Schengen Visa for spouses & family members of EU nationals

Schengen visa for spouses / family members of EU nationals

In a previous post, I had mentioned how it was pretty hard to get a schengen visa to travel to Portugal in 2011. The issues were compounded by the fact that I had recently quit my job in Dubai to travel the world and as such, an un-employed [self employed ;)] single Indian male represents ‘significant illegal immigration risk’.  Obviously I had no intention of immigrating but it gets hard to prove these things through documentation, especially because I didn’t have a ‘strong reason to return’ (proved by an employment letter normally..), in fact, I wasn’t going to return, I was off to Mexico after that!

The basic Schengen visa rules mostly evaluate you for illegal immigration risk. There is pretty much no other concern on their minds. This can be understood very easily from the various Schengen visa handbooks that every consulate uses to decide on visas. The handbooks are available online.

- Schengen visa handbook 1

- Schengen visa handbook 2

- Schengen visa Code

These handbooks very clearly describe the rules for Schengen visas for anyone and actually make for quite an interesting read. The basic premise is that you need to prove that you will return, and that you have enough money to make the trip. They may ask you for a slew of documents (air tickets, hotel reservations, bank statements, income tax returns, employment letter’s, rental contracts, property deeds, etc.) to prove this. This usually makes the process quite annoying and invasive.

However, I understand the administrative reason for the Schengen Visa Code. There are so many different countries issuing Schengen visas that it’s important to adhere to a uniform and unfortunately rather strict code. Plus, there is always the risk of illegal immigration.


The handbooks even have some interesting tidbits like:

a third-country national subject to the visa obligation and legally residing in another third country whose nationals are exempted from the visa requirement (an Indian national residing in Canada or a Chinese national residing in the United States) normally presents a very limited risk of illegal immigration to the Member States


However, this post is about Schengen visas for spouses of EU nationals. Of course, if you do not need a visa for the Schengen territories (citizens of USA, Germany, New Zealand, etc. ) then you just need to arrive at the border.

For the rest of us, the process is also simplified greatly once you are married or in a documented civil partnership. The Schengen visa process for spouses of EU nationals is covered under the Free Movement Rights for European Union citizens. Under these rules, the non-EU spouses of EU nationals have the same rights of free movement as their EU spouses as long as they travel with their EU spouse.


What does this mean in practice?

Basically, as the non-EU spouse of an EU national you can go to any country except their home country as this falls under them exercising their free movement rights. Furthermore, in most cases, even if you arrive without a visa at the border, as long as you are together (or joining your spouse in the member state) and can prove your relationship, you will be granted entry. Several people have used this provision in the past although it’s usually much harder to do this arriving via air due to the fact that airlines don’t usually know these rules and will deny you boarding. So, if arriving by air, always get your visa in advance.

Don’t believe me? Check out the EU Directive 2004/038/EC.
Also, check out the Guide to Directive 2004/038/EC published by the EU commission in easy to understand language. 

The directive lays out in clear language what rights are granted to non-EU family members of EU citizens.

So, getting Schengen visas became a lot easier ever since Zara and I tied the knot! Of course, we have a US issued marriage certificate in English that has been apostilled by the Nevada Secratary of State. Furthermore, we had our marriage certificate legalized by the Portuguese Consulate in San Francisco. This is a small stamp that they placed on the document and charged us about $23 for it. Basically, make sure that your marriage certificate is in a position to be recognized by an EU country. If you got married in a country which ratified the Apostille Convention, then an apostille stamp on the certificate should be enough as all EU countries recognize documents with apostilles.


Applying for a short stay Schengen visa (up to 90 days per 180 days) is now much easier. All you need to do is provide:

- The visa application form with a photograph

- Your passport

- Marriage Certificate

- Copy of your spouse’s EU passport

The visa is free of cost and is given on an accelerated basis. What this means is that the consulate cannot ask you to go through a third party service (like VFS, BLS, Travisa, etc.) as you would have to pay their service fees. Furthermore, the consulate should process your visa in a timely manner.

I’ve followed this procedure twice now, once in San Francisco and recently in New Delhi. However, both times the consulate requested that I have medical insurance. It’s always a good idea to have medical insurance and while the guidelines specified in Directive 2004/038/EC do not let the consulate ask you for additional documents, I personally didn’t mind giving them a copy of my medical insurance.

Both consulates (San Francisco as well as New Delhi) when queried over the phone initially requested the whole array of documents (tickets, hotel bookings, bank statements, etc.) but when Zara spoke to them and mentioned the rules for spouses, they processed my Schengen visa within 24 hours without any additional documents (except the medical insurance I mentioned). The language of the directive is quite clear:


The right of entry of your third country family members is derived from their family ties with you, a Union citizen. All the Member State consular officials can ask for is their passport and a document establishing their family ties with you, such as marriage or birth certificate and proof of dependence, where applicable. Your family members cannot be asked to present documents such as travel tickets, employment certificate, pay slips, bank statements, proof of accommodation and means of subsistence or a medical certificate.


The visa granted under these rules is a short stay Schengen visa. So, you can only use it to stay 90 days within a 6 month period. Also, both times I received a visa with 6 months validity. I had written a letter to the Portuguese Consulate in New Delhi requested a longer visa (5 years validity, which is the maximum) as a family visit need might arise at any point of time, however, they still issued a 6 month visa and the man at the counter said: “It’s because our system is limited to just 6 months, but you can apply again when this one runs out because it’s free anyway, haha”.

Haha, but I don’t buy it. I’m sure they issue visas with longer validity periods but the next time I apply, I shall make another request for a visa with a longer validity. In fact, the consulate in San Francisco had mentioned earlier that I could get a longer validity visa in my home country.

You can also apply at the consulate of any Schengen country but it’s always best to apply at the one where you are going to visit. In our case, we will always visit Portugal and Spain when we go to Europe so it’s a no-brainer to apply at the Portuguese Consulate in New Delhi.

If you are the spouse/immediate family member of an EU national and are applying for a Schengen visa, make sure you inform the consulate of the rules in case they ask for extra documents. It is always important to ask for your rights and in the case of the EU, the good thing is that all the relevant laws are available online. If required, carry printouts of the relevant pages with specific passages highlighted for the benefit of the consular officer.

Ultimately, as the family member of an EU citizen you do have rights inside the EU, although for stays longer than 90 days you would need to register as a resident and you also have a right to that as long as your EU spouse is exercising treaty rights – so it should be a fairly simple process.

For more information, please consult the Directive 2004/038/EC and the Guide to the Directive published directly by the EU commission. If required, do not hesitate to present these rules to the consulate you are dealing with as they are bound by these laws and must follow them.


Update 2016:

The UK is going to vote in June regarding whether they will stay or leave the EU. How is this related? Well, as part of the “stay” deal, the UK has negotiated some rather worrying terms with the EU regarding the free movement rights of non-EU spouses.

The Commission intends to adopt a proposal to complement Directive 2004/38 on free movement of Union citizens in order to exclude, from the scope of free movement rights, third country nationals who had no prior lawful residence in a Member State before marrying a Union citizen.

What this means is not fully clear yet and there has been no clarification issued on the subject. However, the aim seems to be to limit the free movement rights of non-EU family members and bring their movements under the purview of national family re-unification laws.

There is a lot of confusion regarding the situation including how non-EU spouses who have already moved to the EU with their family are going to be treated under the new regulations. For now, if you are planning to move to an EU country and exercise your free movement rights with your non-EU spouse, the best advice is to move before the UK referendum if possible.


The UK has voted to LEAVE:

The UK has voted to leave the European Union. The changes mentioned above that the UK had negotiated in early 2016 are no longer applicable as the UK has voted to leave the European Union. Therefore, all the information in this article is current and applies to the EU – except the UK. Regulations regarding the UK will change in the near future and will differ significantly from the Directive outlined above. The changes to UK law will now be outside the scope of the EU Directive on Free Movement until the UK reaches a new deal with the EU Commission.

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  • Dominic Martins Says

    iam very happy to hear all these stories, thanks,and I will be very happy if you can send more stories infuture.

  • TJ Says

    I’ve had a similar problem with my Chinese wife’s application. Our Chinese Marriage Certificates had no Apostille stamp. Had I known this, I guess she would now have a Schengen Visa!

  • Thanks so much for this info. I will be applying for the visa in a few months and seeming I quit my job over a year ago, fingers crossed this won’t be a problem. I’ll let you know how we go…..

  • Bobbobababaque Says

    Hi, I’m an EU national and recently had my Asian wife’s daughter make a request for a visa to come to Europe. If issued, she will get a tourism Schengen C visa. The thing that bothers me is that when she arrives–being a timid teenager and not assertive in the least–the border guard may try to grill her and ask for things like hotel confirmation, onward ticket, bank statements, itinerary, etc since the visa would say it’s for tourism, and it’s no secret that many border guards don’t know the EU Directive laws so well. Is there nothing on a C visa that says they are coming via EU Directive rights to join family? If not, what exactly must she do to get through? Would the same documents–proof of family ties–that she used to get the visa in the first place suffice? I don’t even know if the guards where we are speak English so I would rather she not get into a heated discussion with one of them; you know many with badges have power trips–no offense to the honest ones.
    Any information you folks might have would be highly appreciated, thanks in advance and good luck to everyone else going through this.

  • Rahul Says

    Hi A & Z,
    I am an indian national. My wife is a. Latvian national. We got married in sep2009 in ireland. In october2010 I had to come India due to some property issues. This september (2014)my wife has come to Ireland. Now I want to go to join her in ireland, but before going to Ireland we want to spend some time in portugal. I have my marriage certificate issued from Ireland with me. I am worried about the time gap we were away from each other. Could this be a reason for visa rejection? Please guide me.
    With regards

    • Zara Says

      Hi Rahul,
      Please refer to this document by the EU: It explains everything there is to know about “Right of Union citizens and their family members to move and reside freely within the Union”. This is our go-to paper to solve any questions when in doubt. All the best!

      • rahul Says

        Thanks Zara

      • Arsalan Says

        Zara can you please reply me back as me and my wife is in miserable situation need your guidance Maam

        • Zara Says

          Hi Arsalan,
          What can we help you with?

          • Arsalan Says

            i have been trying for visa since last year to POlish embassy from pakistan but all im getting is refusal only objections r purpose of visit to poland and intention to leave the country is not ascertained

            my wife is polish our marriage is registered in poland and pakistan purpose of visit it to meet my wife

            how can i over come this problem

  • SG Says


    Have you tried traveling to a Schengen area (coming from outside the Schengen area) without your wife using your short-stay Schengen visa as ‘Family Member of an EEA?’. I have a valid C Schengen visa but it has a remark ‘Family of EU/EEA,’ not sure if I could travel without my husband.


    • Ashray Says

      I haven’t personally traveled without my wife into the schengen territory but just because your visa has that endorsement, does not mean that you cannot use the visa to travel without your spouse. A C Schengen visa does not normally carry any restrictions regarding traveling together. If you want to be sure, just ask the consulate via email, take a printout of an email from them saying that you should be able to travel. Technically, you can’t be issued 2 schengen visas with overlapping validities, so you should be good to go with this one.

    • Tom Says

      Hi S,

      Have you travelled without your spouse with a Schengen visa marked ‘Family of EU/EEA’? Thank you.


  • SR Says

    hi guys, i have a EU spouse schengen visa, but need to travel withuot my spouse – is this possible?

  • SR Says

    ok i just realised this has been answered above :)

  • Pingback: Applying for a Schengen Visa as a EU Citizen Spouse | Tripper

  • Pingback: Schengen Visa Requirements: EU Citizen Spouses | Tripper

  • Kat Says

    How was it with applying away from your home country

  • Kat Says

    Can you plz tell us a lil since Hong kong Greek embassy told us we needed residency in order to apply from there

    • Ashray Says

      Is your spouse from Greece? It would be best to apply from the country that your spouse is from as they would be the most willing to help you. There is no requirement for residence for spouses although embassies can sometimes make it hard to process a visa without residency. If you have all the documentation to prove that you are spouses, residency documentation is not a part of the process. If you have trouble, contact solvit and they should be able to help you.

      • PASCAL Says

        Dear Ashray,
        You have mentioned that you have used the EU Directive 2004/038/EC to travel as a Non EU Spouse to Portugal your spouses country. I have been given to understand that it applies to other EU countries rather than the home country. My wife and children are Portuguese Nationals and I will be accompanying them as an Indian National. I am applying for a Schengen Visa but am not sure whether the Directive applies to me.Kindly advise.

        • Ashray Says

          Hi Pascal

          You are right that the directive only applies to EU free movement to other countries (other than the state of the national through whom you are deriving free movement rights) since countries are free to apply national legislation to their own nationals in their own territories. Most of the times when I go to Europe, I also visit countries other than Portugal so the directive still applies in my case. Furthermore, Portugal has also pretty much mirrored Directive 2004/38/EC for its own national legislation so it does apply to direct family members of Portuguese nationals as well.

          SEF has published the details of all legislation dealing with foreigners in Portuguese territory over here:

          You’ll note that the treatment of Non-EU family members (in the case of Portugal) is the same whether your spouse is Portuguese or not. So although Directive/2004/38/EC does not directly apply in your case, Portuguese national law is pretty much the same for your case and you still have a right of entry and permanence in the same way under the same terms.

          Hope this helps! Ask the consulate and I’m sure they’ll be happy to help you out.

      • Hi Im Roselyn married to a danish guy I have a question regarding applying visa we live here in phillipines with my husband and we plan to visit his grandma but we dont have business here or job im worried about bank statement ..but in law will shoulder all my expense..I need advice pls thank you

      • sukhchain Says

        we want to go spouse

  • John Doe Says

    Hi Ashray and Zara, you guys have a very helpful blog for Indian travelers. I have suffered the travails of being a world traveler with an Indian passport for a long time and am quite fed up (and envious of friends with 1st world passports).

    Anyway, I am trying to compile a list of Indian people’s experience with different Schengen consulates in terms of getting long duration visas. Some consulates can be very finicky while others not so much. Hopefully this will help people in terms of what to expect – at least to the extent that you can “consulate shop” (yes, I know in theory you aren’t supposed to but sometimes there might be legitimate reasons to do so). If you can publicize it and add your own experiences from before you got married maybe, maybe we could build a good resource in the long run. Here’s the link:

  • Nani Says

    Dear both,

    Thanks for the info. This has helped a lot. Our issue is a bit more complicated since my SO is a Romanian, I’m a Vietnamese, and we’re having a long distance relationship. I’m fully employed at an international corp., U.S graduated & travelled back there a couple times. The fact that we’re not physically together worries me that it’ll cause an issue for me to apply for a schengen visa.

    We plan on signing the marriage cert in VN, then he goes to work (wherever that may be) and I apply the schengen visa to follow (then a residency if need be). Do you know/think if a marriage registration from Vietnam can be apostilled to make it relevant for Schengen visa application?

    Thank you so much.

    • Rashomon Says

      Hi Nani,

      You posted this almost a year ago but just in case you see this – had you managed to get a visa? My fiancé and I are in a similar situation.

  • Graham Says

    Hi, Great info but we (British husband/Chinese wife) have similar problems whenever we travel to Schengen Europe from the UK. Last Easter Spanish authorities demanded a stack of paperwork – bookings, insurance … and stated there would be a visa fee. Eventually we obtained the visa in one day free of charge and without the paperwork but this was only after involving legal representation. We are now looking at a visa for France but the French authorities have no readily identifiable contact details (email address) so it seems to be impossible to put them right – they are, via there website, demanding bookings for hotels, travel, insurance etc. and a fee. All wrong but difficult to circumvent! We just want to take a ferry – go for a drive – camp where we find ourselves and buy some wine. The tactics employed by those that control visa applications are tantamount to bullying and are totally anti the concept of freedom of movement for EU citizens and their families.

  • andres Says

    Hi Ashray:
    Thank so much for all your help!!! me and my wife are so thankfull for your advices!!
    I have a question, I am Peruvian and my wife is german we both life in canada but i dont have any legal status, i know that the EU Directive 2004/038/EC wouldnt apply to us if we would like to get the schengen visa at the german embassy but can we process the visa in other embassy and then travel to germany once we are there???
    is my legal status gonna be a problem?
    Thank you so much!!

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Andres

      You can definitely travel to some other Schengen country and make your way to Germany from there. As long as you are visiting any Schengen country other than Germany, you can use Directive 2004/38/EC. Depending on where your wife is from, you could plan to go to a neighboring country, spend some time there, and then go to Germany.

      I can’t say about your legal status as this heavily depends on the consulate you deal with however legal status is not important to apply Directive 2004/38/EC. Your right of free movement is a derived right so as long as you are planning to travel together to a country other than Germany, they should not stop you from going as that would be an obstruction of your right of free movement. If you have trouble with the application, please contact Solvit and they will help you with options to get your visa processed.

      I hope this helps!

  • Mo Says

    I am an Indian national (living in UK) and wish to apply for schengen visa to go on holiday in Portugal. My father is a Portuguese national I AM OLDER THAN 22, do I qualify as a family member of an EU national bearing in mind my age?.

    Also i have a protuguese birth certificate so i may be an EU national myself not sure i just dont have a ID card or Portuguese passport. I can make these documents in the UK but it would take a long time compared to 2 weeks in Portugal.

    so in essence my actual reason for travelling to Portugal, besides the sun, is to make a Portuguese passport as quick as possible.

    You guys are a cute couple!!

  • Ailene Says

    My experience on getting Schengen visas are different for each country I applied with. I am a Filipino, resident of Australia, married to a French citizen. Austrian and German embassies gave me my right to free movement, while Denmark didn’t. They even suggested I apply through the French Embassy initially. Then, when I explained how our main destination is Denmark, they said, they can offer to process my visa if I pay the 90 AUD visa fee. Which I agreed to because I really just want it done. My application has been with them for 3 weeks now. I’m still waiting.

  • kana Says

    greatings to all here and thanks for al the information ur giving us; i m maried to a swedish citizen and our mariage is register in my country and in sweden; i hv just apply for my residente permit : i life in cameroon and she is back in sweden;we want to meet for one month in italy or germany . will the ambassy ask me bank statement or hotel reservation or job attestation; because i went to italy ambassy and they ask for all of this
    please help me

    • Ashray Says

      They should not ask you for those documents. It is not required as per EU Law. Carry a copy of the directive when you meet them and show it to them. That should help your case. The Italians are known to be a little pushy about their documentation requirements but they too are subject to the same law that all EU countries must follow.

  • azmar Says

    Hello people
    please anyone can help , my non Eu wife applied for C visa to go to ireland with me as I am european Citizen but now 8 weeks & Ireland visa office not replied us yet
    any advise we can do ? please help

    • Ashray Says

      You need to get in touch with the Ireland visa office because it has been far too long. They are supposed to process applications within 15 days.

  • Jacqueline Says

    I am a British Citizen and my husband is Indian Citizen with valid 1 year Multiple Schengen C Visa issued with remark “Family UE/EEE”

    My husband currently in Belgium after visiting Paris and my question is;

    Can my husband work and live in Belgium as I am British Citizen but I am not in Belgium currently?

    Can he apply for a C+D Visa in Belgium as he want to do his own business in Belgium?

    Or he need to apply for a work permit or a professional card in Belgium?

    My husband currently in Brussels, can he come to meet you for this issue?

    Look forward to hear from you soon.

    • Ashray Says

      He may be allowed to get some kind of visa if he starts a business there. I do not know about that. It would perhaps be harder if you stay separately.

      EU family free movement is based on the family living together. If you move to Belgium with him, it would be easier to acquire a family based permit for both living and working there.

  • azmar Says

    thanks Ashray
    but I have emailed them many time only they told visa application awaiting examination !!!

    what else can i do please do you know anything

  • jaser Says

    my wife is a Lithuanian ,do i have to present to the Lithuanian consulate in Egypt “” as travel tickets, employment certificate, pay slips, bank statements, proof of accommodation and means of subsistence or a medical certificate” ” to get a schengen or even national visa to join her in Lithuania her home country

    • Ashray Says

      If you go to the home country of your wife, then EU free movement rules do not apply. Hence, you will have to provide whatever is required as per the national rules of Lithuania. You will need to ask the Lithuanian consulate about what is required in this case.

  • Hi Ashray –

    Thank you for publishing this article. I am an Indian citizen and my wife is German, and your article has been super-helpful for us.

    A quick question – I was slightly confused with your response to the question posted by Andres above. He said (and you agreed) that he would not be able to apply for the visa from the German consulate because his wife is German, because the EU directive only applies to states other than the one to which your spouse belongs. However, your own experience seems to be that you were able to apply for the visa in a Portuguese consulate even though Zara is Portuguese. Can you clarify?

    Thanks so much for your help!


    • Ashray Says

      Hi Sumantra

      You can apply at any consulate based on the schengen rules of where you’re traveling to, your primary destination, first port of entry, etc. EU Family free movement rules don’t necessarily apply in your spouse’s home country. So if you’re just going to Germany, then your entry is subject to German national law. A consulate may or may not issue you a visa under Directive 2004/38/EC in this kind of situation and so you might need to apply for a regular tourist/schengen visa. Most consulates should issue you a visa under the directive with minimal documentation requirements but the Germans can be a little sticky when it comes to rules (especially THEIR rules!) in general.

      Portugal has national rules that pretty much are the same as EU free movement rules. So, I can apply at the Portuguese consulate with no problems to go and visit Portugal.

      I don’t know what German national law says about spouses visiting Germany. But, if you want to apply at the German consulate and would like to ensure that your visa is processed under Directive 2004/38/EC, you should visit at least one other country. This proves that you are exercising EU free movement rights. Alternately, if you’re flying to Germany and your first port of entry is Paris (for example), then just apply at the French consulate. Remember, your free movement rights are RIGHTS that you derive from your spouse’s status as an EU citizen, don’t be afraid to politely ask for them if you have any trouble.

      Let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck!

      • Sumantra Roy Says

        Hi Ashray – thanks a lot for your help. I went to the German consulate in Bangalore today. You were correct – the person at the consulate said that Directive 2004/38/EC does not apply in my case because I am married to a German citizen and am applying for the visa from the German consulate. That directive would only apply if I applied for the visa from the consulate of a different EU country.

        However, he nonetheless issued a Schengen visa with a validity of 1 year to me without my having to go through the whole rigmarole of having to provide bank statements, income-tax returns etc. And the visa was issued free of cost as well.

        When I asked him whether he can issue a visa with a validity of 5 years, he said that they would be uncomfortable doing that immediately because this is the first time I am applying for a visa as the spouse of a German citizen, but that the next time I apply, they may be able to give me a 3-year visa. Anyway, I can’t complain – a 1-year visa is better than the usual 1-2 month visa that I used to be issued earlier :-)

        Just thought I’d post this for anyone else who is in my situation, and to thank you for posting this extremely useful article. Without your article, I’d still be going down the whole VFS route and having to submit a mountain of documents etc.


        • Ashray Says

          That’s great to know Sumantra! Thanks for posting back with your experience, it’ll definitely help others in the same situation.

        • Eda Says

          Hello, i also have the same with you about German visa can you please light me more? I would be really happy if you tell me about german spouse law travelling to Germany by the way i’m Turkish citizen

  • Sujith Says

    Dear Ashray and Zara,

    Eva and myself are about to embark on this very testing journey hoping not to be separated too long. Currently we are awaiting her capacite du marriage and still have miles to go. But it’s encouraging to know that at the end of all this there will be some good days ahead. Thank you for this blog and it would be amazing for us to be able to have your guidance for our journey ahead. Kindly email me a reply with your contact on Facebook so we can keep in touch. God bless you both.

    I’m an ex Dubai lad myself and just got rejected a schengen to France to visit my Fiance and her family…Was heartbreaking…but good to know it was only part of the learning process…I used an invitation letter vs hotel bookings and am currently unemployed too…bummer…tc u both…hugs :)

    • Ashray Says

      Glad to be of help Sujith! Don’t let the rejection get to you, it’s all a bureaucratic mess and there’s nothing personal about it. Best of luck to you and Eva. It’ll be much easier once you are married so good times lie ahead :)

      I’ve emailed you my contact details.

  • ben Says


    I’ve been reading the information on here and would like to thank you in the first place for the useful info on here. There is lots of information on the internet, but sometimes it’s rather confusing. I have a specific question as well. I am a Belgian citizen. My Nicaraguan girlfriend is currently studying in Denmark on a 2 year visa. After that time she will need to return to Nicaragua, though she would like to stay another year in Europe. We will live in Denmark together next year. We do have plans to move back to Nicaragua together, but not for another 2-3 years. If we were to get married, what would her rights be? Her visa expires december 2016. Neither of us particularly want to live in Belgium, but would like to move to the UK or Spain. When we are married, does she automatically have the right to stay anywhere in Europe with me, and work as well? I read you can also apply for a visa if you officialy live together, but this may sometimes be refused. If we were to move to the UK/Spain, is it better to get married there, or still in Belgium? I know this is quite a few questions, and appreciate your help very much, it’s all so confusing.

    • Ashray Says

      If you were to get married her rights would be the same as yours in every country in the EU except Belgium. (Free movement rights) As long as you are a single family unit (live together), and you as an EU citizen are using your treaty rights (working in another EU country), you both have the right to live and work in that country. (So UK and Spain included)

      It’s more complicated to prove a union based on cohabitation. Marriage trumps that for sure. It’s also perhaps best to register the marriage in your own EU country (or the country you live in, so Denmark?) before moving anywhere else. You should get a marriage certificate to prove the fact. The UK or Spain cannot deny her a visa any more than they can deny you entry. (Subject to you exercising treaty rights). The rules are very clear on this. Family members of EU citizens have very strong rights.

  • Mirwais Says

    Hi. I’m British citizen and my two children’s also hold British passports. I currently live with my and children in Afghanistan. My wife doesn’t have UK visa.
    We want to take our children on a holiday to Disney land Paris.
    My question is can I apply for a French visa under EU free movement directive family member for my wife?
    Braces on French embassy Kabul they haven’t given any information regarding EU directive. In email they sent me documents list of normal schengen visa procedures.
    Will Just going on holiday not residing in France will entitle my wife to French shengen visa under EU free movement directive ? Thanks.

    • Ashray Says

      Yes she can. You may ask the french consulate to update their info. Show them a copy of the directive and ask them to check.

  • viveak majithia Says

    Hi. I have a little peculiar case. Married to a German citizen but while we were both living and working in Ghana. Now sge has a job back in Germany and i have quit to join her in Germany and obviously to begin work there once the spouse visa goes through. My question is once I apply for the spouse visa can i then also apply for a schengen visa to visit her during xmas or I ll have to wait in India till my spouse visa gets through. Or is it better to have a schengen visa before hand and then apply for a spouse visa. I have previously lived and studied in Swiss and traveled on a schengen visa. Am hoping that removes me as a threat to illegally immigrate. Have searched high and wide on the net but can’t find any info on this. Help and directions appreciated. Viveak

    • Ashray Says

      Your spouse visa falls under German national law so I don’t know what regulations apply to that. You could apply for the spouse visa once you’re done with your Christmas visit so that things are less complicated.

  • Owais Khan Says

    Hi there, My name is owais and my fiance is expected to get a student visa of (Portugal) in Feb 2016. If so, then guide me on how/time required to join her in Portugal with minimum gap of time after shes gone.

  • Darshan Says

    Thank you both for a brilliant article, it’s given me lots of reassurance. I am British, hubby is Indian, we got married in Kenya in 2013 where he was working for sometime on a work permit. I have a concern , perhaps you may know the answer – does my living outside of the EU (I have been living in India with my husband just short of one year now) affect my treaty rights and therefore my husbands rights when we apply for him to travel with me from India to visit Portugal next year? Many thanks. Darshan

    • Ashray Says

      No, living outside the EU does not affect your rights. However, being a British citizen, going to the UK is far more complex. Portugal or any other EU country should be totally fine though.

  • Elma Says

    Hi guys,

    I too am in this situation :( I am a Portuguese national, my husband is Russian but we live in Japan. The local embassy here requests all the usual Schengen documents: Flight confirmations, hotel, bank certificate, travel insurance, etc in addition to our marriage certificate. Luckily we were married in Portugal so it’s all registered and the documents are easily confirmed as authentic, but none the less they ask for everything. Besides the waived fee, there is no benefit in terms of short stay visas for spouses of EU nationals :(

    I sent you a message on facebook but maybe the request will help others: How did you convince embassies not to request all the documents? The Directive 2004/38/EC doesn’t apply to citizens of the country they’re applying for, so do you know the Portuguese law/text that overcomes this?

    Thank you :)

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Elma

      Take a printout of the relevant pages of the Guide to Directive 2004/38/EC, especially Page 5 – near the bottom – highlight the part about what documents may be requested:

      If you show them that, they should definitely follow the law and process the visa with minimal hassle. If they are waiving the fee, they are processing the visa as a spouse (as they should) and therefore they should follow all the rules regarding the procedure.

      Also, as far as I know, Portuguese national law pretty much reflects the Directive so they should still grant you a visa under the same rules. It is perhaps better to avoid discussing these things in detail. Just showing them the above document published by the EU should be enough for them to follow the law. However, if it gets to that, the relevant national law which ratifies the Directive is here (this is an english translation helpfully provided by SEF):

      Good luck, and I’m sure it’ll work out. Just please be firm about the rules and your rights as a Portuguese citizen. Also, if you have trouble, please ask to speak to a senior person at the consulate – sometimes that helps.

  • Honey Says

    please tell me should I give original marriage certificate or copy is enough to embassy for denmark short term schengen visa??

    • Honey Says

      Appostille convention is necessary??

      • Anas Says

        Can you tell me about your experience ,,

        My wife is danish EU ,,and I tried before marriage to go as tourist ..but got refused ,,we have done the marriage contract and now I want to apply as a visitor to visit my wife ,,,can you tell me if my previous refusal will affect or no ?

        • Ologbosere wilson Says

          Hi Ashray,my husband is a French national and am his spouse in Nigeria,our marriage rights has been done in Nigeria for about a year plus and I hv the marriage certificate wit me.presently my husband is right here with me in Nigerian.i wanna go on a short stay with him to Spain bcos his an Eu family.what will be the required documents?am I to pay for service charge or visa fee? And hw long is it gonna take for the visa to come out. Thks Ashray

          • Ashray Says

            Hi Ologbosere

            You don’t need to pay for the visa, it should be free and you need to provide very minimal documentation. Please refer to the Guide to Directive 2004/38/EC that is linked in the article.

  • Willy Says

    I get the follow question for Ashray.
    We are married in Bangkok at September 4, 2015.
    My wife in Thailand ask spouse visa in Belgium embassy, she get answer 2 days ago.
    Because I give account balance from 01-01-2015 until 31-07-2015 for proof my income (tax letter from last year was to low for give at Belgium embassy).
    The account man make this balance for me and give it in Belgium embassy in Bangkok.
    The Belgium government let me know, that I can make this paper by my self.
    That’s the reason that she don’t get now D-visa.
    I make every month money around € 2500.
    If Belgium government want my taxletter from this year 2015, then I need to wait until March 2017 that I can proof legal my income from 2015.
    How can come now my wife to Belgium.
    If a need to travel together with her from Bangkok to Turkey or to Russia and ask there visa for come Schengen country in, can we do this and how long do we need to wait then at this visa?
    Thanks in advance for your proffesional advice.



    • Ashray Says

      Hi Willy

      I am not a professional on this so please do not take this as professional advice. I’m just a person who has read the laws and am trying to help people.

      If you are a Belgian national then the visa for your wife (a category D Visa) will come under the national laws of Belgium. Unfortunately the EU directives only apply if you are moving to a different EU country (and in some limited circumstances, moving back to your country of origin), that is, a country other than the EU national’s citizenship. Otherwise, you will have to meet all the requirements for family reunification as per the national law in Belgium. I do not know the specifics of this. If your income is sufficient then you should speak to the Belgian embassy and understand the requirements for a D visa in detail. There are some details here:

      I am assuming that you are a Belgian national.

      Hope this helps,

  • Angelie Says

    Hi to you both!

    I think I have the same situation as everybody else here and just want some help. I am a Filipina, working here in the Philippines and married to a French Guy. We already have the French Family Book(Livret de Famille)issued by the French Embassy here in the Philippines. My husband is currently having his holidays here with me. He worked before in UK before coming here and we are planning to settle down in Norway. My husband being a EU citizen doesn’t have a problem travelling while me coming from a third country needs to provide a lot of papers before obtaining a visa. Looking at the Norwegian embassy website, I have to provide a lot of documents (payslips,bank statements,certificate of employment,hotel accom,round trip ticket)plus a visa fee of 60euro for short stay. I am planning to just stay there for less than 90days since I haven’t decided to quit my job here right away. I know I need to apply for a Schengen visa. My question is can I get the visa even without providing these documents? Can i just travel with my husband? and if I do, will the Norway authority let me enter their country without a visa and I will just present our marriage certificate instead? I hope you can help me/us.

    Thank you so much!

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Angelie

      If you are traveling together with your husband, you should only present:
      - Your passport
      - Proof of marriage
      - A copy of his passport

      To receive a Schengen visa. If the Norwegian consulate is unsure about the rules, please send them a copy of Directive 2004/38/EC.

      I would recommend that you do get the visa. Although your rights allow you to present yourself at Norwegian immigration, an airline will probably refuse to carry you until there (they don’t know the rules). It’s best to get a visa beforehand to avoid these types of complications.

      The visa should be free of charge and issued quickly.

  • ivona Says

    I would like to know what is the fastest way to bring my husband to Germany.
    I have a Croatian nationality, I was living in Syria before I came to Germany 3 months ago, my husband is Syrian, we have married in Syria since 2006.
    Has he a right to enter Germany without a visa if he accompanying me?
    He can travel from Turkey or Lebanon, and I will go there to travel back with him to Germany by air.
    What documents we need at the borders, and do the airlines allow him boarding?
    Pleas, help me what is the easiest and fastest way for him to travel benefiting of my Eu nationality, because he needs to leave Syria as soon as possible.
    Please could you help me?

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Ivona

      Although your husband can enter with you without a visa, airlines will not let him board. You could arrive at the Greek border together and enter the Schengen space there and then fly to Germany. You will need to have your authenticated (preferably apostilled) marriage certificate with you.

      Also, he can apply for a visa at the German consulate in Istanbul and that might make things a lot easier. It will be free of charge and should be issued within 15 days. For this also, the requirements are fairly simple but the marriage certificate is a must. Please contact the German consulate in Istanbul for more information.

  • Sachin Chaudhry Says

    Hi Ashray/Zara,

    I am an Indian Ex-Army Officer from Delhi. 10 months back I got married with my Belgian Wife in India and marriage is registered in Indian Court as Special Marriage Act. I have also got apostle done.

    Now, I want to apply for Short Term Visa for which I have appointment tomorrow. So, its kind of lil urgent info.

    1) Which all documents I might need? Do I need to carry some invitation letter because I have not asked my wife to send me (actually I want to give her a sweet pleasant surprise) ….

    2) I read that you have written that as spouse of EU national, I dont need those bank statement, payslips, etc. ; does it hold true for me as well?

    3) Can I get multiple entry visa?

    4) Am I exempted from visa fees?

    5) I have been given appointment for biometric at VFS, New Delhi. You ahve mentioned that in cases like me , we need to go to Embassy directly and visa would be issued in 24 hours.

    I request you to clear my doubts please, my mail id is

    Thank you in advance

    • Sachin Chaudhry Says

      Hi Again,

      My wife is presently in Belgium


    • Sachin Chaudhry Says


      Could u please email me your contact details

      Thanks a lot


    • Ashray Says

      Hi Sachin

      Where is your spouse? IF she is in Belgium they may not process your visa under free movement directives. Your case may fall under Belgian national law. The visa is not processed in 24 hours but usually is done within 15 days. Also, they may ask for an invitation letter so you might not be able to surprise her this time.

      You should not need to provide bank statements, etc. if your visa is processed under the EU free movement directive as explained in the article. Also, the visa should be free.

      I would recommend you read the above article carefully and hopefully this will help you deal with your situation better. Whether the visa is multiple entry, etc. depends on your individual circumstances and what the consulate wishes to issue to you. However, you may request a multiple entry visa by ticking the correct box on the application form.

  • Avi Says

    Nice post A+Z.
    If there was a paypal link next to the post to buy you a coffee, I would have considered using it.

  • Ev Says

    Hi Ashray and Zara..

    I found that we have the same situation.. I am from Philippines and my boyfriend is from Portugal. How did you go about getting married? Can we get married in Portugal even if I only have a tourist visa? After that, whats the next step so that we can be together for a longer time? We really wanna be together in one place and me being required to have Schengen Visa to travel to Portugal makes it harder for us. I will really appreciate your advise :)

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Ev

      If you decide to get married in Portugal you should carry the required documentation for the registration (legalised and translated birth certificate, etc.). Once married, you can extend your visa or even apply for residence. You could also get married in the Philippines and then apply for a Schengen visa as the spouse of a Portuguese national. Whatever works for you guys :)

  • Erika Says


    I am a Hungarian national and my husband is from Pakistan. We got a rejection for Schengen visa from Hungarian authorities. Now I know they applied national law which is very bad as it is. We applied for Schengen visa to France which is under the eu directive. I am a little confused though. We want to spend most of our time in France but we would like to visit my family in Hungary. Could we use this french visa to go to Hungary as it is my home country? should my husband mention this at the interview or it is not allowed to go with this visa to Hungary? thanks a lot

    • Ashray Says

      You can go to Hungary. However, for the French authorities to issue a visa, France should be the main destination of your trip. There is a gap between enforcement of free movement directives by consulates and what the law actually says. Your husband is pretty much allowed to go anywhere in Europe with you for up to 90 days with no limitations. What this means is that even if you don’t go to France once you have the visa, that’s not illegal, your husband can never get in trouble for that. But it might make future applications for visas more difficult. That violates free movement laws but unfortunately this is the gap we all must deal with.

  • hichem Says

    im man from algeria i want do free movment with my wife (from latvia ) and french consulat in annaba ( algeria) but problem they ask me booking at TLS company is normal i go TLS or need go consulat france

  • Rohit Says

    You guys are doing a very good job by helping other people.
    I am an Indian citizen and my wife is Hungarian citizen, we recently got married and now planning to explore Europe. I applied in German embassy but they refused my application and when I spoke to them they said that My wife needs to be living in germany in case I want to get Schengen tourist visa as the spouse of EU citizen, they said that the Free movement not applied in your case.
    It’s very frustrating, I read the Rules and it seem that they are clearly denying to follow those rules.
    What I should do in that case, please advice.


    • Rohit Says

      I have submitted Appostille Marriage certificate, copy of her passport, and bank statement etc too

    • Ashray Says

      You don’t need to submit bank statements, etc. However, you should be either going there WITH your spouse or joining your spouse there. Free movement applies if you are traveling together. As long as you have proof that you are going to be together, they cannot refuse your visa. If the German embassy refused your visa you can contact Solvit or you can try to resolve the issue with them by speaking to someone who knows the rules. Don’t be afraid to ask for someone in charge and show them the relevant regulations.

      • Rohit Says

        Hello Ashray
        Thanks for your reply, I spoke to German visa officer and it seems that he don’t have correct knowledge about the rules. My marriage certificate is already Appostille by MEA but he said that it should be certified by german authorities as well, he said to contact German Lawyer in the embassy and pay 25000 for it.
        Should I apply with any other consular office?

        • Ashray Says

          Are you sure he didn’t just want a certified German translation of the document? If not, whatever he is saying sounds absolutely ludicrous! Please ask to speak to his superior and report him. It’s not usually a good idea to try and apply at a different consulate after a rejection. You could perhaps try to sort it out with the Germans if you are still planning to travel there.

  • Rohit Says

    Hello Ashray
    This is what he said to me.

    The Freedom of Movement Law applies only when your wife lives permanently in Germany. Please provide the German “Meldebescheinigung”.
    In order to verify your marriage certificate please pay 25.000 Rupees at the German Embassy in order to advice the Embassy lawyer. After the verification you will receive an official reply within three months.

    and again

    According to the European Freedom Law she needs to live in Germany permanently. If she does not, Schengen rules apply. Please send the “Meldebescheinigung”. Otherwise your application will be considered, as mentioned, to the Schengen Visa Code.

    • Ashray Says

      Did you show the officer the Guide to Directive 2004/38/EC? It might help to meet the officer with printouts of the relevant pages that explain how free movement rights apply to Non-EU spouses. It looks like the officer is not aware of what law to apply and there seems to be some confusion regarding this.

      There is no requirement for your spouse to be living permanently in Germany for you to apply for a visa under the free movement directive. I cannot comment on the verification requirement that he has proposed, however.

      Where is your wife? It might help if you go to the embassy together to make your case.

  • Rohit Says

    Yes, I have sent him the guide too, and offered him that I can see him in the embassy with my wife, and Once the document is Appostille then it suppose to be accepted in all the EU countries too, it’s a legal document certified by the MEA.
    I asked him to talk to his senior regarding this and I hope he will not behave like a nerd.

  • Sasha Says

    Dear Ashray,

    What kind of legalisatio did you do with marriage certificate? Is it enaught just my embassy stamp and signature from consul on the back of marriage certificate? Can you provide some picture how your stamp look like?

    Thank you,


  • Smith Says

    Looks like soon for many all this won’t be possible anymore:
    The Commission intends to adopt a proposal to complement Directive 2004/38 on free movement of Union citizens in order to exclude, from the scope of free movement rights, third country nationals who had no prior lawful residence in a Member State before marrying a Union citizen or
    who marry a Union citizen only after the Union citizen has established residence in the host Member State. Accordingly, in such cases, the host Member State’s immigration law will apply to the third country national. This proposal will be submitted after the above Decision has taken effect.

    • Ashray Says

      Yes, but it depends on the result of the referendum and there are further stipulations in the deal. What remains to be seen is how this is enacted by the European council and then transposed into national law. So I’d say we’ll know by Jan 2017 how things have changed if the UK votes to stay in.

      • Smith Says

        It says the intention of this proposal is to “prevent the abuse of the right of free movement of persons”. In the media, it is either mentioned as this or not at all. Only a few law blogs go into details. I believe the name itself was chosen intentionally to make sure that the Council and MEPs feel emotionally obliged to vote for it.
        All Member States have already agreed to it. Brexit would of course reverse it but Cameron is trying his best to scare the Britons out of their pants to keep them in, and it looks like it’s working. The Council could water it down a bit. At least, it has to go through some kind of review at that point. However, the Council consists of the same governments that have agreed to it in the first place. Without anyone making a lot of noise, my gut feeling is the chance that it gets through is at least ~95%.

  • Far Says

    Hi Rohit, I have the same issue as you. I was also told to pay 350 dollars to the German embassy in order for them to invitigate if my marriage is genuine. Have you got any update on your case? Would really appreciate if you could reply, thanks.

  • Anas Aqrabawi Says

    My wife is danish EU citizen living and working there ,,and I tried before marriage to go as tourist ..but got refused on 14-feb-2016 ,,we have done the marriage contract in UAE on 24-3-2016 and now I want to apply as a visitor to visit my wife ,,,can you tell me if my previous refusal will affect or no ?
    I called the danish consulate in dubai and they told me you still have pending appeal in immigration center in Denmark and they should give the final answer.

    I am thinking to terminate that application and submit a new application based on my eu wife .


  • Sowmya Says

    Hi, I am in urgent need of information because my mother and my daughter are indian nationals , while I have acquired german citizenship, I have been informed by someone that as family members of EU nationals, they can apply for a 5 year multi entry multiple visa as long as they don’t stay more than 3 months at a stretch, have you come across anywhere where this is permissible, its really difficult to understand all this at such a short time, I have even written to the consulate and also the federal foreign office, but I want some document t that says, this is possible, let me know, thanks in advance

  • Mickey Harvey Says


    Thank you so much for this info it is really handy. I would like you to clarify something for me please.

    I’m a dual National, South African and British and currently live in the UK. I married my same-sex partner almost 2 years ago in South Africa where marriage is legal. We intend on travelling to Madeira for a 1 week holiday in June. She has a spousal visa for 2.5 years to live in the United Kingdom. As Portugal does not recognise civil partnership as marriage, will she still be able to make use of the directive 200438\EC legislation?


    • Ashray Says

      Hi Mickey

      I’m a little confused about your situation. If you are married then Portugal does recognize same sex marriage. But you later mentioned a civil partnership. Your spouse can apply for a schengen visa under the directive. It’s better to have a visa because the airline may not allow you to board without it even though the directive covers you.

  • Rich Says

    My wife and I are moving to Germany for my new job. I am from the UK and my wife is from Taiwan. I know I can enter and work in Germany as an EU citizen. However, the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees told me that my wife needs a Schengen visa to enter Germany and then apply for permanent residency when we get there. But Taiwan citizens do not need a visa to enter Germany plus the fact that she is a spouse of an EU citizen. So can you confirm that my wife can enter Germany visa exempt as my spouse and then apply for permanent residency from within Germany?
    One other point is that I will enter Germany from UK and she will enter from Taiwan. Will this affect anything? Many Thanks.

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Richard

      What the federal office has told you is correct – if she needed a visa to enter Germany. The regular procedure is to enter the country legally (either with a Schengen visa or a visa exemption stamp – depending on your nationality) and then apply for a residence card. The residence card is usually for five years so it is not permanent residency.

      Please be aware that if the UK votes to stay in the EU, there are some provisions in the deal that will strip non-EU family members of their derived free movement rights in most cases. Basically, it will become much harder to move to the EU for non-EU spouses. I will update the end of this article now with what is going on. But please be advised that you are better off moving to Germany and applying for your wife’s residence card before the UK vote.

  • Ian Backman Says

    Hi Ashray. I’m a South African citizen and am marrying a dual Portuguese-American citizen next month. We want to go on our honeymoon to Portugal. I know I need a visa. As he’s returning to his home country, Portuguese national law applies. I can’t find any clear info on Portuguese law. The consulate in Boston never answer their phones :( The embassy in DC said we might not have enough time to get a visa.

    • Ashray Says


      Unfortunately consulates can sometimes be quite unresponsive. Portuguese national law is the same as EU law in this case so you should get a visa fairly easily. If you are nearby a visit to the consulate would be the easiest way to sort out everything.

  • Ahmed Says

    Hey Thank you so much for this info, i’m a National algerian living in algeria ,My wife is danish citizen,she is moving to germany for living and working there ,I would like you to clarify something for me step by step please, How to apply for a schengen visa under derective 2004/38/EC to join my wife in germany because I can’t see any type of visa under this directive in the online portal of german embassy.?
    One other point, if I can get special apointement at the embassy ,applying under as a direct relative of EU citizen, that due to high demand. best regard

    • Ashray Says

      You apply for a regular visa as a family member of an EU citizen. Do not fill the fields on the form marked with a *
      Your application should then be processed under the directive.

  • shalomie tewes Says

    Hey Guys,

    My husband is an EU citizen of Indo-German nationality and I am Indian. We were married in India and have a non-apostilled Indian Marriage Certificate. We currently live in India. Towards the end of the year we are hoping to travel to Germany, Switzerland and Portugal for a holiday and to visit family.

    My questions are:
    (1) since our marriage certificate is not yet apostilled (it’s in process via German consulate but will take longer than 10 months they told us) will it still be valid to use as documentation under the free movement with spouse directive ? Or must I apply for schengen visa through regular procedures? And does this mean I’ll have to show payslips, bank statements and so on?
    (2) if I do get the schengen short stay, is there any other formality to travel from Germany to Switzerland and Portugal via road / train and plane nice i’ll be using all three modes?
    Please do let me know and thanks for this super informative post!

    • Ashray Says

      1. Depends on the consulate. They’ll probably want to see an apostille though. If you don’t have it, then yes, you will have to apply for a regular short term schengen visa with all the requested supporting documentation.

      2. No, there is no other formality. There are no border controls for the most part. Sometimes these days an ID/Visa check might be carried out but that’s about it.

      • shalomie tewes Says

        Thanks so much!

      • shalomie tewes Says

        Hey Ashray,

        I’m still a little confused about the submission of supporting documents for my visa, main thing being trying to locate the exact paragraph in which the Directive mentions details about the supporting documents required by non-Eu family members. I’ve been trying to read through the links you provided as well as other stuff online, but nowhere can I find it saying “All the Member State consular officials can ask for is their passport and a document establishing their family ties with you, such as marriage or birth certificate and proof of dependence, where applicable. Your family members cannot be asked to present documents such as travel tickets, employment certificate, pay slips, bank statements, proof of accommodation and means of subsistence or a medical certificate.”.
        I wrote to the consular attache asking about supporting docs and they replied that i would need to submit all that was mentioned in this and here it says I would need to support everything. I guess at the end of the day I don’t mind submitting everything, but I think it’s a pain and ifI can exercise a right, why not?
        So I guess my question is, where exactly does it say the above? Can you give me the paragraph and sections number?
        PS: Here’s the latest info: we got our marriage certificate NOTARISED in Germany. I think that means its now recognised?

        Looking forward to your reply and thanks.

  • Mirwais Says

    Iam a British national. My wife is afghan national and she had Italian schengen visa issued for free under eu free movement law.

    My question is if she come with me to Belgium I have a job contract and a place to live in Belgium will she be able to apply F card Belgium residence permit under article 10 of eu free movement directive 2004 for family member of eu national. even though her schengen visa is expired now?

    She hasn’t spend 90 days after visa expiation.


    • Ashray Says

      Yes she should be able to apply for a residence card with you in Belgium. I would suggest to apply before June 23rd however.

  • Mirwais Says

    Thank you for your reply.

    I will try to apply before June.

    So as her schengen type c visa is expired now. Will the Belgium authorities say that she’s illegal we can’t give her residence permit.

    Will her being without visa be a problem in Belgium.

    • Ashray Says

      I don’t know what the Belgian authorities will say. As long as you are together and you are exercising free movement rights it is very difficult to deny a spouse the right to free movement that they derive from you. It should be fine, but you should get her status legalized as soon as possible. The rules are changing later this year and it’s not yet clear how they will change but it’s possible your wife’s ambiguous status might end up working against her.

  • Janice Says

    Hi Ashray,

    I am Filipina married to a Dutch Citizen and have 4yr. old daughter. Since my husband and my daughter are currently living in Netherlands I myself remain living in the Philippines because of the visa requiement that my husband provide a year contract before the procedure. But nowadays there so hard to find the only available is contractual basis .

    But anyway, we decided that my husband move to Belgium for me to be able to get me here through the EEA FAMILY PERMIT. But my questions are, since I am holding Philippine Passport do I need to apply for a Schengen Visa and let the Belgian Embassy knows about the EEA? Since my husband dont have job yet he cannot sponsor me in that case. The only document we have are our Passports and Marriage Certificate registered in Netherlands. Would that be enough for proofs?

    Your response is highly appreciated! Thank you!

    Sincerely yours,
    Janice R.

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Janice

      Yes, you’ll need to apply for a Schengen visa as the spouse of an EU national. The Belgium embassy should know about the procedure, if they do not, you can show them a copy of the relevant pages of the guide to the directive linked in the above article. Your husband does not need to “sponsor” you. You are allowed free movement with him for 90 days in europe with no conditions attached. During that period, you can apply for residence in Belgium and you may need to prove that you have enough money to sustain yourselves or some source of income. The requirements are not usually very difficult to meet. Your passport and marriage certificate (alongwith a copy of HIS passport) should be enough as per the rules. I recommend you make your application for a residence card in Belgium before June 23rd if possible because the rules are slated to change after that and it is not clear what will happen.

      Hope this helps, good luck!

      - Ashray

  • Janice R Says

    Thank you so much Ashray for the reply. So it means that I have to comply the bank statements, Insurance, book a hotel, employment documents? I am not working nor no business. Maybe if I apply for a Schengen Visa they might declined me because not enought sufficient income I have. But what if my visa granted only 1 way ticket i will booked for my airline ticket? Cheers dude! -Janice-

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Janice

      No, you apply as the spouse of an EU national. There are fields marked with a * on the Schengen visa form that family members do not have to fill. Since you don’t have to fill the fields regarding income, etc. you do not have to provide bank statements and other documents. Just your passport, copy of spouse’s passport, marriage certificate, and the form. They may ask for proof to see that he is already in Belgium or that you will join him there, this could be a letter from him or a flight ticket, etc.

      You can have a one way ticket, it’s no problem. Please read the article above to get more information, it has all the info you will need to approach the embassy.

  • Janice R Says

    Thank you very much again Ashray! It helps me a lot this details and informations you gave me. I am over the moon because we will be reunited again with my husband and my daughter. Again thank you. Best regards, -Janice R-

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Janice

      Glad to help! Please note however that the consulate might sometimes not be aware of the rules so it will help if you carry a printout of the relevant pages of the Guide posted here, and are persistent about your rights as the spouse of an EU citizen. Once you get a visa, you fly to Belgium and then you may apply for residence before 90 days are up. I am not familiar with the process of that (each country differs) but it should not be hard at all if your husband has a job. Good luck and I hope you are with your family soon!

      - Ashray

  • Janice R Says


    1 more thing, because my husband still don’t have a job yet, is it still fine for me to apply for a residence card there in Belgium? We are really hoping that before my 90 days will end he will make sure he have already a job by that time. Out of my curiosity as well, what is the Visa they issue me in Belgium Embassy in Philippines , is it a Schengen Visa or EEA Family Permit Visa? Thank you again. -Janice-

    • Ashray Says

      They will issue a schengen visa at the consulate. The residence permit will be issued once you are in Belgium. If your husband does not have a job, then you should be able to prove that you have sufficient savings to live including a place to stay as well. If you cannot prove this then your application may be denied. You should ask the Belgian authorities for further details on this.

  • Janice R Says

    Thank you thank you Ashray! – Janice -

  • Janice R Says

    Hi Ashray,

    I am here again to ask for advice.My husband and I decided to meet me in Spain and arrange our hotel reservation there and also other member state. My question is, Since I am applying for Schengen Visa do I need to get a return ticket? Thank you again . -Janice R.-

    • Ashray Says

      You are not required to have a return ticket but they may ask for one. You need to prove that your husband and you will be in Spain together (so his tickets going there, your tickets going there, hotel booking together..). Unfortunately, there is a gap between the law and how it is enforced. You could direct them to Chapter 4 of the Guide to Directive 2004/38/EC published by the EU commission. Page 5 has the info about documents required with a visa. A return ticket is not usually required.

  • Janice R Says

    Cheers Ashrsy! Il read for further details. :-)

  • Edward Says

    Hi, I am British and an EU national living in Spain (but non-resident). My wife is Filipina. I want her to come to Spain for the summer under her right of free movement. We have been denied the Schengen visa for the spouse of an EU national. The Spanish Embassy in Manila asked for airline tickets, insurance, legalizations of marriage documents, all of which we provided, but they still denied us. The principal reason that they give is that we have not been “cohabiting for one year”. Nowhere have I read that this is a valid reason for denial. It seems that they are in clear breach of EU regulations. We want to appeal as soon as possible, but we are unsure of the exact process and what would be the best thing to write in our appeal letter. Can anyone help with accurate and relevant advice?

    • Ashray Says

      Yes, the reason for denial is incorrect. Your best bet is to get in touch with Solvit about your case. However, they will take a little time (few weeks to months) to help you out. If you get into the appeals process with Spain it can take a lot longer. Basically, if you can approach the Spanish authorities and convince them that your case was wrongly denied, this is always better than to try and prove them wrong (even though they are…).

  • AbdKhan Says

    I am following this page and you have been very helpful. Thanks a lot.

    I am UK citizen and my parents with following status would like to visit France and Denmark with me from UK by road through Euro Tunnel. Purpose of visit is only for Tourism and should not be more than 14 days.

    - Non – EEA Citizen
    - American Green Card Holder
    - On 2 years UK visit Visa valid for at least 1 year from now

    My question is, can they travel with me to Schengen states without visa under EU treaty rights / free movement as EEA family member.

    I would like to apply Schengen Visa for them but both France and Duth Embassy dont entertain visa requests from EEA Family members without resident visa. Please advise. Many Thanks

  • Janice R Says

    Hi Ashrey,

    My husband and my daughter are ready for moving to Belgium and have a job waiting there. Should I start apply for a Schengen Visa now? In a visa (Belgium) question #21. Main purpose should I check visiting family or friends? and also only Belgium is my destination of my trip, and question #31 should I filled up the departure date ? I only plan 1 way ticket. and also, should i comply for insurance as well? Thanks a lot. What is the 1st step and so forth to comply for my schengen visa? Thanks a lots. -Janice-

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Janice

      You should ask the Belgian consulate for what they need to process a visa for the family member of an EU citizen. It’s always a good idea to have insurance but the general requirements are the same as mentioned in the above article. Good luck!

  • Anas Says

    Hi Janice ,

    I married to a danish and this is my story :
    - Before getting married I tried to go on FEB 2016 BY applying for a tourist visa and got refused due to “no sure from my return” although my papers were perfect and everything was fine and the case got appealed automatically .
    -I have got married in UAE on last march 2016 and attested my marriage contract
    -I have dropped the pending case by calling danish immigration service because the consulate in dubai told me we dont advice you to apply again while having a pending case
    -The pending old case (FEB 2016) was not important and its a routine action (one of my friends faced the same and he regret to wait for the appeal)
    -So by last April I made sure that I am clear and dont have any pending cases before applying for the EU SPOUSE VISA- short term schengen
    -ON LAST 5/JUNE/2016 I Have applied BY PROVIDING all required documents including the marriage certificate attested as their requirements .

    I just need your opinion because my wife is afraid from the old refusal ,
    thank you

  • Sheila Says

    Hi, I always read your article and it helps a lot. Well, we have problem about my visa application. First, of all my husband and I went to Spain consulate to apply a schengen visa. We have my married certificate, his passport copy. However they didn’t accept my application because we need to provide a itinerary round ticket, hotel reservation my employment certfication,payslips etcs. I told them about free Europe movement of non eu spouse and I let them to show the copy. My question is can we go direct flight to Spain without schengen visa? Or what is best way to have advice to get schengen using free Europe movement

    • Ashray Says

      What is your husband’s nationality? You can apply under the directive if he is an EU national. Show the consulate the directive if you need to.

  • Sheila Mateer Says

    My husband nationality is british citizen. We show to to them already the directive but we still need to provide the requirement.

  • Sheila Says

    I have bad experience today eu free movement here in philippines didnt reapply. We went today to consulate to passed the application form for schengen visa but they didnt accept. my husband is british citizen and we have child british citizen also…. but didnt accept as eu directive they need me to provide requirement as payslip,round way ticket, insurance, reservation for hotel and etc. As i was there in consulate they didnt allowed my husband to get inside in consulate to explain his right. Even do i show to them the right of union citizens and their family members to move and reside freely within the union was not acceptable.

  • Sheila Says

    Thank you so much for your advice Ashray

  • Faisal Says

    Hi ashray
    Am going to apply this month they ask me for pervious passport I lost my passport long time a go I just remember no it’s also mention in my new passport what should I do advice me plzzz thanks

    • Ashray Says

      Tell the embassy you lost it? I don’t see why they should ask for any previous passport, especially if it’s not valid.

  • Nikki Says

    Hi, don’t know if you can help. We are going on holiday to Spain. My husband has a British passport, myself and children have South African. We have our schengen visa already. I’ve just realized our flights are through London and we require a change from Gatwick to heathrow, but have no uk visa. We will be traveling with my husband. Do we need an EEA permit, if so how do we apply? Would be be refused entry to the uk traveling with him?
    All air truckers etc show we will only be there for a few hours. Thanks

    • Ashray Says

      Unfortunately, you are not eligible for an EEA family permit because your husband is British. You would need to apply for a regular transit visa. You can do this at the nearest British High Commission. If it’s possible at all (or with minimal cost), I’d suggest you change/cancel your flights and avoid flying through the UK.

  • Asha pariyar Says

    Hello ashrey brother,
    I am very happy to see this page.well,in my case I am a Nepalese citizen and my husband is Hungarian citizen.we got married 5 month ago in nepal and we registered our our in nepali system.after that my husband visited hungary embassy in new Delhi to register our marriage in Hungarian system through consular section.i have Hungarian marriage certificate with me.we were planning to travel together but unfortunately my schengen visa was refused from german embassy in kathmandu who issue visa in hungary behalf.they told me to go hungary embassy in new delhi and apply for family husband had to go home because he already waited 4 month for my visa in nepal with me. Brother ashrey, now I am confuse which visa do I need to apply.schengen short term visa or family reunion? my husband telling me to apply for schengen short term visa as a family member of eu citizen.please help me because soon I am booking my appointment.i would be very glad if you help me in this matter.

    • Ashray Says

      Are you planning to go to Hungary? If so, a family reunification visa is required. If you are planning to go to another country, a short term schengen visa will work. Please get in touch with SOLVIT if the German embassy does not help you.

  • Asha Says

    Brother askray thank you very much for your reply.yes, my main destination is only hungary because my husband is hungarian and we are planning to live in Hungary and start our life in hungary together.German embassy in kathmandu is only responsible for schengen short term visa where we have to prove them i will come back after 90 days to my home country.but in my case they knew I am already registered in hungary as a married couple with hungarian citizen and they knew my main purpose is not to return after 90 days but apply for resident in Hungary.german embassy also didnt ask for my travel insurance and didnt ask visa fee also but I got refuse they told me they only give schengen visa for tourism purpose so they told me to apply from Hungary embassy in new delhi where the embassy issue visa only if the main destination is hungary.i am very much confuse and in Hungary embassy new delhi website its hard to understand in my case which visa will allow me to go hungary and there I can request my resident permit.Nobody giving me correct answer its so complecated.i have all the necessary papers in my hand which my husband has send from hungary and I am ready to go hungary embassy in new delhi but I am not confirm short term schengen visa will allow me to go Hungary and do my resident permit or I have to apply for long term visa for family husband telling me that short term visa from Hungary embaasy new delhi will be best for me because my husband has already registered our marriage in hungary and I already have my hungarian marriage certificate with me so my husband is telling me I am family member of eu citizen and I have right to apply for short term schengen visa and do my resident permit in hungary when I am in hungary.please help me my marriage is registered in both nepal and hungary and we are not planning to go any other country.i am only waiting for your advice so that I can tell to my husband and do according to please reply me soon brother.thank you

    • Ashray Says

      I don’t know if Hungary allows in country family reunification. If yes, then you can apply for a short term schengen visa and then apply for your reunification permit once you are in Hungary. If not, then the embassy will process your long term visa in New Delhi. Please ask the Hungarian embassy for more information. Your application falls under Hungarian national law and not under EU free movement rights (since you are moving to Hungary) so it will depend on the laws in Hungary.

  • Faisal Says

    I recently I apply join spouse visa under drictive law in my country Pakistan for malta Italian embassy represent malta visa they refund my application and say they don’t have mandate to process this application now I don’t understand what am gonna do could you advise me what I do or I apply for itlay thanks

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Faisal
      Which country is your spouse from and which country are you planning to go to?

  • Faisal Says

    Hi ashray

    My wife is British citizen and am from Pakistan
    We planing to move in Malta in my country Italian embassy represent Malta visa I apply my visa EU spouse under directive 2004/38/ec on 15/07/2016 with all supporting docoments marriage certificate my birth certificate tru translate of marriage certificate health and travel insurance my wife passport copy one way flight tickets hotel booking my bank statement is well all documents attested from foreign affirs and then I apply via Gerrys on 18/07/2016 I receive call to collect my passport Italian consulate refund my application with fee and in letter they said they don’t have mandate to process your application so now am confused where am going to apply thanks

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Faisal, You will need to ask the Italian consulate how you can process your application or communicate with the Maltese authorities. As a first step, please get in touch with Solvit as they might be able to help you and clarify your situation. As such the free movement directive should apply to your situation.

  • jitu kishnani Says

    dear sir,

    I am Indian citizen, holding Indian passport living and working in guinea west Africa. my wife is living in Las palmas, Spain from last 14 years and she is holding the permanent resident card. i am planning to live with her in Spain. my question is,

    if i get Spanish tourist visa from guinea, west Africa. can i travel to Spain from India? and what is the procedure of getting Spanish spouse visa after reaching to the Spain ? and how long it may takes ?

    • Ashray Says

      You should ask the Spanish consulate. Your move does not fall under EU free movement directives so the rules are different.

  • muhammad Says

    hi ashray
    I want information about Eu directive
    my wife is British citizen and I am Pakistani national
    kindly tell me is Eu route is still open for british citizen
    .I can join my spouse in Ireland ?

  • arjun luther Says

    Hello ashray,
    I am an Indian citizen,23 years old male…i have a gf in Belgium, we met 1 and a half year ago online..we are very keen to to meet each other..she can’t come to India coz she’s not 18 yet and i want to visit her there…not meeting each other s driving us crazy.. I have read many blogs but your blogging is phenomenonal…i am still a student ,can you please guide me or direct me in a way where i should start?

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Arjun

      The rules stated in this article only apply to married couples and in some cases de-facto (or registered) partnerships. They won’t apply in your case so your best bet is to get a tourist visa to visit Belgium.

  • moir Says


    iam british citizen, i applied for my irish visa to join me under eu free movement. after nearly a year they didnt replied back so we withdraw the application from irish embassy and applied for a schengen visa under the same rules to some other eu country, and my wife got the visa in 10 working days.

    my question is now if i accompany my wife and go and try to board a ferry from france which goes directly to ireland will the french border force allow her with me?

    or will they give any visa or stamp on her passport to join and board the ferry with me?

    is there any chances of her being detained and sent back to her home country?

    we have our marriage certificate and all necessary documents to prove our relationship.

    has any one tried this way to get her spouse to get the visa at the border.


  • Taukir Says

    Dear Ashray

    I need your assistance on my case. I am a UAE resident and a job holder whereas my wife is a Danish national and currently living in UAE under my sponsorship. ( spouse visa ) we are planning to travel to Venice in November on occasion of our first anniversary. My question if I can apply scheng visa using right to free movement while my wife is living in UAE for a year now. Although she frequently travels to home country denmark but does not work there any more.

    What would be your suggestion to apply tourism visa or EU family member visa. We intend to stay a week or so. Shall I mention precise period in application or 90 days multiple ?

    Await your kind assistace / guidance on this front.


    • Ashray Says

      You can apply under either of the two categories. As a family member you will have to submit less documentation and can fill in 90 days if you want for the duration.

      • TAUKIR Says

        Dear Ashray

        Thanks for your reply. what i am still confused about and wants to clarify here is that can i apply family cat visa even when my wife is living in dubai under my sponsorship and does not hold a job in Denmark any longer ?


        • Ashray Says

          It does not matter whether your wife lives in Denmark or holds a job there. Please read the rules and regulations from the EU Commission in the post above. You can apply as a family member of an EU national. For more information, please ask the consulate.

  • TAUKIR Says

    Dear Ashray

    Also if i should submit my visa application direct to consulate have i chosen the right to free movement category and bypass VFS in dubai ?


  • abdul Says

    im deported from uk.bcz asylum gf irish citizen.she came my home country we do marriage here .i apply irish spouse visa d last year one year gone still no receive any response
    she have nice job in ireland.she cant do move any eu country.what i need to do i have iran marraige certifact.deport from uk can i apply shechan visa .

  • Steven smith Says

    Hello Ashray, I am a south African national. I am married to an Austrian national. We got married in the UK in 2015.I am currently residing in south Africa because of business purpose for last six months. My wife is residing in the UK and exercising her treaty rights in the UK. She will join me in Italy from the uk.

    1.We would like to go to Italy for holiday in October. Can I apply under ‘family member’ category?
    2. Will I have to fly to Austria first then to Italy?
    3. Which embassy should I apply? Austria or Italy?
    4. How long they take to process on average?

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Steven

      1. Yes
      2. No, unless you want to go to Austria for something.
      3. Italy if that’s where you’re going.
      4. This varies depending on the consulate in question.

      Please ask the Italian consulate for more information. It should be fairly simple if you have all the documents for a family member application.

  • abdul Says

    hi ashray please help me ,
    im deported from uk.bcz asylum gf irish citizen.she came my home country we do marriage here .i apply irish spouse visa d last year one year gone still no receive any response
    she have nice job in ireland.she cant do move any eu country.what i need to do i have iran marraige certifact.deport from uk can i apply shechan visa .

    ON AUGUST 29, 2016 AT 4:19 AMREPLY

  • Chona Says

    Hi Ashray

    I am Filipina and im living in Philippines and i have a Portuguese boyfriend in Portugal, now he wanted me to go there in their country. So i have some questions to ask

    1.) what are the documents will be needing for my Boyfriend for inviting me in going Portugal?

    2.) what are the requirements will i also be needing?

    3.) what are the procedures in civil marriage in Portugal?

    4.) If in case we got married before the 90days of my schengen visa, can i apply for Residence visa so after 90 days i dont need to go out from schengen area?

    Thank you very much

    • Ashray Says

      Your application will be treated as a regular tourist visa. In this case, an invitation letter might help but in general you’ll have to meet all the requirements on your own. Please get in touch with the nearest Portuguese consulate for more details. When I went to Portugal back in the day, this was my experience.

      If you do get married while in Portugal, you should be able to continue staying there. You’ll need a legalized birth certificate and several other documents. Your boyfriend should ask the Conservatoria in his locality for more info.

  • abdul Says

    ashry why u no give me suggestion

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Abdul

      The article above explains what your rights are. If you and your spouse decide to move to another EU country you can apply for a Schengen visa and move there. You can only move together so if she cannot leave Ireland, your only option is to take it up with the Irish authorities, however, in that case only Irish law applies.

  • abdul Says
  • Lou Says

    Hi Ashray,
    Needing some urgent advice please if you can.
    i am a British citizen and my husband was deported from uk back to Kurdistan, Iraq. We had a British registry marriage in 2011, so I have that certificate.
    I just came here last month to Kurdistan and I can’t cope living here.
    I know he cannot come back to the uk but can he come with me to a different country in Europe?
    Can we just turn up at the Greece border with marriage certificate?
    What is your best advice please?

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Lou

      Sorry about your situation.

      If you can make it together to the Greek border with your marriage certificate, that should work. This will HAVE to be by land though because no airline will carry you there without your husband having a Schengen visa. It might take the Greeks a little time to make sure everything is in order but the law says that you must be let in. Yes, you both can live in another EU country, at least as long as Britain is part of the EU so you still have some time.

      If you cannot reach Greece by land your best bet is to apply for a Schengen visa to the country you plan to move to. Once you get the entry visa and go there your husband can apply for a residence card in the country. It’s probably quite difficult to get a Schengen visa in Iraq at the moment so if you can make it together to ANY EU border (even Bulgaria) you will have to be let in as per the law.

      Good luck!

  • Lou Says

    Hi Ashray,
    Thanks very much for your reply,
    Just a few more questions if you can help me please.
    Does my husband need to have his Iraqi passport with him or will his Iraqi identity card be enough, as he currently does not have a passport and he may even struggle to get this.
    And yes I believe you are quite right in saying that it will be difficult for him to get a visa, I see it being refused.

    • Ashray Says

      In principle his visa should not be refused because EU law supports his case however consulates have been known to delay visa applications quite a bit in locations like Iraq. He would need a passport for international travel. I don’t know if he can travel without one or how he might be able to prove his identity overseas.

  • Lou Says

    Hi Ashray,
    Yes I was just wondering do you think his Iraqi nationality card would be sufficient for identification as it does have his picture on it?

    • Ashray Says

      It would certainly make things more complicated. The Guide to the Directive says:

      Your family members cannot be automatically turned back at the
      borders if they do not have a valid passport or, if required, an entry
      visa, when they are able to prove by any other means that they are
      covered by the right of free movement and residence by establishing
      their identity and family ties with you.

      However, what border officials might consider “valid identity documents” can be quite subjective. I’d suggest that you take as many identifying documents as possible. You need to prove two things:

      1. He is who he says he is (multiple forms of ID should help, Iraqi ID card, expired passport if available – even copies of an unavailable passport, any UK based ID like a drivers license or anything else if available, etc.)
      2. You are who you say you are (easy with a British passport) and also that you are married (a British marriage certificate should work, any other documents proving your relationship will also help a LOT).

      Also carry a printed copy of the Guide to the Directive (even the Directive itself if possible although it’s a rather long document..) linked in the article. You will probably need to re-iterate your rights multiple times and be as informed and stubborn as possible. Don’t be timid because these are the rights granted to you and your husband under EU law. If you have the contact number of an immigration lawyer in the country you are trying to enter, you can always call him to the scene if things aren’t working in your favour (they should, because it’s the law but sometimes you need to play hardball).

      It won’t be as smooth as getting a visa and flying in, but it shouldn’t be too hard because the law says you are covered as long as you are together. Also, there are no restrictions on free movement for up to 90 days so you don’t really need to prove that you have funds to support yourselves but if you can show that (some savings..), it’d definitely work in your favour as well. Do not accept the fact that you may not have a job in the destination country as a valid reason for you to be turned back, there are no restrictions on free movement for the first 90 days. Neither for you, nor for your husband.

      Hope this helps.

  • Ali Says

    Thanks for the detailed information.I have one question regarding application category.Which category i should check in the form ?It should be “Visit family or friend” or others (……..).Waiting for your earliest reply!

    • Ashray Says

      Please check whatever category corresponds to your purpose of visit. If you’re primarily visiting family or friends then checking that category is fine. Alternately, select Tourist.

  • Ali Says


    Yes my purpose of visit is to see my wife who is EU/EEA citizen.Actually i applied with visit friends and family and they refused me by giving me reasons that i will not come back etc.The problem was i did not mention that i want to use my right as EU/EEA citizen spouse .So i am applying again but bit confused how i can mention that and which category i should select.And they also charged me normal visa fees.Becasue i did not know properly about this Directive and rule.
    So please tell me briefly which category i should choose and how should i mention in application that i am applying as EU/EEA citizen spouse.

    Thanks waiting for your earliest reply!

  • ajit Says

    I am a Indian and will be getting married to my German girlfriend in Denmark this month.My visa is valid till first week of November. I want to know the following
    1)What steps I need to follow after marriage
    2)Do I need to return to India and then apply a family reunification or can i get an extension or fresh visa issued in Germany.

    • Ashray Says

      Congrats. You should ask the German authorities for info on this. This article is about free movement rights for countries other than the country of nationality of the EU spouse. Your move to Germany will fall under German law and not the EU directive.

  • mathias Says

    Hello Ashra,
    I first of all want to say thank you for the wonderful work you are doing here and for this blog.
    Am from Ghana and my girlfriend is a german.We have been in a relationship for 2 yrs now and we want to get married february 2017 in Ghana where I live. How long after the marriage can i wait before I apply for a visa to Holland to meet with my german girlfriend (because she will go back to germany immediately after the marriage ) for our honeymoon.And can we move from Holland after our honeymoon to germany and live together there. Also is our marriage certificate, which will be registered here in ghana under the civil law be recognised (or do i need an apostille stamp ) when i want to apply for a visa to Holland for the honeymoon? Thank and hope from you ASAP.

    can you please email me your contact?

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Mathias

      You should ask the Dutch consulate in Ghana about the apostille, etc. If you want to move to Germany, you would need to ask the German consulate about that. The honeymoon part falls under EU free movement as explained in the above article but your move to Germany might not.

  • mathias Says

    Hello Ashra,

    Thank you very much :)

  • Charles Edward Says

    Nice post thanks for the sharing with us

  • sheila Says

    hi Ashray,
    i just want to share my experience in applying schengen visa. My british husband and I trying to apply schengen visa in Spain consulate but unfortunately they reject my application because i need to provide my round way tickets, medical insurance, bank statement and etc.we email the solvit of our case: Solvit Spain has now responded. The Spanish Authority will not recognised your marriage certificate unless it is registered in the UK. Therefore, without this document being recognised, the relationship to you is not recognised and so the Spanish Authority considers the application under the ordinary visa route, this requires the additional information that has been requested.
    I do not agree that Spain should require that marriage certificate is registered in the UK, and of course this process for registering overseas marriage does not exist in the UK. however Spain will not alter their position and so the case to solvit is now closed.
    in other country used the word apostelle convention but philippines used red ribbon to make the document authenticated. anyone can help or suggest?

    thank you.


    • Ashray Says

      Hi Sheila

      You can plan a trip to any country other than Spain and thus get a schengen visa through that country. It looks like you’ve been caught in a battle of paperwork. The UK does not register foreign marriages so the Spanish authorities are wrong. However, you have to fight them in court or just get your visa through another country. I think the second option is easier.

      If you cannot apostille your document you can legalize it with the red ribbon method you are mentioning and perhaps that is acceptable to certain consulates. You’ll need to ask them for more info.

  • sheila Says

    Hi Ashray,
    thank you for helping us. Just incase any suggestion the country that good for schengen visa especially in our situation. i really appreciate you big help.


  • Merydel Degracia Says

    Hello Ashray,
    I am a filipina married a Lithuanian citizen here in Philippines.
    I am aware that the only visa I can apply to visit Lithuania is schengen visa,,,is it better that me and my husband will go together to the embassy to apply for the visa? Thank you

  • Steven smith Says

    Hi guys, well I will apply for schengen visa next week. Currently I am in south Africa and my wife in uk. I will land in Paris on 17th 8.30 am. She will arrive 9.30 am. Return : 7.40 am for her, 11.30 for me
    Will it be a problem that I am landing in Paris earlier and returning back later?
    Pls reply. Tx

  • Steven smith Says

    Well Ashray, I will fly to paris airport from south Africa. She will take train from London to Paris gare de Nord railway station. Will it be a problem to get visa or in immigration at the airport ?

  • Linda Says

    Please I really need help,,,,, my husband is from Czech and a. From Ghana but my husband lives in German for many years, he works and live there, he sent me an invitation from German embassy in Ghana but they refusal me the visa, he then came to Ghana to marry me after the marriage we did legalization on the marriage certificate, so we apply for a visiting visa at the Czech embassy but they refused me, but I took all the necessary documents including the marriage certificate , now we are planning on how we can meet on the nearest country like morrocco or turkey so that he can come to pick me with a car from either Morocco or turkey , please me the , we need the fastest and easiest way for me to get to Germany, what do we do now ,please help us if you can. Thank you very much

    Best regards.


    • Linda Says

      He send me invitation from Germany but the German embassy in Ghana refused me , am sorry I mad a mistake, please help us we need it need this help

      • Ashray Says

        Hi Linda

        Unfortunately you seem to be stuck dealing with bureaucracy. You can contact Solvit or the EU commission to see if they can help you out.

  • Suzi Says

    Hi ashray!
    I applied in the greek embassy here in manila for a spouse visa to Portugal. There is no portuguese embassy here in manila and Greek embassy is the official representation of Portugal here. I had my photo taken, biometrics, then the officer checked my documents. After 20 mins I got an official receipt and was told to come back for my passport after 14 days ( their processing time here). Is it normal that when you apply for a spouse visa that they won’t conduct an interview anymore?
    I’m just wondering because last year I applied in the greek embassy too as a tourist visa to visit my husband who was just my boyfriend then. I was interviewed that time. However that tourist visa application was denied. Will that denial affect my application for eu spouse visa now?

    • Ashray Says

      There isn’t really an interview requirement for spouses. You should get the visa because it is difficult to legally deny a spouse her visa. They may get in touch with you if they need anything else but spouse visas are generally not complicated.

    • Chona Says

      Hi Suzy,

      I had my friend also with portuguese husband you have the same situation before.. I just picked-up her passport today and sent the passport to their province. So before xmas she will flight to portugal..

      And hopefully also after we get married here with my portuguese bf, i will start my application too. I hope we can meet there too if God allow us.. Just wanting to have filipina friends their. Please email me if u have time sis.My name s chona

      Ashray thanks for ur blog.. U helped us alot…

    • Hi sis,can i ask f hiningan ka ng return ticket sa immigration

  • Suzi Says

    Thanks for the information. Your page is a really big help

  • araba Says

    I live in Ghana. My husband is an Italian. I want to visit him with our kids. I submitted everything to the consulate on 3rd nov. 2016. they gave me a letter to sign on 10th nov saying that they needed to do verification and that it has been put on hold. up to now, I have not heard from the embassy. when I call to follow up, they tell me the same story and that they haven’t heard anything from where they are doing their verification.
    it is long overdue. Please advice.

    • Ashray Says

      Which consulate did you submit your documents to? Where are you planning to go and meet your husband?

      • araba Says

        Italian Consulate, Ghana. My husband lives in Italy, That is where I am meeting him.

        • Ashray Says

          Unfortunately your visit to Italy does not fall under the EU free movement directive – which is what this article is about. Since it’s your husband’s home country you will have to process your visa under Italian national law so it’s best you speak to a lawyer who knows about this.

  • araba Says
  • peggy Says

    I’m an Italian national living in U.K,my husband who was then my partner in the U.K was removed from the U.K because his couldn’t he was on a visit visa and it expired. So when he got to his home country i traveled there and we are now married which he wants us to live in Ghana but he is self employed and living okay in Ghana but i cant live in Africa.

    I don;t know what to do now,because what i found on the internet for family reunion the sponsor have to be working,its difficult to find a work in italy as thus why i moved to U.K. My husband has been supporting me and taking care of me.

    Will it be difficult for him to come with me when i’m living to spend weeks with me to Italy on a visit before i apply for a resident permit for him when he returns back because my family wants to see him ASAP.

    Please help me.Will heart to hear from you

  • mohsin Khan Says

    I am indian national , living in dubai, my wife alos living in dubai, she is slovakia national, i wanted to apply for schengen visa as we are planning to visit family, what are the documents i need for travel and visa?


  • Raja Says

    Hello Ashry,
    I am going to marry with my Czech girlfriend, after getting married in pakistan I wanna go in Czech,is it possible to go with my future wife immediately after marriage, as she is coming here on tourist visa 14days,I want to go in Czech on visit then I want to apply resident card, let me know which is the best way for me to get Czech visa after marriage,
    Thanks in advance

    • Ashray Says

      Your move to the Czech republic with your wife (who is Czech) will not fall under EU free movement laws. You need to meet the conditions under Czech national law for this. Please contact the Czech embassy to find out what the requirements are.

  • shearon Says

    Hello Ashray,
    I am a citizen of EU/NL currently married in Bangladesh. I would like to travel france and portugal with my wife for 15 days. can you advise me which documents have to submit for schengen visa in france embassy. Also right to free movement which paragraph have to print (specific page). is it still active??? thanks, abdul

    • Ashray Says

      Please go through the above article. Everything is explained there. Your wife needs to apply for a schengen visa as the spouse of an EU national.

  • shearon Says

    thanks ashray,
    can you explain me the following requirements of French embassy if its correct also 2 things is not clear to me
    1.proof of your spouse’s nationality (original + copy).
    2.proof your EU spouse will stay in France, Austria or Portugal, with you during your intented stay.
    number 1 can be fullfilled with copy and Original NL passport???
    number 2 can be fullfilled with hotel reservation????

    Short stay visas for spouses of EU Citizens

    You may obtain a tourist visa (less than 90 days), free of charge, only if you bring the following documents.

    Requirements :
    Passport or travel document (+ 1 copy of identity and validity pages) valid for at least three months following the last day of your stay in France. It must have been issued less than 10 years ago (first issuance). Make sure the passport has at least two blank pages left for visa purpose. Only these pages can be endorsed with the visa. Amendment pages can in no way be used for visas.
    For non-Bangladeshi citizens : Bangladeshi resident visa.
    marriage certificate (original + 1 copy).
    proof of your spouse’s nationality (original + copy).
    proof your EU spouse will stay in France, Austria or Portugal, with you during your intented stay.
    travel itinerary (original + copy).

    Dernière modification : 17/06/2015

    • Ashray Says

      Yes, a copy of your NL passport will suffice. You can show them the original if they ask. Hotel reservations should work for the second part and also tickets going there and back or even any internal travel arrangements. Even a letter from you saying that you are traveling together should help. You do not need to fill field 28 as it’s not applicable.

  • shearon Says

    dear ashray,
    please help me what to fill up in the schengen visa form
    nr.28 this i cant understand.

    thanks a lot

  • shearon Says

    dear ashray,
    sorry i forget to say that me and my wife travelling together from Bangladesh to france and portugal we also come back together in Bangladesh.
    our staying periode in schengen is 15 days.
    thanks again

  • shearon Says

    dear ashray,
    please explain the following meanings of proof of dependence

    such as marriage or birth certificate and proof of dependence, where applicable.


    • Ashray Says

      It’s not required. You only need to show a marriage certificate. Please read the above article and the guide to the directive before asking further questions.

      • abdul Says

        dear ashray,
        i am waiting 19 days without any result from french embassy in dhaka. applied eu spouse visa 23/02/17. i called the embassy last week they told me very unfriendly it will take more times. also send them email to inform me about the status and wrote them this kind of visas should process in 15 days. but embassy didnt reply my email. please give me advice what to do now.

  • Pejenny Says

    Please Ashray help me to fill this forms….My husband is an Italian national.But he is not working at the moment in but was previously working in U.K,but he is self sufficient He wants me to join him In Italy.I have been to the embassy and the checklist they gave me tells me to provide
    1. His passport copy and my original passport
    2.birth certificate of both of us
    3Marriage certificate ( legalized)
    4.His Carta di identita
    5.Status de familiar( family status) both of us.

    And he has been to the local authorities there both Coummune and Questors they just tell him to let me go for a tourist visa and come and we apply for a resident permit. I want to know if I have to add my bank statement and I’m self employed here in Ghana as well.

    • Ashray Says

      If Italy allows family reunification while you are in the country then this is probably the better path to follow for you so that you can be together while the papers are being processed. It is possible for you in this case to enter on a Schengen visa and then apply for family reunification while in Italy. As long as he is self sufficient and you both meet the family requirements it shouldn’t be an issue. Please note that this article and the EU free movement directive would only apply if you were moving to another EU country (not Italy). Your move will be under Italy’s national rules.

  • abdul Says

    dear ashray,
    I m waiting 19 days for my non eu spouse visa which my wife applied on 23/02/17 by french embassy in dhaka.I contact the embassy they told me very unfriendly it will take more time. also send the consular section email to let me know about the status and wrote this kind of visas need 15 days to process. but no replies from embassy. please give me advice what is best to do now.
    many many thanks

  • Sadhana Kembhave Says

    Hi Ashray,
    I am an Indian national, married to a German National, in Goa in 2013. We reside in Goa. We are planning a holiday to Portugal in June 2017. What documents do I need to furnish for my tourist VISA?

  • Linc Says

    Hi Ashray,

    I saw on one of teh post you said that the law might change in june 2016. Am married to a dutch lady and we plan to persue my papers via the european route. Is is still the same or there are changes. We are planning to move to belgium. thanks

  • Malik Says

    Hello I already refused 6 time Schengen visa from different countries my wife is polish national we now want to travel Netherlands together is there any chance to get visa under directive 2004/38 EC we have marriage certificate and all that’s hope to hear you soon

  • Fred Says

    Hi Ashray,
    Greetings, I want to ask a question. My girlfriend is German and I am from Nigeria, she wants to come to Africa and we get married and wants me to join her in Germany. She told me she went to the main hall in Germany to know what it will take to have me with her after our wedding in Nigeria. They told her she need to have a certain amount of money in her Bank account as one the requirement. Were she given the right or wrong information? I am just curious. Looking forward to your swift reply.
    Thank you.

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Fred
      If you’re going to Germany and your partner is German you will move there under the national German rules. In this case, the EU directive does not apply so you will have to follow what the German authorities have told your girlfriend.

  • Rizi Says

    Hello there ashray and zara,

    I have a question, I am a philippine passport holder and my husband is lithuanian and we are both a resident in middle east. We wanted to come to lithuania for christmas till new year. Can this directive 2004/38/ec be applicable to me? For my understanding, i should not go directly to lithuania right?
    There’s no direct flight from middle east to lithuania, so we will be flying straight to paris then fly to latvia where we will take a bus going to my husbands place in lithuania. Will This count as freedom to move around EU? Or I’m not getting this thing right.

  • Zinno Says

    H Ashray. Thanks so much for all the helpful info here. I’d like to ask your best advice about my situation. I’m from Morocco, and married my British wife here in Turkey 2 months ago. We wanted to go on honeymoon to Greece but had to wait (according to the Greek embassy) until I got my residence card for Turkey before applying for a Schengen visitor visa as a non-EU spouse. We are now ready to apply, but we’re concerned in case our age difference, and the fact we were married only 2 months ago, might be used as an excuse to refuse the application. Should we wait longer? Would we be better to go via land border crossing or not?

    • Ashray Says

      It makes no difference whether you apply now or later. You have a right to free movement with your wife.

  • Andreea Says

    Hello Ashray, thank you for all your infos. I am romanian, my husband is turkish and we live in Mumbai, India. We plan to make a trip to Romania but I would like to avoid the romanian embassy. If you read their reviews you will understand why. I adviced him to apply for schengen visa as a EU spouse. The thing is that last year he had a tourist schengen visa from France but didn’t go to France, he came directly to Romania. Will it cause a problem the fact that he didn’t enter the country which issued his last schengen visa?

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Andreea, I don’t see any reason for any trouble because of the previous schengen visa. As your spouse he has very strong rights and a denial would need a much stronger reason (public safety, public policy). You should definitely go ahead and apply. It shouldn’t be an issue.

  • leo Says

    Hi, just wanted to know that I am an Indian and have applied for a work permit for Switzerland, I want to take my spouse along with me, who is also an Indian. Is this possible? If yes then what visa does she require, and how much time does it take to acquire it. Canm she also work or study there once she is in the country.

    • Ashray Says

      Sorry I don’t know about Swiss regulations and how they may apply in this case. This article is about the rules for spouses of EU citizens.

  • Lina Says

    I do want to point out that directive EU Directive 2004/38/CE only applies when the EU citizen resides in another EU country. So in the case when both the EU citizen and his/her spouse live in a third country outside of the EU zone, Directive 2004/38/CE unfortunately, won’t work.

    This is my story:
    I am a Chinese citizen residing in the United States and my spouse is an Italian citizen who also resides in the same city in the US. When we attempted to apply for a Schengen visa for me, I was asked to provide a long list of documents including flight tickets, invitation letter from my spouse’s parents, bank statements, pay stubs, letter from my employer, and health insurance. The consulate told us our marriage certificate would be enough for me to get a visa if we planned to move to Italy, but unfortunately we are only traveling, and unfortunately we are traveling to my spouse’s home country: Italy (hence no movement BETWEEN EU states) so I would have to submit the same documents a tourist visa requires.

    We felt frustrated but in the end conformed. We submitted all required documents except for two things that are not 100% in compliance:
    1. I have a very good US health insurance policy, it covers all emergency costs when I travel to a foreign country without any limits. So I requested a letter from my insurance company as a statement.
    2. I submitted a statement of my employment from my employer’s automated system, it clearly states my job title, start date, and annual salary. I also printed and submitted my 3 most recent pay stubs.

    But when we were at my interview with the Italian consulate, we were told these two documents don’t meet the requirements for the following two reasons:
    1. My US health insurance does not cover the cost of the repatriation of my body remains should I decease in Italy.
    2. I need a SIGNED letter from HR personnel at my company.

    I felt extremely confused and frustrated, not only because of the fact and I have to plan for my repatriation in order to visit my spouse’s family on Christmas, but logically speaking, if I die in Italy ,why would I want my body remains to be repatriated back to the United States? And why do I have to demonstrate that I have financial coverage for my repatriation? In my case, I fully trust that my spouse will take full responsibility to take care of everything should I die. And, in the event my body needs to be repatriated, I would naturally want it to rest in China, my home country.

    Secondarily, I have a personal reason not to want to get a signed letter from my employer. Here is a subtle hint: I am one of the two foreigners working in a small-median sized, privately held US company. Most of my coworkers have never left their home state, including the HR lady whom supposedly needs to write and sign this letter for me. God bless her she is a person with good intentions, but a poorly travelled person with good intentions. From many of my previous encounters with her, I know she would be very surprised to hear that I actually need a visa to visit my spouse’s country, and that I intact need an official letter from my company in order to get that visa. She would tell me she needs to ask what she needs to do and would not get back to me in weeks, and probably, in the meanwhile, the entire company will have to pity me for having to ask for a letter from my employer to be allowed to visit my spouse’s country.

    • Ashray Says

      Lina, your initial statement is incorrect. There is no limitation on the directive based on your place of current residence. You can read the directive yourself if you’d like to verify this. The rest of your story is unfortunate because it sounds like the Italian consulate is just giving you a hard time. It might be worth it to plan travel to another EU country as well as Italy so that you can apply for a visa under the directive.

  • Simon Austin Uba Says


    I really need your help. I’m a Nigerian citizen and I got married to a Latvia citizen in Nigeria. I applied for visa to visit her country for short time visa and I was denied visa. Reason because I didn’t not have evidence of sufficient fund and have not traveled outside Africa no evident that I will return. What shall I do?

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Simon. If you are visiting Latvia then your visit falls under Latvian national law. If you are traveling to another country in the EU then your visa can be processed under the free movement directive without requiring evidence of funds, etc.

  • Sohail Says

    Dear Friend.
    I have read the answers of different questions and found them very useful.
    I have a query.

    I am a Pakistani national, married to a British national in Denmark. I have TRP of Poland. Can I go to Ireland with her without getting Irish visa?
    A quick response is highly appreciated.


  • Catherine Duavis Badea Says

    Hello ashray Im a Filipina married to a Romanian Citizen and I have residence permit of 5 years validity issued here in Romania. We want to travel together in Germany next year. Do I need schengen visa as a non-EU spouse?

    • Ashray Says

      Depends on what your residence permit says. Does it say that you are a family member of an EU citizen? Even then, it’s better to get prior confirmation from the airline that they will let you fly based on your documents. At the german border, you shouldn’t have any issues but please make sure you carry your marriage certificate with you.

      A Schengen visa for this type of case would be very easy for you to obtain and would be free. So if you have the time, and want to avoid a lot of questions, it’s better to just apply at the German embassy in Romania. You’ll get it very easily.

      • Catherine Duavis-Badea Says

        Hello again ashray, my residence permit/card says “Family member
        right to work” and my marriages cert. has a convertion of english & legalized.

  • June Says

    I wanted the mother of my kid, she apply a EU family member visa in Bangkok,
    but the Germany, request that she have proof of residence in Thailand, ( she’s in Philippina ) but we don’t want go to Philippines, back, we have some troubles now there; so I wanna know if someone living outside of his country, she can ask the visa at any country, even with with tourist status, the thing, is the baby is even born here in Bangkok Thailand, and she stayed but 8 months, but with tourist status.

    Do the Embassy should require a proof of residency ( like work permit, or long stay visa) we’re locked on this :(

  • Tanvir Says

    Good Eve Ashray, i need your advise on the matter of norweigan tourist visa. I am working in Saudi Arabia and i married to a norweigan Citizen in india under special marriage act, we have certificate issued by Govt. officials, even we got appostile stamp from MEA, so if i will apply for visitor visa from Saudi arabia to visit her norway then which docs i need. or if we both are in india so if i will apply for visa to fly with her to norway then is it possible to get visa and fly with her ?

    • Izir Says

      Hi tanvir, I am living in saudi arabia and just had my schengen visa, multiple 90 days entry for 6 months. Here in Saudi, you have to go thru VFS to apply for visa. VIsa is absolutely free. Except for the service. Which is around 120sar. For norway. Here is the link for application. . For marriage certificate. It must be your report of marriage in norway and apostilled. We have been married in tbilisi,georgia originally, marriage certificate legalized and apostilled but those they don’t ask. Just the marriage certificate / report of marriage issued by the EU member state. If you want further questions you can ask assistance from VFS. They are very helpful.

  • Tanvir Says

    Thanks loot Bro Izir for replying but when i ll apply to visit my wife in norway then do i need to submit bank statements and job letter etc ? Or gurantee letter from the sponsor is enough. Do they conduct interview also for visitor visa ? How many days they take to process the application,
    And what is the report of marriage in norway ?

    • Izir Says

      but as for me. I provided the following only.
      1. passport copy
      2. passport size picture
      3. iqama copy
      4. return ticket ( which VFS provided) for 50sar
      5. Exit re -entry visa to saudi arabia
      6. Report of marriage from EA state.
      7. My application form.
      8. Your wife’s passport copy

      they do interview and checked at least 10 times my marriage certificate.

      • Tanvir Says

        Bro you did not submit bank statements or gurantee ketter from your spouse living in norway ?

  • Tanvir Says

    Bro What is report of marriage from EU state ? What they asked in interview ?

    • Izir Says

      after getting married in india, did you register your marriage in norway embassy? IF yes, then your registration to norway embassy will have to issue you a report of marriage which is equivalent to a marriage certificate of EU member state. EU state are countries that are part of what we call schengen countries. which are,
      Czech Republic

      They ask where you will stay. ( put your wife’s address and contact numbers )
      and tell them you are joining her. asked the main purpose, i said tourism and I told them I have returning ticket and Re-Entry Visa here in Saudi. They did not asked further. Just the marriage certificate. I have to show it to 2 of their supervisor and they refer again to the head of department.

    • Izir Says

      If you have not done this things. Then you cannot apply with the EU FREE MOVEMENT RULE. you can apply for tourist visa and your wife as a sponsor. You just have to go thru a long process though.

  • Izir Says

    Marriage entered into in other countries:

    The certificates must be the original examples and endorsed with an apostille or legalised by the country’s foreign ministry. Certificates that have been approved by a Norwegian foreign service mission will also be accepted.

    Translation may be needed if the certificate is not in English, Danish or Swedish. If the certificate is translated, both the original certificate and the translated version of the certificate must be submitted.

    If the certificate is translated in another country, except in Nordic countries, the translation must include an apostille stamp (confirming that a public official’s signature on a document is genuine and that the signatory has the stated authority), or be authenticated by the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  • Steven Cabral Says

    Hi Ashray

    This is a very good blog with very good explantion about everything. However i have one question in your blog you said “Basically, as the non-EU spouse of an EU national you can go to any country except their home country as this falls under them exercising their free movement rights” as a non-EU spouse what is the easiest way to visit my EU spouse home country ?

    • Linc Says

      Hi Steven,I just saw your question and I felt like giving my thought. I found this website a while ago when I was still in my home country in africa. My wife was in holland and I wanted to move be with her. I read about the directive and went a ahead took my chances. One year later am living in Belgium with a 5 years residence permit. So to answer your question the easiest way to visit your spouse country is by visiting another country first together, go to the neighbouring country and if its in the schengen zone then the visa is open for 26 states.good luck

  • Najeel Shah Says

    hi there best wishes for you guys have a happy married life ever after

    i am a pakistani and i met the love of my life 2 years ago on the internet she found me and we understood each other that well that i dont have words to explain she is really a gift given by god
    (she is german and lives in neighbor country austria)

    just a month ago she came to pakistan and crossed all borders and we married in a pakistani court. i am that happy and now i want to be with her again as soon as possible. its not easy for her to live here some difficulties and we have a big age difference (27 years) will this be a problem to explain it to the embassy i think they won’t understand that this is a love marriage really by heart

    need some help so we be with each other like you guys

    • Ashray Says

      They may be suspicious because of your age difference but that is none of their business! As a married couple, you have every right to live together. I believe embassies in Pakistan are making it difficult but with the right documentation and patience you should be able to get a visa.

  • Laura Says

    Hi! we already have a Schengen visa C for my Indian husband (im spanish). Well we are travelling from Delhi next 13 of February. Im quiet scared of what inmigration will ask him. We have everything legal but still. Do we need to proof acommodation in Spain? Since he is my husband and we didnt do proof anything to the spanish consulate. Anything else we should know when travelling from India? Any laws? Thanks in advance

    • Ashray Says

      Don’t worry, it should be fine as long as he has a visa in his passport. The most they may ask for is a return ticket – do you have one? If you don’t have one this article has info on how to book one easily and cancel it later:

      If they ask for proof of accommodation, you guys are traveling together right? Just say you’ll stay with family. No big deal :)

      • Laura Says

        Hi Ashray! Thanks for your answer. It calms me down a lot. Yes we have everything, his visa straight from the Spanish Consulate, his return ticket, even a nice travel insurance (just in case). And yes we both are travelling together. So yes.. i guess we’ve been waiting long for this moment and i am really scared just for Indian inmigration

        • Ashray Says

          You have nothing to worry about. Indian immigration will not bother you. Go and enjoy yourselves! :)

  • Roberto Says

    Hi there thanks for your help ,
    I have another question , as i am a uk resident , and my wife is a non eu resident we are getting a schwengen visa for my wife to visit spain and get residency together , do you have any recommendations for medical insurance annual policies , i have seen a couple with Bupa , and they are very expensive $1100 , any suggestions would be very helpful thanks ..

    • Ashray Says

      If you’re asking about travel insurance for the visa it can just be a simple travel insurance plan. The consulates usually have a listing of the ones that they accept. Usually they want one that covers up to €30,000 of travel medical coverage. If you mean private health insurance in general, I don’t know. Probably a local Spanish company would be better once you have your residency sorted out.

  • Andreas Says

    Hi Ashray, love your blog really shines a lot of light on information that shouldn’t reside in the shade. I was wondering if you could help me just a little further on clarifying some things for my situation..

    I am a UK national and am currently residing in Brazil with my girlfriend, who i am planning on marrying this year. We don’t plan on staying in Brazil and would like to move to Europe, not necessarily U.K but perhaps in the future. My question’s are, after we are married is it possible for us to exercise my right of free movement to bring her to reside in say Greece (i am half Greek), Portugal, Spain? She does not need a Shengen tourist visa as Brazil nationals are allowed to visit EU countries for 3 months as a tourist without a formal visa. So would it be as simple as moving to a one of these countries and applying for a residence card for her? Would a residence card allow her to work also?

    p.s understanding that the Brexit situation may make things more difficult, i am from Northern Ireland so i have the ability of holding a British and Irish passport do you think getting my Irish passport would allow for a more smoother transition?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Andreas

      Congrats on the upcoming marriage! Yes, it is as simple as you say. Once you are in Europe (and you can live in any country in the EU and most of the EEA), you can apply for a residence card for her. Yes, a residence card allows work as well as the derived right of free movement for your wife includes all the same rights that you have. Make sure you get your marriage certificate apostilled in Brazil before you leave. A certified translation to English would also go a long way to smoothen the transition.

      Northern Ireland as I understand is a part of the UK so I’m not sure if a passport from there might help? It would be a British passport, right? If you’re half greek, perhaps a Greek passport might be more useful in this instance. A full EU passport would definitely be an asset post Brexit!

  • Mario Says

    I am a EU Citizen and my Children who are above the age of 21 applied for Schengen Visit/tourist visa. We all live and work in the Middle-East.
    Are my Children charged full visa charges as applicable to any one applying for Schengen Visa?


    • Ashray Says

      Unfortunately children over the age of 21 do not benefit from the derived rights of free movement. So yes, they would need to pay for the tourist visa and apply as regular tourists.

  • Mario Says

    The Tourist Visa charges charged by the Spanish Embassy in Kuwait is KD. 21.600 + 5.560 BLS fees = KD. 27.160 Each

  • Jeremy Says

    After going through the EU directive, I have a question, is it necessary that the EU national must be residing or traveling to EU member state for the purpose of work, study etc… other than tourism? or is this directive still applicable if the non EU spouse wish to travel around with his EU spouse just for tourism?

    I would appreciate if anyone can enlighten me. Thanks

  • Jeremy Says

    The reason I posted my previous question is because I across this statement in one of the website:

    - Directive 2004/38/EC applies to Citizens of an EU or EEA member state who visit, live, study or work in a different member state. If a citizen is living in their home EU member state and has not worked in other EU member state, then this Directive does not apply. All movement of non-EU family members into the home state is governed by national law.

    If the EU citizen is living and working in her home country but wants to “travel” to other EU member state for tourism only, can her non EU spouse apply visa under this directive to travel with the EU national? Thanks again.

  • Azz Says

    hey Ashray And Zara, my wife is from Poland but right now she is with me in Pakistan and we both are looking forward to exercise our right to free movement so we decided to apply for Belgium embassy but while filling form Belgium schengen form

    visa type c 90 DAYS , but we are stucked in point 21 main purpose of journey

    options are available , what option should we select ?

    . adoption
    . board the ship
    . commercial ( with invitation)
    . commercial event trade fair
    . confederence
    . cultural artisitc
    . family reunion LUX and eu national
    . family visit
    . humanitarian
    . medical
    . official politcial
    . private inviation
    . religious activity
    . professioanl
    . research
    . return annex 35
    . return cire/ci lost <3 months
    . sporting
    . tourism
    . trainee
    . transit
    . visa for cohabition
    . visa with a view to marriage

    i thought it will be OTHERS, so we select others options and write family member of EU national but Belgium embassy dont have such option what should we do ?

    • Ashray Says

      The option you need is here: family reunion LUX and eu national

      • Azz Says

        but dont you think this option is for the couple whose one partner is already residing in belgium and other is in third world country ? please correct me if i am wrong i think family reunification is for eu national who is already living and working in another eu country ???

        (family reunion LUX and eu national)

        • Ashray Says

          It doesn’t matter if your partner is already there or not. In any case, you should direct your questions to the Belgian embassy since they can guide you better.

  • Maria Says

    Hi Zara and Ashray!

    Wow finding your blog today is really a MIRACLE to me. I was freaking out a bit because of our situation:

    My husband is a Spanish national and I am a Filipina. We got married in Sydney Australia last year. However, we weren’t able to register our marriage at the consulate there. I’m currently in Los Angeles as I’m a green card holder and my husband just left for Madrid. I am meant to join him in the next month or so. My visa appointment is this coming Monday and I already have an apostilled marriage certificate that we got from the Australian consulate here in LA. However, when I spoke to the consulate on the phone yesterday, they told me that since our marriage was not registered in Sydney, I cannot apply as a spouse and I need to apply with the regular tourist Schengen visa.

    Do you think I can apply with the EU directive you attached in your article even if our marriage isn’t registered at the consulate? I have the apostilled marriage certificate and all the other documents you mentioned above (I will also get a medical insurance since it’s quite easy to do so anyway.)

    Thank you so much for your helpful article and I hope to hear from you guys!


    • Ashray Says

      Hi Maria

      They cannot legally place such a requirement but honestly, consulates often do whatever they feel like. What they probably mean is that the marriage should be registered in your husband’s Spanish record. You can always ask them to register it first and if it’s not possible to do so in a timely manner, they should still issue the visa under the EU directive as you’re still his spouse.

      The rules are in your favour but it’s upto the consulate to follow them. Also, since you are going to Spain, technically national rules apply to you so they have much more power over this type of case. It would be easier to apply under the EU directive if you and your husband were to meet or travel in a different EU country (as EU free movement rights would then apply) and go to Spain as well as a part of that trip.

      • Maria Says

        Thanks so much for your response, Ashray! I appreciate it very much! Unfortunately time does not permit us to have our marriage registered first. It’s honestly a logistical nightmare with appointment schedules and all that!

        I am actually prepared to submit the requirements for a tourist Schengen visa except for the bank statements. As we have been just recently relocated from Sydney, to 3 months in LA to Madrid, we do not have any consecutive bank statements (we just kept cash in LA). I can provide pay stubs from my current employer here in LA. Do you think the lack of bank statements will get my application rejected? Will the presentation of our apostilled marriage certificate somehow make up for the lack of bank statements?

        I also wanted to ask about what you meant regarding passing through another country first. Do you mean that if I apply for a Schengen visa directly from the Spanish consulate, they can ask me for all these extra requirements (bank statements, hotel, flight, etc). but if I apply for a Schengen visa to Portugal or France they will only ask for our marriage certificate at the consulate? If so, is there a “prescribed” time I have to stay in Portugal or France or can we just stay there for around 5 days then head to Madrid?

        Thank you so much in advance and I’m so sorry I have so many questions!!! :D

        • Ashray Says

          Yes, because if you visit any other EU country with your spouse then your visit there would fall under the EU free movement directive. There are rules about “main destinations” for tourists to determine which country they should apply for their visa to. For spouses/family members there are no such requirements. To be honest, the Spanish consulate is just being difficult. They shouldn’t impose any of these requirements on you as it is even against Spanish law but it’s very difficult with consulates sometimes and for you to convince them without your spouse over there is going to be extremely challenging.

          If you were to apply for your visa with the French consulate, it should be fairly straightforward. Go through the visa wizard here and see what you need to submit – it’s not really a lot:

          Also, the visa should be free and should be issued very quickly. You can stay in France or Portugal for as long as you want and then go to Madrid or anywhere else in the EU that you please (as long as it is with your spouse). That’s what the law says.

          For the purpose of applying though it’s best that you present France or Portugal as your destination as it would make the process smoother for you. Do however make sure that your spouse will be there with you.

          • Maria Says

            Thanks so much for your very detailed response! Can’t tell you how much I appreciate it!

            Yes I agree they are being difficult. And I consulted with a few lawyers a few months ago and they all said that I shouldn’t need to supply all those documents either and it should be fairly easy for me to apply since I have an apostilled marriage certificate. But the lady I spoke with on the phone was actually really really nice. She was trying her best to help me and said that even if I cannot apply for the national one-time entry visa for Spain, she said “but we will give you a tourist visa.” Of course, I’m sure it is not up to her and I will still have to submit my documents anyway.

            My appointment is on Monday I will still go just in case. I guess it won’t hurt. If they do not accept my application due to lack of requirements, I will try with the French consulate. I’ve already made my appointment with them French consulate on the 13th of April (Thanks for the advice on that by the way!!). However I did go through the visa wizaard and it gave me the same requirements as the Spanish consulate — with hotel and flight reservations and bank statements. Is it possible that the rules have changed? Maybe I will send them an email and ask them about this! If I do go this route, I was wondering if I am granted the visa and already have it in my hands, do I actually have to go to France? If I already have the schengen visa in my passport, can I just go straight to Spain? Of course I would looooove to visit France but it’s just an unexpected trip to France is not in our plans.

            Thanks again Ashray! :)

          • Ashray Says

            I don’t know what you did on the French wizard but if you put Your Plans as Visiting Family and Friends and then Main Purpose of Stay – Private visit – Family of Swiss/EU/EEA national it does not ask you for any additional documents. I think you’re doing the wizard wrong.

            None of those documents (bank statements, etc.) are required for family members so if they treat your case as a spouse at the Spanish consulate then they are not allowed to ask for those additional documents. If they treat your case as a regular tourist, then they are.

            Please read the guide to directive 2004/38/EC published by the European Commission linked in the above article. It explains everything you do or don’t need in great detail.

          • Maria Says

            Oh I just noticed on the Spanish application form for the Schengen visa, it says that family members of EU citizens do not need to fill out the portions with occupation, invitation, cost of traveling and living during the applicant’s visit (where you indicate how you’ll be paying for your expenses during your trip and your means of support. this portion also includes prepaid accommodation and prepaid passport).

            If I am exempt from filling out these parts of the form, does that mean that they will be lenient with the documents required? Fingers crossed!!!!

          • Maria Says

            Hi Ashray!

            You are totally right! I was doing it wrong. I was putting Tourist!! But when I did Private Tour with Family it shows I don’t need those requirements! How awesome is that!

            I will definitely try this route if my appointment on Monday does not go well. Do you think after my I get my visa from the French consulate I can just go straight to Spain? Or does it state somewhere on the visa that it is for France?

            Thanks again Ashray! You’ve beena awesome help!

  • Abdul Says

    Thank you for your post. Very helpful. A question to you, I hope you will answer.

    I am Indian national, my wife is Dutch.

    If I apply for schengen visa using my wife’s passport and marriage certificate to accompany her in Germany, will it say wordings like ” to accompany or to join xxx ” in the visa?

    Thanks in advance.

  • Abdul Says

    Reason for asking is as the visa will be given for 6 months. If there is no special wordings in the visa like to accompany or to join, then I can use the same visa to travel just by myself too. Right?

  • Modo Says

    Please help im egyptian my wife greek our marriage registration in greece and our family book so we went togther in greek embassey in Egypt and they told us they could not give me visa they want my wife to live here for 1 year in egypt to prove marriage???????? They told us that but i dont they say the truth what i should do please we are in really bad stiuation she have been in egypt 3 times

  • Abdul Says

    Thank you for your post. Very helpful. A question to you, I hope you will answer.

    I am Indian national, my wife is Dutch.

    If I apply for schengen visa using my wife’s passport and marriage certificate to accompany her in Germany, will it say wordings like ” to accompany or to join xxx ” in the visa?

    Reason for asking is as the visa will be given for 6 months. If there is no special wordings in the visa like to accompany or to join, then I can use the same visa to travel just by myself too. Right?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Ashray Says

      It depends. Some embassies do issue the visa with that wording. But you can essentially travel by yourself if she’s in Germany and you are on your way there.

  • Sohail Says

    Hi Ashray!!
    If an applicant is non EU and German Husband is UUNEMPLOYED. Does it have negative effect if non EU applicant apply for UK visa to join him?


  • alex Says

    Hello Ashray

    I am from Cameroon and my wife is a French National, we got wed in the UK some 13 years ago. She lives between France and Cameroon, we plan to meet in Spain or Portugal for 10 days holiday in June, my question is, what kind of document can I submit to the embassy to prove that I am going to join her in Spain for example assuming I m already falling into the directive 2004/38/EC category.
    Can you advised please
    with regards

    • Ashray Says

      Usually they’d ask for your tickets and hers. But it could also just be a letter from her stating that you are joining her. It really depends on the embassy.

      • alex Says

        hello Ashray,
        Please can you help with a sample of a letter that should be written by the EU partner in the process of a Shengen visa application based on the 2004/38/EC directive? Just to have an idea of what a such letter should contain. Thanks for your advice.
        With regards

        • Ashray Says

          Hi Alex

          Just a letter saying that you’re a family member and visiting your partner. There’s no specific format.

  • vanessa Says

    hello Zara and ashray
    i currently live in Ireland and i am a nigerian national and i plan to travel to Portugal soon with my family which are all EU nationals including my mum and i was wondering if i have to pay for a schengen visa to go to portugal?


  • Roger W Says

    Do you happen to know if, in practice, the Spouse of EU citizen rights are still being applied THIS YEAR (2018) if the EU citizen is British? Thanks

  • alex Says

    Hello there

    In a visa application process to spain from Cameroon as a EU family member, I have been ask to provide a ‘Proof of Economic Dependence for Ascendants and Descendants Over 21′, does that ring a bell to someone here?
    kindly help please
    with regards

  • Tanvir Says

    I am Tanvir from India, I am working as a Sports Instructor in (Saudi Arabia) I applied visitor visa of Norway to visit my wife, even I provided them most of documents but embassy denied with two reasons.
    1) “justification for the purpose and the conditions of the intended stay was not provided
    2) Your intention to leave the territory of the Member States before the expiry of the visa applied for could not be ascertained

    So i want to ask that is there any solution for it they said we can appeal in 21 days. Is there any suggestion for appeal.

  • Hubert Says

    I am a German citizen and I invited my wife for a vacation as she is currently residing in Singapore. She is a Filipino, working and living in Singapore and we got married there last year. Since majority of our trip will be in Belgium, we applied her visit visa at the Belgium embassy. We applied for a 90 days visit visa. We completed all the required documents and filed out the form and the lady told her she will have to come back after 5 days to get her passport back. She didnt pay any visa fee and we are both aware about the Free Movement policy of the EU so some sections of the form we didnt fill out. Same day in that afternoon, she received an email telling her that her visa will not be ready in 5 days and that it was submitted to the Immigration Office and would take 8 weeks to have a result. My questions: 1. For a spouse of a EU citizen, why would it take 8 weeks for her visa to get processed? Is it usually that long and was there any basis to it? 2. Is it possible to pull out her visa application and applied in another schengen member state? 3. Can my wife question the 8 weeks timeframe? 4. I intend to meet her at the airport when she travels, does the Free Movement or the EI directive only applicable if I will join her from Singapore to Belgium? Or it is also applicable even I only have to meet her at the airport? We did not expect this longer time frame to be given as we knew it will only take her a week to get a visa. In the past, we applied her visa at the German embassy without any problem. Hoping for your helpful suggestion. Thank you.

    • Ashray Says

      Yes, she can question the timeframe because spouses are entitled to an accelerated procedure and 8 weeks seems quite unfair. You should follow up with the embassy and make them aware of the directive and it’s provisions. And yes, the directive still applies if she is joining you somewhere.

      • Hubert Says

        Hello Ashray, I cannot thank you enough for being so informative! You are really appreciated. Today Solvit managed to answer our email and your answer and their answer are just the same and we are now going to proceed to ask the embassy about this unacceptable lead time. Many thanks and I will update this post once I get more details that might also be helpful to the rest. Regards, Hub

        • N/A Says

          Hello guys. Just to update you my wife’s application at tHE BELGIUM Embassy. I was told that the EU DIRECTIVE is only applicable when the EU spouse is a working resident currently living in Belgium. I am german and I live in Germany so my wife was told she cannot apply for this EU DIRECTIVE because that only works if I am working and livinv currently in Belgium.

          We applied in Belgium because I intend to meet my wife there for our 2months vacation and we do not have plan to go to Germany this time but they still asked us to apply her visa in Germany.

          So we ended up applying for her visa in Germany. It is now approved valid for a max of 90days.

  • Azz Brown Says

    hey there , i would like to know what steps should we take , im a pakistani national my wife is polish national we applied for netherland visa in that visa my wife stated in his application that as an eu national she is going to search job there then her planned changed and now we are living in pakistan and one week before we applied for german visa again we got same refusal which we got from netherland embassy

    refusal are

    intention to leave
    jsutification for the purpose

    i know these two refusals are illegal under directive but these folks are not treating our application under directive they r treating it under tourist because these refusals are for tourist visa

    what steps we can take ?

  • alex Says

    hello there
    Can someone advise on how to write the letter that should be written by the EU national to enable the non EU national to apply for a visa under the free movement directive? who should it addressed to ? The non EU national or the embassy? Any chance I can have a look at a sample?
    Thanks a lot

  • melisa Says

    hello,can someone help me out,
    i am of Cameroon nationality and i am married to a man from Spain but we got married here in Cameroon,
    now i want to travel to Spain and i possibly want to apply for a Schengen visa and the embassy required me to provide them with a bank statement,
    i wish to know if the bank statement should be provided by a bank here is cameroon

  • Lincolin Ondino Says

    If your man from spain has invited you then they can give you their bank statement as your sponsor. But if you have enough money in your own account you can use yours

  • Frank opoku Says

    I am a Ghanaian and my spouse is a British. I am applying for a schengen visa to accompany my EU citizen spouse to exercise her treaty rights to stay and work in the Netherlands. On the schengen visa form, question 25 ask, duration of the intended stay or transit. Indicate number of days.

    My question is, what should I write there, 90days or should say not applicable?

    And question 29 ask intended date of arrival in th e schengen area. I believe this is about the date we intend to travel to the Netherlands.
    Now my other challenge is, question 30 ask, intended date of departure from the schengen area. What should I write there, should I calculate 90days from the intended date of entering the Netherlands or should just say, not applicable?

    Please, you help will be much appreciated. Thanks

    • Ashray Says

      Just put 90. And then 90 days hence as your date of departure. It doesn’t matter since you’ll have to apply for a residence card once you are in the Netherlands.

  • kwasi Says

    I applied for a schengen visa to accomapny my eu spouse who is a British to exercise her treaty right of free movement to malta through the Italian embassy in Ghana. I provided all the documents under the directives, but the refused to give me the visa. Their reason of refusal was “your intention to leave the territory of the Member States before the expiry of the visa could not be ascertained”

    I am confused, I thought I am accompanying my eu spouse, what may mske they refuse me on this grounds?

    Because of this refusal,we will like to apply through the Netherlands embassy to go to Netherlands, do we have to state that we were refused by the Italian embassy and state the reason of refusal? And if we have to, what do we tell the Netherlands embassy as solution to that refusal?

    • Ashray Says

      You can tell them that the application was not processed under the correct regulation. Since your visa should be processed under Directive 2004/38/EC which allows for free movement of spouses of EU nationals.

  • N/A Says

    Hello guys. Just to update you my wife’s application at tHE BELGIUM Embassy. I was told that the EU DIRECTIVE is only applicable when the EU spouse is a working resident currently living in Belgium. I am german and I live in Germany so my wife was told she cannot apply for this EU DIRECTIVE because that only works if I am working and livinv currently in Belgium.

    We applied in Belgium because I intend to meet my wife there for our 2months vacation and we do not have plan to go to Germany this time but they still asked us to apply her visa in Germany.

    So we ended up applying for her visa in Germany. It is now approved valid for a max of 90days.

  • Melissa Lange Says

    Hi guys! Thank you for all the info. I’m wondering if you could help clarify something for me. I’m American and my husband is Italian. We got married in Italy. I stayed 90 days for the summer and then we came to the US. We are meant to go to China for a job I have there but the process is taking longer than expected so we might have to return to Italy as he will be close to his exit date. If we are married (have the marriage certificate in Italian), do I need to apply for this visa? I would like to add that we might have to go back earlier than my 90 days out would be up. Thank you thank you in advance!


    Hello Guys :

    Need your suggestion regards to situation:
    applied schengen visa for non eu spouse (indian ) of eu national (romanian)but visa got rejected, and said as on basis guilty of evading the law to get visa and stay in the area.and marriage to be marriage of convenience and not genuine.
    what and how can be proceed furthur.

    Thanks in Advance.

  • Kapil Says

    Amazing place to share and gain information. Best Wishes to Zara & Ash

    My query is with regards to the family reunification visa for Austria.

    I, Kapil Sharma (Indian National, male 32 years old) resident in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from last 8 years.
    Last year on October 19, 2018, I got married to my current wife Monika Avramidu (Greek National, Female 31 years old) resident in Germany from last 4 years.

    We got married in Denmark on 19 October 2018 and we want to move to Austria and settle there. We would greatly appreciate if you could share any info about this. We would like to know if we can both move to Austria together or first my wife has to move and then I have to apply from Dubai, UAE?

    Also, my wife has her residence (registered) in Germany from last 4 years, will she have to cancel her current residence card issued in Germany in order to permanently move to Austria?

    We have been trying to search all over the internet including the Austrian Immigration website but still we do not have a solid answer.

    Any help from your end is highly appreciated.
    Best Regards,
    Kapil & Monika

    • Linc Says

      Have you read Directive 2004/38/EC which allows for free movement within EU

      • Kapil Says

        Dear Linc

        Thanks for your response.
        I have visited the link shared by you. Thanks for sharing.
        Although, I am still confused about few things.

        For example, there is no information of cancelling the residence permit from one EU country while moving to another.
        Also, for my wife to sponsor me, how much money would she need to have in her bank account as she will be unemployed in Austria.

        I would greatly appreciate any info on these two topics.


        • Linc Says

          When I read the directive 3 years ago while in my home country (Kenya). I followed everything in there and trust me everything you need to know is stated there, sometimes we worry too much.

          My wife is from Holland and we got married there, she didn’t have a job she was living on government support. We moved to Belgium with less than €2500 in our account.

          I had applied for a 90 days visa for Holland and I booked one way ticket, at the airport when they asked me why I had one way ticket i said I had come for my wedding and that we had honeymoon plans which we were yet to decide.

          I lived in Holland for 60 days. In the meantime we were looking for a house in Belgium.which we found and immediately moved.

          An EU citizen has a right of free movement, and so does their family member. They have to register as a job seeker, student, self employed or self sufficient.

          My wife registered her self as a self employed in Antwerp Belgium. She also informed her municipality in Holland that she is moving.

          In less than a month she got her residence permit and 2 weeks later I had a temporary one for 6 months.

          I looked for a job with my temporary permit which is also a right you have as a family member of an Eu citizen no work permit is needed.

          6 months later I got my 5 years permit and the process was smooth.

          Europe respects the law as long as you fall within the box your covered.

          Good luck and feel free to ask more info.

        • Linc Says

          I have to add the reason why my wife registered as a self employed is because she didn’t have to state how much she makes. But in Belgium if you make €1400 a month its considered enough.

          • Kapil Says

            Dear Linc

            Greatly appreciate & thanks again for taking the time and replying with such detailed information.

            Shall, definitely look into the directive again.
            You rightly said that sometimes we worry too much and it is because of our worries the problems start to appear much more difficult than they really are.

            Since I will be travelling to Germany in the month of May, 2019 and that’s when we are planning to move to Austria, I personally feel that your experience, knowledge and information can really help us to move forward and settle down.
            I am not sure whether exchanging contact details on this platform are allowed and whether you will be comfortable sharing your email/whatsapp/skype here. But I would still go ahead and request you to please add me, only if you think it is OK.

            Please excuse me if you think this is unethical/wrong or you just do not want to do so.

            Wish you and your partner all the best
            Kapil Sharma

          • Ashray Says

            Sorry Kapil, I had to remove your contact info from your message but Linc would have already received them since he is signed up for email notifications.

          • Kapil Says

            Dear Linc,

            Also, I would like to add that there are many more questions popping up in my head but I did not want to keep asking again and again even though I know that you are happy to help.
            Therefore, I thought of exchanging the contact details.

            Thank you & Best Regards,
            Kapil Sharma

  • Nima Says

    Dear Ashray and Zara,
    Thank you so much for the helpful article and all the answers. (two years after the original post)!
    I am Iranian and my gf is Italian. We lived in the Netherlands for six months as interns and now I am back in Iran but in a long distance relationship with her. She s still in the NL, and we were thinking of marriage but I am not sure if it is ok (legally) to get married in Iran? So, if she comes to Iran for marriage then how long after that can I go and live with her in the NL? Does she need to sponsor me? I don’t know the procedures. I highly appreciate your response.

  • Ahmed Says

    Im ahmed from Algeria my wife she if from czech Republic , we will traveling from Algeria to Russia but we will have transit 10 hours in Frankfurte during this time we want go out
    Me as eu family member under directive 2004/38ec i dont need visa , we must have original marriage certificate from czech and translate to German and stamp it an embassy

  • FC Says

    Hi guys,
    Thank you so much for this post. I am Portuguese and married to an Egyptian and we live outside the EU. My husband has had several (9 OR 10) Schengen visas to Portugal. However, lately the Portuguese Embassy refuses to accept his visa application and is forcing him to apply through VFS which has prevented us from spending holidays together for a couple of years. Is there any law supporting this? Does he not have the right to apply directly at the Embassy? Also you mention that Portuguese law is very much as Directive 2004/38/EC but they refuse to accept the visa appliation at the Embassy precisely based on the Portuguese Law (as we do not fall under the free of movement right since we want to spend holidays in Portugal, my home country).

  • Roger Wheeldon Says

    Many embassies/consulates now use VFS. They are a company employed by the consulates to pre-check visa application documents, to ensure all the documentary requirements have been met, and accept them on behalf of the consulates. It is important to understand that VFS then submit the documents to the respective consulates for a decision, they (VFS) in no way decide on the merits of the application whether to grant a visa or not. That is done, as always, by the consulates.
    So, don’t be put off by having to apply via VFS, your visa decision will be made by the consulate.
    (This commenter is not in any way involved with VFS, just I have had the (mis)fortune to need many visas, often via VFS!)

  • Matt Says

    Dear Ashray and Zara,
    Hope you guys could help me out with my question. So I have been living in Germany with my wife (she is a German) for the past 2 years. Alongside am also doing my masters program in one of the State Universities. I would like to travel with some of my course mates to Italy in August for a one week summer vacation. I have booked my palace tickets and everything but I am currently disturbed because I don’t know if I need an entry visa to enter into Italy or not because my wife will not be joining me.
    Thank you and hope to hear from you soon.


    • Roger Wheeldon Says

      Hi Matt,
      If you are studying in Germany, I take it you have a Schengen visa, most likely issued by Germany. In that case you will be travelling between Germany and Italy, two member countries of the “borderless Schengen area”. As such, there will be no border (ie passport) controls at all. If you are flying, there may be an ID check for check-in or boarding the flight, that is just to confirm that you are the same person as the named person on the ticket. If you are going by road, there will be no checks at all, even if you transit through Austria or Switzerland. (Switzerland, although not technically EU still allows free through transit. So relax! Of course take your passport with you, and maybe a copy of your wife’s ID for safety. By the way, you don’t mention your nationality.

      • Matt Says

        Thanks Roger :) Oh sorry am from Ghana.
        I also emailed the Italien consulate here in Germany-Frankfurt. And according to them, I don’t need a visa :)

    • Ashray Says

      You don’t need a visa for this trip.

  • OD Says

    Great article! I just got the following email, I replied pointing out I already provided more documents than I even needed to and they can’t require anything further from me as I will be exercising my rights to freedom of movement (married to a British citizen so can only do this until the 31st of October!).

    Normally I wouldn’t have fought this but I haven’t finalised my plans (may go to Spain in September and Germany in October instead of the other way around and may change the number of days etc) and didn’t really want to commit by booking non-refundable flights!

    Hopefully they don’t give me any more problems, but I am a bit concerned if I get issued a Schengen visa under these rights from Germany if I’ll have a problem if I change my mind about where I’m going and end up going to Spain instead, do you know if there are any hard and fast rules about this? (PS – I applied to Germany because I visit Germany a lot and have been there many times, last year they issued me a 5 month (as long as my insurance was valid) Multiple Entry visa from the same consulate and in my lifetime I have had at least 10 Schengen visas issued by Germany so I would find it odd if they gave me difficulties now!). Now I’m feeling like I should have just finalised my plans before applying for a visa and sucked up the fee as it seems almost easier than doing it this way.

    Good afternoon

    I hope this email finds you well.

    We are writing to inform you that the German Consulate General Edinburgh has requested you to provide the additional documents mentioned below to further process your recent Visa application:

    - The German Consulate require you to show us proof of booked flights to the city of stay, if you could provide us with the flight booking information as soon as possible thanks.

    You can provide the documents by replying directly to this email.
    Please do not hesitate to let me know should you have any further questions.

    Best regards,

    VisaMetric Helpdesk

    German Visa Application Centre

  • Roger Wheeldon Says

    In those circumstances, maybe one solution to consider is buying a fully flexible AND fully REFUNDABLE economy return ticket to Germany, to back up your visa application and then, if you change your plans – or want to buy a cheap flight – you can get the money back for the expensive economy ticket. Another solution: buy really cheap tickets, there and back, which you can “lose” if you change your travel plans. Roger.

  • Alireza Says

    first of all thank you for all details and sharings,helped to me and my wife a lot.
    i had an question if its i can get EU citizen family member card!?
    what is that exactly?

  • Hi im from the philippines and my husband is british
    We already get the C-visa for family reunification they give me 90 days to apply my residency there when im arrive in Portugal and also name of my husband is written on my visa i just want to know f the immigration will ask me my return ticket?thank you i hope you help me thank you so much

    • Ashray Says

      No the immigration won’t ask for it but it’s possible that the airline will trouble you before you board at your original airport. If that’s the case it’s best to book a refundable ticket to show them and then once you’ve reached Portugal just cancel the ticket.

  • peggy Says

    I am married to Italian and I have one daughter here in Italy. Both of them are Italians but I have not been given EU family card because when I applied for it. It took more than almost year and the address I used in applying we had to relocate because the condition of the house was not good for the baby I stayed there alone for almost 3 months and the local police did not show up. Few months later I went to check and they sent an email that they were there no one was at the address meanwhile we moved from that town and in a different town. I went to a lawyer if there was a way he could help transfer the documents to the new place so questura over there will continue but the news I got there is the type of document I’m expecting isn’t transferrable so I have to start the new application. Which they gave me appointment. The day reached and I was submitting my paper for a new process but the old application shows that I have a pending Resident so I have to cancel it so I went to centro straneiri but apparently they say it can’t be cancelled and I am just stuck and don’t know what to do. I want to leave everything behind and go to a different country as life here without work is difficult and I got a family to take care of at the moment my wife is not working as well..
    Incase I go to a different EU country will I be able to start all from there? I am just worried and Italian system is so annoying as no one will talk to you when you go to questura they will say you need appointment and at the moment I have an appointment in May as the new place questura is waiting for the cencelation but I’m tired of this just want to leave the country.. Can I travel to different EU country without no problem and in getting a new EU card over there if my wife works there for some months..
    Will be happy to get any suggestionsThank you 

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