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British Woman Caught Out By 'Little-Known' Passport Stamp Rule

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British Woman Caught Out By 'Little-Known' Passport Stamp Rule

A Gibraltar-based British woman has been denied entry into Spain due to an oversight with her new passport.

The woman, who wishes to be known simply as Linda, was banned from entering the country after her passport was discovered without an exit stamp.

Following Brexit, all non-EU citizens require an exit stamp whenever they visit The Schengen Area (an area comprising of 26 European countries which have abolished border control at their mutual borders).

Linda was denied entry from Spain after passport officials failed to provide her with an exit stamp. [Credit: Unsplash]
Linda was denied entry from Spain after passport officials failed to provide her with an exit stamp. [Credit: Unsplash]
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Officials failed to stamp Linda's passport after coming away from a trip to the country in June. When she tried to enter again in September, it looked as if she'd stayed for three months. She was then classed as an 'overstayer' and denied entry.

Speaking to Spanish media, the holidaymaker said: "I was denied entry to Spain on 26th September due to my passport not being stamped on exit during a previous one-week visit to Spain which started on 4th June".

Linda was travelling from Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory near Spain. [Credit: Unsplash]
Linda was travelling from Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory near Spain. [Credit: Unsplash]

She continued, "Even though I have proof of returning to the UK via banking activity as well as the test and trace COVID app, the border guards would not accept or look at any proof."

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According to the tourist, they wouldn't let her "speak to anyone that could help" either.

The passport officials then allegedly said they'd arrest her as an 'overstayer' if she tried to enter.

Overstaying is illegal, and Linda was allegedly threatened with arrest. [Credit: Unsplash]
Overstaying is illegal, and Linda was allegedly threatened with arrest. [Credit: Unsplash]

Linda has since contacted her MP, but hasn't yet found a solution. She doesn't know when she'll be able to visit Spain again.

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She said: "I've contacted my MP but was just directed back to the consulate [UK representative for Spain], thereby going round in circles".

The tourist expressed her frustration due to her lack of control over the situation, stating that "I'm being held responsible for [...] the guard's failure to stamp my passport".

Holidaymakers should always push for an exit stamp when visiting a Schengen area! [Credit: Unsplash]
Holidaymakers should always push for an exit stamp when visiting a Schengen area! [Credit: Unsplash]

Brits travelling to any of the Schengen Areas (which include France, Germany and Italy), should always push for an exit stamp in their passport to avoid running into the same issue.

Featured Image Credit: Credit: Unsplash

Topics: Travel, News

Hannah Van-de-Peer
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