21 May, 2021 @ 13:00
2 mins read

CONFIRMED: Brits COULD be asked for official letter of invitation if visiting friends and family in Spain

Spain travel stock image airport cordon
Spain travel stock image airport cordon

THE British Embassy in Madrid has given their official word on the Carta de Invitacion situation surrounding British tourists that has been circulating the internet over the past few days.

News broke earlier this week that post-Brexit rules could see Spanish authorities inforce a policy that applies to third country nationals requiring Brits to show proof of accomodation on arrival in Spain.

It would mean those British visitors who are not booked in holiday accommodation but with staying with family and friends could be required to show an official Carta de Invitacion – a formal letter of invitation requested from Spanish police station and sent by the host to the guest before travelling.

Understandably, the news spread like wildfire and may were left confused and angry over the potential inconvenience and cost of having family visit from the UK.

The Olive Press contacted the British Embassy in Madrid and has now received confirmation that the Carta de Invitacion could become part of Spain’s entry requirements for UK (or non EU) nationals.

According to a spokesperson from the Embassy: “The Spanish Government has clarified that the ‘carta de invitación’ is one of the options available to demonstrate proof of accommodation if staying with a host in a private home.”

Unfortunately this does not give concrete evidence that it is a requirement upon entrance into Spain, but more of a ‘possibility’ that you may be asked for it, news that will do nothing to put the minds of expats at ease.

As with all other non-EU entrants into Spain, the embassy confirmed that other options available to Spanish border control include:

  • Proof of return or onward journey
  • Proof of sufficient income for the duration of the stay
  • Proof of accommodation such as a hotel booking, proof of address if visiting a second home or an invitation from a host

The updated travel requirements were also added to British government website late last night and can be found here.

More news is expected to come in the coming days regarding the details of the Carta de Invitacion process and the grey areas that are still apparent, but both the Embassy and expat liaisons have advised to check the above link and the Spanish Ministry of Interior for up to date news on the situation.

This news comes as Spain has eased restrictions on travellers arriving in Spain from the UK and from May 24 it will no longer require those arriving by air to show a negative PCR test.

Here’s what we know about the process of applying for a ‘carta de invitacion’:

The Carta de Invitacion can only be applied for by Spanish residents or TIE holders, who submit an application for each guest.

According to The Brigada de Extranjero y Fronteras in Granada and confirmed by the Policia Nacional in Antequera the process is essentially a two-step procedure.

Firstly the home owner must make an appointment with their local Policia Nacional via https://sede.administracionespublicas.gob.es/icpco/index and fill in this form for each guest, http://www.interior.gob.es/…/Solicitud+de+Carta…/

They must also download a Modelo 790-12 https://sede.policia.gob.es/Tasa790_012/ImpresoRellenar to pay the administrative fee of €74.31.

The home owner must then visit the Policia Nacional and ensure they have:

  • Title deeds or rental contract for the property where the guests will be lodging
  • Padrón certificate not older than 3 months
  • TIE or green EU residency certificate and passport plus copies
  • Copies of the passports of the guests that will travel from the UK to Spain to stay with you

Next it is a waiting game, with no fixed processing period but it is expected to be no longer than 20 days, depending on the volume of applications, so it is advisabe to complete the process as early as possible.

Once you receive notification that your application has been accepted you need to collect them from the Policia, plus print out a second 790-12 and enter €6.43 multiplied by the amount of guests staying.

Finally, once all this is paid and complete, you will then need to post the original Carta de Invication back to the UK so the visitors have the original forms to show upon arrival into Spain.


James Warren

"James spent three years spent working as a junior writer at various English language newspapers in Spain before finding a home at the Olive Press. He previously worked for many years as a bid writer for an international motorsports company. Based in Cordoba since 2014, James covers the southern Subbetica region, northern and inland Malaga and the Axarquia area. Get in touch at newsdesk@theolivepress.es with news or trustworthy tips that you would like him to cover in these areas"

1 Comment

  1. What happens to British visitors who want to rent an apartment for 90 days, do they still have to get this Carte de Invitacion completed and by whom? Is the landlord renting the apartment responsible for the paperwork or the renter?

    Location : England

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