A BRITISH expat wants to take the Spanish Government to court after his Russian bride-to-be was denied entry into Spain despite having the necessary documents.
Paul Bateson, 69, from Lancashire, says he is taking legal action after his fiance Evgenia Andreevskaya Zhenya, 61, was barred from her connecting Malaga flight in Istanbul, Turkey.
Zhenya, a nanny for an oligarch, had reportedly flown from Moscow this past weekend and was planning to settle in Granada permanently with Bateson, with the pair planning to wed as soon as possible.
“She had all the papers required and translated,” Bateson, a record holder distance runner and cyclist, told the Olive Press, “She had the medical checks and PCR… she also has a Schengen visa issued in France and valid until 2023. I have now not seen her for a year.”
But when boarding the Istanbul flight to Malaga, Zhenya was told she needed to provide a wedding or marriage date.
“We can’t fix a date because we don’t know what restrictions will be in place plus you both have to go to civil court,” explained Bateson, who is deaf, making correspondence with his wife-to-be more difficult.
“My fiance was frantic, she was alone with 40kg of luggage and doesn’t speak much English, and no Spanish.”
Several hours later they asked Bateson to provide a photo of himself, a copy of his passport and residency documents.
They asked again for proof of a planned wedding, but the couple could only provide emails enquiring about the process to local government bodies.
“In the end they said no, she had to find a flight back to Moscow,” added Bateson, “I want to denounce the immigration department.”
He added: “I have contacted Guy Verhofstadt at the EU because it is a breach of human rights.
“I have also written to my lawyers in Granada.
“There is no way to fix wedding dates because of COVID. She was trying to get here so we could sort everything out within her allowed 90 days.
“She has spent a fortune getting all the documents translated and apostilled. She had the required medical and PCR.”
Russia is currently on the list of countries marked as ‘at risk’ by Spain due to its coronavirus figures.
It means anyone travelling from that country must provide a negative PCR test, which Bateson claims Zhenya had done.
“This is a bad situation all round, I am 70 tomorrow she is 61 in February,” added Bateson,“We had hoped for a long future together in Spain.
“At the moment she is very upset after three very stressful days.”
It comes after the British Government was forced to intervene following reports of many Brits being denied re-entry into Spain despite having the necessary documents.
Scores of Brits have been denied boarding or even sent back home after landing in the country, despite having their green residency card or proof that they have begun the process to gain their TIE identity document.
The British Embassy set up emergency talks with their Spanish counterparts this past weekend to ensure no more Brits were denied entry.
“We are aware that during the current travel restrictions there have been some problems for British nationals resident in Spain who have been denied boarding to return to Spain,” the Spanish Embassy in London said in a statement on Sunday.
It comes after Spain banned anyone flying in from the UK, unless they are residents or Spanish citizens, following the announcement of the more contagious strain which had engulfed much of the country.
The statement added that it wanted to clarify two essential points.
Firstly, it reads, the Certificado de Registro de la Union Europea (aka green certificate), and the new TIE, ‘are valid proof of residency for UK nationals who wish to return to their homes in Spain.’
It added: “We can also confirm that those UK nationals who can prove that they have started their residency process, but who do not yet have their new TIE card, should also be allowed to board flights to return to Spain.
“The Government of Spain will put in place this measure for a grace period of seven days from January 4 2021.
“The document resguardo de solicitud o renovacion de tarjeta de extranjero can be considered as acceptable evidence.”
It means no Brit who can prove their residency should be denied boarding a flight to Spain, or be turned away upon arrival.
They will continue to need to provide a negative PCR test.
“This clarification has also been shared with all the relevant airlines and ferries by the Spanish Embassy,” the British Embassy in Spain added.
It comes after British Airways refused nine Brits from boarding a flight to Spain at Heathrow Airport on Sunday morning.
All nine expats were in possession of their green residency cards, meaning they should have been permitted to travel.
In Barcelona, Spanish police ordered eight Britons to be returned to the UK, despite them also having their residency card.
Have you been denied entry to Spain despite having the necessary documents? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org