By John Smith •
Published: 20 Nov 2023 • 18:12
On the French/Spanish border
Credit: Maarten Sepp Creative Commons
The campaign to allow UK passport holders many of whom are second home owners to spend more than 90 days in Spain is gathering momentum.
Whilst some people argue that if no-one liked the rules they shouldn’t have voted for Brexit, many more argue that it makes simple economic sense for Spain and France to introduce new rules to make it easier for British (and other Non-EU passport holders) to extend the their stays.
In fact you can follow this link to see an explanation of the 180 Days in Spain campaign and their belief that Spain can actually issue 180 day visas within EU and Schengen rules.
We have just received a passionate plea from one of our readers Ann Cutting for Euro Weekly News to continue to give voice to the many who want to add their views to the debate and we are pleased to publish her views below;
“Two years’ ago I wrote to you urging an amendment to the 90 day rule for British citizens visiting EU countries. I now see that Spain’s tourism secretary is appealing to Brussels to relax the restrictions so that Brits can spend longer in Spain.
UK tourists consistently hold the top spot for the largest number of visitors to Spain and make a significant contribution to the economy.
Also, in France, Senator Martine Berthet (Savoie) has said: “As I was elected for a department where British citizens who own second homes participate actively in the dynamism of the local economy, I would like to alert you to the difficulties that they are having to get to France……
“Due to the unique links that unite our two countries and the importance of these people for the French economy, I would like to ask you if you would consider the creation of a special status for British citizens who owned, before Brexit, a second home in our country.”
I have seen for myself how the 90 day rule has affected Spain’s tourism. Campsites that, in the past, would have been full during the winter period, mainly with British visitors, now only have a smattering of British motor homers.
In France, I have been told that many British second home owners are selling up because it has become too complicated to manage with the 90 day rule and I assume there is the same problem elsewhere.
All this has a detrimental effect on Spain and France’s economy, and I am sure this applies to Portugal, Greece, Italy and other EU countries.
The United Kingdom allows European visitors to stay for up to 180 days in a year – and these can be consecutive days. If Europe could reciprocate with the same arrangement, making an allowable stay of up to 180 days instead of the two periods of 90 days in a year, it would be to the advantage of many.
Local EU businesses would benefit and their economy could be revitalised. The majority of holiday home owners and motor homers are of retirement age and the warmer winter climes and relaxed lifestyle benefits their health and well-being. They contribute not only to the economy but to the social fabric of their chosen communities.
Please can you add your voice to those seeking for the rule to be amended to allow British visitors a stay of up to 180 days in any 365 day period?”
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development.
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It makes sense to reciprocate the same 180 in 360 days to Brits in Spain ,the same as Spanish get from the British government ,while in the U.K.
The rule that a Spanish citizen can only stay in the UK for 180 in 360 days is a myth. Under a multiple entry visa, they can visit the UK several times over a 11 month period, limited to 6 months each stay.
Should be able to live anywhere wherever on this planet
Exactly true . EU citizens get 6months on entry. They come and work in the UK summertime and go back to Spain etc for Winter. I know many from the Canary Islands .
It makes more sense to give British homeowners permanent visas. 180 days is an improvement but still too restrictive
Absolutely..365 days would be great.,
180 days is an improvement but if you use all these in your own holiday home, then you have nothing left for visiting any of the other 26 countries. So better but still too restrictive.
I totally agree with you
Would make sense for them to have to pay taxes too? Why should second home owners be able to come and go as often as they like without having to pay any taxes here while those of us who are legally resident have to? There are enough people flouting the rules as they stand without giving them extra leeway.
Non resident second home owners DO pay Spanish taxes. The Spanish tax authorities apply an imputed income for non residents owning a property for their personal use. They also pay council tax.
We do pay taxes as a non resident plus ibi plus vat so uts nit just a cine and go easy ride for us either.
They pay property taxes and VAT everytime they shop..+ cars etc
I would like to visit Spain and France as often as possible.
I am a second home owner in Spain.
Would you like to pay taxes too? Why should second home owners be able to come and go as often as they like without having to pay any taxes here while those of us who are legally resident have to? There are enough people flouting the rules as they stand without giving them extra leeway.
Non resident second home owners DO pay Spanish taxes. The Spanish tax authorities apply an imputed income for non residents owning a property for their personal use. They also pay council tax. VAT, Suma, (Thanks Steve)
To change Schengen rules would take forever even if the other 20 odd countries agreed to it , just issue a home owners visa applicable to the country concerned . Agreed it may still cause a problem for those travelling through other countries but for the vast majority would be even better than 180 in 360!
Not necessary its only putting the 180 days together . If France completes it other will follow. 100% Spain as they are really hurting. .
I totally agree, having owned a second home property in Spain for over 7 years we are now no longer able to enjoy the benefits of climate and way of life as before Brexit. It has become like a military plan to organise our time/days in Spain. Also find the lack of the Pet Passport Scheme replaced by an expensive AHC at around £250 for each trip a total rip off.
The pet health certificate is a complete rip-off. We have our pet registered in the EU with a passport, it’s much cheaper overall
I’m not certain about the situation in Spain, but as a second home owner in France, I was also paying for an AHC each time we visited until recently.
Firstly, there are two centres in southern England, one in Portsmouth and the other near Dover, I think, which deal exclusively with the AHC. Bookings can be made online, and the 15 minute appointment costs £99, with a 10% discount for subsequent appointments. The paperwork is all done prior to the appointment, and it has always worked like clockwork, on our way through to the ferry.
However, we have now managed to obtain an EU Pet Passport, using our address in France. This involved two visits to the vet, a new rabies vaccination and a six week wait for the official documentation to come through to our French address, but our dog is now ‘resident’ in France, even though we are not – and the whole thing cost less than €100. Despite what the media says about the impossibility of UK residents gaining an EU Pet Passport, our French vet assures us that it is very common practice, as long as one is staying long enough at the French address for the ICAD documentation to come through. This may be worth a try in Spain. Hopefully one of these solutions will save you some money.
Not sure if true, but going to try it. If you have a home in Spain you can register your pet with a local vet. It only costs €40 then
Stick with the current arrangements but REVERSE BREXIT!! Sorted.
I wish , we were scammed by our government
Just issue permanent visas to property owners if required, even if someone wants to rent long term. There economy would increase dramatically
I am renting an apartment long term and it makes life expensive paying for a year and only visiting for half a year.
All the politicians said, especially the French, said that all negotiations should start with a level playing field. Why can the Europeans have the ability to stay 180 days at a time and I, along with many others like me, can only stay for 90 days in my second home. That is the only reason why we purchased the our apartment so that we could spend the Winter months in the warmth.
If you buy a property in spain you should have know restrictions on how long you want to stay your putting money into there economy..please lift restrictions
No,they voted to leave the EU.
How do you know they weren’t among the 48% who voted to stay?
180 days for ALL tourists, not just 2nd home owners. Reciprocate the deal ALL European citizens enjoy when visiting UK.
It should never have happened, absolutely shocked when it did, it should have been a majority vote for such a decision!!! You voted for Brexit?? Now pay the price, but more or less the other half of the voters are suffering
The British people voted for Brexit, so they should accept the consequences of their actions and stop trying to have their cake and eat it.
A lot of us didn’t vote Brexit, I trust all foreign home owners didn’t either otherwise definitely egg on their faces. Can’t have it all ways. I don’t own property abroad but do enjoy travelling. Amazing how a small majority won to exit and we still allow every other county better visitation. Got to love Britain.
I agree 100% with Tony Hulbert! Issue homeowners with a visa applicable to the country concerned. We’ve owned our house for over 15 years, we have just recently retired. The effects of Brexit has been an absolute nightmare for us!
Did you vote stay or exit Bill Nichol?
We have had a 2nd home in Spain for 9 years and the added complication of a son & grandchildren living in Sweden. A visa might help but in our circumstances not sure. We never voted for Brexit and my husband is only semi retired so still works in the UK. Ideally we would like to spend April May June & September October November in Spain and still make short trips to Sweden.
We have owned our holiday home in Spain since 1997, spent a vast amount of money there , still having to pay, even when not allowed there . We feel like many others it is an injustice,
We too own a Spanish property, pay our non tax on time, contribute vastly to the local economy, have health care but spend money on flights so enlarging our carbon footprint, were if we were able to stay for the winter, which was the plan for retirement , it would lessen our worries
I see the usuals kicking off about the possibility of UK citizens being allowed 180 days straight.
EU rules hurting EU countries, the penny dropping on the economical madness of overbearing EU rules.
makes more sense to give British homeowners permanent visas. 180 days is an improvement but still too restrictive
All restrictions should be lifted for all UK people. We support the Spanish French economy to keep people in work. Bars and restaurants would be closed if it wasn’t for the expats.
We are property owners in the Canaries. We now spend extra time in Turkey and Cyprus spends average around £2k for 2 of us per week so just our 2 holidays will see a reduction of £6k into Canarian economy 2024. This is a huge amount for the local economy when you multiply it by the other restricted holiday home owners.
On the plus side, it’s giving us insight into other countries where we have been made very welcome as tourists in areas where costs are cheaper.
Maybe it is time to sell up and look at the alternatives!
If anyone from UK owned property in EU countries prior to Brexit then they should be able to use them at anytime they want. In Spain for example, purchasing a property comes with a 10% additional tax and ongoing annual taxes, but you are not allowed to use them. Brexit or no Brexit, EU economies are struggling, so why not take advantage of the people who want to spend their money instead of restricting the number of days they may visit? It’s simple economics.
Should be a different visa for 2nd home owners as they pay suma and non residential taxes standing charges etc every year and cannot enjoy there homes whoever they want to go to spain got to keep a check on the 90 day rule
Why not just remove any limitation and save all the bureau costs.
I totally agree with comments mr j Baker made I voted to say let’s change this rule now
I am a home Owner in Spain just retired want to send my money at home in Spain not just bills
I think the rules should be relaxed why not have it where you can spend as time as you like for people wanting to work out in EU countries and for people who own property out there
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