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Garf66

Schengen Visa – REQUIRED OR NOT - for Thai Wife from the UK

23 posts in this topic

New nordic

Just wondering if anyone has experience of taking their Thai wife from the UK to Spain or similar.

 

I had originally been told that my wife would need a Visa to visit Spain for a week’s holiday but I believe this now to no longer be the case.  I am looking for confirmation from anyone with recent experience.

 

A bit of background is that my wife is a Thai national living in the UK on a spouse Visa.  She also has a biometric residency permit to stay in the UK which is valid until March 2019.  The BRP also states my name as her spouse.

 

I have emailed the Spanish Embassy to check this but got a short reply telling me to check their website for details.  I am booked to fly with Monarch Airways who have also said to check out the Spanish Embassy’s website.

 

The one sentence email I got from the Spanish Embassy was  -   “All EU passport holder can travel to Spain without Visa. Also if an applicant has BRP - BIOMETRICS RESIDENCE PERMIT CARD OR the Visa is endorsed in the passport which says (FAMILY MEMBER OF EU NATIONAL) and Travelling together, they do not need to apply for the Visa

 

To me that email from the embassy seems pretty clear cut and no Visa required.  However I am just worried about turning up at check-in or at Spanish customs and having problems.  It would be a great help if anyone could explain if they had any difficulties or if everything went OK or not.

 

Thanks in advance & thank you for your time,
Garf.

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One thing is certain, the Visa rules to get into the UK,for all foreigners, will be getting even tighter.

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I'm going through the same thing at the moment, the conclusion I've come to is that because my wifes BRP and spouse Visa don't contain the words "FAMILY MEMBER OF EU NATIONAL" then she will need a Spanish Visa.

:)

Rickyoz likes this

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A good option would be to contact your airline to check.

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There are two different laws on this, both from the EU and Spain.

 

Technically speaking, the EU says that if a Non EU has a residents card from a NOn Schengen country, they need to apply for a schengen Visa to enter the country. However, the same EU laws states that every EU citizen is allowed to enter freely with their family for up to 3 months.

 

 

Basically you should be OK, but take a copy of your marriage certificate with you because if you do not have a Visa and rely on Freedom of Movement treaty rights you need token proof that she is your wife. What is important that you both enter the EU Passport line even if such a thing exists at the airport you arrive at.

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ID: 6   Posted (edited) · Report post

I'm going through the same thing at the moment, the conclusion I've come to is that because my wifes BRP and spouse Visa don't contain the words "FAMILY MEMBER OF EU NATIONAL" then she will need a Spanish Visa. :)

 

Thank you Dave.  That is exactly the point i was worried about. Her spouse Visa says "Spouse/CP of G Smith" & BRP says "SPOUSE/PARTNER"  

 

So in effect it does say that she is the spouse of an EU National, just not the exact same wording.

 

The email from the Spanish embassy did say a BRP or an endorsed Visa, so the BRP card should be sufficient (I hope)!

Edited by Garf66

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You do but it should be free, issued within 15 days with the minimum of supporting documentation:

 

http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/entry-exit/non-eu-family/index_en.htm

 

Unfortunately the UK is not part of the "Border-free Schengen area" so this does not apply for me.

 

I have just managed to speak to the Spanish Embassy and was told that i do need a Visa for my wife to travel.  Next problem is 4 weeks to process the Visa after an appointment.  Next appointment is March 29th though & I travel on April 10th.

 

Premium service & I might get an appointment next week for an extra £60 on top of the Visa fee of £62.  I live in Manchester & have to travel to Edinburgh for the appointment too.

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The link I posted gives information about non-Schengen countries (like the UK) as well as Schengen ones. I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that the info the Spanish embassy has given you is incorrect. If I was you I'd go back to them, if that doesn't work try the Eu assistance services in this link (gives some more examples):

 

http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/entry-exit/non-eu-family/faq/index_en.htm

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I've booked an appointment for the wife's Visa and told them tourist Visa so we'll see.

If she does fall under the EU non Visa thing then I can't see a problem, just an hour up the road for the appointment.

:)

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A good option would be to contact your airline to check.

 

Had a couple of emails with Monarch and basically they were not sure of the rules and said to contact the Spanish Embassy.  Got the impression they would let her on the plane in Manchester & then it would be up to the Spanish customs when we got there.

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The link I posted gives information about non-Schengen countries (like the UK) as well as Schengen ones. I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that the info the Spanish embassy has given you is incorrect. If I was you I'd go back to them, if that doesn't work try the Eu assistance services in this link (gives some more examples): http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/entry-exit/non-eu-family/faq/index_en.htm

 

I have emailed a copy of her Visa & BRP to blsspainvisa and they have replied saying that we do need a Visa.  Also spoke to them on the phone & they confirmed this.  Why they didn't say this when I first emailed them over a month ago i do not know!

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I've booked an appointment for the wife's Visa and told them tourist Visa so we'll see. If she does fall under the EU non Visa thing then I can't see a problem, just an hour up the road for the appointment. :)

 

Good luck with that Dave, sure you will be fine.  I am now awaiting an appointment for hopefully this coming week via the premium service.  Otherwise as i travel in 5 weeks it will be too late & I will have to cancel the trip!

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ID: 15   Posted (edited) · Report post

So lets try again. Are you travelling with her? If so, regardless of her Visa for the UK, if you can prove at the Spanish border that she is your wife (wedding certificate, translated to English if foreign), she can enter with no Visa. This is sacrosanct under Freedom of Movement Treaty rights. If she was traveling alone then she would need the Schenghen Visa. Don't know why you are ignoring my input, but I am right in the middle of surrinder singh route and there is NOTHING I do not know about UK and EU Visas, immigration, treaty rights etc etc etc because I've been pissing about with them for a year.

 

European Parliament and Council Directive 2004/38/EC of 29 April 2004 

 

Who is covered by Directive 2004/38/EC?

 

  • The EU citizen’s direct family members, including their non-EU spouse and the spouse’s direct family members (such as children)

 

(Provably be your wife - so take wedding cert translated). 

 

Who is NOT covered by Directive 2004/38/EC?

  •  
  • Citizens of non-EEA countries who are not travelling with or joining family members who are EU/EEA citizen.

(So she needs to travel with you). 

 

 

 

Things to be aware of

 

  • Family members must be travelling with or joining the EU citizen, in which case they have the same free movement rights as the EU citizen.  They do not, in general, have an independent right of free movement to new place

 

 

 

So although you might be told she needs a Schengen Visa, which under schengen rules she does, under treaty rights rules she does not. So you are quite entitled to go there, and if challenged at the border, slap your passport down and wedding cert, say you are exercising freedom of movement treaty rights and they have to let her in. 

Edited by pseudolus
Garf66 likes this

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So lets try again. Are you travelling with her? If so, regardless of her Visa for the UK, if you can prove at the Spanish border that she is your wife (wedding certificate, translated to English if foreign), she can enter with no Visa. This is sacrosanct under Freedom of Movement Treaty rights. If she was traveling alone then she would need the Schenghen Visa. Don't know why you are ignoring my input, but I am right in the middle of surrinder singh route and there is NOTHING I do not know about UK and EU Visas, immigration, treaty rights etc etc etc because I've been pissing about with them for a year.

 

European Parliament and Council Directive 2004/38/EC of 29 April 2004 

 

Who is covered by Directive 2004/38/EC?

 

  • The EU citizen’s direct family members, including their non-EU spouse and the spouse’s direct family members (such as children)

 

(Provably be your wife - so take wedding cert translated). 

 

Who is NOT covered by Directive 2004/38/EC?

  •  
  • Citizens of non-EEA countries who are not travelling with or joining family members who are EU/EEA citizen.

(So she needs to travel with you). 

 

 

 

Things to be aware of

 

  • Family members must be travelling with or joining the EU citizen, in which case they have the same free movement rights as the EU citizen.  They do not, in general, have an independent right of free movement to new place

 

 

 

So although you might be told she needs a Schengen Visa, which under schengen rules she does, under treaty rights rules she does not. So you are quite entitled to go there, and if challenged at the border, slap your passport down and wedding cert, say you are exercising freedom of movement treaty rights and they have to let her in. 

 

Hi there, I am certainly not ignoring your posts and i do thank you for both your time & effort.

 

Every time I read the instructions on the embassy site i am more sure that I do not need a Visa.  The Spanish Embassy even sent me a Visa application form which contains the following statement :

 

Family members of EU/EEA/Spanish national

Under Directive 2004/38/EC and according to Real Decreto 240/2007, 16 February, family members of an EU/EEA national in possession of a valid UK Residence Card specifying its condition as a family member do not require a Visa to enter Spain when travelling with the EU/EEA National or joining him/her in Spain. Otherwise, a Visa will be still required (Real Decreto 1161/2009, 10th July 2009). For spouses or children of Spanish Nationals the above condition applies provided that the marriage or birth is registered according with the Spanish Civil Register (original Libro de Familia).

 

Please note, that the UK Residence Permit must state literally that the holder is a family member of an EU/EEA National. If not, a Visa is required under the following conditions:

Original documents and photocopies must be provided at the time of application. Please note that you will not be able to change the dates once the Visa is issued. The Visa processing time from the day the application arrives at the Consulate

 

I thought I was fine & the only debatable point is "must state literally that the holder is a family member of an EU/EEA National" The wife's permit simply says spouse/partner and not family member although to me, it adds up to the same thing.  However, I would be worried arguing the case at a customs point on arrival even though I believe I would be right.

 

If time allows I will try for the tourist Visa as I would be secure in mind when travelling.

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So lets try again. Are you travelling with her? If so, regardless of her Visa for the UK, if you can prove at the Spanish border that she is your wife (wedding certificate, translated to English if foreign), she can enter with no Visa. This is sacrosanct under Freedom of Movement Treaty rights. If she was traveling alone then she would need the Schenghen Visa. Don't know why you are ignoring my input, but I am right in the middle of surrinder singh route and there is NOTHING I do not know about UK and EU Visas, immigration, treaty rights etc etc etc because I've been pissing about with them for a year.

 

European Parliament and Council Directive 2004/38/EC of 29 April 2004 

 

Who is covered by Directive 2004/38/EC?

 

  • The EU citizen’s direct family members, including their non-EU spouse and the spouse’s direct family members (such as children)

 

(Provably be your wife - so take wedding cert translated). 

 

Who is NOT covered by Directive 2004/38/EC?

  •  
  • Citizens of non-EEA countries who are not travelling with or joining family members who are EU/EEA citizen.

(So she needs to travel with you). 

 

 

 

Things to be aware of

 

  • Family members must be travelling with or joining the EU citizen, in which case they have the same free movement rights as the EU citizen.  They do not, in general, have an independent right of free movement to new place

 

 

 

So although you might be told she needs a Schengen Visa, which under schengen rules she does, under treaty rights rules she does not. So you are quite entitled to go there, and if challenged at the border, slap your passport down and wedding cert, say you are exercising freedom of movement treaty rights and they have to let her in. 

 

Thanks again mate for your assistance.  I will add that i have had our marriage certificate translated into English this week already in case I need to use it.

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Hi there, I am certainly not ignoring your posts and i do thank you for both your time & effort.

 

Every time I read the instructions on the embassy site i am more sure that I do not need a Visa.  The Spanish Embassy even sent me a Visa application form which contains the following statement :

 

Family members of EU/EEA/Spanish national

Under Directive 2004/38/EC and according to Real Decreto 240/2007, 16 February, family members of an EU/EEA national in possession of a valid UK Residence Card specifying its condition as a family member do not require a Visa to enter Spain when travelling with the EU/EEA National or joining him/her in Spain. Otherwise, a Visa will be still required (Real Decreto 1161/2009, 10th July 2009). For spouses or children of Spanish Nationals the above condition applies provided that the marriage or birth is registered according with the Spanish Civil Register (original Libro de Familia).

 

Please note, that the UK Residence Permit must state literally that the holder is a family member of an EU/EEA National. If not, a Visa is required under the following conditions:

Original documents and photocopies must be provided at the time of application. Please note that you will not be able to change the dates once the Visa is issued. The Visa processing time from the day the application arrives at the Consulate

 

I thought I was fine & the only debatable point is "must state literally that the holder is a family member of an EU/EEA National" The wife's permit simply says spouse/partner and not family member although to me, it adds up to the same thing.  However, I would be worried arguing the case at a customs point on arrival even though I believe I would be right.

 

If time allows I will try for the tourist Visa as I would be secure in mind when travelling.

Thats the problem part in blue.

My wifes Visa and BRP don't state that.

:)

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Good luck with that Dave, sure you will be fine.  I am now awaiting an appointment for hopefully this coming week via the premium service.  Otherwise as i travel in 5 weeks it will be too late & I will have to cancel the trip!

Cheers mate. :)

 

I hope so as I've paid for the holiday in full.

Good in a way as I have proof of the whole trip to show them, can't see a reason why she would be refused.

:)

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ID: 20   Posted (edited) · Report post

Spouse is a Family Member by definition of EU law.

 

You would never argue with Customs as they are not involved with the Border. You would state the facts of EU law to a bunch of feckless spanish border guards and immigration who couldn't give a stuff anyway. 

 

They will not even stop you, but if they do, her Visa saying Spouse means she is your family member. Wedding cert and job done. 

 

Stress not - go have fun.

Edited by pseudolus

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Garf I'm much the same situation as you only my wife is Filipino and we lost a holiday when she came her I had booked to Barcelona and day before was told she needs a Visa to get on not hard to get just enclose your details and photo copys of your tickets and spouses Visa and details of hotels plus insurance in case she has to be flown home I got mine in a week the form is download able from the net hope this helps I finally got to Costa del sold or 2 weeks after loosing the Barcelona holiday and no refund .

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It is easy to get the Visa but a right pain as you have to submit the paperwork in person at the vfs Visa application office. Which is London for us from the south west. The French let you do it by post but not the Spanish. 

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Went today for my wife's appointment.
As her brp didn't have the exact wording I applied under the tourist Visa rules and showed bank accounts and wage slips.
They didn't even look at most of our paperwork and just asked where I was from and whether we were travelling together.
They kept all her previous passports and took her biometrics.
Cost was 30 quid all in including their fee and special delivery postage for them to send the passports back.
:)


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