British expats ‘concerned’ over passport stamp issues in Spain – ‘null and void’

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Since Brexit, British citizens are only allowed to stay in Spain for 90 days out of every 180 in the year. However, British expats with Spanish residency should not have their passport stamped at border control.

The British Embassy posted on the ‘Brits in Spain’ Facebook page: “We know that some UK nationals resident in Spain have had your passports stamped at border control and are concerned about what that means for your residency.

“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.

“However, we are conscious that it is happening in some cases and we continue to feed this back to the Spanish authorities.

“If you are resident in Spain, you should always travel with both your valid passport and proof of your residence status.”

In other passport stamp news, a British woman claimed she was blocked from entering Spain after her passport was incorrectly stamped.

Linda said that the Spanish authorities didn’t stamp her passport when she left Spain. This meant that when she returned she was denied entry.

The authorities believed she had overstayed the 90 day rule as her passport had not been stamped when she left, according to her claims.

The Spanish Ministry for the Interior told it could not comment on individual comments but that all guards were aware of the correct stamp procedures.

The Embassy said expats could prove residency with: “Your residence document: the green paper EU certificate of the new TIE. The Spanish authorities have published guidance on the continued validity of the green residency certificate.

“Or 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.”

It added: “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.

“If you are still not officially resident, the stamp will also not affect your ability to apply 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 continued 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.

“If you wish to raise an incorrect stamp with the authorities you should contact the Ministry of the Interior.”

British expats that missed the residency deadline have to apply for Spanish residency from within the UK.

Ximo Puig, the President of the Valencian region in Spain, has called for the 90 day residency rule to be extended for Britons.

He said that Britons who spend several months of the year in Spain said he wanted Brexit to be as ‘Brexit-less’ as possible.

Puig said he was concerned that the rules would have a negative impact on retirees in the Costa Blanca.

The rules will also impact British people who purchased homes in the region with the intent of retiring there in future.

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