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No change on interim border measures for red ID holders, Govt says

People crossing the border. Photo by Johnny Bugeja

The Gibraltar Government said on Wednesday that it was not aware of any change to interim measures applied to Gibraltar residents with red ID cards, who should be able to continue crossing without having their passports stamped.

The Government was responding to questions after a number of red ID card holders reported being quizzed on their reasons for travel into the Schengen area and having their passports stamped.

“The Government of Gibraltar understands that this appears to have been sporadic and carried out by officers who were unaware of the detail of the interim arrangements agreed by Spain for the Gibraltar border,” No.6 Convent Place said in a statement.

“The Government understands that the position remains that Gibraltar red ID card holders should not be stamped unless they are travelling for onward travel outside Spain, and that those crossing the border will not routinely be asked to provide a reason for travel.”

“The Government reminds travellers that it is their responsibility to request a stamp at the Gibraltar border with Spain if they plan to travel further outside Spain, for example to catch a flight to the United Kingdom or France.”

Spain stepped up its checks on non-EU nationals – including blue ID card holders resident in Gibraltar - in October 2021 when the UK ceased to recognise EU ID cards as valid travel documents.

Spain has said it is applying the Schengen Borders Code on non-EU nationals as required at an external EU frontier, including stamping passports.

Under EU rules, non-EU nationals must be able to provide documentary proof of their reason for travel, where they are staying and when they are returning, as well as evidence of subsistence funds.

Gibraltar residents with red ID cards indicating full residency are exempt from Schengen checks under interim arrangements put in place by Spain pending the outcome of treaty negotiations.

Unlike the UK, Gibraltar continues to recognise EU ID cards.

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