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UK expat living in Germany how many days can I stay in Spain

UK expat living in Germany how many days can I stay in Spain

Old May 14th 2022, 7:16 am
  #16  
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Default Re: UK expat living in Germany how many days can I stay in Spain

Originally Posted by Mark604 View Post
I do tend to fly in an out mostly apart from the summer when I drive to Spain from within Europe and hence quite how my time in Spain would be recorded is open to conjecture.
When it comes to the argument whether you have overstayed in Schengen countries other than the one you have residency of, it will be up to you to demonstrate you have not and not for the authorities to prove you have. Relevant Schengen regulations state travellers should keep evidence of compliance, such as travel tickets, boarding passes, hotel receipts etc.
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Old May 14th 2022, 10:19 am
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Default Re: UK expat living in Germany how many days can I stay in Spain

Hi Mark604,
Thanks for your reply. I think I'm the same page. BTW,
a German friend of mine has a house in Alicante and he spends a lot of time there. Recently, he mentioned that authorities have access to electricity meter readings so they know when properties are occupied. Apparently this is to catch people renting and not declaring. However, I'm thinking that this could also be a check on how long people, are staying in Spain. OK, they don't know who is occupying a property but they could ask who was. Seems they have their own version of the BND!
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Old May 14th 2022, 10:28 am
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Default Re: UK expat living in Germany how many days can I stay in Spain

Yes, I know the onus is on me to prove I wasn't in Spain and didn't overstay, the question is though, with open borders, they would just be fishing and have no reason to believe the contrary.
All they can then say is that I have not proven I was not there to their satisfaction, which could well be enough for any sanctions on me but nevertheless and as I said, I don't overstay anyway. In reality the only thing I would regularly have from Germany are fuel receipts unless I just so happened to have something dated and identifiable from around about the day I started driving and exited Germany - and I normally make a point of filling up in Germany before crossing the border in the vain attempt to cross all the way through France without filling up - it was always far more expensive in the past to do so.

I can keep boarding passes and plane tickets when I do fly in, but also the stamps on my passport serve as better evidence, that is when it is stamped which, though there are regulations, does seem somewhat arbitrary.
I don't have hotel receipts from Germany but may have them from France and Spain whilst on the way, but they are of no use to prove I was in Germany, only that I was in another part of Schengen other than Germany on a certain date. These then don't help my proof.
It doesn't matter for the rule as to when I entered Spain, only when I left Germany. Time spent in France/Luxembourg is included in my allocation.
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Old May 14th 2022, 10:32 am
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Default Re: UK expat living in Germany how many days can I stay in Spain

Golfer, good luck with my electric meter because I'm all on solar. Mind you, if they can guess where my water meter is, and it's actually one and a half kilometres away mixed in with an industrial estate, then it'd be a damn good guess..
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Old May 14th 2022, 10:54 am
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Default Re: UK expat living in Germany how many days can I stay in Spain

Originally Posted by Mark604 View Post
Golfer, good luck with my electric meter because I'm all on solar. Mind you, if they can guess where my water meter is, and it's actually one and a half kilometres away mixed in with an industrial estate, then it'd be a damn good guess..
The electric meter thing has been talked about way back. One may continue to use electric when not living in a property say for security reasons etc. I would think the authorities would seriously be looking at an individual to go to such lengths in an investigation. Real point is the law sets the length of time you can legally be in the country/Shengen zone. If authorities believe you have overstayed and investigate then its your issue to resolve. If you can't then accept the outcome.
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Old May 14th 2022, 11:07 am
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Default Re: UK expat living in Germany how many days can I stay in Spain

Originally Posted by Joppa View Post
When it comes to the argument whether you have overstayed in Schengen countries other than the one you have residency of, it will be up to you to demonstrate you have not and not for the authorities to prove you have. Relevant Schengen regulations state travellers should keep evidence of compliance, such as travel tickets, boarding passes, hotel receipts etc.
One other point to consider is Spain is starting to use ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) cameras for traffic measures. ANPR can read and record any number plate and no doubt will have access to other EU country vehicle databases. Checking ANPR database for specific registrations is way easier than going through electric bills. I don't believe Spain is at the same level as UK for ANPR but I would guess that their use will only increase. I would just stick to the set time limits for stays in Spain and sleep easy.
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Old May 14th 2022, 11:20 am
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Default Re: UK expat living in Germany how many days can I stay in Spain

Originally Posted by Mark604 View Post
Yes, I know the onus is on me to prove I wasn't in Spain and didn't overstay, the question is though, with open borders, they would just be fishing and have no reason to believe the contrary.
All they can then say is that I have not proven I was not there to their satisfaction, which could well be enough for any sanctions on me but nevertheless and as I said, I don't overstay anyway.
The Spanish immigration law (Royal Decree 557/2011) puts the onus on you, as a third country citizen, to declare your entry into Spain. It doesn't matter whether you overstay 90 days or not, failing to declare your entry immediately makes you an illegal immigrant and subject to a fine, arrest, deportation and prohibition from entering Spain in the future.

The entry of foreigners will be considered prohibited, and access to Spanish territory will be prevented, even if they meet the requirements of the preceding articles, when:

a) They have been previously expelled from Spain and are within the period of prohibition of entry that would have been determined in the expulsion resolution, or when an expulsion resolution has fallen on them, except for expiration of the procedure or prescription of the infraction or The sanction.

We've lost the rights we once enjoyed and the sooner we adapt to the new rules that we have to follow as third country citizens the less painful it will be. Filling out and submitting one form is hardly an onerous task.
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Old May 14th 2022, 11:48 am
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Default Re: UK expat living in Germany how many days can I stay in Spain

Originally Posted by Golfer2020 View Post
Hi Mark604,
Thanks for your reply. I think I'm the same page. BTW,
a German friend of mine has a house in Alicante and he spends a lot of time there. Recently, he mentioned that authorities have access to electricity meter readings so they know when properties are occupied. Apparently this is to catch people renting and not declaring. However, I'm thinking that this could also be a check on how long people, are staying in Spain. OK, they don't know who is occupying a property but they could ask who was. Seems they have their own version of the BND!
When renting you now need a tourist licence and by law are required to keep a record of those who are staying in the property along with ID details. The same as a hotel (in the old days you filled in a card and the book, but now everything is electronic).
So at some point when a government official has nothing better to do, or is instructed by superiors, its quite easy to check (but we are in Spain so no official does anything unless told anyway)

Also it would be relatively easy to check drivers against car ownership/residence as you have to provide an NIE when buying.

But again someone somewhere would have to be bothered about this to check.

Also from memory at the old borders (I'm thinking Holland and Germany) there were cameras, lots of them and Im pretty sure there would be an ANRP one there.
So while there may no longer be a physical border, I can guarantee there will be an electronic check. (Ive also had times where the traffic is filtered through the border and you have to slow to around 40kph and an officer watches as you go through (this I assume is because they are looking for someone specific).

I used to use the channel tunnel around two or three times a month about 10 years ago and it got to be a joke that the border force in France used to greet me by name as I was returning to the Uk.
They stopped checking the company car after a couple of months because I never carried anything back to the Uk (apart from machine parts and service kits).
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Old May 14th 2022, 1:14 pm
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Default Re: UK expat living in Germany how many days can I stay in Spain

It is true about the Hacienda being able to check electricity consumption. My ex does tax declarations and was saying they do this to establish if folk are really non residents. She had a client who claimed to be a non resident so hadn't made a declaration. They received a black letter. And were then traced by their electricity consumption. Incidentally another friend got the black envelope this week so it looks like the are checking 2018 now.
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Old May 14th 2022, 2:08 pm
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Default Re: UK expat living in Germany how many days can I stay in Spain

Originally Posted by Ronnyone View Post
It is true about the Hacienda being able to check electricity consumption. My ex does tax declarations and was saying they do this to establish if folk are really non residents. She had a client who claimed to be a non resident so hadn't made a declaration. They received a black letter. And were then traced by their electricity consumption. Incidentally another friend got the black envelope this week so it looks like the are checking 2018 now.
I wouldn't doubt that evidence of permanent use of electricity has been used by the prosecution in court to prove people declaring that they are non resident when in fact they are living in Spain full time. However I doubt very much that Spanish authorities have the staff and money to routinely check every non residents electricity bill to for permenant use. I would guess there may be times when use of electricity is passed to authorities / police, say exceptionally high use which may indicate drug cultivation etc. My guess is that the people your wife mentioned were brought to the attention of the authorities some other way and electricity use was part of the prosecution case not the sole evidence. As Barryj said in his comment "But again someone somewhere would have to be bothered about this to check." .
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Old May 14th 2022, 2:11 pm
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Default Re: UK expat living in Germany how many days can I stay in Spain

bobd22 - You quoted me and then said - "Real point is the law sets the length of time you can legally be in the country/Shengen zone. If authorities believe you have overstayed and investigate then its your issue to resolve. If you can't then accept the outcome."
Are you under the impression amongst all that I have said that I outstay the time period? Or was that just a general comment?

Re: ANPR cameras - certainly they exist but a) they only record the car coming and going so it could be my wife driving and b) I'm sure I'll be corrected and on here there have been quite some debates about it, but my car can stay in Spain longer than I can.
I saying that, I have always agreed it is up to the person to prove they have not outstayed and not the authorities - which leads me suspect the reason that law is how it is, because most aren't, is the difficulty the authorities would have in many cases to prove it themselves.
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Old May 14th 2022, 2:36 pm
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Default Re: UK expat living in Germany how many days can I stay in Spain

Originally Posted by Mark604 View Post
bobd22 - You quoted me and then said - "Real point is the law sets the length of time you can legally be in the country/Shengen zone. If authorities believe you have overstayed and investigate then its your issue to resolve. If you can't then accept the outcome."
Are you under the impression amongst all that I have said that I outstay the time period? Or was that just a general comment?

Re: ANPR cameras - certainly they exist but a) they only record the car coming and going so it could be my wife driving and b) I'm sure I'll be corrected and on here there have been quite some debates about it, but my car can stay in Spain longer than I can.
I saying that, I have always agreed it is up to the person to prove they have not outstayed and not the authorities - which leads me suspect the reason that law is how it is, because most aren't, is the difficulty the authorities would have in many cases to prove it themselves.
Mark sorry just a general point not directed at you. Yes you are correct re anpr recording the vehicles movements not the individual. However it would be for keeper to indicate who is driving to the satisfaction of authorities or court. Just the same re electricity usage really, who's using it and electricity can be used when a house is empty. Many people use timers to turn things on and off in unoccupied properties. The authorities can and will present many factors that indicate evidence and raise questions. It will then be down to defendant to clarify. Sorry for confusion.
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Old May 14th 2022, 3:05 pm
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Default Re: UK expat living in Germany how many days can I stay in Spain

No problem.
The crux of the matter is and will always be, the individual proving they are not in Spain. It has to be done. It would be easy to say for example that when my car was checked as leaving with an ANPR I was driving it and not my wife - fair enough, but the problem then occurs that that isn't proof I did leave. It does make me wonder what actual standard of proof is accepted. A Facebook check in from Germany? A hotel booking in my name - (even though I didn't turn up)? A dentist appointment? What about a boarding card for a flight out - a printed off the computer one - but it was a cheap budget throwaway return flight for a couple of months later and I was actually a no-show?
Nothing to this, just letting my mind wander.
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Old May 14th 2022, 3:26 pm
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Default Re: UK expat living in Germany how many days can I stay in Spain

Originally Posted by Mark604 View Post
No problem.
The crux of the matter is and will always be, the individual proving they are not in Spain. It has to be done. It would be easy to say for example that when my car was checked as leaving with an ANPR I was driving it and not my wife - fair enough, but the problem then occurs that that isn't proof I did leave. It does make me wonder what actual standard of proof is accepted. A Facebook check in from Germany? A hotel booking in my name - (even though I didn't turn up)? A dentist appointment? What about a boarding card for a flight out - a printed off the computer one - but it was a cheap budget throwaway return flight for a couple of months later and I was actually a no-show?
Nothing to this, just letting my mind wander.
Do you seriously think the authorities are going to go to those lengths to prove you (a German resident) might have slightly overstayed in Spain or elsewhere in Schengen? They will certainly do it as part of a criminal investigation but for every UK national who is resident in an EU state?

That said, British tourists who overstay will be very easy to pick up, especially with ETIAS and EES looming.

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Old May 14th 2022, 3:28 pm
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Default Re: UK expat living in Germany how many days can I stay in Spain

Even pre Brexit with the old 90 day rule I always thought it would be far easier for other European nationals to overstay. Where we are there are lots of German Dutch French etc number plates around. Easier for them to drive over no air or seaport checks. I suppose once here if they are careful and stay out of trouble or scrutiny etc they can get away with staying a bit longer. I suppose as always though you upset the wrong person and they report to the authorities or you fall foul of the law that's when issues probably arise. We tend to only consider that it's only Brits bending the rules when in fact I'm sure other Europeans do as well.

Last edited by bobd22; May 14th 2022 at 3:31 pm.
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