Spain Discusses ’90 Day Rule’ with EU: hope for UK expats

90 day rule

The “90 day rule” has become a pivotal concern for UK nationals residing in or visiting Spain following Brexit. This regulation, part of the broader Schengen Area restrictions, limits non-EU citizens to a 90-day stay within any 180-day period. However, recent developments in Spain indicate a potential shift in this policy, which could significantly impact British citizens.

The Current Challenge

Brexit has altered the dynamics of UK nationals’ travel and residence in the EU, particularly in Spain. The “90 day rule” has created complications for those accustomed to longer stays, especially in regions like Costa del Sol, Levante, Baleares, and Canarias, where many Britons own second homes. This rule has not only affected individuals but also the European regions that benefit economically from British tourism and investment.

France’s Approach: A Model for Spain?

France has addressed this issue by implementing an automatic visa extension regime for British nationals with second residences, eliminating the need for additional formalities. This move sets a significant precedent that Spain is considering emulating to alleviate the ongoing challenges.

Spain’s Potential Policy Shift

Héctor Gómez, Spain’s Minister of Industry and Tourism, has confirmed ongoing discussions with the British government regarding this matter. While specific details of these talks are not yet public, it is understood that the “90 day rule” is a key topic of negotiation. Spain’s willingness to reconsider this rule reflects the importance of the British presence in the country, both in terms of tourism and property ownership.

Implications for UK Nationals

A relaxation or removal of the “90 day rule” in Spain would offer greater flexibility for UK nationals owning properties or wishing to spend extended periods in the country. It could also ease the bureaucratic burden and provide a more welcoming environment for British tourists and residents.


The potential revision of the “90 day rule” in Spain is a significant development for UK nationals post-Brexit. It demonstrates Spain’s recognition of the value and impact of the British community within its borders. As negotiations continue, UK nationals should stay informed about these changes and how they might influence their travel and residency plans in Spain.