UK holidaymakers can now use Schengen e-Gates at Spain's busiest tourist airports

Published on July 04, 2022
Canary IslandsNews from Canary Islands
airport spain news

Spain's Ministry of Interior has announced that due to the high number of British tourists visiting the country this summer, at the busiest airports holidaymakers will be allowed to use Schengen e-Gates, which should cut short the time spent at the airport after landing.

What does this mean for Brits visiting Spain?

Up until now, Brits coming to Spain had to go through manual non-EU passport control and get their passport stamped when entering the country, which meant long queues and waiting times, especially now during the holiday season.

With the current change, Brits will be allowed to use the Automated Border Control Schengen e-Gates, which should speed up the process and help tourists go through the airport faster.

Does this new rule apply at all airports in Spain?

No, this new rule only applies at Spain's busiest airports, which are the following:

  •  Alicante
  • Barcelona
  • Bilbao
  • Girona
  • Gran Canaria
  • Ibiza
  • Lanzarote
  • Madrid
  • Málaga
  • Mallorca
  • Menorca
  • Valencia
  • Fuerteventura
  • Sevilla
  • Tenerife Sur

All major airports in the Canary Islands are also included on the list above.

Portugal is also another country that applies the same rule, allowing British visitors to use Schengen e-Gates when arriving in their country.

However, FCDO's latest advice on travel to Spain states the following: "Check your passport is stamped if you enter or exit 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".

So, according to FCDO, it's best to be cautious and get your passport stamped each time to avoid further problems with border guards when leaving the country.

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