1

I'm about to travel to Spain in order to visit relatives and friends there. I am an Austrian citizen.

I don't have any definite plans about how long my trip will last in total as well as how long I will stay at each of my destinations individually. For instance, I might first go to see my aunt and stay with her family for some weeks, then move on to my cousin and again stay there for some weeks and finally change location to stay with friends of mine for another more or less indefinite amount of time.

Are there any laws (on any level, i.e. EU or Spain) that regulate how long one can stay at a place before special measures have to be taken (such as informing an authority or landlord)?

  • If I'm not mistaken you have total, complete freedom and do not have to notify anyone about anything. (Of course, ultimately you must pay taxes if working but that applies almost anywhere.) – Fattie Apr 19 '16 at 23:08
  • 1
    @JoeBlow Yes, there is EU freedom of movement, but many EU countries still want new residents to register with the police or some other authority. This sort of thing isn't something we generally deal with here; your question may be better off at Expatriates. – Michael Hampton Apr 19 '16 at 23:16
  • Some EU countries have laws for this. They are country specific. Usually you have to register as resident after being in the country for more than 3 months. You may also have to get health insurance, based on the country. I have no idea about Spain's specifics, though. How long are you aiming to stay in total? – Belle-Sophie Apr 19 '16 at 23:18
  • @JoeBlow Total Freedom is not entirely Correct. See My Answer. – Obmerk Kronen Apr 20 '16 at 0:54
7

Are there any laws (on any level, i.e. EU or Spain) that regulate how long one can stay at a place before special measures have to be taken ..?

Yes,

After 90 Days you need to register and apply for a NIE

From 2007 Spain requires (Royal Decree 240/07) that all EU citizens planning to reside in Spain for more than 3 months should register in person at the Oficina de Extranjeros in their province of residence or at designated Police stations. You will be issued an A4 printed Residence Certificate stating your name, address, nationality, NIE number (Número de Identificación Extranjeros) and date of registration.

You will also be issued a card that is acts like an ID card . Valid Max 5 years

A small note : Since European members can not decree / legislate / regulate issues in conflict with the EU law , it is safe to assume that these regulations exists on some European level or another. I can find the source but I do not think it is really the issue.

Why do you need it ?

Well , as many argue you don't - you will need this card in order to complete other procedures , like opening a bank account, opening a Business, applying for a job, legally buy a SIM card plan, or even apply for visas at other embassies without the need to return to your home country . It is true that almost all those things can be also achieved without the card - ( evidenced by the many sin-papeles living there ) It is much easier with.

Is it only a burocratic procedure?

Yes and no. Since 2012 Spain passed some decree that allows (not require) local officials to ask for proof of sufficient financial means of support, and also proof of public healthcare insurance. Most likely, being a EU citizen, you will not be asked for one. But just know you might .

Legal Implications ?

Legal trouble - Most likely NOT. The EU Citizens has a freedom of movement (Note : Movement. Not residency)

Since there are no border controls - No one can really know when you arrived or how long you stayed . So Legal issues are not likely to occur .

BTW - regarding this freedom of movement - It is not inclusive for all states - there are some phases (or were) of the implementation of movement - but it applied to non original members and abolished in 2011 (only Germany and your home country Austria actually applied it as far as 2011).

Note that A person can have only ONE residency (as opposed to multiple citizenships) - So effectively - Your Spanish residency will expire your Austrian one . That is not a real problem if you really live there. You can also always reverse that process with ease .

I don't have any definite plans about how long my trip will last in total as well as how long I will stay at each of my destinations individually I suggest you wait a bit before applying .

My suggestion - See if things go well for you there - and only after you will see that you really want to stay - apply for the ID and go through the process. Don't rush into it before you are sure you stay.

On a personal note - Spain is a really great country to live in. You will have a great time!

  • my guess is this law, the key word is that if you are "planning to reside in Spain for more than 3 months". ok, so you're not planning anything. even in the english translation, you "should" fill in the form. should == nothing. if you have an EU passport you can go anywhere you want in the EU. "European members can not decree / legislate / regulate issues in conflict with the EU law" you probably agree, they constantly do. (BTW, I think that's a good thing - brussels should be burned to the ground.) They are sometimes struck down, or argued over for years, or ignored. – Fattie Apr 20 '16 at 1:15
  • 1
    (+1) To elaborate a little bit on the EU side of things, it works that way: EU law allows member states to require a registration, under some conditions, but it does not require one. Similarly, it severly restricts the requirements that might be imposed on EU citizens but never forbids a more favourable treatment. And if you break these rules, all you risk is a fine (no detention and no ban, unlike what sometimes happens to third-country nationals, at least in some countries). – Gala Apr 20 '16 at 11:44
  • So the three months threshold and the financial means and health insurance are straight from the relevant EU directive, because that's all Spain is able to demand from EU citizens (just to give an exemple to see what it means: it would be illegal to require knowledge of the Spanish language). – Gala Apr 20 '16 at 11:45
  • 1
    Also, in EU parlance, "freedom of movement" is not contrasted with residency. It includes several aspects: a right of entry, right of exit, right of residence for up to three months (which is very extensive) and a right of residence for more than three months (which is when restrictions like the financial means requirement kick in). So long-term residence is in fact covered by the freedom of movement (article 7 of directive 2004/38/EC) – Gala Apr 20 '16 at 11:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.