Sunday, July 31st, 2022
Looking at some of the recent UK newspaper front pages, you could be forgiven for thinking that the entry rules to Spain and Mallorca for UK nationals have once more become stricter this summer. You might, therefore, be surprised to hear that this is not the case! So, what’s behind the catchy headlines?
The changes that are being reported in the press do in fact go all the way back to the summer of 2016 when the UK voted to leave the European Union. As part of the subsequent Brexit negotiations, the UK government decided to end the freedom of movement agreement between the UK and the EU, which Spain and Mallorca are part of. Naturally, this included the end of any special privileges that previously existed for travel between these countries.
The new rules came into force in January 2021, after the Brexit transition period ended on 31st December 2020. Consequently, when it comes to travelling to the European Union, UK nationals now fall in line with citizens from any other non-EU “third country” across the world. Citizens from these countries have to fulfil certain criteria to be allowed to visit the EU, including Spain and Mallorca.
Most people have by now become aware of the requirements regarding passport validity and length of stay:
What had not been as widely publicised until recently, are the additional requirements that have to be met by anyone visiting Mallorca from a third country. Tourists need to:
While this last requirement is the one that seems to have caused the biggest outcry, it does make sense, considering the fact that third-country nationals are not allowed to work in Mallorca or Spain without a valid visa issued for this purpose.
Despite the fact that these rules have been applicable to visitors from the UK since January 2021, in reality, this is not routinely checked on arrival at the airport. After all, doing so would be a major undertaking that goes way beyond the capacities of the Mallorcan border control. As a UK national it is, therefore, unlikely (although not impossible) that you will be asked any questions concerning funds, proof of address or your return ticket.
What you may notice, however, is the fact that it can take a little longer to get through passport control these days. This is due to the fact that the passports of UK nationals now have to be stamped. Border guards will refer to the stamps in your passport to check that you have not been in the country for longer than the 90 days permitted.
So, leaving aside the changes regarding passport validity and the need for more patience when faced with slow-moving queues at passport control, going on holiday to Mallorca is not all that different now from how it was prior to Brexit. Nevertheless, one can’t help noticing that things were a little less complex beforehand. Whether or not it was all worth it remains a matter of divided opinions.
For more detailed information on visa and entry requirements, changes to travel after Brexit and the Covid-19 documentation required on arrival in Mallorca, please see the following pages:
Visa and entry requirements for Mallorca
Brexit – Travel between the UK and Mallorca
What Covid-19 documentation is required for travel to Mallorca?