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I'm a circus artist and plan on heading to Barcelona in late July. I have open ended plans but hope to stay there until my three months are up and then head to Ireland.

Because Ireland is part of the EU is this still possible without obtaining a work or student visa?

Would it be better for me to go somewhere else?

If I would like to stay in Spain longer is it possible to leave the EU for a few days and then return to start my 3 months over?

In a perfect world I would buy my one way ticket to Barcelona now and then buy my next ticket after arrival.

Is this possible or do I need proof of travel after three months in order to enter Spain?

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    Just a note - leaving the EU for a few days does not reset your 3 months period! It just adds you the number of days you were away. – Neusser Feb 23 '17 at 22:24
  • You're a US citizen? – Zach Lipton Feb 23 '17 at 22:35
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    The fact that Ireland and Spain are both in the EU has no impact on your stay in either country, because Ireland is not in the Schengen area. As far as your allowed stay is concerned, going to Ireland is the same as going to Ghana. The limit on your stay in Spain (and the entire Schengen area) is 90 days in any 180-day period. If you spend 90 days in, you have to spend 90 days out before you can reenter. – phoog Feb 23 '17 at 22:57
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Spain is in Schengen but Ireland is not, so for the purpose of visas and immigration they operate completely separate regimes.

If I would like to stay in Spain longer is it possible to leave the EU for a few days and then return to start my 3 months over?

No; the rules are not really concerned with entering or leaving; they are concerned with days that you're present within the Schengen area on. As a non-EU/EEA national without a long-stay visa or residence permit, at any point in time you need to have been outside the Schengen area for at least 90 different full days among the last 180 days.

Leaving the Schengen area for a few days does not reset anything -- except that it can help you collect a few of your 90 outside-Schengen days for later use. (Note that the dates when you leave or enter do not count as outside-Schengen).

In a perfect world I would buy my one way ticket to Barcelona now and then buy my next ticket after arrival.

The Schengen rules don't require a round-trip ticket as such. What they require is that you demonstrate that you can afford to live and eat during your stay and then also afford transportation out of the area afterwards. Having already bought a ticket is a simple way to demonstrate the latter of these, but if you can show you have enough money to buy one later, that will also work.

However, you must still demonstrate at the border that you have plans for your stay that is actually legal.

You mention in your question that you are a circus artist. You should be aware that being allowed to enter for a short visit does not entitle you to work during your stay. If you want to work, you must generally seek permission from the particular member country you want to work in, according to its national rules.

If the border guards suspect that you intend to work during your stay without proper permission, you can be refused entry, no matter what your further travel arrangements are.

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You need a exit ticket. That can be to France or any were cheap. They call these throw away tickets. You buy them then throw them away once there. The 90 day rule there I do not know.

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    This is not correct. Going to France does not constitute exiting the Schengen area. – Calchas Feb 24 '17 at 0:21
  • He is right that does not count as a exit I am more familiar with Asia. – J Bergen Feb 24 '17 at 0:43
  • You can delete your answer if you'd like. Welcome to the site and thanks for giving this question a shot. – Zach Lipton Feb 24 '17 at 18:10

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