I know they can easily verify it by checking flights, and my expenditures.. but how do they find out in first place, if nobody submits a request to verify?

For example: I’m resident in France, and I spend more than 6 months in Spain.

  • 1
    This does not appear to be a travel question. It's not clear from your question for what purpose you're asking but this may be more suitable for Expats or for Money, or possibly for Law.
    – MJeffryes
    Apr 12 at 14:36
  • If the police suspect that you are not really a resident where you claim to be they may actually come and check. And if they determine that you are abusing the system they will simply cancel your permit. Apr 12 at 16:36
  • @KristvanBesien I'm actually European, I don't need a permit. The question was more like: "how can they suspect?" It sounds like the chances are very little, unless something happens like a car accident etc.
    – aneuryzm
    Apr 12 at 19:08
  • 1
    @aneuryzm it depends a lot on your circumstances. In some cases it’s trivial for them. In others it may indeed may quite more difficult.
    – jcaron
    Apr 12 at 20:10
  • Somewhat related: expatriates.stackexchange.com/questions/3045/… Apr 13 at 4:02

2 Answers 2


Edited in response to the comments: There are different laws this idea might break, and different ways how this might come to light. Or not -- making it easier to break the law is a consequence of making legitimate border crossings easier.

  • If you are an EU citizen, you do not need a residence permit. If you are European but not EU, you will. Breaking the terms of the national visa may be difficult to catch, but if you are caught (see below), the consequences are serious.
  • You mentioned taxes, there are also social security payments which may be due. Avoiding taxes and payments would be a crime and various police and tax authorities would investigate if they have a suspicion.
    • Employers have a duty to pay taxes, etc., and generally they try to comply with this duty. An employer would generally be interested in knowing where their employees work. In Germany, something called the A1-Bescheinigung is required to prove social security status for temporary work abroad.
    • Landlords may want to check the residency status of their tenant, if only to gauge the likelihood of getting paid.
    • In case of sickness, doctors and hospitals would want to be paid, and that may involve the health insurance provider. That provider keeps records.
    • Tax returns may simply look inconsistent and cause further investigation.

If the authorities start to suspect you of tax evasion, that crime may be investigated by more or less intrusive methods. It is a crime, and the police have various means at their disposal. And if you are caught, a low-probability event, the consequences may be dire.

  • 2
    If you legitimately live near one of the Schengen internal borders, for practical purposes you can cross every day and get away with breaking the rules. in areas where cross border commuting is common, employers/localities have agreements to direct taxes correctly (eg Geneva/Annemasse)
    – MJeffryes
    Apr 12 at 15:01
  • @MJeffryes, yes, but that would involve telling the authorities and filing the requisite tax forms. The OP seems to assume that one keeps it secret.
    – o.m.
    Apr 12 at 18:44
  • @o.m. Thanks for your reply. It is indeed as I thought. I was thinking that landlords surely need to register tenants, but I can also rent a place and leave it for a month and keep paying the rent. So the only way to prove would be to ask airlines to provide the data. In any case, this check will unlikely happen unless something bad happens.
    – aneuryzm
    Apr 12 at 19:13
  • 1
    I think the point about cross-border travel is really just muddying the waters and unrelated to the question. What rule is being broken if you cross the border everyday? The question is explicitly about residing in another country and the residence of a cross-border worker is well defined.
    – Relaxed
    Apr 13 at 12:26
  • 2
    Incidentally, in the example raised by @MJeffryes you don't need to tell the authorities anything, in canton Geneva employers withhold income tax for French residents and will collect all your info and report it to the authorities. It's fine not to know but why make stuff up and write a hand-wavy comment about “tax forms” when you clearly have no idea about the way things work in this particular situation?
    – Relaxed
    Apr 13 at 12:26

As pointed out already, it depends on several things.  But since you mentioned Spain, landlords there are also expected to pay taxes.  If they comply, that may expose you.  And if they don’t, they are cheaters, and will likely also try to cheat tenants.  Which will eventually result in a cheated tenant reporting them to Hacienda, resulting in an investigation that will probably expose you.

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