IN the wake of headlines sparking outrage over ‘new rules’ that mean Brits are required to show proof of finances on entry, Spain’s Tourist Office has released a statement to ‘set the record straight’.
As the summer holidays approached, a spate of alarmist headlines appeared warning holidaymakers heading to Spain that they could be turned away if they couldn’t prove funds amounting to €100 for each day of their trip.
These are requirements that have been in place as part of EU rules for all third-party nationals, which is what British citizens became with Brexit as the Spanish Tourist Office was at pains to point out; It is not a new rule; it’s not exclusive for UK travellers; and it’s not a Spain-only requirement.
“The requirement for UK travellers to be able to illustrate sufficient means for the duration of their stay and the return is established in the Schengen Borders Code and is not a Spain-specific requirement,” said Manuel Butler, Spanish Tourist Office director in the UK said.
“This is not a new requirement and has been in place for some time for visitors from outside of the European Union or Schengen area.
“When entering Spain, these checks are not systematically carried out for every traveller.”
He pointed out that a same rule was in place for visitors arriving in the UK.
“Likewise, travellers coming to the UK are also required to show that they have specific means to support themselves and any dependents for the duration of the trip and the ability to pay for the return or onward journey.”
There is every chance that travellers will not be asked by border guards to show this proof, however any traveller should be prepared to do so and have the documentation required if they are.
The UK Foreign Office details the rules in the ‘Entry Requirements’ section on Spain on its website.
“As well as a valid return or onward ticket, it is possible that travellers to Spain may also be asked to:
- show you have enough money for your stay. More information is available from the Spanish Ministry of Interior (in Spanish).
- show proof of accommodation for your stay, for example, a hotel booking confirmation, proof of address if visiting your own property (e.g. second home), or an invitation from your host or proof of their address if staying with a third party, friends or family. The Spanish government has clarified that the “carta de invitation” is one of the options available to prove that you have accommodation if staying with friends or family. More information is available from the Spanish Ministry of Interior.”
British Embassy staff in Spain reiterated that it was a new thing being applied by Spanish authorities.
“We wanted to clarify that there have been no changes to the guidance this summer,” The UK Embassy stressed on its Brits in Spain Facebook group.
“In summary, UK nationals entering the Schengen zone (in any country) as tourists may need to provide additional documents at the border.”