British residents flying home to Spain were banned from boarding a combined British Airways / Iberia flight to Madrid on Saturday night after airline employees said their pre-Brexit residency papers were no longer valid.
A total of nine people were not allowed to board at Heathrow, among them journalist and photographer Max Duncan, who was told that his green residency papers were no longer valid, although the Spanish and British governments said both the old foreign national identity document (NIE) and the foreign identity card. The new (TIE) is still valid.
In a tweet from the British Embassy in Madrid, Duncan confirmed that the green card is valid. “This shouldn’t happenSpanish authorities have confirmed again this evening that the green residency document will be valid for travel back to Spain as mentioned in our travel advice, officials said via the UKinSpain embassy account.
Duncan tweeted in response: “Thank you ukinspain for confirming that the green card is valid, for this Spain He also reiterated that this should not happen. “
Duncan interviewed a couple at the airport who said they were “completely damaged” after they were told they had the wrong residency document and needed a TIE card. “We are going home.” “Spain is home,” the unidentified woman said, adding that her husband was running out of vital medicines.
Another couple said they reported at the check-in counter that the NIE green card was no longer valid. When they called the British Embassy, they said that the staff had told them they had received a lot of calls about the problem.
Not only was the Madrid trip affected. Someone holding the daisyqueen handle tweeted: “My daughter and her partner are affected. He was at Heathrow for 12 hours – he refused to fly the first airline flight to Barcelona, then he was told he could travel tonight, so he just waited to be rejected as British Airways says passengers have returned from Barcelona “.
The Spanish government announced last year that, in light of Brexit, British residents in Spain will be given a photo ID that replaces the previous residence card held by European Union citizens.
Tens of thousands of Britons have registered for the new card and the application process appears to have gone smoothly. However, there are no dates available for collecting the card as the system is too overburdened.
British Embassy He said On her Facebook page on Saturday night, she received many messages from residents of the United Kingdom in Spain who did not yet have the documents they needed. She said she had “requested greater flexibility” from Spain in cases of people who had not yet been able to receive a TIE card, students who were due to resume their studies, and those who might care for elderly or vulnerable family members.
There are around 300,000 British residents in Spain, although the number may be much higher as many live outside the Spanish system.
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