I am an Irish passport holder so European and my wife is british. We are obtaining Spanish residency. How will this affect my wifes time in France will it be limited to 90 days and will the time in Spain affect this?


2 Answers 2


The Spanish residence doesn't directly affect the rules on the time spent in France, it would still technically be limited to at most 90 days in any 180-day period. In practice, it would however make the likelihood to get in trouble for an overstay extremely low. Given that she has an EU citizen spouse and resides in Spain, I don't see any scenario where she would be removed to the UK or banned from reentering France or the Schengen area. If for some unlikely reason she comes to the attention of the authorities, what's left is a verbal warning and invitation to go to Spain.

Do note that if your wife is in France with you, the rules are different and her rights are even stronger.


Your wife's time in France will be limited to 90 days in every 180-day period, but she is exempt from that limit when she travels with you. (Furthermore, there is no systematic enforcement of the 90/180 limit for people with residence permits issued by a Schengen country.)

If the two of you are going to be spending more than half of your time in France, it might be argued that she should obtain French residence instead of Spanish, although there are certainly circumstances in which the Spanish residence permit would make more sense (for example if you have an apartment in Spain and spend 2/3 of your time in various different places in France).

Regardless, as the holder of a Spanish residence permit, your wife's time in Spain will never count against her 90-day limit in other countries (which, as mentioned, is only an issue if she travels independently of you).

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    It should be noted that if you spend more than 180 days in France, you are considered a resident and are expected to pay taxes there. So, even if they wouldn't care much when you cross the border up and down, they will certainly look very closely at a (supposedly) second residence that has power and water consumption for so many days in a year. Not sure about France, but Spain definitely checks that. Feb 15, 2022 at 12:02
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    @DiegoSánchez There is a tax treaty between France and Spain, habitual residence (183 days in a year) is only one of the criteria and not the first one.
    – Relaxed
    Feb 15, 2022 at 12:41

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