Extending EU stay allowance

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 Ram MkiV 29 May 2021

Covid complications aside, does anyone have up to date experiences or ideas on extending the 90 in any 180 day stay allowance, not for work but to just stay/holiday there.

I suppose more specifically I'm after some knowledge on:

-general feasibility

-requirements (circumstances, documents, etc.)

-types/options of visa available

-rough cost

of obtaining something in either France or Spain (or in UK before you get there?) to try and get some idea of best strategy. 

I own a house in France but I have a (hopeful) suspicion it might be easier, cheaper and less faff to get something sorted in Spain as France is reliably a costly and time consuming nightmare when it comes to anything official/bureaucratic. House is very close to border so nipping over a couple of times into Spain wouldn't be a problem.

Apologies for lazy nature of post and sorry also if in wrong forum.



 jimtitt 29 May 2021
In reply to Ram MkiV:

Full details on the EU website. You must remain in the country you applied from until it is granted.

 Ram MkiV 29 May 2021
In reply to jimtitt:

Yeah I guess the info might be on there but it's not easy to find, for me at least. (admittedly absolutely terrible at this sort of thing)  Can't find any info on how long an application is likely to take, how much it's likely to cost and things are always worded in ambiguous way eg. 'it may be necessary' etc.  First hand reports of someone who's managed it in France or Spain would be ideal I guess but due to Covid perhaps not that many people have tried yet.  Ultimately I imagine I'll just go and find out for myself and if it's not possible or too expensive, just stay less than the 90 days... 

 racodemisa 29 May 2021
In reply to Ram MkiV:

Look into 6-12 month country specific visitor visas.In Spain at least the conditions for having one granted are proof of annual private medical insurance.. permanent address and proof of income as stipulated by the local province you are based in.Incidentally these are the same basic conditions for applying for a TIE card the 5-year residency document that would give a certain amount of EU residency status (I don't think a long term visitor visa does).

Post edited at 20:19
 Laramadness 30 May 2021
In reply to Ram MkiV:

This might help you for France Rammers! Unless you're staying more than half a year and can get your Carte de Sejour?


 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 31 May 2021
In reply to Ram MkiV:

> Covid complications aside, does anyone have up to date experiences or ideas on extending the 90 in any 180 day stay allowance, not for work but to just stay/holiday there.

Sorry I can't recall where, but a site I visited recently was asking the same - the general thrust was the the question had been asked loads of times and no one had come up with any real way around the rules apart from residency or visas,


 Ram MkiV 31 May 2021
In reply to Laramadness:

Thanks a lot G, that's pretty much what I've been failing to find.  Can picture the staff in that communist looking building in Foix now, 'oh no, not him again' if/when I attempt one of the options.

 Ram MkiV 31 May 2021
In reply to Ram MkiV:

For anyone searching this and, like me, too lazy and/or incompetent to find out directly, the stipulations and costs for France based application from page linked above go something like:

-Complete copy of birth certificate

-Passport (pages relating to civil status, validity dates, entry stamps and visas) 

-Proof of address dated less than 6 months

-3 photos or, if the request is made online, photo code and valid digital signature

-Medical certificate issued by the Ofii (this is probably not cheap?)

-Proof of your resources reaching an annual amount equal to € 14,767 (bank certificates, deposits from solvent persons, pension voucher for retirees, etc.) 

-Certificate on honor (handwritten) not to work in France

-Certificate of health insurance covering the duration of your stay 

Cost is 225 € for the application.  Lasts one year and sounds like you can renew for 180 €

Would also need to arrange additional insurance for vehicle I guess.

So not too bad or costly on the face of it.  Still not too late for residency application which is similar set of requirements I think and therefore possibly better option.

All in all doesn't look good for anyone wanting to go for extended holidays or van trips though.  But everyone apart from me probably already knows all this (I'm just catching up with the reality having had head firmly buried in the sand the whole time!)

 steve taylor 01 Jun 2021
In reply to Ram MkiV:

What you're saying is broadly in line with the Remain in France forums on Facebook are saying. You'll have to apply for a visa, and it will be a pain in the @rse.

It's not too late to apply for residency, it's just that you can't do so under the less onerous route via the Brexshit Withdrawal Agreement (for which you'd have to provide proof of residence prior to 31st December 2020). You'd be applying as a Third Country National and have to evidence that you can afford to live in the EU country of your choice, including healthcare, income, accommodation etc.

 mark20 01 Jun 2021
In reply to Ram MkiV:

My Mum and partner moved to France last year. He's self employed doing something in IT, though won't be working in France, he re-registered his company name in France and they applied for residency off the back of that, which apparently is a fair bit easier. I may have got that slightly wrong but that's a the gist of it. Dunno how helpful that is to you but I can find out more if you like

J1234 01 Jun 2021
In reply to Ram MkiV:

Some good info in these webinars about longer stay non work Visas.

on the website if you hunt around they have country specific information.

For Spain as I understand it you each need either and income of 25K or in the bank, each, and then its some paperwork, which apparently a lot of which people should have been doing if stopping longer than 3 months anyway, but no one did.
Other countries have their own rules.
Have a look on Motorhome fun forums, they know their stuff and I would expect as Covid calms down some good information will appear there
The consensus from the legal people seems to be its a bit harder post Brexit, but not impossible.

Good luck.

Post edited at 09:21
 Vigier 01 Jun 2021
In reply to Ram MkiV:

Check out this website - they also have a Facebook group -

I think things may not be as bad as first thought: seems that the 4-6 month visa - the VLS - T - might be the answer for second home owners in France in order to beat the Schengen 90 day restriction. The beauty of this visa is that the French government have indicated recently- after lobbying from 180 day group- that they will accept the EHIC or GHIC as proof of medical insurance cover ( they won’t if applying for the 12 month visa).

I believe the cost is 99e and involves a trip to a French consulate.

This group is hoping that people applying for the shorter term visa will post their experiences on Facebook.

Post edited at 18:12
 Ram MkiV 05 Jun 2021

Thanks a lot to everyone for info and replies.  As pointed out a couple of times above, I've now seen the same sort of question getting asked all over the internet all the time.  I really hope a more straight forward and relatively inexpensive solution can be agreed upon before too long as there's nothing at the moment.  In the meantime, personally going to do the online residency application and see what happens with that.
Having given this a little bit of thought, anyone care to point out the folly/flaws in the following slightly less, er, official solution I came up with the other day?
Let's say you want 5 months in France (or Spain). ie. ~ 2months more than currently allowed....

After say 2 months of being in France, park close to the border on the road up to Andorra.  Hitch/walk/get a lift from mate into Andorra making sure to get passport stamped on way in.   Hike out of Andorra sufficiently far from border control and make way back to car.  You're now back in France but passport stamps say you're out of Schengen area (in Andorra).  After a further 2 months back in France, do the reverse border procedure - hike into Andorra, exit officially with passport stamp going out.  You now have ~1 month left on your passport to remain in EU/schengen area.
What could possibly go wrong?!   

 Jenny C 05 Jun 2021
In reply to Ram MkiV:

My understanding the current rule is we can only stay in the EU for 90 days in any 6 month (rolling) period, so a quick trip back to the UK or other non EU country wont really help you.

 Ram MkiV 05 Jun 2021
In reply to Jenny C:

yeah, you're right but my suggested (probably stupid) work around isn't that.  Check again if you can be bothered

 John2 05 Jun 2021
In reply to Ram MkiV:

I have read that the French have updated their border entry systems to keep a rolling count of how many days non-EU citizens spend in France during each 180 day period.

 abarro81 05 Jun 2021
In reply to Ram MkiV:

I like your plan... Probably work fine until you get unlucky and hit a border guard/police patrol or something goes wrong while officially outside the country eg. getting I'll or injured... Might need to work out the consequence of getting caught. I imagine trying the same thing in the US would get you a lifetime ban, which from the Schengen region might not be worth the risk!!

 steve taylor 05 Jun 2021
In reply to John2:

True. I exited France a couple of hours ago and my passport was scanned and stamped. They now keep a tally for British visitors. 

 yorkshireman 05 Jun 2021
In reply to Ram MkiV:

> What could possibly go wrong?!   

Just to play devil's advocate you're basically suggesting illegal immigration. If you weren't white (I'm guessing based on odds, apologies if I'm wrong), wealthy (by global standards) and a tourist I can imagine many people taking an even dimmer view.

Along with the rules that Brits are now subject to as third-country nationals (eg. having to register visitors with the town hall in France) there's a common feeling of British exceptionalism to these rules and that somehow it shouldn't apply to us. But we've deliberately relegated ourselves to a lower tier in world standing - it sucks but hey, blue passports.

 john arran 05 Jun 2021
In reply to Ram MkiV:

I think the most likely flaw in your devious plan may be the difficulty of finding someone at the Andorra border to stamp your passport to show that you've left France!

 wbo2 06 Jun 2021
In reply to Ram MkiV:

Seriously another consquence is that if you've been processed as an illegal immigrant which is what you're suggesting expect some tricky questions going to other countries afterwards, and not just EU countries.  At the end of the day you voted for, and elected a government that created this policy

I'd also comment that if I owned a house in country x, I wouldn't want to p off the government of said country so they wouldn't allow me in.

Post edited at 16:11
 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 06 Jun 2021
In reply to john arran:

> I think the most likely flaw in your devious plan may be the difficulty of finding someone at the Andorra border to stamp your passport to show that you've left France!

Agreed - plus if you did manage to get an Andorra stamp, it would alert any copper/border guard that you were up probably to something


 Ram MkiV 06 Jun 2021

Some funny replies, thanks.  Don't think the Andorra thing will work as even if you persuaded someone to stamp your passport, doesn't seem likely it will stop the clock ticking as far as the french/eu system is concerned.  Same plan but using Croatia or Bulgaria would probably work but they're quite a long drive.  Now looking into potential solutions involving pedalo purchase in Dover instead.

 Vigier 07 Jun 2021
In reply to Ram

My wife has a meeting tomorrow in Edinburgh at the French Consulate to apply for the 4/6 month visa for France. She has spent the best part of three days getting the necessary documentation together and copied.

Will be interesting to find out how she gets on; will report back on how it goes if anyone interested.

Post edited at 20:45
 Toccata 07 Jun 2021
In reply to Ram MkiV:

Could you claim asylum? As a great fan of legal loopholes how long would it take to process the claim? A year?

J1234 08 Jun 2021
In reply to Ram MkiV:

Just noticed you have a house there. Could you not apply for residency in France?
I know a couple and they have a house in France and one of them has claimed residency in France, and she seems to be able to come to UK as and when she wants. I have no idea if she is still registered with a UK doctor or Tax or anything, but it seems to be a Cake and Eat it situation. I think this option could be open to you till the end of the month, if at all.

 yorkshireman 08 Jun 2021
In reply to J1234:

> Just noticed you have a house there. Could you not apply for residency in France?

This was hard before the withdrawal agreement - since the OP didn't live there prior to Jan 1 this year then this will be even harder. Not to mention that if you're resident there, you owe the French tax authorities tax on 100% of your worldwide income (although you're not double taxed on UK generated income).

 Vigier 08 Jun 2021
In reply to J1234:

Don’t think the residency route is the right one for most second home owners who want to retain their main connection with the U.K. but want to have more flexibility than the current Schengen restrictions demand.

Reporting back, it appeared that my wife had a very quick, hassle free appointment with her interview applying for the 4-6 month French visa. As far as I’m aware, she will have freedom to visit France for up to 6 months with this visa. She will have to leave France when it expires but can return after an absence of one day; the visa should not eat into her Schengen entitlement - we’ll see in due course how that pans out.

 Ram MkiV 09 Jun 2021
In reply to Vigier:

Sounds pretty good apart from the 3 days prep bit!  How much was it? 

 Vigier 09 Jun 2021
In reply to Ram MkiV:

I believe it’s 99euros.

Think the 3 day prep time is more a measure of my wife’s thoroughness- she said the woman who conducted the interview was not interested in the cover letter that my wife had spent a lot of time preparing - interviewer was only really interested in her having the appropriate documentation. 

I plan to apply later in the year. 

 Vigier 10 Jun 2021
In reply to vigier

With one or two minor charges added  ( eg courier service to get passport back from London), my wife says that the total charge for the visa comes out at “ just over £100” ( she’s not precise when it comes  to spending money!).

Hope this helps.

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