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Gibraltar & Schengen immigration

Gibraltar & Schengen immigration

Old Aug 11, 17, 6:47 am
  #1  
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Question Gibraltar & Schengen immigration

Hi everyone!

I am going to Gibraltar and southern Spain very soon and have some questions concerning the border control of Gibraltar as a traveller with a non-European passport.

(1)
I will fly from Hong Kong(HKG) to London(LHR), and then take my connecting flight to Gibraltar. Both by BA. Is it required for me to pass through UK border for the transfer or will it be considered as an int'l-int'l connection?

(2)
Am I eligible, as a OW sapphire card holder(RJ), to use Fastrack service in Heathrow? (I checked the BA website, it says yes; but it showed no on the Oneworld website)

(3)
Will I get the entry stamp of Gibraltar, if I request, on my passport when entering Gibraltar by air?

(4)
I was told that on both side of the Spain-Gibraltar border, the officers will not stamp the passports. Since I will exit the Schengen area by flying out from MAD airport, how should I request the officers at the border to stamp my passport?(Schengen entry stamp) Otherwise, I will encounter some difficulties when exiting the Schengen area I supposed.

(5)
Does anyone know if the bus from La linea de conception to Sevilla is a year-round service? I tried to book it online but failed to buy one.

Thank you very much for all your help.
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Old Aug 12, 17, 6:02 am
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Originally Posted by fleuve View Post
Hi everyone!

I am going to Gibraltar and southern Spain very soon and have some questions concerning the border control of Gibraltar as a traveller with a non-European passport.

(1)
I will fly from Hong Kong(HKG) to London(LHR), and then take my connecting flight to Gibraltar. Both by BA. Is it required for me to pass through UK border for the transfer or will it be considered as an int'l-int'l connection?
INT-INT.

You will NOT pass through the UK border (unless you want to).

(3)

Will I get the entry stamp of Gibraltar, if I request, on my passport when entering Gibraltar by air?
You are entering Gibraltar, end of.

If they elect they need to stamp it they will do so for immigration purposes, regardless. And the inspections by air are generally more through than on land.

If however they elect they don't need to stamp your passport (I don't know what passport you have), then - given it is a non-EU passport, your chances of still getting a stamp if you ask are very good.

(4)

I was told that on both side of the Spain-Gibraltar border, the officers will not stamp the passports.
Not true. Plenty of people get their passports stamped every day.

You need to remember the bulk of the people crossing from both sides are EU citizens, so they will not be stamped. Many will be using their ID cards so not even carrying a passport.

Also: Gibraltar does not, as a matter of routine (i.e. under normal circumstances) conduct exit controls (but retains the right to do so, and does occasionally) - so there will not normally be an immigration officer on Gibraltar side when departing Gibraltar.

Gibraltar does however conduct entry controls.

Spain conducts both entry and exit controls - as she is required under Schengen obligations (and at times a bit 'above and beyond' what she is required).

As I said, plenty of people get their passports stamped crossing the border every day - although many other people crossing don't notice it, and assume nobody is getting stamped.

Sometimes (despite officially exiting Schengen) day trip visitors to Gibraltar might not be stamped out, and similarly immigration officers in Gibraltar can sometimes adopt a risk assessment based approach - and not stamp people if they are confident they are genuine tourists and will be leaving shortly.

HOWEVER you can certainly get stamped if entitled and you ask.

And passports will be checked - so, given you will not have a Schengen entry stamp already, I'd certainly expect to get one crossing into Spain. (but if not just ask it will be forthcoming).

Since I will exit the Schengen area by flying out from MAD airport, how should I request the officers at the border to stamp my passport?(Schengen entry stamp) Otherwise, I will encounter some difficulties when exiting the Schengen area I supposed.
I'm certain you will get one without asking crossing into Spain, especially since you don't have a prior entry.

And the level of formality compliance has risen recently.

But either way, just ask and you will get one.


(5)

Does anyone know if the bus from La linea de conception to Sevilla is a year-round service? I tried to book it online but failed to buy one.
Yes it is.

There are very short advance booking windows for some buses in Spain, some routes are only bookable less than 2 weeks in advance. Not sure about that route.
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Old Aug 12, 17, 10:01 am
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I'll want the Gibraltar entry stamp on my passport so, if necessary, I'll ask.
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Old Aug 15, 17, 1:53 am
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I'm a non EU citizen and I can say the stamps are NOT systematic at the border. You will have to ask to get stamped.
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Old Aug 16, 17, 4:09 pm
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I am a Canadian passport holder. Last week I crossed by land to Gibraltar. No exit stamp by European agent. Showed the front of my passport as I walked by the Gibraltar agent.

Absolutely no one to see when I exited Gibraltar back into Spain. Literally no one. Just walked right through.
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Old Aug 17, 17, 2:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Salisbury5 View Post
I am a Canadian passport holder. Last week I crossed by land to Gibraltar. No exit stamp by European agent. Showed the front of my passport as I walked by the Gibraltar agent.

Not surprising. That has always been my experience as well. Just walk past the agents while holding up the passport to the photo page. No Schengen exit stamp offered routinely, although you could request one if you wanted (or needed) one. My hypothesis is that the CNP assume you are entering Gibraltar for a day trip and will be returning quickly to Spain. So, it saves them from having to stamp you out and then back in. The overwhelming majority of visitors entering Gibraltar by land will be departing by land as well--and add to them all of the day laborers who live in the Campo de Gibraltar municipalities.

However, if you were to enter Gibraltar by land and then fly out of the airport, you MUST be sure to get a Schengen exit stamp at the land border entering Gibraltar. Otherwise, you will have trouble the next time you try to enter the Schengen zone (no matter which country), since they will not have documentation of your previous departure.


Absolutely no one to see when I exited Gibraltar back into Spain. Literally no one. Just walked right through.
Usually they at least check your passport photo against your face, and make you put your bag(s) through an x-ray to check for tobacco products that you purchased tax-free in Gibraltar. Standard procedure.
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Old Aug 17, 17, 6:28 pm
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Note that formalities have increased in recent times, compared to the case previously.
So even people who have been to gibraltar many times of the years, things have changed a bit, especially for pedestrians.

Yes you will still get times when it is very casual, but they have increased the formalities and frequency of applying them.
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Old Aug 18, 17, 1:51 am
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Originally Posted by David-A View Post
Note that formalities have increased in recent times, compared to the case previously.
So even people who have been to gibraltar many times of the years, things have changed a bit, especially for pedestrians.

Yes you will still get times when it is very casual, but they have increased the formalities and frequency of applying them.
Good to know, but I would still make sure that people should know if they need a stamp and that they might have to go after it themselves.
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Old Aug 18, 17, 2:32 am
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Originally Posted by fleuve View Post
(2)
Am I eligible, as a OW sapphire card holder(RJ), to use Fastrack service in Heathrow? (I checked the BA website, it says yes; but it showed no on the Oneworld website)
If you are talking about fast track security, despite what the OW website says, BA Silver (OWS) gets it at LHR T3 on BA flights, so I think RJ OWS would also get it.

As you will be arriving by 0500, you won't need fast track security

If you wish to enter the UK, then you should be given a fast track immigration voucher in J or F, but you may need to ask for it, and you definitely need to ask for it if you are in W or Y.

However you don't need to enter the UK unless you want to (if you go through Flight Connections then don't go through the UK and Ireland channel, which will involve passport control).



You will definitely get a Gibraltar entry stamp when entering by air. Obviously you should try your best to get a Schengen entry stamp, but if you can't, then pointing out the Gibraltar entry stamp and showing your boarding passes or other proof you were outside Schengen a week prior, should suffice. It is going the other way and not being recorded as leaving Schengen which may prove problematic.

7 years ago a Spanish policeman patrolling near to the border specifically told me that they don't stamp passports when entering Spain from Gibraltar. I had already walked into Spain and after 10 more minutes of walking around in the dark I could not find anybody else. I don't know if that policeman was just lying because he was too lazy to open up the office and find someone to apply the stamp, or if he was inexperienced. I now have a British passport but I want attempt using my non-EU passport around this border next time.
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Old Aug 19, 17, 12:29 am
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Thank you very much for all your experience sharing!

I am looking forward to my trip in GIB and southern Spain now, and hopefully the immigration is not a problem.

BTW, I am holding a Taiwanese passport, and visa-exempt entry into Schengen and GIB is granted. Just wanna make sure that I won't enter or leave both Schengen and GIB without record.

It's nice to hear that entering the UK is not necessary for my transfer.
Hope to get more breakfast and sleep in the LHR T3 BA gallery lounge!
(Not sure if it is comparable to those served in CX lounge)
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Old Aug 19, 17, 12:33 am
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Originally Posted by :D! View Post
If you are talking about fast track security, despite what the OW website says, BA Silver (OWS) gets it at LHR T3 on BA flights, so I think RJ OWS would also get it.

As you will be arriving by 0500, you won't need fast track security

If you wish to enter the UK, then you should be given a fast track immigration voucher in J or F, but you may need to ask for it, and you definitely need to ask for it if you are in W or Y.
So should I ask the ground staff about it when checking-in or should I ask the flight attendant when onboard?

Well...Yes, I will be travelling on miserable BA's Y.
(BA offers the cheapest fare and the easiest access to GIB, at least from Asia)
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