confusion Over the 90-Day Rule. image: twitter

It seems there is still some confusion around the 90-day rule for Brits in Spain.

It sounds simple enough, however, there still seems to be some confusion around how long non-residents can stay in Spain and what type of visa you will need to have to reside in Spain for more than 90 days.

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However, due to the new rules following Brexit, it is no longer possible to stay in Spain for more than 90 out of 180 days without residency or another legal right to be here.

The government website states: “To stay longer than 90 days in any 180-day period, to work or study, or for business travel, you must meet the entry requirements set out by the country you are travelling to. This could mean applying for a visa or work permit.”

However, the issue is still causing confusion for some Brits.


British National, David, asked: “I would like to rent a property in Spain next winter for six months. Please could you tell me what do I have to do to be in a position not to have to not be subject to the 90 days out of 180 rule?”

It was reported at the beginning of March that there would be no extension to the 90-day rule, once you have been in Spain for 90 days, you will need to leave the Schengen area. You will then have to wait for 180 days to come around before you are permitted to re-enter again.

Health Plan Spain writes: “Another option is to split the 90 days into two 45-day periods within the 180 days. This will still, however, apply from when you first enter the Schengen area, not from when you reach Spain.


Some Brits wanting to stay beyond the 90 days have also reported difficulties applying for their residency, however.

An EWN reader, who would prefer to remain anonymous, told us “I arrived in Spain before January 1, 2021, but didn’t apply for my residency until February 2021 due to various circumstances.”

“The process was quite difficult, I had to get private healthcare, get my NIE number, get my Padron in the town I live in, print out my bank statements for the past six months and prove I was in Spain before January 2021, and also give details of my work contract and earnings.”

The anonymous reader is still awaiting an answer on whether their application has been accepted or rejected.

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Laura Kemp
Laura is from a small seaside town in North Wales and has also lived in Liverpool and Manchester, where she studied English Literature and worked in social media and marketing. Laura moved to the city of Zaragoza last August to teach English, but after missing the coast she decided to move to beautiful Nerja to enjoy the sun and sea. Laura has a passion for animals, films, outdoor activities, writing and the environment.

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