I am taking time out to draft this blog in response to the many enquires we are receiving due to the various posts on the (Carta de Invitación) “circulating like wildfire” on many Expat pages and groups and with same businesses perpetuating this story by “jumping on the bandwagon” for financial gain”. I make no apologies for this blog containing various quotes.
There is of course a law from 2007 which is in reference to the invitation letter applicable to non EU visitors holidaying and staying in private dwellings in Spain.
UK Nationals already have “much on their plate,” trying to get getting acquainted and accustomed to their new status and changes post Brexit without the addition of further concerns. The publishing of such information could surely have waited for a formal notification that this law may also apply to UK Nationals.
Personally I do not consider as fact most information imparted from any civil servants in the various extranjeria offices. Only last week one of our admins found she was trying to convince a civil servant in a foreigners office of the national police in the Malaga region that, UK nationals who were permanent residents could be absent from Spain for five years with the civil servant stating it was only one years absence. When asked if he had read the Withdrawal Agreement, he retorted “yes both me and my boss have”.
A quote from a Spanish regional government official when asked about the published news “A UK national can visit Spain for 90 days in any 180 day period visa free and no “carta de invitación” is required”. (to date that appears to be the case). He added “porque los guiris quieren complicar todo”.
Was there a need to “shout this out from the rooftops” attracting attention to the matter? Well the “cat is out of the bag” with the press picking up on the topic and apparently the British government also who will be apparently be talking to the Spanish government.
Many visitors from third countries such as the USA or Australia to name a few, have not been asked for an invitation letter on arrival in Spain.
CAB have just had another enquiry and this particular question came from a holiday home owner about applying for the invitation letter. There is nothing in place for a holiday home owner to apply for the letter. Please note the extract from the law below:
The purpose of this Order is:
1. To regulate the terms and requirements to be met by the individual, whether he is a Spanish citizen, a national of a Member State of the European Union or a beneficiary of the community regime or a foreigner legally residing in Spain, to make an invitation in favour of a foreigner assuming the commitment to pay, during the beneficiary’s period of stay, all the expenses related to their accommodation.
2. Establish the official model of invitation letter, which may be required at the Spanish border post from the foreigner who intends to enter Spain and may be provided by the latter before the Spanish Consulate, in the case of nationals of countries subject to the stay visa , in order to support your request.
In no case, the letter of invitation will replace the accreditation by the foreigner of the other requirements for entry, since it only justifies the requirement related to accommodation.
Besides the application being expensive, anyone using the Carta de Invitacion will also be responsible for all the expenses of the guests. They are also signing that these visitors will return to their home countries. Any guests not complying with the regulations or overstaying, will result in sanctions or fines being imposed on the host.
Important clause to consider:
In the request, the invitee must state that he is informed that:
a) The Penal Code, approved by Organic Law 10/1995, of November 23, 1995, classifies as a crime,, “Anyone who directly or indirectly promotes, favours or facilitates illegal traffic or immigration clandestine of people from, in transit or destined for Spain, will be punished with the penalty of four to eight years in prison.
The option taken by the Spanish government on invitation letter comes from an EU directive allowing members states to opt in or not:
of the European Parliament and of the Council of the European Union, of March 15, 2006, which establishes a Community Code of rules for the crossing of people across borders (Schengen Borders Code), by regulating in its article 5 and Annex I, among the entry conditions for nationals of third countries, the one relative to being in possession of documents that justify the object and the conditions of the planned stay.
If and when there is any formal notification on the need of the invitation letter, we will update. For those who wish to use the invitation letter:
Update from Gov.UK
Further information on Schengen border controls on arrival in Spain where passengers who meet entry requirements may be asked to demonstrate sufficient funds for their stay, present a return or onward ticket, and proof of accommodation (‘Entry requirements’ page)
4:23pm, 20 May 2021
At Spanish border control, you may need to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. You may also need to:
show a return or onward ticket
show you have enough money for your stay
show proof of accommodation for your stay, for example, a hotel booking confirmation, proof of address if visiting your own property (e.g. second home), or an invitation from your host or proof of their address if staying with a third party, friends or family. 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. More information is available from the Spanish Ministry of Interior.
There are separate requirements for those who are resident in Spain. If you are resident in Spain, you should carry proof of residence as well as your valid passport when you travel. For further information see Requirements for UK nationals resident in Spain.