Me and my girlfriend have a situation and we’re not sure how to find the answers...

She’s from Argentina and I am Swedish. We’re talking about marrying but we want to wait a little bit longer, so we can’t use the spouse visa method yet.

We’ve decided that we want to live in Portugal together. And I am close to renting an apartment in the city we have chosen. I’m an EU citizen so personally I could move there immediately and live there permanently. And back in Sweden I still have spare space in my parents house. And there are also nice hotels to get variation.

What’s the best way to get as much time together as possible?

Could we do the following?

  • We go to Portugal together and she stays the maximum allowed length of time in that country.
  • Then we take a flight to Sweden, and stay the maximum time.
  • Then back to portugal.

Is it possible to bunny-hop like that to stay together in Europe?

We don’t like Argentina since they target white Europeans like myself (for scams, robberies, corrupt police, etc) and it’s not safe for me there at all and she doesn’t want me to risk that. So we’re trying to find a way to spend uninterrupted time together without involving Argentina.

We would be super grateful for any guidance. All of these immigration/travel rules are brand new to us… and we barely even know what info to search for!

  • 4
    This won't work at all, because Portugal and Sweden are both in the Schengen area, and the time limitation applies to the area as a whole. Your best hope is to look into Portugal's rules concerning unregistered partners. She might be able to qualify as such, in which case she can benefit from the freedom of movement directive even though you are not married nor in a registered partnership. But questions about moving to other countries are off topic here; instead, they belong at Expatriates.
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 15:07
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of How does the Schengen 90/180 rule work?
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 15:09
  • 1
    Note - you can only live in Portugal as long as you are working, studying, or can prove (via assets and insurance) that you "will not be a burden on the member state". More broadly, your general strategy is flawed. Do not try to trick or game the system to live together. It will only backfire. Either accept occasional visits, or use the proper processes (this would mean your partner looking to move to an EU country on her own merits if you are willing to go the spousal route yet.
    – CMaster
    Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 15:12
  • @CMaster " if you are not willing to go the spousal route". Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 16:28
  • @phoog: Unregistered partners doesn't work. "Unmarried partners must provide the birth certificates of both partners and a document proving that they have lived together for at least 2 years." (From europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/residence/documents-formalities/…) Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 16:31

1 Answer 1


You would have to look at a second country outside the Schengen area, or have her apply for a national long-stay visa for Portugal or Sweden. The 90/180 rule applies to the entire Schengen area, unless she has a national visa.

  • There are parts of Europe outside Schengen, but Portugal is inside. The UK is outside Schengen, and so are Ireland and much of the Balkans.

  • Questions about long-stay visa are answered on Expatriates Stack Exchange. At her age, it would probably involve going to an university in Europe. Does she qualify, and would she consider doing that?

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