Spain passport rules: Britons urged to ‘check passports’ – latest rules in full

Brexit: Expert outlines potential travel changes for UK citizens

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Since Brexit came into force on January 1, 2021, travel rules have changed for UK passengers hoping to visit European Union (EU) countries such as Spain. Recently, a British woman named Sonia told Express.co.uk how she unknowingly overstayed her 90-day visa and was “detained” by Spanish authorities.

Sonia said: “I was obviously a bit naive but I wasn’t aware that I’m only allowed to stay in Spain for 90 days. I didn’t know anything had changed.”

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), which provides advice for UK travellers, has urged Britons to “check passports” to avoid such situations.

The advice states: “Check your passport is stamped if you enter or exit the Schengen area through Spain as a visitor.

“Border guards will use passport stamps to check you’re complying with the 90-day visa-free limit for short stays in the Schengen area.

“If relevant entry or exit stamps are not in your passport, border guards will presume that you have overstayed your visa-free limit.

“You can show evidence of when and where you entered or exited the Schengen Area, and ask the border guards to add this date and location in your passport.

“Examples of acceptable evidence include boarding passes and tickets.”

This is just one of the new rules which have come into force since Brexit.

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Under the latest rules, Britons can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa.

The FCDO states: “This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training.”

It continues: “If you are travelling to Spain and other Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the 90-day limit.”

Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel will count towards your 90 days.

This limit must not be exceeded. Anyone who wishes to stay longer, for work, study or business reasons must meet the Spanish government’s entry requirements and may be required to obtain a specific visa.

The FCDO adds: “If you stay in Spain with a residence permit or long-stay visa, this does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.”

Passports must also be classified as “valid” under new EU travel rules.

This means your passport must be valid for at least three months after the day you plan to leave Spain or any other Schengen country.

The document must be less than 10 years old, and the three months you need when leaving a country must be within 10 years of the passport issue date.

The FCDO adds: “If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date.

“Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the minimum three months needed.”

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