Essential Requirement for British Tourists: Official Invitation Letter Mandatory for Staying with Friends or Family in Barcelona, Majorca, Benidorm, Alicante, and Other Spanish Territories.
British tourists planning to visit friends in Spain this summer are at risk of having their holiday plans disrupted if they fail to carry the necessary documents. Non-EU citizens who intend to stay at a residential address now need to possess an official invitation letter.
This letter must be obtained from the person with whom they plan to stay, who, in turn, must acquire it from the police at a cost of €75.05 (£63.98). Many Brits may be unaware of this requirement, as the letter was not previously necessary during our EU membership. However, Spanish border authorities may ask for the letter as proof of accommodation upon entry. Failure to provide the letter could result in denial of entry, forcing travelers to return to the UK without enjoying their holiday. It is important to note that tourists staying in hotels or Airbnb accommodations are exempt from this requirement, as their booking confirmation serves as sufficient proof.
The invitation letter is valid for a maximum stay of 90 days and is necessary regardless of whether a visa is required or not. This letter is the document that must be used to prove that you have confirmed accommodation at the home of this relative or acquaintance, as they will be the one who will request it and notify the authorities that he is inviting us to stay for certain days/weeks at their house. Many people think that it is a handwritten document that we can create ourselves, and that is a wrong idea. The document is official and must be granted by the police. This letter is mandatory for entry into any Spanish territory as a non-EU citizen, unless a confirmed hotel, hostel, or flat reservation is available. Known as a “carta de invitación,” it will be requested during passport control at the airport.
As a tourist, British citizens cannot directly apply for the letter themselves. The friend or relative they are visiting must do so, as it signifies their responsibility and welcome. They must schedule an appointment at the nearest police station authorized to issue the letters.
To obtain the letter, the host must submit documentation proving property ownership or rental, provide an original copy of their ID card (DNI), a copy of the guest’s passport, and a completed application form. Additionally, a fee of €75.05 (£63.98) must be paid. However, the expenses do not end there. When the host returns to the police station to collect the document, an additional variable fee of around €7 (£5.97) will be charged, bringing the total cost of the letter to £69.95. The processing time for the completed letter may vary, but generally takes around 20 days. It is advisable for the host to apply approximately two months prior to the tourist’s departure to Spain. While there is a possibility that the letter may not be requested, it is best to have one to ensure entry into the country and comply with regulations. EU passport holders are exempt from this requirement.
The UK government website states that additional documents required by UK tourists include: “proof of accommodation for your stay, for example: a hotel booking confirmation, proof of address if visiting your own property or an invitation or proof of address if staying with a third party, friends, or family. A carta de invitation completed by your hosts is one of the options available.