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Hola! Did you know this rule when travelling to Spain?


¡Hola! There are few better places to soak up that summer sun than Spain. But you know that already! That’s why, this Summer, we’re extremely excited to offer flights to three Spanish destinations: Málaga, Palma de Mallorca, and Alicante

You can learn more about London Southend Airport’s Spanish destinations here.

Getting from Britain to most EU countries is a relatively straightforward process – but there’s one rule that’s been catching out some travellers from the UK to Spain. 

If you travel to Spain without an EU passport or an official carta de invitacion – a letter of invitation – you may receive a fine of up to £8,000.

If you are planning to visit Spain for 90 days or less and don’t have an EU passport, you need to be able to provide evidence of where you will be staying for the entirety of your visit.

In most cases, you will not need a letter of invitation if you have proof that you are staying at a commercial residence for the duration of your trip. This includes most hotels, AirBnBs and holiday resorts. 

However, if you are planning to stay with friends or family instead, you will need to be able to provide your letter of invitation. Here’s how your host can get one.

How do I get a letter of invitation?

Your letter of invitation can’t just be a written letter from the person you’re planning on staying with. The letter needs to be provided directly by the local police to your host, who can then send you a copy.

To get a letter of invitation, your host will need to be one of the following:

  • A Spanish citizen
  • An EU citizen with legal Spanish residence
  • A non-EU citizen with legal Spanish residence 

They will then need to make an appointment with their local police office. During their appointment, they will be given the opportunity to present the requirements for a letter of invitation. 

Preparing for the appointment

Required documents for a letter of invitation appointment include:

  • A rental contract or deed showing that your host owns or rents the property that you will be staying at for the duration of your visit.
  • A town hall registration document.
  • A document proving that your host is a legal Spanish resident and a copy of that document.
    • Spanish citizens will need their Documento Nacional de Identidad (DNI)
    • Foreign residents in Spain can use their Número de identidad de extranjero (NIE), their EU foreigner identity number, their Tarjeta de identidad de extranjero (TIE), or their non-EU Foreigner’s Identification Card.
  • A copy of your passport (the visitor’s).
  • A completed letter of invitation application form. 

Your host will be charged an application fee – this is usually around €80 but can vary. Part of this will be paid upon submission, and the rest when collecting the letter of invitation. 

When will I get my letter of invitation? 

Usually, your host will be able to pick up the letter of invitation on the same day as they submit the application. However, sometimes processing the application can take up to a month, so they should plan their appointment ahead of time.

When your host has the letter of invitation, they should send you a copy so that you can present it if and when asked – making sure that you can enjoy your journey to Spain stress-free. If you have any questions about the process, your host should reach out to their local police station.

Once that’s all out of the way, you can kick-back, relax and plan your days sunbathing by the Mediterranean! ¡Divertirse!

Looking for more travel advice before you set off? Take a look at our Travel Hub ‘Travel Tips‘ page.