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I have a Working-Holiday Visa for Spain,

Arriving in Spring I spent 90 days in Spain and then left the Schengen zone to Ireland for just under 90 days. Does leaving the Schengen area apply to my 90/180 days, will I need to return to Spain? Or can I now travel to see countries in the Schengen area?

I'm having trouble on how they calculate the 180 days, when will it reset?

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The 180 days are literally 180 days, next to each other on the calendar -- no pauses, no interruptions, no breaks.

They never "reset"; you always need to comply with the 90/180 rule for the the period that consists of today together with the previous one-hundred and seventy-nine days.

The 90 days count

  1. dates (midnight to midnight)
  2. on which you have been physically present (even for just one minute)
  3. in a Schengen member state
  4. that you did not have a valid residence permit or long-stay (i.e. type D) visa for.

If your "working holiday visa" is a type D visa (which I think they are in general), then your 90 days in Spain did not satisfy condition 4, and therefore your 90/180 Schengen counter is still at 0 days spent.

  • Because you say the 180 days is like days on the calendar, does it start the day I arrived in Spain (90 days) then 90 days in Ireland, making a calendar based 180 days. Or does it pause the whole 180 days because I left the Schengen area and once reenter I will still have 90/180 days to travel Schengen (other than Spain) – Vicki Oct 9 '18 at 11:13
  • @Vicki: A 180-day period started on they day you arrive in Spain. Another 180-day period started the day after you arrived in Spain. The day after that yet another 180-day period started. For that matter, a 180-day period also started on the day before you arrived in Spain. You need to comply with the 90/180 day rule for each of all those 180-day periods, separately. – Henning Makholm Oct 9 '18 at 11:14
  • @Vicki There is no pause in the 180 days. If you have been only in Spain and Ireland then you have not used any of your 90 days, so you can go to other Schengen countries for up to 90 days. – phoog Oct 9 '18 at 12:58

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