I have been living in Spain for almost 3 months, and have to leave due to visa restrictions (I am a UK citizen and cannot stay in the EU for longer than 3 months per 6 month period)

I am now in Gibraltar, but there is little to no border control, and no official passport stamping to prove when I entered Gibraltar

How do I let Spain know that I’ve left, so they don’t think I'm breaching my visa?

  • 11
    It's not the EU you need to leave, but the Schengen area. And by going to Gibraltar you have not left... May 12 '21 at 6:49
  • But surely as a UK citizen and passport holder I can stay in Gibraltar for as long as I like, right? May 13 '21 at 21:29
  • 1
    @BarneyChambers At present, yes. Since the 1st of January the UK is considered a EEA state (instead as an EU state) under the relevant Gibraltar law. This ensures that for UK Citizens nothing changes. This may change if an final agreement has been made to treat Gibraltar as part of the Schengen Area. See my comment in the given answer. May 14 '21 at 3:43

You don't have to tell Spain or anyone else. Enforcement is effected by examining passport stamps. There is an electronic system in the works, but since it's not yet in operation, you're obviously not in it.

When you return to the Schengen area, you'll want to have some evidence that you were in Gibraltar on or before the 89th day after you entered the Schengen area, in case the border officer notices that you don't have an exit stamp matching your entrance stamp.

Having said that, there are some misconceptions in your question that ought to be noted:

I ... cannot stay in the EU for longer than 3 months per 6 month period.

That isn't quite it. First, it's 90 days per 180-day period, which is slightly more precise.

Furthermore, the restriction applies to the Schengen area, not the EU. Notably, you can spend more than three months in Ireland, and the 90-day restriction is counted separately for the other EU countries that aren't in the Schengen area (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania, if memory serves). (There are also some non-EU countries in Schengen area, namely Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.)

Finally, note that if you entered Gibraltar on the 90th day after you entered the Schengen area, you have to remain outside the Schengen area for 90 full days before you can re-enter. On the other hand, if you went to Gibraltar on the 89th day, you can enter the Schengen area (for example to transit) as long as you leave before midnight on the day of arrival.

Note that days are counted as calendar days. If you enter at 11:55 p.m. and leave ten minutes later, that counts as two days. If you enter at five minutes past midnight and leave 23 hours and 50 minutes later (or ten minutes later, for that matter), that counts as one day.

  • 8
    Isn't Gibraltar now part of the Schengen area? May 12 '21 at 6:44
  • 6
    @KristvanBesien as usual with all things Brexit, it's pretty unclear what the current status of Gibraltar is. I believe they are supposed to have Gibraltar join the Schengen Area (possibly implicitly rather than explicitly) in a future agreement that has been agreed to "in principle", but at the moment I don't believe it's the case.
    – jcaron
    May 12 '21 at 7:41
  • It looks as if the final agreement is being expected for the end of June 2021. For entry to Gibraltar from outside the Schengen Area, at the Air or Sea port, would then be done by the EU’s border guard, Frontex. Effect of Brexit on Gibraltar - Wikipedia and 2021-04-23: The EU's quiet coup in Gibraltar | The New European May 12 '21 at 10:45
  • @KristvanBesien The 1962 Gibraltar Immigration, Asylum and Refugee Act (amendment effective 2021-01-01) insures that the UK (and it’s citizens) is/are treated as a EEA State/Citizens. So a hotel bill (or another proof of presence in Gibraltar) should be sufficient proof of leaving the Schengen Area. May 12 '21 at 11:54

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