Get In Touch

Everything you need to know about the ‘90-day rule’ in Spain

Everything you need to know about the ‘90-day rule’ in Spain

Spain is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, registering more than 100 million international visitors last year alone.

When planning your travels, there’s much you need to check off your to-do list – from making sure you’ve packed all the essentials and that you’ve secured travel insurance to ensuring you’ve got a valid visa, if this is required.

If you’re staying in Spain for 90 days (or more), you’ll need to apply for a visa to allow you to do so. But why?

In this blog, our specialists explain everything you need to know about the 90-day rule in Spain, and what you need to do if you’re planning on staying for an extended period.

How long can you stay in Spain without a visa?

When planning an extended trip to Spain – be it for a family holiday, short-term studies, or a business trip – many people are unsure as to how long they can stay in the country without having to apply for a visa.

This is where the 90/180-day rule comes in.

Set out by the Schengen member states (a group of 27 European countries), the 90/180-day rule was introduced to limit the amount of time that international visitors can spend in a Schengen country – including Spain.

These guidelines state that foreigners can travel in Spain for up to 90 days every 180-day period visa-free, but if you’re staying for longer, you’ll need to apply for a visa.

What happens if I don’t get or overstay on a visa?

Travelling in Spain for more than 90 days without a visa, or travelling to a different Schengen country in the same 180-day window, is a criminal offence – which can come with some serious legal consequences.

If you’re travelling without a visa, some Schengen countries may simply instruct you to leave right away, but others could impose:

  • Fines – Overstaying your welcome could earn you a fine between 500€-10,000€ depending on how long you’ve overstayed. A fine could also be issued in conjunction with an entry ban.
  • Deportation – This usually only happens if you’re working or claiming benefits in Spain without a valid visa. You’ll be given a limited number of days to leave before you’re officially deported.
  • Entry bans – If you’re caught travelling in Spain – or any other Schengen country – past the 90-day period, you could be banned from re-entering for up to 3 years.
  • Prison sentences – Staying in Spain for over 90 days in any 180 days without a valid visa can result in jail time. Depending on how long you overstay your welcome, you could be sentenced to 6-12 months in prison.

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

Even if you own a property in Spain, you’re still only entitled to stay in the country for up to 90 days out of every 180 days.

If you want to stay in Spain for longer than 90 days, you’ll need to look into applying for one of the following visas:

  • Work visa – If you’ve found employment in Spain and wish to stay for longer than 90 days, you may apply for a work visa. This is valid for up to 3 years, and if you wish to extend it at the end of this period you can do so. After 5 years, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residence.
  • Non-lucrative visa – You can apply for this visa in Spain without employment, and to qualify, you need to be able to prove that you have an annual income of at least €27,792. These visas usually last for up to 2 years, after which you can renew them if you plan on staying any longer.
  • Golden visa – These visas are issued to non-EU nationals who intend to make a significant investment in the Spanish economy – be it in stocks and shares, property, or government schemes. They allow applicants and their families to live, study, and work in Spain, and offer a pathway to citizenship. Initially, golden visas are valid for up to 1 year, and you can extend the validity for up to 5 years. After 5 years, you may apply for a permanent visa.

Can anyone buy a property in Spain?

As long as you have a Spanish NIE (Número de Identificatión del Extranjero), you should have no problem purchasing a property in Spain.

This number is unique to you and is essential to carry out any transaction in Spain.

Since it must appear on all documents that you sign or are issued to you, you must have this in place before buying a property.

Obtaining an NIE number is fairly simple, but it can take some time.

It’s also advantageous to have a Spanish bank account to make transactions quicker and simpler, and could even save you some commission fees.

Contact our expert Spanish mortgage brokers

Need more information about Spain’s 90-day rule? Looking into purchasing a property in Spain and need some advice?

We’re here for you!

We’ve got an impressive track record of helping our clients secure Spanish mortgages and would be more than happy to guide you through the process. Give us a call today on 0034 952 85 36 47, or email us at info@fluentfinanceabroad.com and we’ll be in touch with more information shortly.

Request A Call Back








    "DATA PROTECTION: In compliance with GDPR (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of April 27, 2016 and LO 3/2018 of December 5 on the Protection of Personal Data and Guarantee of Digital Rights, We inform you that the data provided by you will be processed by FLUENT FINANCE ABROAD SL with CIF B93504918 and address at AVENIDA MARQUÉS DEL DUERO Nº 76, PUERTA 3C, SAN PEDRO ALCANTARA, 29670 (MALAGA) in order to attend to your information request. The legal basis for the processing of your data is the consent given for the sending of information. The data provided will be kept as long as the contractual relationship is maintained or during the years necessary to comply with legal obligations. The data will not be transferred to third parties except in cases where there is a legal obligation. You can exercise your rights of access, rectification, limitation of treatment, portability, opposition to the treatment and deletion of your data by writing to the postal address mentioned above or electronic info@fluentfinanceabroad.com, attaching a copy of the DNI in both cases, as well as the right to file a claim with the Control Authority (aepd.es).

    Contact Us








      "DATA PROTECTION: In compliance with GDPR (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of April 27, 2016 and LO 3/2018 of December 5 on the Protection of Personal Data and Guarantee of Digital Rights, We inform you that the data provided by you will be processed by FLUENT FINANCE ABROAD SL with CIF B93504918 and address at AVENIDA MARQUÉS DEL DUERO Nº 76, PUERTA 3C, SAN PEDRO ALCANTARA, 29670 (MALAGA) in order to attend to your information request. The legal basis for the processing of your data is the consent given for the sending of information. The data provided will be kept as long as the contractual relationship is maintained or during the years necessary to comply with legal obligations. The data will not be transferred to third parties except in cases where there is a legal obligation. You can exercise your rights of access, rectification, limitation of treatment, portability, opposition to the treatment and deletion of your data by writing to the postal address mentioned above or electronic info@fluentfinanceabroad.com, attaching a copy of the DNI in both cases, as well as the right to file a claim with the Control Authority (aepd.es).