All EOS blogs All Spain blogs  Start your own blog Start your own blog 

Spanish Shilling

Some stories and experiences after a lifetime spent in Spain

An Inconvenience for Both British Visitors and Residents
Saturday, December 23, 2023 @ 5:29 AM

The British involvement with Spain has certainly taken a dive since the Brexit debacle.

We could blame the Schengen rules, or the misleading propaganda leading up to the referendum, or maybe the British sense of entitlement – whichever it is, the result for many of us comes down to inconvenience, bother and frustration.

Tourists will sooner or later have to get a permit to visit Europe. They will of course still be coming for their hols, and it’s only seven euros (good for three years) each. We read that the scheduled 2024 introduction of ETIAS, a special travel authorization covering most of Europe, will now begin sometime in 2025, so next season’s summer stay is saved…

However, another formality called the EES Entry/exit scheme has now been agreed to start from October 6th next year, with the extra obligation to provide fingerprints and facial biometrics at the border (plus the implied aggravation). Big Brother will be watching.

Visitors who hope for longer stays, but don’t have either special visas or their residence papers, must face the 90/180 rule.

Those bothered by this will likely be the people who own a house here – which, in essence – they can’t fully use. Most of these unfortunates had bought their properties when they were still able to stay here as long as they wanted: that’s to say, pre-Brexit.

The 90/180 rule is frustrating for non-Schengen Area (particularly British) home-owners in Spain. The rule states that (non-EU) foreigners from outside the partnership may only remain anywhere in the borderless zone for ninety days in any 180 days stretch. In short, only European citizens from the 26 Schengen nations (22 within the EU plus Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland) can enter Spain or another member state freely.

It’s not just the Brits, Americans and any other foreigner who suffer with the Schengen rules: Spain loses out as well – on house-sales, business and job creation. Most legal foreigners, at least, spend here with money brought from outside: they buy – or have bought – houses, cars and goods. Those who work here, either in an air-conditioned office or behind a bar (or indeed those poor souls who are in the plastic farms of the South) are bringing wealth to at least someone, along with their taxes and social security paid.

Understandably, there is an active resistance to the 90/180 day problem. A Facebook page called 180 Days in Spain is worth a look. With enough lobbying, maybe things will change.  Indeed, late news from France appears to show that the rule is already being eased there - so keep up the pressure! Maybe we shall hear something positive at the FITUR international travel fair to be held in late January in Madrid.

Those of us who are second-class residents can stay as long as we like; but we are, of course, only resident in the one country – in our case, Spain. Move somewhere else for an extended visit (even if there’s no border control) and we face the same 90/180 issue. Thus – I might fancy moving from Spain to Portugal to live – but what if they catch me? Could I become persona non grata? Indeed I could.

The only thing that hasn’t changed is taking out Spanish nationality. It’s still as long and as tiresome a process as ever it was.

Like 1


roberto123 said:
Saturday, December 30, 2023 @ 4:07 AM

Does not effect illegal migrants. no papers no worries all cash

AOK said:
Saturday, December 30, 2023 @ 6:50 AM

“Most of these unfortunates had bought their properties when they were still able to stay here as long as they wanted: that’s to say, pre-Brexit.”

This is inaccurate. Since 2012 there has been a 90 day rule for healthcare etc. After 90 days living in Spain, even if you are an EU resident, as Brits were until 2016, you had to apply for temporary residence whereby you had to demonstrate sufficient funds and healthcare. In the case of healthcare you had to move your S11 NHS provision or take out private health insurance.

Charlietwice said:
Saturday, December 30, 2023 @ 9:49 PM

Roberto123. If you are illegal, you get nothing! Zilch! Nada! You aren't in the system. please let me know where you can a rock up when you are completely unidentifiable and claim your free cash. Im sure readers would love to know. Oh, and please ditch your daily mail. They re lying fascists. If they told me it was light at mid day, I would go outside to check!

sdeleng said:
Sunday, December 31, 2023 @ 11:20 AM

If you don’t work due to health issues but are not old enough to receive your uk state pension, you cannot get a S1 (not S11) form. At least that is what I es informed by the authorities. I paid 60€ a month to join the Spanish health care system. When I turned 65, that went up to 157€ a month. I could not afford that so it was rescinded. When I turned 66 this year I received my S1 - actually 3 months before and ever since have received amazing health care that I NEVER received in the UK. All totally free. Next, it’s the complicated Spanish passport application as I have been resident here legally now for 12 years. Wish me luck in the exams lol.

Mike1234567 said:
Sunday, December 31, 2023 @ 11:55 AM

The constant demand by Brits to have an exception made for them of the Schengen 90/180 day rule for Spain and France seems unrealistic. Why should Brits be treated differently than Indian, Chinese or Australian citizens? Or indeed anyone from outside the zone? Seems to me more of the Daily Mail/Express readership wanting to have their cake and eat it! Seems like they are rather special!

Neilg said:
Monday, January 1, 2024 @ 10:48 PM

Inaccurate article. Even when in the EU Britain was never in the Schengen zone.
It seems that Brexit Derangement Syndrome is still pushing Remainers into irrationality

sdeleng said:
Saturday, January 6, 2024 @ 8:49 AM

I guess you are not aware about this dreadful part of the Brexit deal. A European CAN spend 180 days in the UK in one go. So it seems only fair that this option is returned in kind to the British.

lenox said:
Tuesday, January 30, 2024 @ 12:33 PM

Some bad news, as the French courts have now bounced the idea of extending non-EU visits beyond 90 days.

Only registered users can comment on this blog post. Please Sign In or Register now.


This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse you are agreeing to our use of cookies. More information here. x