Channel Tunnel boss issues warning over Kent travel
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Since Britain left the EU, British tourists must follow Schengen zone rules for non-EU residents. The Schengen zone covers 26 EU countries and Britons can stay in the zone for 90 out of every 180 days.
British tourists will need to get their passport stamped when they enter and exit the Schengen zone.
If they fail to receive a stamp, Britons could be denied entry to the Schengen zone as guards may assume they have overstayed the permitted 90 days.
The Foreign Office has now issued new advice for British nationals holidaying in the Schengen zone.
British tourists must check their passport has been stamped at border control in a Schengen country.
The latest advice for Portugal said: “Check your passport is stamped if you enter or exit the Schengen zone through Portugal as a visitor.
“Border guards will use passport stamps to check you’re complying with the 90-day visa-free limit for short stays in the Schengen area.
“If relevant entry or exit stamps are not in your passport, border guards will presume that you have overstayed your visa-free limit.
“You can show evidence of where and when you entered or exited the Schengen area, and ask the border guards to add this date and location to your passport.
“Examples of acceptable evidence include boarding passes and tickets. You may also need to show you have a return or onward ticket and show you have enough money for your stay.”
As Brexit ended free movement within the Schengen area for Britons, they no longer have the right to stay as long as they wish.
Schengen countries include the popular holiday destinations of Spain, Portugal, Greece and France.
Although they are in the EU, Croatia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania and Ireland are not in the Schengen area.
The 90 day rule applies to the whole Schengen area so Britons can enter multiple countries within the time limit.
Overstaying 90 days in the Schengen Zone could result in a fine, immediate deportation or a ban from the area.
Fees for overstaying vary across the Schengen Zone but Britons who break the 90 day rule may also have trouble returning to the area.
They will likely face prolonged checks if they return and could even be turned away at the border.
Expats with residency in a Schengen country have expressed concern that their passport has been incorrectly stamped.
Foreign Office advice for Portugal said: “If you are resident in Portugal your passport should not be stamped.
“You should proactively show your proof of residence as well as your valid passport at Portuguese border control.”
British expats with residency in the EU should be prepared to show their documents at border control.
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