Updated 21 January: Following concerns over the ongoing stamping of passports, the FCDO has issued a statement to reassure those who are legally resident that it won’t be a problem for them. Those who are not legal residents will find the stamping is used in the future to control their stays and admission to the country, but legal residents do not need to worry.
We are aware that some UK nationals resident in Spain, have had your passports stamped at border control.
The general rule is that UK nationals who can demonstrate that they were resident in Spain before 1 January 2021 should not have their passport stamped or be subject to routine intentions questioning upon entry, exit and transit through the Schengen border.
If you are resident in Spain, you should therefore always travel with both your valid passport and proof of your residence status, such as:
- your residence document: the green paper EU certificate or the new TIE. The Spanish authorities have published guidance on the continued validity of the green residency certificate here: http://inclusion.gob.es/…/nota_aclaratoria_green…
- a certificate of application for residency in Spain
- or other documentation that shows you were resident in Spain prior to the end of the transition period.
If you have had your passport incorrectly stamped, despite showing proof of residency, we want to reassure you that your rights in Spain will not be affected. The stamp will also not affect your ability to apply for residency in Spain, under the Withdrawal Agreement, as long as you can demonstrate that you were legally residing here by 31 December 2020.
When travelling in the future, any stamp will be considered null and void when accompanied by evidence of lawful residence such as your residency certificate. Some border authorities may annul incorrect stamps when presented with evidence of residence, but this is not required.
As you will all be aware, travel should currently only be undertaken for essential reasons and additional restrictions are in place for travel from the UK to Spain until 2 February 2021. For the latest information on travel, please sign up for alerts at: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain
(edit: the above is a direct quote from the FCDO. It is not my text, and if any links fail there’s nothing I can do about it, I’m afraid.)
Original post 4 January: Before Brexit, much heat was generated about the chances of passports being stamped or not when British nationals arrived in Spain after the end of the Transition Period. As I’ve explained more than once over the past four years, those who go through border control as non-EU nationals will have their passports stamped, and non-resident stays limited to 90 days in any 180 will be monitored. As I’ve also explained more than once, this will not give such visitors much trouble in the first place: their passport will be stamped, they will be allowed in, and it will be stamped again when they leave. It’s on their subsequent visits that there could be serious problems if that earlier visit exceeded the allowance, and those serious problems can include being refused admission to the country.
There were many who scorned such advice with the usual “they’ll never do it” dismissal, but they’ve started already. One who has confirmed it is Richard Lewington who is the Chairman of UK Conservatives Abroad Madrid. He says that he’s “Just been stamped into Spain on my British passport DESPITE living in the country for 14 years AND presenting my Spanish residency card!”. Lewington has a TIE, hence he was legitimately travelling home, so entry was permitted but his passport was still stamped. There are also reports in the last couple of days that this is happening to residents returning through TFS as well. I did say they would … this is the stamp on Lewington’s passport.