A British woman has been refused entry into Spain on the border with Gibraltar due to a missing passport stamp required after Brexit.
Linda, back in Spain to see her son who lives there, told The Local that she was refused entry into the country by border control.
She had not received an “exit stamp” from the authorities when she left Spain during her visit this summer, which suggested border controls that she had failed to respect. new rules for UK visitors who are not residents of Spain.
What is the post-Brexit passport stamp rule?
After Brexit, Britons are required to have entry and exit stamps on their passports every time they enter and leave the Schengen area – an area made up of 26 European countries.
Britons who do not have the right to reside in an EU country can only spend 90 days out of 180 in this area which includes Spain.
Linda’s missing passport stamp suggested she had been in Spain since her summer visit in June, exceeding the length of time you can stay in the area.
If you run out of the limit all at once, you must then stay outside the Schengen area for 90 days.
Being a relatively new rule change this year, not all airport workers remember to stamp UK passports every time they enter and leave the country – travelers also forgetting to check if their passports have been stamped in both ways.
“I was refused entry to Spain on September 26 because my passport had not been stamped on the exit during a previous week-long visit to Spain, which started on June 4,” said the 72-year-old man.
“The guards first stamped my passport to enter, then they noticed that I did not have an exit stamp from that week-long visit in June, thus classifying me as an overrun and subsequently marked the input buffer with the letter F and two lines. “
Despite proof that she had returned to the UK through banking activities and the Covid-19 test and traceability app, “border guards would not accept or look at any evidence or send me a message. would let anyone who could help talk, âshe told The Local.
Linda was traveling with her daughter, who was allowed to enter the country because she had not joined the previous trip with her mother in June.
However, Linda had to return to Gibraltar to spend two nights before flying to the UK.
âMy son, who speaks Spanish, tried to explain that I had other evidence of my return to the UK, but the guards did not accept or even consider watching it; they kept insisting that I had no stamp, that I had exceeded the length of stay and that I would be arrested as illegal, âshe added.
Is the situation resolved?
Almost a month later, the situation is still not resolved.
“It looks like there is no solution, the Spanish Consulate in the UK will only accept my original boarding passes as proof of exit, and as the flights were booked online I did not have them. obviously not, âshe told The Local.
âThey won’t accept screenshots or copies of any other evidence I have.
“I contacted my deputy but I have just been redirected to the consulate, thus circling around.”
Spain’s Home Office told The Local that his department could not comment on individual cases, but stressed that Spanish border officials are aware of the legislation in force regarding British nationals, residents and non-residents.