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Old 23.04.2015, 08:38
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Travel Visa's for my non-EU Spouse

Good day,

I am a Swiss Citizen and can travel freely across the EU member states, I am currently living in Edinburgh with my wife (who only holds South African Citizenship).

She has a 3 year work Visa for UK. but we are looking to travel throughout the EU... Will she need to get a Shengen Visa to travel with me, or is there some way that she can travel without a visa (if she is travelling with me)?

Also, I will get through customs a lot faster with my Swiss Passport, will she need to stand in the non-EU passport line when entering EU countries?

I hope someone can help, thanks a lot
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Old 23.04.2015, 10:52
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Re: Travel Visa's for my non-EU Spouse

Yes she'll need a Schengen Visa and yes she'll need to go in the Non-EU passport queue... But once you are into schengen there are generally no checks between schengen countries, so she'll only have to queue once.
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Old 23.04.2015, 11:15
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Re: Travel Visa's for my non-EU Spouse

From my experience (over 5 years ago), if she takes your passport as well as a copy of your marriage license, she will get the VISA at no cost (as she is married to a Schengen passport holder).


To be honest, it is best to contact the country of your FINAL destination explaining the situation, they will be best placed to advise.


Good Luck!
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Old 23.04.2015, 11:17
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Re: Travel Visa's for my non-EU Spouse

Thank you for the feedback,

It's all very confusing, especially considering that Switzerland isn't officially EU and that the UK is not a Shengen Country.

There are certain websites that say that it may be possible if my wife has a residency card? See link below: (but I dont know how well it effects my current situation:

https://eumovement.wordpress.com/200...of-eu-citizen/
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Old 23.04.2015, 11:19
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Re: Travel Visa's for my non-EU Spouse

Contact the Swiss embassy in London, they will be able to tell you the exact situation.
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Old 23.04.2015, 12:07
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Re: Travel Visa's for my non-EU Spouse

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Thank you for the feedback,

It's all very confusing, especially considering that Switzerland isn't officially EU and that the UK is not a Shengen Country.

There are certain websites that say that it may be possible if my wife has a residency card? See link below: (but I dont know how well it effects my current situation:

https://eumovement.wordpress.com/200...of-eu-citizen/
The answer may depend in part on the type of UK visa/residence card that your wife has. You mentioned a three-year work visa, so it sounds like a visa issued to a non-EEA migrant under the UK's Immigration Rules rather than a residence card issued on the basis of her relationship to you under the European free movement regulations.

As the website you mentioned says, it seems that: "If the family member has a “Residence Card for a family member of an EU citizen”, then they do not require a visa" for travel to other parts of the EEA/Switzerland. [It also says, correctly, that "Only the UK does not implement this", though even in the UK there was a court decision recently that the British government must honour the free movement rights of non-EEA family members of EEA nationals holding residence cards issued by another EEA country.] But if what she has is a work visa rather than a residence card for the family member of a Swiss national, it looks to me like she might need a (free) Schengen visa as documentation of her free movement right to travel with you to the Schengen zone.

Alternatively, she could apply to UK Visas and Immigration for an EEA/Swiss family member residence card (using an unbelievably long and tedious form called the EEA (FM), and paying a £65 application fee, plus about £20 to have her fingerprints and photo taken). As far as I know, there is nothing to stop someone from holding and having documentation of UK residence rights under both the Immigration Rules (i.e., through a work visa) and the European regulations, though the new EEA (FM) application procedures require the applicant to submit with the application any existing Biometric Residence Permit (i.e., the work visa card) with his/her application, which I personally would be hesitant to do. All in all, it might be easiest just to get the Schengen visa for travel to the continent ...
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Old 23.04.2015, 12:09
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Re: Travel Visa's for my non-EU Spouse

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Will she need to get a Shengen Visa to travel with me, or is there some way that she can travel without a visa (if she is travelling with me)?
She does need a Schengen visa. It is easy to get and issued free of charge.

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Also, I will get through customs a lot faster with my Swiss Passport, will she need to stand in the non-EU passport line when entering EU countries?
According to the Schengen border code, the separate "EU/EEA/CH" lane can be used by all persons exercising the right of free movement, including your wife. This applies to Schengen countries, but I doubt the rule in the UK would be much different.

Given you only queue three times, it does not matter much.
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Old 23.04.2015, 12:17
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Re: Travel Visa's for my non-EU Spouse

Normally rule for non-EU requiring schengen visa is to contact embassy of the country where he/she will be traveling/staying maximum number of days.

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Contact the Swiss embassy in London, they will be able to tell you the exact situation.
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