I am married to a Spaniard. Should I start looking into a visa if I want to be in Spain more than 90 days a year?


Does anyone here split time between US and Spain? My Spanish husband and I both work remote. He’d love to move back permanently, I’m not quite ready to give up some things here in Colorado. We were married in Spain and I lived there and had NIE but I don’t actually remember what visa I was on (this was 10 years ago).

Right now we just want to spend summers in Spain, but I’m worried if I stay my full 90 days on a tourist visa next summer, if there’s a family emergency in the fall I won’t be able to go back with him. His parents are getting older so you just never know. Should I start looking into actual visa’s if we want to be there more than 90 days a year?


These are the answers of some Facebook group members:

“You don’t need a visa as long as you’re traveling with your Spanish spouse and have “el libro de familia” or your marriage certificate”

“Yes, you can. Any EU Passport Holder (including Spain) and their spouse become legal residents if they choose to live there.”

“Until you have residency or any other permit, you can be only there for 3 months. My daughter – minor – doesn’t have yet a Spanish passport and she can’t stay beyond 3 months. 100% sure. I am Spaniard by origin”

“A non-EU national is entitled to travel to EU Member States with your spouse who is an EU National. In this regard, I wish to refer you to EU Directive 2004/38/EC on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the EU Member States. The personal scope of the Directive is quite wide and covers not only Union citizens but also their family members. Family members of an EU national, irrespective of their nationality, have the right to accompany or join the EU national in a Member State other than that of the EU national s nationality.

This right applies irrespective whether they have previously been residing in another Member State. Family members include the spouse of the EU national (you in this case). Those family members who are not nationals of a EU Member State (you in this case) may enter the host Member State with a valid passport. If the non-EU national come from certain countries which are subject to visa obligation, they may be required to have an entry visa. Countries whose nationals are subject to visa are listed in Regulation (EC) No 539/2001, or under national law in the case of the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Should you require a visa for any EU Member State, Member States shall grant non-EU country family members every facility to obtain the necessary visas. Such visas shall be issued free of charge as soon as possible and on the basis of an accelerated procedure. Please note that for the accelerated procedure to apply, the non-EU national must be travelling with the EU national (your spouse) or travelling to join the EU national. If this is not the case then normal domestic immigration rules and visa application rules apply.

The right of entry of non-EU country family members of an EU national is derived from their family ties with the Union citizen. All the Member State consular officials can ask for is their passport and a document establishing their family ties with the EU national, such as marriage certificate and proof of dependence, where applicable.

Family members cannot be asked to present documents such as travel tickets, employment certificate, pay slips, bank statements, proof of accommodation and means of subsistence or a medical certificate. I hope the above information is of assistance and if you wish to have further information you may wish to contact the Embassy of the countries you wish to travel to. Once again, I hope the above information is of assistance.”

“It’s not 90 days per year. If you enter the Schengen zone for 90 days you would need to come back for 90 days before you can return. Since you have the time, it would be much easier for you to get a visa as the spouse of a Spanish citizen”

“I currently split my time between the US and Spain. My Spanish partner and I did pareja de hecho in 2021, and I got residency and my TIE through that. After 5 years I can apply for permanent residency. However, one of the requirements is to not spend more than 10 months out of Spain over these 5 years. I definitely will not meet that requirement. So, I will likely have to apply for this same residency again when the time comes. That is the long term issue I find with splitting time, not being able to reach permanent residency”

“My kids are Spanish and I’ve over stayed plenty of times and gone back in. Once I was asked and I told them good luck separating me and my kids and they stamped my passport and no issues. But having said that just get residency it’s really easy if your spouse is EU and you will get the card amd go in and out as much as you want “

“It is 90 days within a rolling 180 day period not per year. The 180 day period moves every day you are in Spain. Google Schengen Calculator and put in some dates to get a feeling how it works. If you want to be more flexible get the visa as the spouse of an EU national”

“If your spouse is Spanish you don’t have to worry about visas. You can come and go as you please”

“We (American and Colombian) have visas and spend around 160 days in Spain a year, and 120 days in Colombia and are bumming around the rest of the time. We both work remotely. With our visa we can come and go all we want but if we are in Spain for more than 183 days then we are liable for taxes on global income. Many of our neighbors (from Northern Europe) stay in Spain 90% of the time and they don’t pay taxes in Spain but from my understanding they are liable “

“Since we have visas we have private insurance. You can chat with your doctor using the application in a minute or two – he orders the lab work and we walk to the clinic and get the blood drawn.. there is zero co-pays and we pay like 1100 Euro a year for both of us and it also has coverage outside of Spain”