As is noted that EU resident are entitle to travel within EU countries. I'm wondering what's the limits for the maximum length of the period when traveling in another EU country other than the country issues your resident status. I have asked some friends, most of them tells me, one can travel to other EU countries anytime, some of them say that maybe six months per year outside of the country that you registered should ok.

I'm a Belgium resident. I am issued the F card based on that my spouse is a EU citizen. I would like to know if I travel to other EU countries, what's the legal limits? In an extreme hypothesis, I couldn't imagine a Belgium resident could travel to France for 3 months, Germany for 3 months, and Poland for 3 months all in one year. Because if anyone do this, would make his residence time in Belgium really short. I guess, this could trigger the Belgium resident status illegible because it can be easily read as that Belgium is no long your domicile.

I would like to have a link or reference of the article if someone could find out. I'm curious. Thanks a lot.

  • 2
    Officialy the 90/180 days rule applies for time outside the country of residence when not travelling with your EU spouse Commented Jul 14, 2022 at 0:06
  • Thank you, do you have any official ref link?
    – Eric C
    Commented Jul 14, 2022 at 14:27
  • I have added an answer, quoting the relative portions of the Freedom of Movement and Schengen Border Code Directives. Commented Jul 14, 2022 at 19:28

1 Answer 1


Officialy the 90/180 days rule applies for time outside the country of residence when not travelling with your EU spouse.

The Freedom of Movement Article 6(2) applies to a family member when accompanying or joining the Union citizen, otherwise the Schengen Border Code Article 6(1) applies.

Note: The 90/180 days rule is rarely enforced for 3rd country nationals who are residents of a Schengen country.

Freedom of Movement - Directive 2004/38/EC
Article 6 - Right of residence for up to three months

  1. Union citizens shall have the right of residence on the territory of another Member State for a period of up to three months without any conditions or any formalities other than the requirement to hold a valid identity card or passport.
  2. The provisions of paragraph 1 shall also apply to family members in possession of a valid passport who are not nationals of a Member State, accompanying or joining the Union citizen.

Schengen Border Code
Article 6 - Entry conditions for third-country nationals

  1. For intended stays on the territory of the Member States of a duration of no more than 90 days in any 180-day period, which entails considering the 180-day period preceding each day of stay, the entry conditions for third-country nationals shall be the following:

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