The Government has received a number of complaints from the holders of blue civilian registration cards that their passports are being stamped by the Spanish authorities on entry to and exit from the Schengen area.
These blue cards are held by UK nationals and EU citizens who were resident in Gibraltar as on 31 December 2020. The reports reaching the Government indicate that both UK citizens and some EU nationals have been stamped in the past few days.
The position is that once Gibraltar left the European Union, ordinarily ALL third country passports would be liable to be stamped on entry and exit from Schengen. While a new treaty is negotiated, bridging measures unilaterally extended by Spain meant that passports of those holding a red Gibraltar identity card or a blue Gibraltar civilian registration card were not being stamped.
However, on 1 October the United Kingdom introduced new rules under which EU nationals can no longer enter the UK with their identity card alone and required a passport instead. This change was followed by the systematic stamping of blue card holding UK nationals seeking to enter the EU through Gibraltar.
The advice to EU nationals resident in Gibraltar with a blue card is that they should ensure that they simply take their passport when crossing the border. This will avoid all stamping.
The advice to UK nationals resident in Gibraltar with a blue card is that there is a clear change in posture at the border. They should ensure that when stamped on the way in, they should also be stamped on the way back into Gibraltar, as otherwise the days accumulated will count towards their entitlement to 90 days in 180 visa-free. It does unfortunately mean that any entry and exit to Spain will count towards at least one day of those 90.
The Government has raised the matter with UK and Spain and understands that different options are being looked at. We will continue to work to provide solutions where possible.