Do new EU requirements prevent last-minute sitting for Brits?

Can anybody offer advice on how to deal with entry requirements of EU countries that state you need to prove where you will be staying?

For example, I am from the UK and now that we’re not in the EU, in order to enter Spain, it’s possible that Spanish border control may ask for proof of where I will be staying. Where most people would simply show a hotel booking, a house sitter will not be able to.

In the case of Spain, people staying with family or friends need to acquire an invitation letter known as a “Carta de Invitación.” This needs to be applied for by the family/friend and then given to the person who will be visiting. It costs 74,31€ and takes up to 20 days to process.

I am using Spain as an example, but the same probably applies for other EU countries – and it could make last-minute housesitting in the EU impossible for many British sitters. Even if the time issue is not a factor, it’s quite an inconvenience for the homeowner to obtain this document when they could much more easily offer the sit to somebody who doesn’t need it.

Does anybody have any experience with this? Are Spanish border security actively checking for proof of where non-EU visitors will be staying?

I have travelled all over the world (not housesitting), to many countries that have had similar requirements and of those that have bothered to ask, none of them have ever given more than a passing glance to my hotel reservation, which could have easily been bogus. I’ve just never had to deal with it in the EU before.

We travelled to France for a house sit a month ago. The HO sent an electronic letter to say we would be staying at his address for six weeks. Wasn’t asked for it. We bought health insurance as Government instructions, wasn’t asked for it. We threw away all dairy, vegetable and fruit as instructed, no one looked.
There were many RVs and caravans on the ferry, how do they state where they are staying? The whole idea is they are mobile??
We may have been lucky but I still would follow Government guidelines just in case you encounter a jobs worth.
It’s very easy for the HO to type an email stating they have invited someone. I can’t see how this would stop UK citizens (I am one) entering Europe.

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Thanks for the reply.
I have very much suspected that it is unlikely to be heavily enforced - but as you have said, it only takes one jobsworth to ruin your plans.
The problem is that (at least as far as Spain is concerned) an email or letter from the HO is not sufficient. The official required document (“Carta de Invitación”) needs to be obtained from a police station by the HO, and as stated previously, it costs 74,31€ and takes up to 20 days to process.

It seems quite counter productive for a country such as Spain, which relies on tourism, to make the demand of knowing where you will be sleeping for every night of your stay. Housesitting aside, for many travellers (myself included,) much of the joy comes from not planning ahead more than a day or two.

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We have just very recently visited several European countries and haven’t been asked to show or provide any proof of accommodation on arrival.
We are frequent worldwide travellers (hubby was a commercial airline pilot up until retirement earlier this year so we both travelled worldwide every week) and most countries say they require proof but we have only ever found a small fraction actually do require to see these documents. Hope this helps.

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Thanks for that. Did any of the European countries that you recently visited ask for proof of your onward travel?
I’m also a frequent worldwide traveller (at least I was until the pandemic) and like you, have rarely encountered countries that actually request the proof they claim is required. I was just concerned that EU border security may be more strict with the British in order to make sure we know we can’t come and go as we please anymore.

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No none at all. Border security know how long you have been away no matter how many borders you cross as your passport will record all of your travel details so it isn’t really a big concern for them.

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