My wife and I would like to travel throughout the Schengen area for more than 90 days while my Portuguese citizenship application is in process.

My wife is a Portuguese citizen by birth and has had dual US/Portuguese citizenship since 1989. We’ve been married for 25 years. 2024 is our Silver Anniversary year. Our son is in his final year of college in the US. It’s been a long-time dream to establish our home in Europe. I’m retired now and since Covid her career is 99.9% remote. We started my Portuguese citizenship process in early 2023 and don’t think we’ll face any foreboding obstacles other than my becoming proficient in the Portuguese language, political structure, culture and history.

We’re starting a 90(+?)-day trek around Europe in May and have purchased refundable return flights 90 days out to comply with the 90/180 day requirement. Since she is now able to work from just about anywhere we would like to have the freedom to continue our travels together beyond the 90 days on through Christmas and New Year, and have our son fly out to join us when he can.

I know this question has been posted before and in one of the replies someone mentioned that if the spouse has an active residency application in the works, the 90/180-day rule does not apply, as long as the non-EU spouse is traveling with their EU partner. Another reply stated that they can travel for up to eight months. And since my wife will be working along our travels there's that aspect.

So the question is can a non-EU spouse of an EU Citizen with an active residency application in process remain in the Schengen area longer than 90 days? Also, if the EU citizen spouse is working remotely, is there any consideration in that respect?

2 Answers 2


The fact your residency application is in process, and most of the detail in your question, is irrelevant. The important fact is that you are the family member of an EU citizen. As such, you benefit from EU freedom of movement when you are travelling with, or to reunite with your spouse. In this situation, the 90/180 rules do not apply to you. You may be required to apply for a residence permit if you stay in any single EU country longer than 3 months, but that does not sound like it is your plan.



The rights of the spouse are derived from the freedom of movement right of the EU citizen.

When staying longer than 3 months in another EU country, the EU citizen must, if required by that country, register in some form.

The non-EU spouse will be registered together with the EU citizen.

As long as both do not stay longer than 3 months in a single EU country, nothing must be done.

The EU citizen should enter and stay with an EU passport/id and both should be traveling together.

  • 2
    Carrying proof of marriage (marriage certificate etc) to both border and throughout the travel is strongly recommended.
    – ave
    Commented Apr 5 at 10:36
  • 1
    I found the phrasing of "When staying longer than 3 months in another EU country, the EU citizen must, if required by that country, register in some form." confusing so I will just leave a rephrasing in the comments: For the first 3 months that an EU resident is staying in another EU country the country cannot require registration. After that the country can require this and whether it does depends on the country in question. europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/residence/documents-formalities/…
    – Kvothe
    Commented Apr 5 at 16:19

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