If I plan to visit Spain like any other foreigner, I would like to know how long can I stay in Spain with a Schengen visa. This is because Schengen visas are not infinite, so they have an expiration date. Besides, not all visitors require visas to enter Spain or any other EU country, for that matter. When planning a trip, it is always best to do your research to understand the travel regulations before leaving your home country. This post contains valuable information about the Schengen area, travel regulations, and the visitor visa process.
Spain In The Schengen Area
Spain first signed the Schengen Agreement in 1991 and eventually became a Schengen member state in 1995. Ever since then, visitors from non visa exempt countries have needed Schengen visas to enter the country. There are over 80 million visitors on average who visit Spain every year. In fact, the country is the second most visited European country behind France, which is a Northeastern neighbor. The ex-pat population has also increased over the years due to the country's strong cultural connections with Latin America and the Caribbeans.
Most visitors are tourists who do so with Schengen visas which are valid for 180 days.
How Long Can I Stay in Spain With A Schengen Visa?
Suppose you've been issued a visa and are preparing to travel to Spain; we are sure that you will be interested to know how long you can stay in the country. For starters, visitors to Spain or any other Schengen country are allowed to remain there for up to 90 days, including their time in only one or multiple countries. Visits to more than one country are allowed because the visa is a universal visa that grants access to all 27 Schengen countries, including Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania, and Croatia.
During their stay, visitors are advised to respect certain roles, including the 90/180 rule, which we explain below.
The 90/180 Day Rule Explained
The 90/180-day rule is a special guideline that guides the maximum number of days visitors can stay within a given period. The member states put this rule in place to ensure that visitors don't overstay. The rule is observed not only by Spain but by all Schengen member states.
How does the rule work?
Once a visitor sets foot in the Schengen zone by visiting any member state, the rule kicks in. So to get the count correctly, the visitor has to count back to the first time they set foot in Europe. The rule is not based on visa validity but on the number of days spent in the Schengen zone.
If you have a hard time getting the count right or want to be sure, you can use a Schengen calculator.
The 90/180 rule is for all visitors, especially those with multiple entry visas. Even if you visit a different country from the one that issued the visa, the rule still applies, and overstaying is a violation.
Staying Longer Than 90 Days
It is possible to stay for more than 90 days, but for that, you will need an extended stay visa, and there are different options, such as the following.
Work Visa: Those coming to Spain for work can stay for much longer, but they must apply for work visas. This visa will only be given to those who have already secured a job in Spain. Work visa holders eventually get temporary Residency permits which will qualify them for permanent residency after a few years.
Non-Lucrative Visa: Another option is to apply for a non-lucrative visa. You don't need to secure employment before getting it, but you must show proof of an annual income of €27,792.
Golden Visa: The Spanish Golden visa is an investment visa for those looking to invest in Real Estate or securities. This visa is a pathway to securing Spanish citizenship.
Digital Nomad Visa: A new installment is the Digital Nomad visa for those who work remotely, but it requires some income requirements.
Consequences Of Breaking The 90/180 Day Rule?
Schengen visa holders who break the 90/180-day rule face penalties depending on the gravity of their offense. The lightest punishment is to be asked to pay a fine for the number of days overstayed while deportation is possible. Worst violators are banned from entering the region for a specified period of time.
Can I Work With A Schengen Visa?
Working with a Schengen visa is illegal as it doesn't qualify the holder for a work permit. Only visitors with work permits can work in Spain or any other European country.
How long can I stay in Spain with a Schengen visa? For visitors, the maximum number of days is 90 days.
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