One of the questions we get asked most often at UK property shows is about the prospect of there being any change in the 90 day rule for British citizens post-Brexit? The situation as it stands at the moment is that a non-EU Citizen may only spent 90 days in a 180 day period within the Schengen area, including Spain.
For a long time there was no discernable shift in this position. But recently we might just be starting to see the beginnings of a change, with both Spain and France’s governments letting it be known they may be amenable.
France is leading the way, Spain is watching.
In France, the Senate has approved an amendment, which if passed by the National Assembly next month, would allow Britons who own property in France to spend more than 90 days in a 180 period in France. Spain has not progressed the matter this far yet, although it is known there have been political discussions between Madrid and London regarding the stays of British tourists in Spain and ‘collaboration projects for future seasons’.
The French argument is that while Britain voted for Brexit through the ballot box democratically, is it right to continue to punish British citizens with holiday homes in France, who you assume did not cast their vote in favour of leaving? The amendment being tabled in France, if approved, would mean that British second home owners there would get the automatic right to a visa to stay in France, and still have use of the full complement of the 90 days in 180 in the other Schengen countries.
Spain will no doubt be watching, along with British people with Spanish property, how the legislation in France progresses. But the potential softening of any position is welcomed. We think it is an acknowledgement that British holiday home owners contribute a lot to the communities in which they live overseas, and the value of that cultural integration as well as the economic benefit is now being better understood.
It’s worth remembering that since Brexit, Britain has welcomed Schengen nationals to use their whole 180 day allocation in a single go if they choose to. So, there is an argument that as a minimum that arrangement could be reciprocated by Spain. Were that to be case, then it opens-up once more the British ‘winter migrators’, who pre-Brexit were in Spain from November through until March. The economic benefit of enticing these people back to the Costa Blanca, Costa del Sol and Canaries should not be under estimated.
90 day rule – Can Sun Lawyers help?
Sun Lawyers has been helping clients to buy property in Spain for almost 40 years and to relocate there too if they want to. Is 2024 your year for buying and/or moving to Spain? If you, we’d love to help you to make it happen. Contact us for a free, no obligation first meeting (either over the phone or in-person).