An elderly British woman trying to visit her son in Spain was refused entry because her passport was not stamped the last time she visited – which means that the Spanish authorities have classified her as an “overstayer”.
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An elderly British woman was denied entry to Spain because of a problem in her passport after Brexit.
Linda, 72, traveled from Gibraltar to Spain to visit her son but was held at the border because her passport did not have an exit stamp from a previous trip.
Brits entering and leaving the Schengen area are now required to have entry and exit stamps, but passport authorities forgot to stamp Linda’s last time in June.
When she paid another visit last month, she was denied entry and classified as an “overstayer”.
“I was refused entry to Spain on September 26th because my passport was not stamped when I left an earlier week-long visit to Spain that began on June 4th,” said Linda. said The Local.
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“The guards first stamped my passport, then they found out that I had no exit stamp from this one-week visit in June, classified me as an overstayer and then marked the entry stamp with the letter F and two lines.”
Linda said she has evidence that she returned to the UK, including banking activity and information from the Test and Trace Covid app, but claims border guards will not accept her evidence – or even look at it.
She added: “My son, who speaks Spanish, tried to explain that I had other evidence of my return to the UK, but the guards refused to accept or even consider it. They just insisted that I didn’t have a stamp, that I had exceeded the deadline and would be arrested as illegal. “
Now, even a month later, Linda says the problem is still not resolved, and she says the Spanish consulate in the UK only accepts her original boarding passes as proof of departure – which she doesn’t have as her flights were booked online.
Linda has tried to contact her MP about the problem but says she has just been sent back to the consulate and feels like she is going around in circles.
But she is frustrated because she blamed herself for the border official’s failure to stamp her passport.
Britons visiting the EU are now urged to read up on the current exit regulations and check to see if they can get an exit stamp to avoid the same problem.
A new system is to be introduced across the EU – the EES (Entry / Exit System) – which will replace the stamping of a passport and instead scan the documents.
The new high-tech system would check the person’s personal details, biometric data and the date and place of entry and exit.