Spanish face new travel requirements to the UK from 1 October

Passengers at Malaga airport.
Passengers at Malaga airport. / SALVADOR SALAS
  • The transitional process which, since the UK left the European Union, has allowed Spaniards to continue to travel with their DNI cards, ends next month

Since the UK's departure from the EU it has still been possible for Spaniards to travel to and from the UK with a DNI identity card; but from 1 October, a valid passport will be required instead.

October sees the end of the transition agreement, which, following the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union, allowed EU nationals to continue to travel to and from the UK with their national identity documents (DNI in Spain).

Spaniards who arrive in the United Kingdom and the British who do so in Spain are now treated as third-country citizens and, therefore, are subject to Schengen area border controls, which may entail additional waiting time.

In addition, the Spanish have been reminded that it is necessary for the them to apply for a visa to work, access studies or establish a business in the United Kingdom.

For now, Spaniards will be able to continue driving in the United Kingdom as holders of a Spanish or any EU country driving licence. For those who plan to live in the United Kingdom, after applying for residency, the Spanish card will no longer be valid and drivers will need to swap it for a British licence.

The Spanish government has also made it clear, on the Moncloa website, that, “UK nationals will continue to be exempt from the obligation to be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders of the European Union for short stays, that is, up to 90 days in any 180-day period,” but stresses that this visa exemption does not provide the right to work in the European Union and is subject to the reciprocity mechanism applicable to third countries.