What happens if you stay in Spain for more than 90 days?

Spain visa

Spain is one of the most popular destinations for visitors from around the world, with over 100 million people visiting the country in 2022. Visitors from certain European countries can travel freely due to relaxed borders between parts of Europe, but international visitors from other places – including the UK and the US – will need a specific visa.

This is known as a Schengen Visa, which allows citizens who don’t benefit from agreements between European nations to access simplified travel documentation and travel within specified countries for a limited time, including Spain. However, travelling or remaining in Spain past the expiry of this visa can have serious consequences.

To make sure you stay on the right side of international laws and keep your travel paperwork in order, this blog explains why visitors can only stay in Spain for 90 days out of every 180, and what you should do if you want to stay in Spain for longer than this without getting in trouble.

 

What is the 90/180-day rule for Schengen Visas?

The Schengen area covers a group of 27 European countries that allow free travel between their mutual borders – one of which is Spain. Nationals of these EU and EEA (European Union and European Economic Area) countries can travel through the Schengen zone visa-free.

However, non-EU/EEA nationals wanting to stay in a Schengen country or travel through the zone must obtain a Schengen Visa. This is a short-stay visa that allows you to stay within the Schengen area for up to 90 days, which is typically used for tourism, studying, volunteering, or business trips.

Once a three-month Schengen Visa has expired, you must leave the Schengen area and cannot return to any countries within it until 180 days have passed from its date of issue. This is because there is a limit on Schengen Visas that only allows non-EU/EEA nationals to spend a maximum of 90 days in the Schengen area out of any 180-day period.

The 90 days don’t have to be consecutive – for example, you could spend 30 days in Spain, 30 days in France, and 30 days in Italy within the six-month period allowed, with gaps in between each stay. If you spent 90/180 days in just one country, like Spain, the 90/180 rule does mean that you can’t visit any other Schengen country until the next 180-day period.

Once you have reached the 90/180 day limit, you must return to your country of origin. If you wanted to extend your stay in Spain, you would still need to return home to apply for an appropriate visa at your country’s Spanish embassy, so that you can come back to Spain and obtain a residence permit for a longer stay.

 

What happens if you overstay on a Schengen Visa?

If you don’t leave the Schengen area completely when your 90 days are up – meaning the entire zone, not just moving from one Schengen country to another – then you are officially overstaying your Schengen Visa. This means you’re breaking the law, and there will be legal consequences.

Some Schengen countries are more lenient than others and simply instruct overstayers to leave right away, but others may be stricter about enforcing the penalties for overstaying a Schengen Visa. The possible consequences for staying more than 90/180 days include:

  • ⦿ Fines – depending on the country and how long you’ve overstayed, you could be made to pay a fine of anything from 500€ to 10,000€. This penalty may be combined with an entry ban.
  • ⦿ Deportation – EU countries can give you a limited number of days to leave, or they will officially deport you. This tends to only happen if you are working or claiming benefits without a valid visa.
  • ⦿ Entry ban – you can be banned from re-entering if you overstay for a significant length of time, especially if you commit a crime during this time. The ban can last for 3 years or longer.
  • ⦿ Prison – overstaying on an expired visa can lead to a jail sentence of 6 months–1 year or more, which is more likely if you overstay in order to work and earn money without a work permit.

Authorities will know whether you’ve overstayed, because third-country nationals must get their passports scanned or stamped on entering or leaving any country. The EU Council is also enforcing a new Entry/Exit System (EES), which creates ‘smart’ border checks using pre-registration of the traveller’s information, including biometric data.

 

How long can you stay in Spain if you own a property there?

You don’t need to be a Spanish resident to buy and own property in Spain – Spanish property rights aren’t based on residency status. To complete a property transaction, you don’t need a residency visa or even a Spanish bank account, necessarily. You just need an identification number – an NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjeros) or TIE (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero).

However, your nationality and immigration status do affect the time you can spend in the country staying in your Spanish property. If you use a Schengen short-stay visa to visit your holiday home in Spain, the 90/180 rule still applies, so you must bear this in mind to plan your trips.

Remember that any time you spend in any Schengen country counts towards your 90-day limit – so if you were a Brit travelling from the UK through France to get to Spain, this time would be included. Similarly, if you have properties in other Schengen countries, the 90/180 rule applies to all of them, so you would have to split your time between them carefully.

If you wanted to stay in Spain for longer than 90 days at a time, you would have to apply for a different visa from the embassy in your home country and travel to Spain to get a residence permit, though changes to Spanish immigration processes could introduce completely digital applications soon. The type of visa you would require depends on your planned activity – e.g. tourism, studying, working, family reunification, etc.

 

How long can you stay in Spain without becoming a resident?

The short-stay visa only allows you to reside in Spain for up to 90 days at a time out of every 180 days, or a maximum of around 180 days a year. This is fine if your trips will be no longer than three months at a time, no more than twice a year.

If you want to spend more than six months a year in Spain, you can’t do so on a Schengen Visa, and will have to secure a long-stay visa before visiting the country. You can spend up to 183 days a year in Spain, consecutive or not, without becoming a long-term resident.

To spend this amount of days or more in Spain legally, you’ll need a temporary residence visa, which will allow you to say in Spain for up to 1 year, renewable every 2 years for up to 5 years under certain conditions. These will depend on whether you will be financially self-sufficient or not.

Even if you get a temporary residency permit that allows you to visit Spain for as long as you like, whenever you like, you should also consider tax residency. If you stay in Spain for more than 183 days a year, then the authorities will consider you a resident for tax purposes, which would make you liable for a range of taxes in Spain.

However, if you have a temporary residence visa but only stay in Spain for less than 183 days a year, you’ll be classed as a non-resident. This doesn’t mean you won’t be eligible for any taxes at all, though – especially if you own a property in Spain. You’ll still have to pay an annual municipal tax on the property and file an income tax return, as the authorities will consider it a taxable benefit.

 

Which visa do you need to stay in Spain more than 90 days?

To get around the 90/180 rule and live in Spain for longer and more frequent periods, you’ll need to look into potential immigration routes. Even if you don’t intend to live in Spain full-time, year-round, you can still benefit from greater freedom of movement with a temporary residence permit. There is a range of Spanish visas available for different purposes, including:

  • ⦿ Employment Visa – for non-EU/EEA citizens who want to work and earn money in Spain.
  • ⦿ Non-lucrative Visa – for non-EU/EEA nationals who want to live in Spain on their savings or passive income (e.g. pensions, investment returns).
  • ⦿ Golden Visa – for non-EU/EEA investors who can make significant approved investments in Spain (including real estate, businesses, innovative research, and government debt).
  • ⦿ Digital Nomad Visa – a new option for non-EU/EEA citizens to live in Spain temporarily while earning income from working remotely for foreign employers or clients.

The right long-term visa for you depends on your situation and what you want to do while staying in Spain. It’s important not to confuse temporary residency with Spanish citizenship, and to understand the tax implications of living in Spain – even if it’s only part-time.

Should you need legal guidance on such matters, Manzanares Lawyers can assist with a range of concerns, from visa applications to non-resident tax in Spain. Give our office a call on +34 952 82 41 12 (Marbella) or +34 952 59 50 42 (Alhaurin) to speak to our team.

Alternatively, you can email your enquiry to us at clientservices@manzanareslawyers.com, and we will respond as soon as we can to explain how our services can help you.

 

Leave a comment

Blog

Spanish citizenship immigration lawyers Spain

How to make a successful Spanish citizenship application

Spain isn’t just a top destination for expats from across the globe – as of 2024, the country also offers … Read more

Spain immigration lawyers Spanish passport

Spain tops the most desirable passport index for the first time

After being stuck in fourth or third place for most of the 19 years since the annual ranking began, Spain … Read more

student visa working spanish tax rate

Can you work in Spain on a student visa?

People from across the world come to Spain to pursue higher education, but if their course, internship, training, or voluntary … Read more

non resident tax return Spain self employed

Changes to self-employed tax returns in Spain in 2024

The period of annual tax returns in Spain starts in early April, with tax returns for the year 2023–2024 now … Read more

Modelo 720 non resident tax Spain

Modelo 720: Deadline for declaring foreign assets in Spain

The deadline is approaching for Spanish taxpayers to declare any assets they hold abroad to the Spanish tax authority. Both … Read more

English speaking lawyers in Spain

What are your legal obligations as a foreigner in Spain?

When you move to a different country as a foreigner, whether temporarily or to become a long-term resident, there are … Read more

spain immigration lawyers most popular country for uk nationals eu

What is the most popular country for UK nationals living in the EU?

Here at Manzanares Lawyers, we have helped plenty of people from all around the world to become legal residents in … Read more

non resident tax spain remote workers

How much tax do remote workers have to pay in Spain?

Ever since digital nomad visas were announced in Spain to attract remote workers, one of the main proposed incentives was … Read more

non resident tax Spain

The best cities in Spain – and the world – for expats

Moving to a different country is sure to be a big upheaval for anyone, but it can also be incredibly … Read more

Do you have to pay tax in Spain as a non-tax resident if you don't work?

Do you have to pay tax in Spain if you don’t work?

Just like residents in most countries around the world, residents in Spain have to pay taxes to the Spanish government … Read more

non-resident tax Spain IBI surcharge

What is the ‘empty property tax’ in Spain?

With many homes in Spain standing vacant and access to affordable housing being a key social issue, the Spanish government … Read more

ETIAS non-resident Spain

How will the ETIAS affect foreigners who own property in Spain?

The EU is planning to implement new IT systems for better monitoring of travel within the Schengen Area, meaning non-EU … Read more

non resident tax Spain

What is the Special Tax Regime in Spain?

Maybe you have heard of Beckham’s Law before – a special Spanish tax law that was initially created for the … Read more

Spain immigration lawyers - top countries for expats and remote workers

Spain is a Top 2 country for expats and remote workers

Daydreaming about starting a new life somewhere welcoming and sunny? Whether you want to pursue training or education you can’t … Read more

difference between an NIE and TIE

What’s the difference between an NIE and TIE card?

If you’re planning to move to Spain and stay for more than 90 days, you’re going to need to register … Read more

IBI tax Spain

IBI: Who has to pay property tax in Spain?

When buying property or earning income in any country, it’s vital to know about tax liabilities, whether you’re counted as … Read more

How to file 2022 tax returns in Spain

The annual campaign for income tax returns has begun in Spain, with 11th April 2023 marking the start of the … Read more

Spain visa

What happens if you stay in Spain for more than 90 days?

Spain is one of the most popular destinations for visitors from around the world, with over 100 million people visiting … Read more

Spanish wealth tax

Do non-residents have to pay Wealth Tax in Spain?

Many foreigners are unsure about whether or not they have to pay income tax or property tax in Spain, especially … Read more

digital nomad visa tax benefits

What are the tax benefits of Spain’s digital nomad visa?

The Spanish government has teased the introduction of a ‘digital nomad visa’ for over a year as part of the … Read more

spain immigration reform 2022

How did Spanish immigration laws change in 2022?

Obtaining the right permits to live, work, and study in Spain has been a slow and complicated ordeal for many … Read more

popular places foreigner Spanish real estate investment

Popular places for foreigners to invest in Spanish real estate in 2022

More foreigners than ever are buying homes in Spain, fuelling consistent growth in the Spanish housing market. In the first … Read more

Spanish Golden Visas still a top choice for international investors in 2022

Since the programme launched in 2013, the Spanish Golden Visa has remained one of the top choices for residency by … Read more

Ibiza lawyers fines

7 Spanish laws you should know before going to Ibiza

Spanish fines you should know about before going to Ibiza The idyllic island of Ibiza draws millions of tourists, visitors, … Read more

Ibiza Spanish visa

Thinking about living in Ibiza as a digital nomad?

Moving to Ibiza as a digital nomad Working remotely wasn’t an entirely new concept, but when COVID-19 shut everything down … Read more

Spanish residence vs Spanish citizenship

Spanish Residency vs Spanish Citizenship

Spanish residency vs Spanish citizenship: What’s the difference? As you probably know, you don’t have to be a Spanish national … Read more

best places to live in Spain

16 of the best places to live in Spain

If you’ve been dreaming about moving to Spain, or even just buying a second home there to spend holidays in … Read more

Spanish Golden Visa guide

The dos and don’ts of getting a Spanish Golden Visa

For those with sufficient disposable income, the Spanish Golden Visa programme is a great option for gaining legal residency in … Read more

immigrate to Spain

7 reasons to immigrate to Spain

7 reasons to immigrate to Spain Who hasn’t dreamed about spending endless days in the sun, surrounded by beautiful nature … Read more

brexit spanish golden visa

Can Brits still buy holiday homes in Spain after Brexit?

Second homes & Golden Visas: Can Brits buy holiday homes in Spain after Brexit? When Britain officially left the European … Read more

Who inherits the most from Spanish inheritance law

Who inherits the most from Spanish inheritance law?

Of course, the subject of inheritance is one that many want to avoid, as after all, it is centred around … Read more

Why renegotiating your Spanish property might be necessary

Why renegotiating your Spanish property might be necessary

Do you feel like your financial position has changed significantly enough that you cannot keep on top of your current … Read more

How does Spanish inheritance tax differ from the UK

How does Spanish inheritance tax differ from the UK?

Inheritance is never a topic that people want to dwell on. But if you’re spending your retirement years in a … Read more

spanish lawyer that speaks your language

Why is it important to hire a lawyer that speaks your language?

We can imagine that the last thing you will want to encounter is important legal negotiations with someone who doesn’t … Read more

off-plan property in Spain

Buying an off-plan Spanish property: A risk worth taking?

Building your own off plan property in Spain is the dream of many, right? After all, the gorgeous weather, friendly … Read more

spanish housing regulations

What is important to know about Spanish housing regulations?

More and more people are coming to Manzanares Lawyers to learn about the laws on renting out property in Spain. … Read more

All you need to know about Spanish property conveyancing

All you need to know about Spanish property conveyancing

When purchasing a property in Spain for the first time, it is highly likely that you are going to want … Read more

why write a spanish will

Why should you make a Spanish Will?

The subject of making a will is one that many shy away from talking about and for good reason! No … Read more

LICENSES FOR NEW CONSTRUCTIONS INCREASED 10.4% IN FEBRUARY

LICENSES FOR NEW CONSTRUCTIONS INCREASED 10.4% IN FEBRUARY

SOURCE: SPANISH REAL ESTATE MAGAZINE 06/05/2019 Licenses for building new property increased 10.4% in February, when 9.168 licenses were granted … Read more

SALES ON NEW PROPERTY INCREASE ON 14.4% ON THE FIRST QUARTER

SALES ON NEW PROPERTY INCREASE ON 14.4% ON THE FIRST QUARTER

ON THE FIRST QUARTER OF THE YEAR, 133.989 UNITS WERE SOLD. TRANSACTIONS ON NEW PROPERTY INCREASED ON A 14.4% ANNUAL, … Read more

LUXURY HOTEL COMPANIES FOCUS ON THE COSTA DEL SOL

LUXURY HOTEL COMPANIES FOCUS ON THE COSTA DEL SOL

SOURCE: SPANISH REAL ESTATE MAGAZINE 07/05/2019 Four Seasons lands on the Mediterranean sea in the entrance of Marbella, hand in … Read more

Property prices increase for the first time in six years

Property prices increase for the first time in six years

According to the Second hand property sale price index (IPVVR in Spanish), which is produced by the Land Registry using … Read more

Spain Flag

“Spain is back”

JPMorgan states on its last report: “Spain is back”. The American company increases the 2014 GDP forecast for Spain, encouraging … Read more

Málaga airport hit last august a record in number of visitors

Málaga airport hit last august a record in number of visitors

For Malaga airport, last August was the month with the highest number of users of its history, with 1,680,707 passengers, … Read more

Spanish Golden Visa

Main benefits from recent “Golden Visa” in Spain

After Law 14/2013, dated 27th of September, went into force, a significant number of applications for “visa” or residency in Spain … Read more

European Justice ruled against Spanish Inheritance Tax

European Justice ruled against Spanish Inheritance Tax

In recent declarations raised, European courts declared that Spanish Inheritance and Donation Tax partly breaks European Union regulations. Luxembourg Court ruled on 3rd of September 2014 that this … Read more

Blog
Call Now Button