Will having my passport stamped as a resident affect my rights?
Since January 1st when the UK officially left Europe after the Brexit transition period, even though only essential travel is allowed so the number of people going through airports is drastically reduced, there has still been confusion over having your passport stamped as a resident, and what long term effects it will have.
According to the British Embassy in Spain, the general rule is that UK nationals who can demonstrate that they were resident in Spain before 1st January 2021, should not have their passport stamped or be subject to routine questioning about their intention to travel upon entry, exit and transit through the Schengen border.
If you are resident in Spain including the Canary Islands, you should always travel with both your valid passport and proof of your residence status, such as:
- Your residence document: the green paper EU certificate, green resident card or the new TIE. The Spanish authorities have published guidance on the continued validity of the green residency certificate here:
Also you can show:
- 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.
NIE numbers, Certificado de Empadronamiento, or proof of owning a property are NOT sufficient for proof of residency or accepted for entry in the country under the current travel ban from the UK.
If you have had your passport incorrectly stamped, despite showing proof of residency, The British Embassy reassure 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 31st December 2020.
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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.
Currently travel can only be undertaken for essential reasons, and additional restrictions are in place for travel from the UK to Spain until at least 2nd February 2021. For the latest information on travel, please go to: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain