It can be very expensive. You arrive in Spain after hours and hours of flying, thrilled about your upcoming adventure and with your trip fully prepared. The border police requests all the necessary documents and, as you have not read this article carefully, they do not allow you to enter Spain and force you to return immediately to your country of origin.
Nowadays, this is something that happens frequently, as there are many foreigners who do not know the possible causes of denial when entering Spain and suffer the consequences.
So if you are going to enter as a tourist and you want to avoid at all costs being denied entry into the country… Keep reading and do not miss these 7 crucial requirements!
Entering Spain in 2022
You are a foreigner and would like to stay a few days in Spain, either for tourism, to visit friends or to spend time with your family.
In that case, and as you may already know, there are a series of requirements and previous formalities that you will have to carry out to be able to travel and enter Spain successfully.
All these procedures will take place BEFORE your trip to Spain, and it will be essential that you consider all of them in detail to avoid the big problem we are warning you about throughout this article: the entry denial.
The first thing to consider is whether you really need (or not) to apply for a visa to enter the Schengen Area (which includes Spain).
This depends on your country of origin and the agreements it has with Spain. Find out if yours requires it here.
But whether you have to apply for a visa or not, there are a series of requirements to fulfill.
And this is a key point: even if you do NOT need a visa to travel to Spain, there is still the need to comply with the requirements.
- If you must apply for a visa and you do not meet the requirements, your visa application will be denied
- If you do not have to apply for a visa and you do not meet the requirements, you will be denied entry to Spain
As you can see, non-compliance with the requirements means that you will not be able to enter Spain. But this second case implies even worse consequences. As in the first scenario, at least, you know in advance and you will not have to take a plane trip to return automatically after not being able to cross the Spanish police control.
Can your entry to Spain actually be rejected?
Yes, your entry to Spain can be rejected. And there are several reasons that may generate this outcome.
Below you will find the complete list containing the 7 reasons that may cause this entry denial.
Keep in mind that they must all line up and make sense for the exact number of days you will be staying in Spain (i.e., everything must add up as we will now see).
And yes, it is entirely possible that you will not end up being asked for any of the documents we will see below at the border, and you are sure to find other foreigners from your country who entered without demonstrating any requirements.
However, and as we saw in this post about the requirements to enter without a visa, legally speaking you must be able to prove each of the following points and carry all the documents with you, because there is a possibility that the police will stop you to verify them.
Not having applied for a visa
As it is obvious, and as we have seen before, if your country of origin requires a visa to enter the Schengen area (and therefore Spain) you must apply for it from your country of origin and bring it with you when onboard your flight.
Remember that this visa has a total duration of 90 days (the same as your stay as a tourist if you do not need a visa), and you will not be able to stay in the country beyond this period unless you get a residence permit.
Not demonstrating the possession of enough money
Many foreigners enter Spain without sufficient funds, or do not know the minimum required to support them for the duration of their stay.
And the truth is that if you fail to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to support yourself for the entire duration of your visit to the country, entry may be denied.
What exact amount are we talking about?
This depends on the Minimum Wage in Spain, an amount that varies and is adjusted.
We are talking about 10% of the Minimum Salary, currently being 100€ per day.
Hence, to avoid being denied entry, you must prove that you bring with you 100€ for each of the days you are going to be satying in the country.
To prove it, you can do it through cash, through a bank statement demonstrating enough money; or with a combination of both (since you have part of the money in cash and part in the bank).
Not having accommodation for all your nights in Spain
One of the most important keys will be to prove to the police that you have a place to stay for each and every night you will stay in Spain.
This must coincide with the next point, and you will need to show confirmed accommodation for each night until the departure of your plane back to your home country.
How to do this? Very simple:
- If you will be staying with a friend or relative, you must provide the letter of invitation that they (must be residents in Spain) will request from the national police and send to you before your trip.
- In the case of staying in a hotel or apartment, you will have to use your reservation in question, proving that it has been properly paid
Of course, in the latter case, it is also possible to prove your stay through a reservation made with a travel agency for a package that includes airline tickets and different accommodations.
Not having purchased a return ticket
The Spanish government needs to make sure that you are going to return to your country of origin and you will not stay irregularly beyond 90 days.
That is why the last night you have accommodation for during your visit to Spain must correspond to the night before the departure of your return flight.
In other words, you may be denied entry to Spain (and this is one of the most common reasons) if you have not already purchased your return flight ticket.
The return ticket will serve as confirmatory proof of the number of days you are actually going to stay in Spanish territory.
Not having medical insurance
Your stay in Spain must be fully covered by medical insurance that can offer you complete health care in case of any contingency.
Thus, you should be fully insured in case of accident and emergency, covering hospitalization and medical treatment in case of an accident, and repatriation in case of death.
Failure to make clear to the police the reasons for your trip
If you have not duly justified the reason why you are coming to Spain, the police at the border may ask you questions and conduct a short interview.
In this interview, you must clearly state which are the reasons for your trip: tourism, business, etc.
If your answer is not clear, and even if you have complied with the rest of the requirements, your entry could be denied.
That is to say, if the police thinks that the purpose of the visit is not to stay in the short term but to stay irregularly beyond the established time, entry will be prohibited.
To solve this problem, we recommend that you provide as much evidence as possible.
For example, if you are traveling for tourism, provide tickets to different tourist attractions that you will visit or a well-defined plan. If your visit is for studies, provide the registration and program of the course you will take. If you are coming to Spain to attend a business fair, bring the entrance ticket to the congress.
The key is to accumulate as much documentation as possible to prove your motives.
Having a criminal record or an entry prohibition
Finally, and as a reason for instant denial, having entry to Spain prohibited (since the foreigner has been previously expelled from the country) or having a criminal record (both through the courts and the police) is another of the clearest reasons for denial of entry.
What happens if your entry has been rejected?
Denial of entry into Spanish territory will always be the least desirable option.
It will automatically mean the need to buy a return flight ticket to leave the country as soon as possible.
If there are no flights in the next 24 hours, a judge will inform about the accommodation where the foreigner will have to stay before being able to board the next flight.
This accommodation will not be of a penitentiary nature.
Thus, here are two important recommendations:
- First, make sure you comply with all the requirements we have seen in this post. While it is true that it is possible that no one will ask you to show this documentation and you can enter freely, it may be the case that you are stopped by the border police and you will have to prove point by point
- Get expert legal advice from a team of experienced immigration lawyers. Failure to plan is planning to fail. That is why having the help of an expert lawyer (such as Balcells Group) will be fundamental to avoiding legal problems.
Also, keep in mind that fulfilling all of your requirements correctly can be the previous step to staying legal in the long term. There are up to 6 different options to enter Spain as a tourist and get your residence permit.
For any other questions, we are at your complete disposal. Just fill out the form below, tell us your situation, and one of our lawyers will contact you as soon as possible: