Spain Travel Warning: UK Holidaymakers Staying With Family and Friends

Spain Travel Warning: UK Holidaymakers Staying With Family and Friends

UK holidaymakers who are visiting friends or family in Spain could cost them thousands if they don’t have a special letter of invitation.  

Since Brexit, UK holidaymakers need to show proof of accommodation for their entire stay when visiting as a tourist.

This is not a new rule for non-EU nationals visiting Spain.

This is easy to do if you have a bed in a hotel or hostel as most will be happy to provide you with such proof with little hassle but it can be trickier to arrange if you're staying at a friend's house as you might need a ‘letter of invitation' or ‘carta de invitacion‘. And it’s not just as simple as writing a handwritten letter either, it has to be an official statement that has to be issued by the local police costing €75.05 (£63.98).

Your host has to get this letter and they need to be one of the following:

  • a Spanish national, 
  • an EU citizen living in Spain or 
  • a non-EU citizen with legal residence in Spain 

Without this letter, non-EU nationals could be fined if they try to enter Spain. You won't need the letter until you reach customs in Spain.

If you can't prove where you're staying when you arrive, the host and the guests could be hit with a big fine. These fines can reach £8,000

To avoid any violating any rules when visiting the country, it's best to check the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs' website before your trip.

UK holidaymakers have also been urged to check costs carefully, as certain Spanish hot spots have increased dramatically in price.

Application Processing Time

The invitation letter is requested at the police station closest to the inviting party’s residence.

The first thing to do is to book an appointment to go to the police station. 

On the day of the appointment, the host will need to submit the following documents:

  • A document that certifies that you are the owner of the property or the holder of the rental contract.
  • Townhall registration document (empadronamiento)
  • Copy and original of DNI, or TIE in case of being a foreign resident 
  • Copy of the passport of the foreign guest 
  • Filling in the application form that you will be given at the police station or that you can download here.
  • Payment of the corresponding fee

There is no fixed or exact period of time for the processing of the invitation letter, but authorities say that it will be processed in the shortest possible time or no more than 20 days.

Since the time will vary, we recommend that the host plan ahead and apply for the invitation letter as soon as possible.

This letter is also required for those who need a Schengen Visa and want to stay with family and friends while visiting Spain.

Do you have plans to travel this weekend? Talk to us in the comment section below. Or if you need more advice on the above, contact us for further travel & immigration advice.

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And because of the pandemic, don’t forget to get your travel insurance, which will cover you for flight disruptions and pandemic related matters.

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If you need help with a US visa, a UK Visa, or a visa to Europe, including help with appointment booking obligations, IaM can help. For more information and advice on US immigration, UK immigration law and US visa applications or if you need any help or assistance please, reach out to your Visa Coordinator at IaM.

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