29 Apr, 2022 @ 13:30
2 mins read

Confusion as Brits fall foul of beefed up Spanish border rules crossing from Gibraltar

Gibraltar Border
Photo: Wikipedia

MORE testimonials given to the Olive Press suggest border guards in Spain are now imposing increasingly strict rules for entry – without publicly advertising to travelers.

On Wednesday, Joanne Franks from Berkshire, flew into Gibraltar yesterday from the UK to spend a week at her Casares retreat.

When she arrived, she was told she had to provide proof that she owned property in Spain in order to cross.

She hastily managed to retrieve an email that proved she owned her Casares property.

“I didn’t know that you now have to show proof that you own a property in Spain or show evidence of a hotel or apartment reservation along with a return flight,” Franks told the Olive Press.

She said whilst in the queue to cross she saw four middle aged ladies who wanted to spend a day in La Linea, all of whom were carrying only clutch bags. 

When Joanne asked the guards why they were not letting them through, the guard said that they could be trying to stay in Spain permanently without a visa. 

“It’s ridiculous,” Franks said, who today is visiting the immigration office to plead with them to issue eight appointment requests for her friends who are due to visit in summer.

Brits crossing the frontier to stay in Spain must now get a Carta de Invitation – or invitation letter, for all family and friends who are staying at a private residence.

“I went to the National Police today to book an appointment to request various ‘Carta de Invitacions’, the next available appointment in Estepona is June 14 2022, I have family members arriving in May and I have no idea what to do.”

Aside from appointments, which need to be booked at least two months in advance, the cost of the invitation is not insignificant, costing €75 for each person. 

Immigrationspain.es also states: “Any foreigner planning to visit Spain cannot apply for the invitation letter directly. The relative or friend with whom the person is staying with must apply for the letter of invitation.”

Elsewhere, Richard, a retired British expat, told the Olive Press last week that on the way back from a trip to Gibraltar from Elviria there was a huge queue of people trying to get into Spain.

A border guard approached them and demanded to know where they were staying and what their address was. 

“That has never happened to us before. They ought to be notifying people,” he said. 

“Aside from the annoyance of being questioned so rigorously, the guard was very aggressive. It seems things have changed.”

Whilst ten days ago, the Olive Press reported that Brits, such as Julie Quartermaine, were being asked to prove they had at least €100 per day.

Border guards are seemingly applying the most stringent Schengen entry requirements for third countries, despite the fact that in Gibraltar such rules are supposed to be suspended whilst the UK and Spain try to reach a travel agreement.

The increased bureaucracy of travelling to Spain is the latest reminder that the days of simply hopping to Spain to stay with a friend armed only with a British passport are over.


George Mathias

George is an NCTJ trained-journalist who moved from London to Spain's Costa del Sol and joined the Olive Press in February 2022. He has previous experience working at the Basingstoke Gazette and Reach. Contact him [email protected]

1 Comment

  1. I am not sure why this is “news”. We voted leave the EU and thus give up our EU citizenship. We are now treated just like nationals from other non-EU members, eg USA,Canada,Australia etc. Friends of mine from these countries have always had show proof of a hotel booking or an invitation. These rules are not new.

    Location : UK

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