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Issues entering Spain?

DTCamino

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino de Madrid 2023
I have a friend traveling to Madrid as the entry point for them doing the Camino next month and they read the entry requirements which require proof of finances for € 90 daily and if using a credit card for that proof a bank statement or the credit card statement. My friend is staying 3 weeks, has a RT confirmed ticket, hotels booked at the beginning and end of the Camino and had several bank and atm cards and $500 in euros.

I’ve been to Spain 6 times over the last 10 years and never had this come up entering Madrid. Anyone else ever have issues upon entry and if so what was required/shown to satisfy the officials?
 
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I know there have been a few threads on this topic and while that law is "on the books", I have never been asked for this proof either. The only questions I have ever been asked are "What are your plans while in the country," "Why have you come to Spain", etc. My husband usually goes on and on about the Camino and they wave us through with a Buen Camino.
 
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I have a friend traveling to Madrid as the entry point for them doing the Camino next month and they read the entry requirements which require proof of finances for € 90 daily and if using a credit card for that proof a bank statement or the credit card statement. My friend is staying 3 weeks, has a RT confirmed ticket, hotels booked at the beginning and end of the Camino and had several bank and atm cards and $500 in euros.

I’ve been to Spain 6 times over the last 10 years and never had this come up entering Madrid. Anyone else ever have issues upon entry and if so what was required/shown to satisfy the officials?
I think the variable here is that your friend has read the almost-never-applied-unless-they-need-a-reason regulation, whereas pretty much everyone else has not.

I’ve been to Spain from the UK probably 70 times in the past 40 years; and some time ago I most certainly looked as though I had no visible means of support; but nobody ever asked the question.
 
The question is most likely asked of visitors who have had to get a visa before landing. They are the ones that authorities worry may not leave the EU when they are supposed to.
Yes, I know my niece studied in Barcelona for a semester and she had to show that she had adequate resources for before they gave her the student visa.
 
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I think the variable here is that your friend has read the almost-never-applied-unless-they-need-a-reason regulation, whereas pretty much everyone else has not.

I’ve been to Spain from the UK probably 70 times in the past 40 years; and some time ago I most certainly looked as though I had no visible means of support; but nobody ever asked the question.
Correct. There are some quite ‘known to nobody’ rules if you have a few days to wade through. For example if you are a non EU citizen staying with friends in France, you have to be registered with the local town hall. That’s what a newspaper reported anyway.

In the UK these sorts of rules have been used by both pro brexit and anti brexit media to build stories aligning to their views.

I have walked through Spanish immigration in shorts flips flops with just a carrier bag with no questions asked!
 
I have been travelling for over 50 years, and similar rules have always been in place.

Every country lets foreigners in, only at their discretion. They can ask you to prove that you will be self-supporting during your stay, and able to afford a ticket out at the end. If you don't go with a return ticket, you should have the ability to purchase a return ticket. If the immigration officials suspect you are unable to do this, of course they can ask for whatever proof might convince them, or they can just refuse you. In practice, they would only exercise this right to refuse you, if they have reason to suspect you will be a problem.
 
I’ve been to Spain from the UK probably 70 times in the past 40 years
Of course, for most of those 40 years, the rule did not apply to you. It is only in very recent years that it does and that’s why it is currently making headlines in some newspapers in the world. And generates traffic on social media. :cool:
 
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Most countries have these rules and most countries seldom apply these rules, but they certainly do exist and can be used if the traveler appears questionable in terms of motive for visiting. Overall, it’s not something to worry about if a traveler is truly walking the Camino since they’ll be able to provide copious information on the route, albergue stops, pilgrim credentials, and on and on. One’s preparation
and resources to walk the Camino is exactly what will convince them that you are there to do just that and plan to leave afterwards. This can all be explained to the immigration officer in the very very very unlikely instance that proof is demanded.
 
Of course, for most of those 40 years, the rule did not apply to you. It is only in very recent years that it does and that’s why it is currently making headlines in some newspapers in the world. And generates traffic on social media. :cool:
Yes absolutely right! It’s media gold for both sides ‘Brit’s in holiday misery’ is a big seller. Especially a big story in Jan/Feb which are the big summer holiday booking months and the lead up to end of July when people are starting holidays.

There are only two types of borders to me! Air borders - very easy and generally about as as easy as it gets. Rarely troublesome! Land borders in many parts of the world. - like the Wild West where you just want to limit how much money you get taken for! You know the scams but are powerless to stop them! Madrid will be a breeze!
 
I have a friend traveling to Madrid as the entry point for them doing the Camino next month and they read the entry requirements which require proof of finances for € 90 daily and if using a credit card for that proof a bank statement or the credit card statement. My friend is staying 3 weeks, has a RT confirmed ticket, hotels booked at the beginning and end of the Camino and had several bank and atm cards and $500 in euros.

I’ve been to Spain 6 times over the last 10 years and never had this come up entering Madrid. Anyone else ever have issues upon entry and if so what was required/shown to satisfy the officials?
It’s a requirement that is almost never checked in a country that has millions of tourist every year. But the border officials might if they think an incoming passenger might be the kind of person they don’t want to let in. How shifty does your friend look, generally?
 
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I think you have to work pretty hard to be denied entry into Spain judging by some of the ‘characters’ I have stood behind at immigration over the years!
Since he is probably reading these posts I’d say he is shifty, ugly, little troll. Truth be told he’s well spoken, clean cut, intelligent and kitted out in the best REI has to offer. He’ll not appear a threat in the least.
 
Yes, I know my niece studied in Barcelona for a semester and she had to show that she had adequate resources for before they gave her the student visa.
When I went to school to study in 1973 in England and some fellow classmates went to Italy, France and Spain we all had to show proof of having enough money before we got our student visas. When My daughter went overseas to study in 2013 I had to give her documentation for her student visa. I guess this has been standard procedure for many years.
 
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It seems random and a function of the kind of day the border officer is having. I’ve never been stopped or “grilled” (as opposed to the usual perfunctory questions) in Europe, the Middle East or Asia. In Egypt there was no border control at all one trip, just walked in. The only time I got the sixth degree was entering Canada in a business suit with a briefcase, and coming back to the U.S.
 
Of course, for most of those 40 years, the rule did not apply to you. It is only in very recent years that it does and that’s why it is currently making headlines in some newspapers in the world
Maybe I should explain this remark: The entry requirements mentioned in the first post have been in place for decades. And they have been public knowledge for decades. They are listed in the Practical Handbook for Border Guards (Schengen Handbook) which has been accessible for the public for many years - both online and in print. They do indeed apply to travellers who are not EU nationals and don't require a visa - which includes US travellers for example. They are "can do" rules and not "must do" rules for border guards.

When the UK left the EU a few years ago and UK nationals ceased to be EU nationals, these rules became applicable to them, too. Their national press woke up to this fact and many news articles followed. They in turn got picked up by the press in other English-speaking countries and by social media.

That's all there is to it.
 
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I have a friend traveling to Madrid as the entry point for them doing the Camino next month and they read the entry requirements which require proof of finances for € 90 daily and if using a credit card for that proof a bank statement or the credit card statement. My friend is staying 3 weeks, has a RT confirmed ticket, hotels booked at the beginning and end of the Camino and had several bank and atm cards and $500 in euros.

I’ve been to Spain 6 times over the last 10 years and never had this come up entering Madrid. Anyone else ever have issues upon entry and if so what was required/shown to satisfy the officials?
I think people are not reading the complete law. It depends from which country your passport is issued as to whether you have to show financial stability. European passports, US and Canada do not. Countries that are considered third world and for those planning on staying more than 90 days they may be required to show their ability to support themselves.
 
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When I went to school to study in 1973 in England and some fellow classmates went to Italy, France and Spain we all had to show proof of having enough money before we got our student visas. When My daughter went overseas to study in 2013 I had to give her documentation for her student visa. I guess this has been standard procedure for many years.
Well American students are now exempt from proving financial ability when getting a student visa in the UK, so it seems the rules are relaxing for some of us!
 
I think people are not reading the complete law. It depends from which country your passport is issued as to whether you have to show financial stability. European passports, US and Canada do not. Countries that are considered third world and for those planning on staying more than 90 days they may be required to show their ability to support themselves.
I don't think that's exactly true. I think that any non EU citizen, even those from non-visa countries can be asked about their ability to support themselves if the border officer suspects that they may be planning to work or overstay.
 
Well American students are now exempt from proving financial ability when getting a student visa in the UK, so it seems the rules are relaxing for some of us!
Good to know because it was a long long time ago for me :)
 
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I have a friend traveling to Madrid as the entry point for them doing the Camino next month and they read the entry requirements which require proof of finances for € 90 daily and if using a credit card for that proof a bank statement or the credit card statement. My friend is staying 3 weeks, has a RT confirmed ticket, hotels booked at the beginning and end of the Camino and had several bank and atm cards and $500 in euros.

I’ve been to Spain 6 times over the last 10 years and never had this come up entering Madrid. Anyone else ever have issues upon entry and if so what was required/shown to satisfy the officials?
To add to the mix, I saw this is an email from a travel insurance company:

4. You’ll need a visa waiver to travel to 26 European countries.
Thinking about traveling to Europe in 2023? Beginning in November, American travelers will need to apply for a visa waiver before visiting any of the 26 Schengen visa countries. In short: If you’re over 18 and under 70, you’ll have to fill out a form online and pay a €7 fee so you can be screened by the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS). This security system will issue an authorization for most travelers in minutes, although if you’re flagged as a security risk, it can take up to 96 hours for your application to be reviewed. For this reason, you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to apply. An ETIAS waiver is valid for three years.
 
To add to the mix, I saw this is an email from a travel insurance company

4. You’ll need a visa waiver to travel to 26 European countries.
Thinking about traveling to Europe in 2023? Beginning in November, American travelers will need to apply for a visa waiver before visiting any of the 26 Schengen visa countries. In short: If you’re over 18 and under 70, you’ll have to fill out a form online and pay a €7 fee so you can be screened by the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS). This security system will issue an authorization for most travelers in minutes, although if you’re flagged as a security risk, it can take up to 96 hours for your application to be reviewed. For this reason, you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to apply. An ETIAS waiver is valid for three years.
This comes up periodically.
The ETIAS system is currently not in effect, but is planned for 2024.
Read more information here:
 
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I have a friend traveling to Madrid as the entry point for them doing the Camino next month and they read the entry requirements which require proof of finances for € 90 daily and if using a credit card for that proof a bank statement or the credit card statement. My friend is staying 3 weeks, has a RT confirmed ticket, hotels booked at the beginning and end of the Camino and had several bank and atm cards and $500 in euros.

I’ve been to Spain 6 times over the last 10 years and never had this come up entering Madrid. Anyone else ever have issues upon entry and if so what was required/shown to satisfy the officials?
After watching too many episodes of Border Security, I've come to the conclusion that border authorities are primarily concerned with those entering from less affluent countries who have the intention to work illegally, or may otherwise be a burden on the state.
 
After watching too many episodes of Border Security
OMG, I am addicted to all the different versions of that show!!! And yes, they definitely are seeking a specific traveler profile. 😞. BTW, their was an episode where someone unsuccessfully used the cover of being a pilgrim to Santiago as his reason for wanting to enter the country yet had no money - he was not allowed after he couldn’t name any cities, albergues, etc. The border agent was well-versed on the route, apparently
 
When I went to school to study in 1973 in England and some fellow classmates went to Italy, France and Spain we all had to show proof of having enough money before we got our student visas. When My daughter went overseas to study in 2013 I had to give her documentation for her student visa. I guess this has been standard procedure for many years.
Student visas are different. The requirements for intending students are much stricter than for tourists in every country that I know of.
 
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an episode where someone unsuccessfully used the cover of being a pilgrim to Santiago as his reason for wanting to enter the country yet had no money - he was not allowed after he couldn’t name any cities, albergues, etc. The border agent was well-versed on the route, apparently
I'd be curious to see the episode. There are some of these TV episodes on Border Control (at EU airports) on YouTube including Spain but they all show customs control events and not passport control events. I'd be curious to know whether this guy was questioned at passport control or at customs (luggage) control.
 

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