NEWS has been circulating over the past two days of Spain’s Carta de Invitacion possibly applying to UK nationals wanting to visit family and friends here in Spain.
The news has understandably both concerned and infuriated expats as it could potentially drastically limit visits from close friends and family and mean further expense and aggravation just as travel corridors are beginning to open up.
Expats are furious that the alleged introduction of the ruling will put an end to last minute visits from parents, children and friends, or the taking advantage of cheap, late notice flights.
So here’s what we know so far:
Spain’s Carta de Invitacion is an already established form that non-EU residents must fill in before they enter Spain to prove where they are staying and for how long.
The idea is to ensure that non-EU visitors staying in ‘non’ registered accommodation are properly recorded and registered.
Will it apply to Brits?
British residents are currently covered under the 90/180 agreement, meaning that under normal circumstances, British citizens can stay in Spain for 90 days out of every 180 days as part of Spain’s Brexit withdrawal agreement without the need for a VISA.
In reality, the possibility of the the Carta applying to British citizens is only a rumour at this point, a fact confirmed to the Olive Press by Anne Hernandez at Brexpats, a Spanish organisation dedicated to dismantling the often complicated bureaucracy associated with the Brexit situation.
“At the moment there is very little in the way of real confirmation that anything will come into force for UK travel.” said Hernandez.
“From what I believe, the information was shared by an ex-employee from Spain’s immigration office and was picked up online, but until we can see clear instructions from the British Embassy, nothing has been confirmed.”
The immigration section of the UK government website currently does not have any mention of the ruling, nor does the Spanish Gobierno portal.
However former Citizens Advice Bureau advisor in Spain and owner of Ask Richelle Consulting Agency, Richelle de Wit, believes that it is ‘not a visa issue, but an accommodation requirement.’
“It will no doubt take a bit of getting used to, but this has been in place for all non EU nationals for many years,” wrote de Wit on a Facebook post earlier today.
De Wit is also keen to point out that despite the controversy and uproar over the news, no official confirmation has been released yet, despite local confirmation from regional offices such as the Policia Nacional in Antequera and the offices of the Brigada de Extranjeria y Fronteras in Granada.
The British Embassy in Madrid told the Olive Press, “We are seeking clarification from the Spanish government on the issue of carta de invitacion.”
The embassy also advised to keep up to date on up to date travel information the official UK government website here.
Many expat residents are concerned of the potentially complicated nature of the process and the costs involved with larger parties visiting.
In order to obtain the certificate, the paperwork must be filled in by a Spanish resident, or a TIE holder in the case of expats, and presented to the Policia Nacional before the visitors can enter Spain.
The convoluted process involves filling out an application form online and printing out a Modelo 790-12 form to pay a €74.31 administration fee.
This then needs to be presented to the Policia Nacional to go for processing, a process that could take up to a month.
Once the application has been approved, a further fee of €6.43 per person is then paid before the original Carta needs to be posted back to the UK so it can be presented on arrival into Spain.
“For me there is too many uncertainties in the whole process for it to come into action, too many areas in interpretation,” said Hernandez.
“Not to mention the extra strain it will put on police forces and administration offices during the high season in what is already a hugely saturated time with TIE applications.”
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