Spanish border guards have refused British expats, who have legal residency, entry into Spain despite being told they can travel by the Foreigners Office.
Spanish border guards “carted” the group of people back on to the same plane at Alicante airport on Monday and were kicked out of Spain.
40 British expats were refused entry by armed police and customs, and sent back to the UK, and a sign at the airports terminal said, “No tie card, no entry.”
One passenger named Stuart Miller, who is a 47-year-old from Manchester, shared his fury at being turned away and described it as “absolutely diabolical.”
He told Olive Press: “People with letters from Alicante Foreigners Office asking them to collect their residency cards were turned away…what more proof do you need of residency?”
Miller added, that “there was no advice, no help and to be fair, no good reason for us being turned back at Alicante” airport.
Ryanair staff at Manchester Airport assured all 40 passengers that documentation, which was negative Covid tests, passports and the Spanish Foeriegners Office letters telling them to come would be more than sufficient to enter Spain.
A spokesman for the British embassy in Madrid said, “When making plans to travel from the UK to Spain, a UK national must make sure that they meet both the requirements to leave the UK and those to enter Spain, bearing in mind that they are not the same.
“Until 6pm on March 30 only those who are legally resident (or have sufficient documentation to prove residency) are allowed to enter Spain.
“From March 31, entry to Spain will only be granted to those passengers who can demonstrate that their journey is essential, as well as those who are already legally resident in Spain.
“Ultimately, the decision on whether to grant entry into Spain is made by Spanish border officials.”
Miller’s wife sent a warning to other people planning to travel to Spain.
She said, “Whatever paperwork you have with you, and whoever tells you that you’re okay to travel, be prepared to be carted back onto the plane and sent back.”
Mrs Miller added, “the most confusing thing is the double standards.
“I think the airport policy depends on nothing more than the mood of the officials at the border.”
Spanish police and immigration officials are also preparing to kick out thousands of British expats for failing to have the correct residency paperwork.
Under the post-Brexit regulations British expats must register for residency by the 31 March deadline or they will be classed as illegal immigrants.
Within the next few weeks Spanish officials will start deporting Brits with the first round of deportations will see around 500 UK citizens to be thrown out.
Under the Brexit withdrawal agreements British expats must prove that they lived in Spain legally prior to 31 December 2020.
Potentially thousands of Brits will be left without healthcare and rights, and could be trapped under the strict Covid travel restrictions as Europe is entering a third wave.
Third country nationals will only be allowed to visit Spain for no more than 90 days within a 180 day period in any country within the Schengen zone.
The British Embassy has warned, “Any stays beyond the 90 days in any 180 day period will be dependent on the applicable visas and immigration rules for Spain.
“This may require applying for a visa and/or permit.”