I am a retiree who is considering living part-time outside the US in one or more Schengen zone countries over the next several years. I would stay less than 90 days each visit in the Schengen zone, and less than 183 days per year outside the US. I want to minimize my US costs when I am not in the US. For example, I would ideally like to avoid the expense of maintaining a full-time residence in a state in the US in order to have a permanent address for tax domicile, banking, Social Security, drivers license and other legal purposes.

I am aware of the use-a-friend's-address or virtual mailbox ideas, however these seem to be ways of disguising one's living situation that would ultimately result in a range of practical and perhaps legal problems.

I'm thinking that the best I can do is rent an inexpensive apartment in the state where I will live when I am not outside the US. However, I hate paying a full year's rent and utilities for a place that I will only use 6-8 months per year. (Subletting isn't an option for me.)

Is there a practical way of living at temporary addresses (e.g., AirBnBs), one that complies with US law, while I am back in the US?

  • The limitation on time spent in the Schengen area is 90 days in any 180-day period, not 90 days per visit. For example, if you arrive on April 16th and leave on the 76th day of your visit, June 30th, then if you return on or before the 28th of September you can only remain for 14 days. You have to wait until the 29th of September to return for 90 days.
    – phoog
    Mar 13, 2023 at 7:22
  • I am aware of the Schengen area restrictions. My question pertains to living at a temporary address in the US.
    – PerroViejo
    Mar 13, 2023 at 11:00
  • Ok, I understand that, which is why I posted this as a comment. The wording used in the question implies a possible misunderstanding, so I wanted to point that out: keeping each individual visit to under 90 days does not by itself imply compliance with the 90/180 rule. If you already knew that, great. There are plenty of questions over at Travel from people who don't understand it exactly.
    – phoog
    Mar 13, 2023 at 13:37
  • Yes, it is true that many people don't understand the rule, although the concept is pretty simple. :)
    – PerroViejo
    Mar 13, 2023 at 15:17

1 Answer 1


There's absolutely no law requiring a US citizen to have any permanent residence in the US.

You'll need to deal with States' residency rules for things like driving license or voter registration, and potentially have state tax exposure as the result, but even that can be avoided if you don't actually need a US driving license and don't vote.

  • 2
    You do not need to reside in the US to vote in federal elections.
    – phoog
    Mar 13, 2023 at 7:07
  • 1
    Federal law requires every state to register voters who reside outside the United States and were last domiciled in the state before leaving the United States. Someone meeting that definition isn't a resident of the state, and registering and voting in a federal election does not by itself create tax exposure.
    – phoog
    Mar 13, 2023 at 10:05
  • 1
    My question is about the practical issues with not having a permanent address in the U.S. For example, if I can't get (or renew) my drivers license, or my bank freezes my accounts due to KYC laws, these would be practical issues for me. If I can't drive, or can't pay bills, voting in the next federal election would be low on my list of practical issues.
    – PerroViejo
    Mar 13, 2023 at 11:05
  • 1
    @littleadv as asked originally, I'm trying to understand the practicality of the matter; that is different than understanding its legality. I don't want to find myself outside the US trying to resolve a service provider issue because some service provider insists that I prove that I have a permanent address in the US.
    – PerroViejo
    Mar 13, 2023 at 16:56
  • 1
    @littleadv yes I also know people who live abroad and haven't had issues. I know it's possible to live nomadically. That said, I've encountered some potential issues. The US drivers license renewal seems difficult and has been well documented. I've also discovered that my property insurance provider makes certain assumptions about having a more-or-less regular presence as a condition of coverage. That makes me wonder about continuity of coverage with other insurance, banking, etc.
    – PerroViejo
    Mar 13, 2023 at 17:15

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