UK Passport entry requirements to Spain
UK Passport entry requirements to Spain
Updated 19th December 2018 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.
If your passport describes you as a British Citizen, you don’t need a visa to enter Spain. If you have another type of British nationality, check the current entry requirements with the Spanish Embassy.
If you’re planning a stay of longer than 3 months, see our Living in Spain guide and contact the Spanish Embassy if you have further questions.
The UK and EU have agreed the full legal text of the draft Withdrawal Agreement in principle. This sets out that there will be no change to entry requirements for British citizens travelling to the EU or for EU citizens travelling to the UK during the Implementation Period (30 March 2019 to 31 December 2020).
In the event of changes to entry requirements after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019, this page will be updated as soon as information is available.
Check a passport for travel to Europe
In the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal, new rules will apply.
Before you travel, use this tool to check you have enough time left on your UK passport.
Travelling to the EU with a UK passport if there’s no Brexit deal
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, British passport holders will be considered third country nationals by countries within the Schengen area after 29 March 2019.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, new rules will apply. You should check your passport meets these rules and renew it if necessary.
The following countries are within the Schengen area: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
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. These countries are Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania. Travel to Ireland is subject to separate Common Travel Area arrangements which will remain the same after the UK leaves the EU.
Before 29 March 2019
Most EU countries (though not the UK) are members of the Schengen Agreement. This agreement removes passport checks and border controls at the borders between Schengen area. People can travel around the area as if it is one country.
If you’re a British citizen, as an EU national, you’re currently able to enter the Schengen area if you have a valid passport. There’s no requirement for British passports to have a minimum or maximum validity period remaining when you enter or leave the Schengen area.
Travel around the EU with a British passport
The rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. After 29 March 2019:
- You should have at least 6 months left on your passport from your date of arrival. This applies to adult and child passports.
- If you renewed a 10 year adult passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your new passport’s expiry date, making it valid for more than 10 years. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months that should be remaining for travel to most countries in Europe.
The new rules will apply to passports issued by the UK, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey. You can use this tool to check a passport for travel to Europe.
If you’re planning travel after 29 March 2019 and your passport will not meet these validity rules, we recommend you consider renewing your passport soon to avoid any delay.
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.
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 is subject to separate Common Travel Area arrangements which will remain the same after the UK leaves the EU.
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:
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs)
UK ETDs are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Spain.