Schengen Stepping Stones

There you have it:  Brexit has stopped "freedom of movement".  Yup - YOUR freedom of movement.

Incredibly, incredulously, incompetently thousands of Brits who live in the EU actually voted FOR this: Anyway this article is not for you.  Please stop reading now.

Barry and Diane:  Coming back to the UK to vote OUT, even though they live in Benidorm.  I wonder how they getting on?

How to get around it?  

The fact is you have 90 days in any 180 days in the Schengen zone.  That is from Portugal all the way to Finland.  This is a little confusing; some of us are used to "visa-run" from places like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore or Hong Kong: you just leave for a day, and come back and get another 6 months or whatever.  This is NOT the case with Schengen.  

You have a rolling 90 days in 180.  Yup that right... no more go out in September, come back in April stuff for you.

A better way to calculate might be "How many days have I spent in Schengen in the last 90?"  Take that away from 90 and whatever that number is how long you can stay.  E.g.  0 days... You can spend next 90 days.   1 day, you can spend next 89 and so on.  89 days?  Then you have 1 day to leave.  Get it??

So how do you get round it?

You can't sorry.  Unless you have some European blood in you, that entitles you to a EU passport, you stuffed.

But there are ways to be back in... 

Short Term Solutions

Andorra: We live in Andorra.  Beautiful little place.  I'll let you into a secret.  We are not in the Schengen zone, and there are border controls when you come in.  They are normally free flowing and passports are not checked or scanned.  

But if you get out of the car, and wander over to the passport booth, you can kindly ask the chap or chapess siting there to stamp your passport.  Do this on entry and on exit.  This will stop the clock ticking on your Schengen time.  

You can stay 90 days in Andorra no problem. You need to ask the Spanish or French police for the stamp (not the Andorrans)

So how about this?  Come to Spain in September like you normally do.  Come Christmas move up to Andorra.  Our pistes are guaranteed open for the "Puente" holiday in the first week of December. Stay here until say February.  That's given you another 60 days, so now till April you good back in Spain.

This is particularly useful if you in a camper van as there are no ferries to take.

Cyprus:  Is good for the moment, you could fly there and keep yourself warm.  But it is about to join the Schengen zone.

Morocco:  Just a short hop over the Straits of Gibraltar.  North Africa and nothing to do with Schengen.  Property is relatively cheap and country is quite safe.  What could be better than spending a couple of months there over the mid-winter?

Long Term Solutions

Ireland: Thanks to the historical relationship between the UK and Ireland; Brits still have the right to live in the Republic.

It might be even wetter than living in England, but there are many pluses to moving to the Emerald Isle.  After just 5 years living there (that is spending more than 6 months a year), you can get your Irish passport and then be home free anywhere in the Schengen Zone once again.

Any other suggestions please in the comments.


  1. Seems others are wondering what happened to Barry and Diane.


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