An elderly British woman trying to visit her son in Spain has been denied entry as her passport was not stamped on her last visit – meaning Spanish authorities have deemed her to be an “overstayer”
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An elderly British woman was barred from entering Spain over a post-Brexit issue on her passport.
The woman – named only as Linda, 72 – was travelling from Gibraltar to Spain to visit her son, but was held at the border as her passport did not have an exit stamp from a past trip.
Brits travelling in and out of the Schengen area must now have entry and exit stamps, but passport authorities forgot to stamp Linda’s when she last visited the country in June.
When she attempted to visit again last month, she was denied entry and classed as an “overstayer”.
“I was denied entry to Spain on September 26th due to my passport not being stamped on exit on a past one-week visit to Spain which started on June 4th,” Linda told The Local.
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“The guards initially stamped my passport to go into, then they noticed I had no exit stamp from that one-week visit in June, thereby classing me as an overstayer and afterward marked the entry stamp with the letter F and two lines.”
Linda said she had proof she returned to the UK, including banking activity and information from the test and trace Covid app, but claims border guards would not accept her proof – or already look at it.
She additional: “My son, who speaks Spanish, tried to explain that I had other proof of returning to the UK but the guards would not accept or already consider looking at it; they just kept insisting that I had no stamp, that I had overstayed and would be arrested as illegal.”
Now, already a month on, Linda says the issue nevertheless has not been resolved and she says the Spanish consulate in the UK will only accept her original boarding cards as proof of exit – which she doesn’t have as her flights were booked online.
Linda has tried contacting her MP over the issue but says she was just sent back to the consulate, and feels like shes going round in circles.
But she is frustrated at being made to feel responsible for the border guard’s failure to stamp her passport.
Brits who visit the EU are now being urged to be aware of the current exit rules and check they do get an exit stamp to avoid the same issue.
A new system is being planned to be brought in across the EU – the EES (Entry/Exit System) – which aims to replace the need to stamp a passport and will instead examine the documents.
The high-tech new system would check the person’s details , biometric data and the date and place of entry and exit.
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