Entry requirements - Spain travel advice (2023)

This page has information on travelling to Spain.

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Spain set and enforce entry rules. If you’re unsure how Spain’s entry requirements apply to you, contact its UK embassy, high commission or consulate.

All travellers

All travellers should familiarise themselves with the entry rules for Spain before travel.

From 3 January 2023, Spain has reinstated mandatory COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements for all passengers arriving from China. Travellers from China will be required to undergo visual and temperature checks on arrival and may be subjected to a diagnostic test for active infection at the point of entry. Children under the age of twelve are exempt from this requirement, as are passengers who are transiting airside for 24 hours or less. Further information can be found on the website of theMinistry of Health. These requirements do not apply to travellers to Spain from Hong Kong.

For all other passengers, Spain does not require any proof of vaccination, a negative test result, or a COVID-19 recovery certificate to enter the country, regardless of your vaccination status.

Spain’s land borders are open. For further details see If you’re transiting through Spain.

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All travellers should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect themselves and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus. See the Coronavirus section for further information.

Plan ahead in case you present symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 during your stay in Spain, see Be prepared for your plans to change and Developing symptoms of COVID-19 or testing positive for COVID-19 in Spain.

If you’re fully vaccinated

Passengers arriving in Spain from China should check their vaccination certificate meets the necessary requirements on the website of theMinistry of Health .

For all other travellers, all COVID-19 travel restrictions for entry to Spain have been lifted, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.

If you’re not fully vaccinated

Unvaccinated passengers arriving in Spain from China must show proof of having tested negative for COVID-19. See the website of theMinistry of Health for details.

For all other travellers, all COVID-19 travel restrictions for entry to Spain have been lifted, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.

Children and young people

There are no specific requirements for children and young people.

If you’re transiting through Spain

Transiting is when you pass through one country on the way to your final destination.

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Transiting through Spain is permitted for all travellers from the UK in line with the entry requirements set out above.

Entry requirements for passengers on flights arriving from China do not apply to people transiting Spain providing they remain airside within the airport for 24 hours or less.

You should consult travel advice for any countries you are travelling through at the links below:

  • FCDO travel advice for France,
  • FCDO travel advice for Portugal
  • FCDO travel advice for Andorra
  • FCDO travel advice for Gibraltar

Check your passport and travel documents before you travel

Passport validity

If you are planning to travel to an EU country (except Ireland), or Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or Vatican City, you must follow the Schengen area passport requirements.

Your passport must be:

  • issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country (check the ‘date of issue’)
  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

You must check your passport meets these requirements before you travel. If your passport was issued before 1 October 2018, extra months may have been added to its expiry date.

Contact the embassy of the country you are visiting if you think that your passport does not meet both these requirements. Renew your passport if you need to.


You can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training.

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If you are travelling to Spain and other Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the 90-day limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel count towards your 90 days.

To stay longer, to work or study, for business travel or for other reasons, you will need to meet the Spanish government’s entry requirements. You should check with the Spanish consulate in the UK prior to travel regarding what type of visa and/or work permit you may need.

If you are travelling to Spain for work, read the guidance on visas and permits.

If you are unable to return to the UK before the expiry of your visa/permit or visa-free limit, you should contact your local authority for immigration advice. You can also call 060 from a Spanish phone line.

If you are visiting Spain and need to extend your visa-free stay for exceptional reasons, such as a medical emergency, you must apply to the immigration authorities (Extranjería) to do so.

If you stay in Spain with a residence permit or long-stay visa, this does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.

Passport stamping

Check your passport is stamped if you enter or exit the Schengen area through Spain as a visitor.

Border guards will use passport stamps to check you’re complying with the 90-day visa-free limit for short stays in the Schengen area. If relevant entry or exit stamps are not in your passport, border guards will presume that you have overstayed your visa-free limit.

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You can show evidence of when and where you entered or exited the Schengen area, and ask the border guards to add this date and location in your passport. Examples of acceptable evidence include boarding passes and tickets.


You should use the desks staffed by border officers. If you are aged 18 and over, and airport staff instruct you to do this, you may be able to use e-gates, if these are operating.

If you use an e-gate, make sure you get your passport stamped by a border officer.

Additional documents required by tourists

UK nationals entering the Schengen zone as tourists may need to provide additional documents at the border. As well as a valid return or onward ticket, it is possible that travellers to Spain may also be asked to:

  • show you have enough money for your stay. More information is available from theSpanish Ministry of Interior (in Spanish).

  • 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.

Residents of Spain

If you are resident in Spain your passport should not be stamped. Read our Living in Spain guide for passport stamping information.

You should proactively show your proof of residence - such as the ‘TIE’ (la tarjeta de identidad de extranjero) - as well as your valid passport at Spanish border control. For further information, see our Living in Spain guide.

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Travel between Spain and Gibraltar

Spanish border checks can cause delays when crossing between Spain and Gibraltar. If you are travelling to Spain via Gibraltar, check the latest entry requirements and FCDO travel advice for Gibraltar.

There is no charge to enter or leave Gibraltar. You should not hand over money if you’re approached by anyone claiming that there is a charge.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK ETDs are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Spain.


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