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Spain to tighten border checks for children and youngsters

Spain will tighten rules for children and youngsters crossing the border as from Wednesday, the Gibraltar Government said in a technical notice on Monday.

The new requirements apply to anyone under the age of 18, who will not be able to cross the border unless accompanied by an adult.

The new requirements will apply in both directions and children travelling alone may be refused permission.

“The parents of minors who have, until now, relied on their children being able to cross the border unaccompanied are advised to pay particular attention to the requirements described in this technical notice,” the Gibraltar Government said.

“For instance, it is important to note that children who cross the border unaccompanied to attend school, to attend activities or to make use of Gibraltar Airport will not be able to cross the border unaccompanied as from Wednesday 12 October 2022.”

The Gibraltar Government said the technical notice was based on information received from the Spanish authorities.

It noted that the rules were Spanish requirements “which could be subject to change”.

The new rules apply to both entry into Spain from Gibraltar, and in the other direction.

However, different requirements will apply depending on where the child is resident in cases where the accompanying adult is not a parent.

In the case of children resident in Gibraltar accompanied by someone who is not their parent, Spanish border guards will perform more thorough checks and record the personal details of both the adult and the minor.

“Minors resident in Gibraltar, intending to cross from Spain to Gibraltar, should also be accompanied by an adult,” the Gibraltar Government said in the technical notice.

“Where the adult is not the parent of the minor, the same thorough checks described above will be applied.”

Children resident in Spain will also need to be accompanied by an adult when crossing into Gibraltar.

In circumstances where the accompanying adult is not a parent, Spanish guards will perform thorough checks and an official Policia Nacional form, known as a ‘Permiso de viaje fuera del territorio nacional para menores’, will have to be completed and signed by a parent and handed to Spanish border officials.

The form is not necessary if the accompanying adult is the child’s parent.

The same process will apply when children resident in Spain are crossing back into Spain.

The requirement to fill in the Policia Nacional form applies only to children resident in Spain, not to those who live in Gibraltar, the technical notice said.

The Gibraltar Government said the new requirements should not affect children crossing the border for organised activities such as school trips or sporting events where children are part of a group accompanied by teachers or coaches.

Where these events or activities take place in Spain, and the organisation travelling is based in Gibraltar, the usual ‘List of Minors for Organised Trips to Spain’ should be sent to the Borders and Coastguard Agency in advance.

Likewise the government said the usual checks applied by Gibraltar authorities on children crossing the border are not affected by the information contained in the technical notice and will continue as normal.

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