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What if I stay more than 90 days as a tourist in Spain?

The stay as a tourist in Spain and the European Union, either with or without a visa, may not exceed 90 days for each period of 180 days, counted from the date of first entry. It is important to note that the estimation is done by days, and not by months.

The 90 days can be uninterrupted or added in several periods. Thus, the person may enter once and stay 90 days in a row, or several times, providing that the sum of the days is equal or less than 90 days.

Once the 90 days have been completed, the person will not be able to reapply for a visa after 180 days have passed from the first entry into the European Union.

Can I extend my stay beyond the time limit?

To explain this issue, it is important to distinguish between: those citizens who need a tourist visa to enter Spanish territory and those who do not.

For the first case, the maximum legal stay is only 90 days. It may be the case that the initial visa has been processed for a duration of 30 days and the visa may be extended up to a maximum of 90 days.

On the other hand, people who do not need a visa to enter Spain can stay in the country for a maximum period of 90 days and if they want to extend that period it is possible to renew it for another 90 days, thus creating 180 days of legal stay.

In both cases, it is important to note that obtaining the extension of the tourist visa is a very complicated procedure. Restrictive reasons, such as illness or accidents preventing a person from returning to his or her country of origin, must be presented.

Does this period only apply for your stay in Spain?

No, since there are no borders in the Schengen countries, the deadline should be calculated independently of the country of destination.

What if I stay more than 90 days as a tourist?

The person would be in an irregular situation in Spain. According to the Article 53.1.a of Organic Law 4/2000, of January 11th, on the rights and freedoms of foreigners is Spain and their social integration, this is considered a serious infringement, which is punishable by a fine (between 500 and 10,000 euros) or with the expulsion from European territory, taking into account the factual circumstances, and following a penalty procedure.

If the expulsion is validated, a ban on entry into the European Union may also be imposed for up to 5 years. The infringement shall be recorded in the database of all airports in the Schengen area as well as on their homeland borders. This means that even if the person obtains a new passport, the ban on entry is maintained.

I was more than 90 days as a tourist in Spain: the penalty is not automatic

It is important to explain that the fact that the person is in an irregular situation does not mean that they will be automatically open to a sanctioning process. Everything will depend on whether the authorities detect it, that is, whether the person has the documents and check that he or she does not have a residence or a legal stay.

I spent more than 90 days as a tourist in Spain: will I be able to return to Spain?

Yes, as long as the person voluntarily leaves after exceeding the 90 days. In this case the authorities will detain the person at the airport until he or she is able to board a flight to the country of origin. Once returned, the maximum time for being outside of 180 days is applied.

For more information do not hesitate to contact us at

Valentina Sierraalta


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