And expats have lamented the situation, with one branding it a “nightmare”, while another suggested it would have the effect of persuading potential tourists to look elsewhere in future. With entry restrictions to Spain from the UK being lifted today, a message posted on the Brits in Spain Facebook page on Friday explained the restrictions which visitors to the country will continue to face.
Prior to passing through Spanish border control, visitors may be required to show a return or onward ticket, prove they have sufficient money for their stay and provide proof of accommodation.
The statement adds: “The Spanish Government has clarified that the ‘carta de invitation’ is one of the options available to prove that you have accommodation if staying with friends or family.”
Pam Williamson replied: “It gets more complicated day by day! Will be a very stressful situation for many especially the older generation who may not have access to technology!
“Holidays are supposed to be a relaxing get away !??? Not a nightmare.”
Pam Amos added: “I don’t understand. UK did not have to do this before they joined the EU, so why now?
“Do they ask holidaymakers on pre-booked, self-catering accommodation if they can afford to feed themselves when they are there? This is a totally ludicrous situation.
JUST IN: UK ‘held to ransom’ on £85bn EU pension – and YOU’LL pay
Similarly, Mark Brister said: “Another nail in the coffin for tourism.”
Meanwhile, other posters were confused about what was being asked of them.
Dan Greene said: “Could you please explain the other ‘options’ you are referring to, in relation to the Carta de Invitación for individuals?
“What are these other options, of which the Carta de Invitación is one?
“The link given is for the Carta de Invitación, no other options are presented.”
Karen Bruce said: “I know why they want to know if you have enough money for your stay, but it’s a bit of an impertinent question!
“Plus how are you to show that? Open your banking app? Take a statement with you? Open up your wallet?”
The Carta de Invitación is an official document which can only be obtained by Spanish residents or Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE) holders guaranteeing them indefinite leave to remain in accordance with the terms of the Brexit withdrawal agreement.
The two-stage application process requires the home owner to make an appointment with their local police station, as well as downloading and filing in two separate forms and paying an administrative fee of €74.31.
They must then visit the police station, bringing title deeds for the property where the guests will be staying, proof that the homeowner lives there, together with their TIE card or EU residency certificate, passport plus copies, as well as copies of the passports of the guests who will be travelling from the UK.
The applicant then faces a wait of up to 20 days for notification, at which point they need to print out a second form and return to the police station, at which point they are expected to pay a fee of €6.43 for each guest.
Finally they must send the original Carta De Invitación to the UK so the visitors have the original forms to show when they arrive.