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Schengen confusion

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PTP
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Schengen confusion

Post by PTP » Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:32 pm

I am a British citizen and my non-EU wife is with me in the UK on a Spouse visa and we are planning to go to Greece together for a week in August. I've read many posts on the forum about Schengen but am still somewhat confused about requirements. She does not have a UK Residence Permit, only the Entry Clearance visa in her passport which names me as her spouse.

My questions are:
1. Does she need a visa at all? (I'm pretty sure she does for reasons of practicality if not legality.)
2. If she does, can she apply as a Family member?
2. Does she need an appointment?

My uncertainty over these questions is based on the wording of certain comments on the Greek website . They state that,

"FAMILY MEMBERS OF EU/EEA/CH NATIONALS DO NOT NEED AN APPOINTMENT IN ORDER TO APPLY FOR A SCHENGEN VISA"

but then, in the documents required for Family Members, they ask for,

"Original passport (with a valid UK residence permit) and the passport of the EU citizen."

Obviously she is a family member of an EU citizen, but without the residence permit, can she apply as one?

Thanks all for any advice you can give.



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mrlookforward
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Post by mrlookforward » Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:31 am

My questions are:
1. Does she need a visa at all? (I'm pretty sure she does for reasons of practicality if not legality.)
You have got this right.

2. If she does, can she apply as a Family member?
She applies as spouse of an eu citizen.

2. Does she need an appointment?
Check with the greek embassy.

My uncertainty over these questions is based on the wording of certain comments on the Greek website . They state that,

"FAMILY MEMBERS OF EU/EEA/CH NATIONALS DO NOT NEED AN APPOINTMENT IN ORDER TO APPLY FOR A SCHENGEN VISA"

but then, in the documents required for Family Members, they ask for,

"Original passport (with a valid UK residence permit) and the passport of the EU citizen."

Obviously she is a family member of an EU citizen, but without the residence permit, can she apply as one?
You are worrying about something that you dont need to worry about, kind of paranoid I would say. Trying to dig 100 feet when you actually just need to dig 10 feet. You just need both your passports, marriage certificate and thier form and photo etc. ( I am not sure if health insurance is required, but it would be clearly mentioned on the greek embassy website if its required).

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Post by Wanderer » Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:37 am

I don't think she can apply as a Family Member since she is not here under EU immigration rules.
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Post by PTP » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:10 am

And this is where my 'paranoia' stems from. Unclear rules where everyone seems to have a different opinion.

Thanks to both for replying. I'll try with the EU family member route and hope for the best.

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Post by Wanderer » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:44 am

PTP wrote:And this is where my 'paranoia' stems from. Unclear rules where everyone seems to have a different opinion.

Thanks to both for replying. I'll try with the EU family member route and hope for the best.
I don't think that would be correct - I think she needs to apply for Schengen visa as a spouse of a British National - ie on UK immigration route. The Family Member quotes relate to those under EEA immigration rules - ie those not living in their home state and are therefore unable to use national rules.

Unfortunately that means making an appointment at the Greek Consulate and a visit there.
An chéad stad eile Stáisiún Uí Chonghaile....

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Post by mrlookforward » Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:22 pm

Wanderer wrote:I don't think she can apply as a Family Member since she is not here under EU immigration rules.
With due respect wanderer, I dont know where you get your information from. There is no need for an applicant to be in UK on eea rules or anything like that. The only requirement is that applicant is married to a eea national, thats all, nothing else to it. Look at the schegen visa form carefully. My cousin has done a million trips to various eu countries and simply applied for visa with his wife's passport and marriage cert. Visa was free.

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Post by Casa » Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:11 pm

I agree with Wanderer. The application needs to be made as spouse of British National. There are separate rules for family members of EU citizens (here under EU regs, not UK law).
Most consulates require proof of Health Insurance.

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Post by Wanderer » Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:17 pm

mrlookforward wrote:
Wanderer wrote:I don't think she can apply as a Family Member since she is not here under EU immigration rules.
With due respect wanderer, I dont know where you get your information from. There is no need for an applicant to be in UK on eea rules or anything like that. The only requirement is that applicant is married to a eea national, thats all, nothing else to it. Look at the schegen visa form carefully. My cousin has done a million trips to various eu countries and simply applied for visa with his wife's passport and marriage cert. Visa was free.
Well I am on a bad run! Getting it wrong and getting stick off some humourless numpty on another thread, I must be on a triple-trough bio-rhythmically....
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Post by djb123 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 4:47 pm

Casa wrote:I agree with Wanderer. The application needs to be made as spouse of British National. There are separate rules for family members of EU citizens (here under EU regs, not UK law).
Most consulates require proof of Health Insurance.
I agree with mrlookforward... The application for a schengen short stay visa needs to be made as a family member of an European Union Citizen. Try following the process on for example the French Embassy's website.

If the family member was here under EU law then they probably wouldn't need to apply for a schengen visa, so it's usually only spouses or dependants of British citizens (on the UK immigration route..) who have to apply for schengen visas.

Heath insurance is not a requirement, though Embassies are happier if you have it.

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Post by mrlookforward » Thu Jun 17, 2010 4:52 pm

Casa wrote:I agree with Wanderer. The application needs to be made as spouse of British National. There are separate rules for family members of EU citizens (here under EU regs, not UK law).
Most consulates require proof of Health Insurance.
Can you please point out to any of the eea country's website or any shengen visa regs which says that there is a process of application as "spouse of British National".?
Well, there is no such application category.

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Post by Casa » Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:36 am

Spain insists on health insurance for the endurance of the stay.
"If the family member was here under EU law then they probably wouldn't need to apply for a schengen visa, so it's usually only spouses or dependants of British citizens (on the UK immigration route..) who have to apply for schengen visas."
British Citizen = British National unless we're 'splitting hairs' here.

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Post by Casa » Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:45 am

Regarding Schengen visa for France this may be of help.

"As per the current legislation, visa nationals must provide a travel insurance that also covers eventual costs of medical repatriation and emergency care with a minimum coverage of 30 000 Euros. This insurance must be valid within the entire Schengen area and cover the validity of the requested visa.
Please ensure that your insurance certificate clearly states your name as well as the policy cover dates.
Be advised that if you take out an insurance valid for 4 days, your visa will be of 4 days so it is advisable to take out an annual cover policy."

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Post by stmellon » Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:22 pm

Sorry Wanderer - you are wrong in this instance. Another classic case of RTFM - or more specifically, RTF Website.

http://www.greekembassy.org.uk/Consular ... fault.aspx
FAMILY MEMBERS OF EU/EEA/CH CITIZEN

A) For the family members of an EU/EEA/CH citizen the visa application procedure is simplified. The following people are defined as family members of an EU citizen:
The spouse;
The partner with whom the EU citizen has contracted a registered partnership, on the basis of the UK legislation.
The direct descendants who are under the age of 21 or are dependant, either of the spouse or partner; or the dependant direct relatives in the ascending line and those of the spouse or partner as defined above.
Please, Provide the original passport (with a valid UK residence permit) and the passport of the EU citizen.
B) Required documents
Original passport (with a valid UK residence permit) and the passport of the EU citizen.
Original certificate that proves the relationship of the applicant with the EU citizen (marriage certificate, other partnership certificate, birth certificate etc., please note that the marriage or the partnership needs to be registered with the competent authorities. Marriages between a Greek citizen and a third country national need to be registered with the relevant Municipality in Greece according to the Greek legislation). In case the marriage certificate has been issued from another country (other than the UK) an apostille stamp is needed or a validation from the relevant Embassy.
Proof that the applicant is accompanying the EU citizen or is going to join them (flight bookings or hotel accommodation or signed invitation etc).
I also think that you are all missing the point - making a mountain out of a molehill about Community law etc. etc. when all the OP wants to know is does his spouse have to make an appointment?

No, OP, you don't need to make an appointment, but get on and make the application ASAP as EU consulates are not renowned for their speed of service, despite Community law.

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Post by djb123 » Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:27 am

Casa wrote:Regarding Schengen visa for France this may be of help.

"As per the current legislation, visa nationals must provide a travel insurance that also covers eventual costs of medical repatriation and emergency care with a minimum coverage of 30 000 Euros. This insurance must be valid within the entire Schengen area and cover the validity of the requested visa.
Please ensure that your insurance certificate clearly states your name as well as the policy cover dates.
Be advised that if you take out an insurance valid for 4 days, your visa will be of 4 days so it is advisable to take out an annual cover policy."
The FAQ where you got that from also says...

Do I need to show my tickets to France when I come and apply for the visa?
Yes. Please ensure to leave plenty of time between the day you apply for your visa and your travel dates (but no more than 2 months) to allow for the processing delay.


But this doesn't apply to family members.

Try this link...

http://www.ambafrance-uk.org/Family-mem ... opean.html

Which doesn't state that travel insurance is required for spouses of EU citizens (but it does for dependent parents..)

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Post by Wanderer » Sat Jun 19, 2010 12:06 pm

stmellon wrote:Sorry Wanderer - you are wrong in this instance. Another classic case of RTFM - or more specifically, RTF Website.

http://www.greekembassy.org.uk/Consular ... fault.aspx
FAMILY MEMBERS OF EU/EEA/CH CITIZEN

A) For the family members of an EU/EEA/CH citizen the visa application procedure is simplified. The following people are defined as family members of an EU citizen:
The spouse;
The partner with whom the EU citizen has contracted a registered partnership, on the basis of the UK legislation.
The direct descendants who are under the age of 21 or are dependant, either of the spouse or partner; or the dependant direct relatives in the ascending line and those of the spouse or partner as defined above.
Please, Provide the original passport (with a valid UK residence permit) and the passport of the EU citizen.
B) Required documents
Original passport (with a valid UK residence permit) and the passport of the EU citizen.
Original certificate that proves the relationship of the applicant with the EU citizen (marriage certificate, other partnership certificate, birth certificate etc., please note that the marriage or the partnership needs to be registered with the competent authorities. Marriages between a Greek citizen and a third country national need to be registered with the relevant Municipality in Greece according to the Greek legislation). In case the marriage certificate has been issued from another country (other than the UK) an apostille stamp is needed or a validation from the relevant Embassy.
Proof that the applicant is accompanying the EU citizen or is going to join them (flight bookings or hotel accommodation or signed invitation etc).
I also think that you are all missing the point - making a mountain out of a molehill about Community law etc. etc. when all the OP wants to know is does his spouse have to make an appointment?

No, OP, you don't need to make an appointment, but get on and make the application ASAP as EU consulates are not renowned for their speed of service, despite Community law.
But that refers to the EU citizen with a valid UK residence permit - ie those exercising a treaty right etc. Must admit the wording is confusing but I maintain if the OP is a BC, not under Surinder Singh, with a non-EU spouse the 'Family Member' bit is not applicable.

Greek Consulate says "Family members of EU/EEA/CH nationals who are holders of the relevant British residence documentation (click to see) do not require a visa in order to enter Greece, under the condition they are accompanied by the EU citizen or they are going to join him/her."

The link refers to a RP of an EU family member ie on EEA immigration route:

Image
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Post by 86ti » Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:27 pm

Wanderer wrote:Greek Consulate says "Family members of EU/EEA/CH nationals who are holders of the relevant British residence documentation (click to see) [...]"
What a surprise to see my contribution to Wikimedia on an embassy's webpage!

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Post by Casa » Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:11 pm

And I'm still with Wanderer on this one.

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Re: Schengen confusion

Post by 86ti » Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:43 pm

PTP wrote:1. Does she need a visa at all? (I'm pretty sure she does for reasons of practicality if not legality.)
2. If she does, can she apply as a Family member?
2. Does she need an appointment?
1. Yes, for practical reasons. Legally, she should be able to enter without a visa but don't count on the airline or even immigration to know the rules.
2. Yes. You, as a British citizen, want to enter another member state together with your non-EU wife. This means that she should be able to obtain a Schengen C visa (I assume she is a visa national) for free, in an accelerated process and with a minimal set of documents as others have pointed out. Health insurance should not be asked for either. If she is on a spouse visa she should be able to apply for the EHIC.
3. See other responses.

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Re: Schengen confusion

Post by djb123 » Sun Jun 20, 2010 6:41 am

86ti wrote:
PTP wrote:1. Does she need a visa at all? (I'm pretty sure she does for reasons of practicality if not legality.)
1. Yes, for practical reasons. Legally, she should be able to enter without a visa but don't count on the airline or even immigration to know the rules.
1) If she is in the UK under UK immigration laws she legally may actually need a visa. This is the relevant bit from the directive...

Family members who are not nationals of a Member State shall only be required to have an entry visa in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 or, where appropriate, with national law.

As I believe the OP's wife is Chinese then she will definately need a visa. In theory it could be issued the same day, but not convinced you could get it issued at the border.

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Re: Schengen confusion

Post by 86ti » Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:27 am

djb123 wrote:This is the relevant bit from the directive...
The relevant bit I was referring to is Article 5(4).

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