UK Passport entry requirements to Spain
UK Passport entry requirements to Spain
Updated August 30th 2019 information provided by the Uk.Gov website so is correct at time of publishing.
The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.
The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
Passports and travel after Brexit
After Brexit, the rules on travel will change. Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. You’ll need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.
If there is a deal, nothing will change until the end of 2020. In this time you can continue to travel freely in the Schengen area with your UK passport. What happens after 2020 will form the next part of negotiations.
If there’s no deal, you must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland). 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 6 months needed.
If there’s no deal, UK nationals will not need visas for short stays elsewhere in the EU. You will be able to stay up to 90 days in another EU, EEA or EFTA country, within a 180-day period. You must retain evidence of travel (such as train and plane tickets), in case these are requested by national authorities. If you hold a residence permit from an EU, EEA or EFTA country, you will be able to transit through other EU, EEA or EFTA countries to reach your country of residence.
If the UK leaves with a deal, travel to the EU will remain the same as now until at least 31 December 2020. You will not need to apply for a visa to travel or work in the EU during this time.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the rules for travelling or working in Europe will change.
The European Commission has proposed that in a no deal situation, if you are a British Citizen, you would not need a visa for short stays in the Schengen area or elsewhere in the EU. You would be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Visits to the Schengen area within the previous 180 days before your date of travel will count against the 90-day limit.
If you’re intending to stay in the Schengen area for longer than 90 days, or your stay would take you over the 90 days in the 180-day limit, you may need to get a visa before you travel.
Travel to EU countries currently outside the Schengen area (Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Cyprus) would not count towards the 90-day total.
On arrival in the Schengen Area, you may be asked to confirm that you have sufficient funds available for the duration of your stay. As non-EEA nationals, different border control checks will apply, and you may also be asked to show a return or onward ticket. UK nationals would not have an ongoing right to use the separate lanes provided for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals.
The 90-day visa-free period does not entitle you to work in the Schengen area. Most countries will require a visa and work permit.
You should check with the Spanish Embassy what type of visa, if any, you will need.
Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you do not need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this. This applies to the whole of Spain, including the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands (Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera).
If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, the rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change. If your adult passport was issued over 9 years ago, you may be affected. You should use this tool to check your passport is still valid for your trip before booking travel.
Adult and child passports should have at least 6 months’ validity remaining on your date of travel. If you renewed your passport early, extra months would have been added to your new passport. Any extra months on an adult passport will not count towards the validity requirement, so some passport holders will need to have more than 6 months remaining in order to travel.
You can check your passport here.
Passports: check if you need to renew
You may need to renew your British passport earlier if you’re travelling after 31 October 2019 and there’s no deal.
On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to both:
- have at least 6 months left
- be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)
If you do not renew it, you may not be able to travel to most EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
It usually takes 3 weeks if you need to renew your passport. There’s a premium service if you need it sooner.
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs)
UK ETDs are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Spain..
If you are a parent or guardian
For 5-year child passports issued to under-16s, check the expiry date and make sure there will be at least 6 months validity remaining on the date of travel. For example, a child planning to travel to the Schengen area on 30 March 2019 should have a passport with an expiry date on or after 1 October 2019.
If a child’s passport does not meet the criteria for third country nationals, they may be denied entry to any of the Schengen area countries and you should renew their passport before travel.
The easiest way to renew a child’s passport is online, or you can find out about other ways of applying to renew a child’s passport.
Minors travelling from Spain
From 1st September 2019, Spanish minors and foreign minors resident in Spain under the age of 18 years old may need written authorisation by a parent or legal guardian if a minor is travelling unaccompanied, with a third party or other circumstances. This is in addition to a valid travel document.
British consulates do not provide travel authorisation documents. If a certified authorisation is required, you will need to seek the services of a public notary or other competent authority in Spain. Parents and legal guardians of Spanish minors are also able to obtain a certified authorisation form at a national police station or at the Guardia Civil
Travelling to countries which are in the EU but not in the Schengen area
For countries that are in the EU but not in the Schengen area, you’ll need to check the entry requirements for the country you’re travelling to before you travel.
Travel to Ireland after EU exit
Travel to Ireland will not change, even if there’s no deal. You’ll continue to be able to travel and work there in the same way as before.
Border control: you may have to show your return ticket and money
There will be other changes from 31 October 2019 if there’s no deal.
At border control, you may need to:
- show a return or onward ticket
- show you have enough money for your stay
- use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queuing.
Passports with validity over 10 years (5 years for children)
Since 2001, some adult British passports were issued with a validity longer than 10 years. If you renewed your passport before it expired, you were allowed to have the time left on your old passport added to your new passport. The maximum validity period possible was 10 years and 9 months. This means you can’t use the expiry date to check if your adult passport will be valid under the new rules.
Since the beginning of September 2018, extra validity was no longer added to passports. The maximum validity for an adult UK passport is now 10 years, and 5 years for a child passport. We have made this change to follow recommendations set out by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and to provide clarity about passport validity in the future.
Crown Dependencies and Gibraltar passports
These new rules will also apply to you if your British passport is a Crown Dependency or Gibraltar issued passport and you’re going to travel to a country in the Schengen Area from 30 March 2019. If your passport does not meet these criteria, you may be denied entry to Schengen area countries and you should renew your passport before you travel.
You can apply for a new passport at your respective Crown Dependencies or Gibraltar passport offices: