Do you need to prove you have £97 a day to travel to Spain?

There’s been a flurry of news stories that state that Brits travelling to Spain must prove they can spend £97 (€113.40) a day to enter – but what does this actually mean for UK holidaymakers?

Well here’s everything you need to know – including some real life examples of Brits who have been asked about money by Spanish border force, and what they had to do to be granted access.

What are Spain's new rules on proving you have enough money?

The Spanish government states:

Foreigners must prove, if required to do so by the officials in charge of controlling the entry of people into Spanish territory, that they have economic resources, in the amount that, as a minimum, is indicated below:

• Currently, the minimum amount to be credited is 113.40 euros per person per day, with a minimum of 1,010.60 euros or its legal equivalent in foreign currency (with effect from January 1, 2024)

There’s a bit more to it – you can read the full thing here – but essentially the most important takeaway is that you should be able to prove that you have €113.40 (£97) a day per person, with a minimum of €1010.60 (£867) if asked.

Are these rules new?

No. These rules have been in effect since 1st Jan 2022, however when it was first introduced it was just £85 (€100) a day per person. 

In 2023, the amount was around £93 (€108) a day.

Does this have anything to do with Brexit?

Yes! Due to leaving the European Union, Brits no longer have freedom of movement in the EU and so we have to go through more checks. These include:

  • Showing you have enough money for your stay
  • Showing proof of accommodation for your stay
  • Showing a return or onward ticket

This could happen at the border for all EU countries – not just Spain. In fact, I’ve been asked both to show my return ticket and proof of accommodation in the last year (neither were when entering Spain).

These aren’t rules for just people from the UK, but the rules for all third country nations. What’s more, we knew that this could and probably would happen as an outcome of Brexit.

Also, these sort of travel rules are pretty standard. You may well have been asked this sort of thing when travelling to the USA or Australia – and often you’ll be asked about money when applying for a visa.

I haven't heard anything about these rules before?

Whilst the referendum on the UK’s EU membership took place in 2016, we didn’t officially leave until 31st January 2020. Even then, there was a transition period until the end of 2020 meaning most new rules didn’t come in until 1st January 2021.

As we were in the middle of a global pandemic in 2021, many of these rules went unnoticed.

In Summer 2022, these rules first got press attention and then again in 2023. As we return to the peak travel period in 2024, we are seeing this topic hit headlines again! But don’t let the headlines scare you – this is all expected and all very standard.

Another example of how things have changed due to Brexit is how our passport expiry dates have changed when entering the EU – make sure you check this too!

Okay, but back to Spain, how will these 'new' rules actually affect my holiday?

Good question.

I think the really important sentence from the Spanish Ministry’s statement is the following:

“Foreigners must prove, if required to do so

Yes you could be asked but it’s my opinion that they are not going to be asking everyone. Why do I think that? To do this, they would slow down the entire entry process. I think it’s much more likely that they may sporadically ask people about money – or where they’re staying, or for proof of their return ticket.

Do you have anything to back that theory up?

I took to Instagram when the news first hit the headlines and asked people who have travelled to Spain since the beginning of 2022 to share whether they’d been asked about money at the border.

Of the 1373 people that answered, 1354 (98.6%) said they hadn’t. The remaining 19 said that they had but only 4 confirmed this to me after I followed up.

Of these 4, one was asked in April 2022 and very interestingly, the other 3 were asked in July 2022 – so it could well be that the Spanish border force started asking this question more from that point. Or perhaps, it’s simple maths. With more people travelling, there’s more people who will report being asked!

What has happened to the people who have been asked to prove they have money so far?

A huge thank you to the three people on Instagram who agreed that I could quote what happened to them.

I know this is obvious but please note, these aren’t my words or experiences, I’m simply sharing because I think these real life accounts are super helpful.

Entering Alicante on Friday 22nd July 2022

“It was my daughter on Friday 22/7 at Alicante (3 nights in Benidorm booked as a package). At passport control they asked her (not her partner who was standing with her and had already had his passport stamped) for evidence of return flight, hotel booking and proof of funds. She showed them return flight, hotel and debit card and offered to log in to her online banking but there were not bothered. They were choosing random people. For context she is a university lecturer and her partner is in the RAF so she wasn’t chosen as part of hen party etc. Hope that helps.”

Entering Alicante on Friday 22nd July 2022 (also)

“On Friday! They just asked where I was staying, when I was coming and and whether I had enough money so I just stated how much I had in cash and that I also had 2 bank cards and a credit card on me!

This was to Alicante, but my partner and everyone else around me seemed to breeze past, I must have looked fun to talk to 😭

I was only there til yesterday (25th July) and just said I have €280 in cash, my bank card and credit card and my partners bank card and they just waved me away – they weren’t bothered to see any proof of any of it! I always have everything printed anyway so luckily it was fine, but my partner has nothing on him and would have been clueless as to where we were staying or even when we were coming home 😂”

Entering Madrid on Monday 25th July 2022

“Hello! Yes it happened yesterday actually when going through the border at Madrid airport. The officer asked me what money I had, his English was a little broken and my Spanish is non-existent so I just waved my Amex at him and he was fine with that, stamped my passport and I was on my way! I’m a UK passport holder .”

What should I prepare for entering Spain?

First of all – try not to worry! You probably won’t get asked anything but just in case, I’d have the following to hand:

  • Confirmation of your return or onwards travel
  • Confirmation of your booked accommodation or the address of where you’re staying

My tip here is to just screenshot these and save to a photo album on your phone so you don’t need internet to load them.

And how do I prepare to prove I have enough money?

First of all work out how much you should have if they want you to have €113.40 a day. If you’re at the desk with someone else – or with your children – you may have to include them in your calculations too. 

Have your purse or wallet to hand to show bank cards – it sounds like having a credit card could be a really quick way to show that you have access to money.

From what I’ve heard so far, it doesn’t sound like they’re doing more than asking you to verbally confirm you have enough money and I’m not sure they’re about to whip out a card machine to take a hold on your card… However, since these are the rules, I am indeed obliged to tell you that you need to be able to prove that you have enough money should you be challenged.

The Spanish Ministry del Interior also states the following can be used to prove your spends: cash, or by presenting certified checks, traveler's checks, letters of payment, or credit cards, which must be accompanied by a bank account statement or an up-to-date bank book (letters from banks or Internet bank statements will not be accepted) or any other means with which the amount available as credit of said card or Bank account.

What if I can't prove I have enough money?

I haven’t heard of this happening yet so all we have to base this on is the official ruling from the Spanish government which says:

In the event that, when carrying out the entry control of people in Spanish territory, it is verified that a foreigner lacks sufficient economic resources for the time he wishes to remain in Spain and to continue his trip to the country of destination or to return to the country of origin, or do not have the registered, non-transferable and closed ticket or tickets, in the means of transport they intend to use, their entry into Spanish territory will be denied as established by regulation.

It goes onto say that in exceptional circumstance, they may allow entry but you would be expected to reduce the length of your stay in line with what you could afford.

UK passport rules for going to Europe have changed - don't let them ruin your next holiday!
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