EES - Entry/Exit System at Alicante Airport
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EES – Entry/Exit System at Alicante Airport

New border control procedures are being introduced for nationals from non-EU/non-Schengen countries. Please note, that these are not yet operational.

The EES – An Overview

The EES in Detail

What is the EES?

The Entry/Exit System (EES) is a computerised border control system, which will replace manual passport checks.

Where will the system be used?

It will monitor the external borders of the Schengen area by registering entries and exits of third-country nationals who come to visit Alicante and other EU regions for a short period of time.

When will the EES come into force?

The system will likely be launched across Europe in October 2024. The exact start date has yet to be officially confirmed.

Who does the Entry/Exit System apply to?

The system will register non-EU nationals travelling to Alicante (and other areas within the EU) for a short stay. This includes visa-exempt EU nationals (e.g. people from the UK, US and many more countries) and those who have a short-stay visa.

How long is a short stay?

People from countries outside the European Union (EU) who don’t need a visa can visit Spain (and other EU countries) for up to 90 days in a 180 day period. It’s crucial to know that this 90-day limit applies across all EU countries that use the EES, meaning you can’t spend more than 90 days in total within any 180 days across all these places.

What is the purpose of the EES?

The EES is mainly about saving time. Instead of stamping passports and doing border checks manually, the EES does it all automatically. In addition, the system will increase border security as it aids in identifying fake IDs or passports. It can easily spot people who shouldn’t be entering or who have stayed too long. Plus, it will help to stop and catch terrorists and other serious criminals.

What information does the EES collect?

The EES gathers and keeps track of:

  • Details from your travel document, like your full name and date of birth.
  • When and where you enter and leave a European country that uses the EES.
  • Your facial image and fingerprints, which are called ‘biometric data’.
  • If someone is denied entry, that information is also logged in the system.

Multiple visits to Alicante/the EU

If you are visiting Spain or other EU countries frequently, then you will need to ensure that you don’t exceed a maximum of 90 days in 180 days. That means you can stay for a total of 90 days (roughly, but not exactly, 3 months) in any 180 day period (roughly, but not exactly, 6 months). Your 180 days start with the date of your first visit to Spain (or another EU country that uses the EES).

How can you find out how much longer you are allowed to stay in Alicante / the EU?

There will be several ways to find this out:

  • You can check the number of days that you are still allowed to stay via an online tool, which will be available on the official EES website.
  • Via the EES equipment that will be installed at passport control.
  • By asking an officer at passport control.

What to do if you want to visit again but have already used up your 90-day allowance?

You have two options:

  • Wait until 180 days have passed since you first travelled to Spain (or another EU county). After that, you can visit again because your short-stay allowance will renew.
  • Apply for a visa (this will need to be done before travelling).

What happens if you stay longer than allowed?

If you stay too long in European countries that use the EES, including Spain, the system will notice and keep a record of it. Usually, if you’re caught overstaying, there could be consequences under the law of that country. For example, you might be told to leave, fined, or even put in detention. You might also have trouble coming back to the EU later on.

However, there might be exceptions to this rule due to some unforeseeable circumstances, e.g. if you were in hospital due to serious injury or illness. In such a case, you will need to provide credible evidence to border- or immigration authorities, so that your records can be amended.

Where can I get further information?

You can find more detailed information on the official EES website. Once the system is live, the website will also allow you to check how long are allowed to stay in Spain or any other country using the EES.

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