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Good to know, no problems using the residence card to board, which is what the thread is about. People are understandably nervous about it and worry that some airline will say go home!alekos wrote:I've never had issues with airline staff.
I've had issues with UKBA officer stamping my passport while being the holder of a UK Residence Card. After complaining about it, they've stopped doing it, without me reminding them.
I had delays entering Poland last month as officer was very eager to ask more questions than were necessary, once I told him he was not allowed to he kept me waiting on the queue for a further 6-8 minutes before having my passport returned to me.
No issues at all with other Schengen crossings, all from the UK, just a look on my passport and the wife's followed by a wave through.
Best of luck and please post back with your experience. It does sound like things are getting better! Airlines such as Easyjet put the onus on the passenger to ensure they have the correct documentation, which is normal, but give no information on what is acceptable. That leaves people worried that they will be denied boarding. Hence this thread.johannf wrote:Hi All. Well we are going to put this to the test ourselves this Thursday. We are flying with the infamous easyJet ( :? ), known for the trouble they give passengers. We are flying from Belfast to Paris.
I have done the homework and know my rights, got a bunch of printed proof from various sources. So I'm ready to take them on if they give us any hassle!
I actually emailed easyJet to check if they will give me hassle and here is their reply (that I will also show them if they give me any shit at the boarding gates!) :
"Dear Mr Fenske,
Thank you for contacting us.
I can confirm that easyJet's policy regarding passenger Identification (ID) is that; all passengers must hold a valid passport or national ID card. Any other rules
regarding entering or leaving a country is different for each country and as such you will have to contact the relevant embassy of the country you wish to visit. We can
not advise on any countries entry requirements as they differ for all countries and change on a regular basis.
I would however advise that if all the information you have received from the relevant authorities is correct and all documentation in place, you will be able to travel on our flights with no issues."
Will give feedback of our experience, when we are back next week. Wish us good luck! (Would be nice to get to Paris without problems!)
Great, things do appear to be getting better!mick5 wrote:Hi as i asked earlier in my post I have Uk RC till 2017 and going to Malta with my Girl friend By Ryan Air. Yesterday i went to drop my brother to Luton London airport i took my RC with me to conform from Ryan air and one of the staff asked me when iam traveling i told her in First week of may she said if i serve you i will let you go but just to make sure better ask from Ryan air head office and i called them i spoke to one of the lady she says No you dont need visa as long as you are traveling with your Partner or g griend for any European country except Switzerland.
Hi mick5,mick5 wrote:ca.funke i just wrote what i've been told by Ryan air staff, and i sent mail to visa section in Malta and she asked me to send scan image of my RC, which i sent her same day next day i got reply from her
" Dear Sir,
Kindly note, that, you do not require a visa and may travel to Malta
with the attached residence permit.
with her fax, Phone and office address.
This is great. Good on Malta. The OP was worried about airlines denying boarding. Now armed with a letter or email from Maltese consulate, they can counter this.ca.funke wrote:
Malta has been consistently accepting UK and IR Residence-Cards of EEA-spouses for quite a while. :)
Regards and enjoy the lovely sunny island!
Thanks for posting back with your experience.johannf wrote:Hi everyone. We are back from our trip to France, and as promised here is my experience regarding using my EEA Residence Card.
We arrived at Belfast International Airport on this past Thursday, expecting some resistance from the easyJet staff about my EEA Residence card and why I dont have a shengen visa. I was abit stressed. But to my surprise the lady at the check-in counter immediately recognised my EEA RC in my passport, and she even wrote on my boarding pass: "No V/C needed because of EEA RC" ...! I was pleasantly surprised ab out this, but happy that I didnt have to defend it! So we boarded the easJet plane with no problems at all.
Our next challenge was immigration at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. I was glad to see that there werent many passengers going through the passports checking counters. I dont like having arguments in front of a crowd, lol! There were 2 counters. One counter for "All passports" and another for "EEA passports". We stood in front of the EEA counter but was called over to the "All Passports" counter as there was no que that side, so I gave our passports in and held thumbs! And once again I was suprised that the immigration officer flipped through to my EEA RCard, checked my wife and kids Irish passports, and gave our passports back, with a smile! No problem! So we travel to Paris with no issues at all, probably because the people that checked our passports were informed of what an EEA Rcard is and what it means. I was really relieved that we could start our holiday stress free!
Then yesterday (Monday), we headed back home again. At Charles de Gaulle airport, we checked in at the easyJet counter. The guy behind the counter wasnt sure about the Residence card, and he had some words with his colleague next to him about it, in french. So I said to him that the RC means I dont need a visa as long as I travel with my EU spouse. Then he said to me that he had an idea that this was the case but he had to check with his colleague. He said that they have to be very sure because the UK is extremely strict about entry requirements. But there was no problem and he checked us in fine. He was very friendly.
We then went onto the immigration part and this time we went to the "EEA" counter. The french immigration officer took my passport and flicked through it a few times and then pointed at an older Schengen visa I got about 3 years ago when I travelled to France before I had an EEA residence card, and then said to me "visa expired"... So I said to him "No, let me show you". So I showed him the EEA Residence card. He had a blank look and I could see he wasnt sure about what I was saying. So I said to him that I have contacted both French embassys in the UK and both told me that I dont need a schengen visa, as long as I travel with my EU spouse. So after he checked something on his computer screen, he put my passport down, looked at my wife's and kids' Irish passorts...then picked mine up again, had a long look at my RC card...and then with a frown on his face he gave us our passports back and let us through.... I must say at one stage I was starting to think that I would have to take out the print-outs of Directive 2004. the FAQ from the French embassy website etc, but luckily it didnt go that way, phew!!!!! i was really glad.
After landing at Belfast International airport, we went through immigration with no problem at all.
So it seems it still dependent quite abit on who you get at the check-in and at the immigration section. If you get someone who knows about EEA Residence cards, you'll have no problems. But if you get someone who is not aware of what the EEA RCard means and that you dont need a visa, then you might run into problems. So I would say always be prepared, rather take whatever documentation you can to back up your EEA RC, so that you can back up your side!
You won't need a visa and you should have no problems. The purpose of this thread is to give encouragement to people in your situation.alexandrette wrote:Hi everybody
I have a question.
I have a "Residence Card of a Family Member of an EEA National" based on the Civil Partnership (same gender marriage). I am a Turkish national and my partner is Italian.
We are going to Spain for easter break and I have no applied for Schengen visa as I know I did not need any as we were travelling together.
In addition to that I have e-mailed Spanish embassy in London to confirm that I wont need a visa to enter Spain specifying that we are Civil Partners and they have responded the same day that I wouldnt need visa with the following "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..."
I just wanted ask if anyone had any trouble with EEA residence card as they are Civil Partners?
I will print the e-mail Spanish Embassy sent me and bring our Civil Partnership certificate with me when travelling.
Hopefully there wont be any hassle. Please share your experiences or knowledge.
This is an excellent post. Thank you very much. It is very informative. Great to hear that Easyjet were not the problem nor the IO on entry.rlobo wrote:Folks,
I do apologise for the delay in updating this post, but here's an account of my experiences during my recent trip to the Netherlands.
Background: I am an Indian national, my unmarried partner of 3 years is Dutch, and we live together in the UK - the relationship based on which I now have a Residence card as family member of the EEA national.
Pre-requisites: Armed with printouts of the EU directive, the Border Guards' handbook, email from the Dutch embassy in London stating that it was OKAY and that I dont need a schengen visa, + proof of living together, such as bills, mail, joint bank account statement.
The trip: Test drive to check if the EEA Residence card would really work. Transport: Easyjet for onward journey from the new London- Southend Airport. Stena Britannica (Ferry) from Hook of Holland to Harwich.
The Experience: Although we were VERY worried about the easyjet check-in officers, it actually went pretty smoothly. The lady who checked my passport was a new employee who was not sure if I needed a visa. She checked with her colleague who said it was fine, and so she wrote 'visa not required' on my ticket printout. Within two minutes a team lead comes up, asks to see my passport again, and actually educates the new employee about the 'very rare' residence permit on my passport that replaces the need for additional visa, asks her to cut out the 'no visa required' statement to 'visa checked' on my ticket. We all have a chat about how we are armed with printouts and how they are now aware of the directive, etc etc . we head out toward the boarding waiting area, get on the flight (each stage of checking just saw my residence card, said okay, passed me on). Very Happy
When we alighted at the Schipol airport in amsterdam, my partner and I queued at the 'EU passports' line. This is where we had a bit of an issue. The border guard was not too familiar with the residence card, so he calls one of his colleagues, who leads us both to another office. The office had several of the off duty officers, and my residence card was a point of much debate on whether it was accepted or not. Some agreed, some did not, we showed the letter from the embassy, took some convincing, a phone call to a superior officer, and they all finally let us go. Everyone was polite throughout, and it helped that my partner spoke dutch. All in all a bit shaky, but yay that we were in Amsterdam!
The Return Journey: The check in officer for the Ferry was familiar with the residence permit, and as far as she was concerned all was good, but she did mention I had to go through the border guards and they may ask questions. I was also handed a landing card that I had to fill out (she did not ask my partner to fill one, just me. Not sure if that was right or not). We went to the border official's desk. Now this chap was not too pleased with the residence card. The problem he said was 'not that you're leaving the country, but how come you were let in in the first place?' - which obviously came as a bit of a shock! Out came the email from the embassy, and the directive, etc etc. So the next question posed was - 'okay, i know what the label means but where's the proof of relationship to this man?' Shocked Out came the bank account, utility bills and election letter addressed to both, etc etc. None of which seem to completely convince him, and he mentioned that other countries have the EU partner's name on the permit. I asked which other countries, he couldnt remember which ones, but apparently they did. To cut a long story short, after some hemming and hawing, he let us pass.
When I entered the UK at the Harwich port, standard immi laws applied, I went with my partner into the 'EU passports queue', i mentioned to the officer that i was unsure if i should be filling the landing card or not - he said he will take it anyway. He stamped my passport, all good, took the train, went home.
End of Story!
Now our big concerns are - as highlighted by our experience - proof of relationship! Is there any way we could get the UKBA to issue a confirmation letter stating the name of my partner, perhaps? Any suggestions folks on how to go about this? we have an upcoming trip to portugal for a wedding in 3 weeks' time, and although we had the language advantage in Holland, that wont be the case in Portugal. And the border guards at Faro are not exactly known for their courtesy or tolerance.
Any suggestions would be gratefully welcomed! And thank you for your patience with this loooooooong post!! Smile
I suspect you would have had a lot more difficulty if you'd tried to enter the UK without EEA family permit from any other EU state. This is due to common travel area between UK and Ireland (essentially no routine passport checks entering UK). The problem was never going to be at the border, the problem was always going to be getting on the plane.ciaramc wrote:I just wanted to update my post as I wrote it in a haste after just coming back from London. Well when my husband checked in in Dublin Airport (actually had already checked in online) got visa checked the lady at the Ryan air desk took his visa GNIB card and boarding card looked at it and then went to stamp it. However she stopped (my heart was in my mouth at this stage) she asked a colleague at the next desk who glanced at it said stamp 4 yes he is fine - no even mention of EUfam stamp 4 which is what he has.
We went through fine got out in Gatwick - there was a queue which said EU passports coming from Ireland we went through no passports just boarding card - his boarding card stated non-eu the guy from Gatwick border control glanced at it and waved him through....he did not show his passport once - same thing coming back! He walked through alone as I was shopping no problems what so ever!
I was so nervous travelling and we have travelled to Spain/France/Italy, but I had called the British embassy in Ireland which had informed me I would need a Family permit - which is obviously not the truth! Also SOLVIT who have helped me several times in the past also informed me that the UK require family member to hold a family permit! (again not true) Was very disappointed in SOLVIT!
Interesting feedback. When you use enter by the Dutch border do you have UK documentation (such as an registration certificate or document certifying permanent residence)? I know your wife does. Have you ever challenged the requirement for showing the marriage certificate?bdb303 wrote: In terms of travelling without a Schengen visa, but with an EEA2 RC, we've had mostly positive experiences (although budget airlines do tend to make a call to their headoffice before the allow you to board... oh well). With border guards in France, Spain and Norway we've had no problems at all. Dutch border guards always hassle us a bit more (e.g. ask for our marriage certificate to prove we're familiy members), but I believe this is because I'm Dutch and they know there are stricter immigration regulations for Dutch citizens than EU citizens (since I live and work in the UK, I'm should be considered an "EU citizen").
I always have my registration certificate - the blue card - with me but I've never been asked for it (and doubt the Dutch border guards even know what it is). When I challenged them about the marriage certificate, they said it's because my name isn't mentioned in my wife's EEA2 visa, (it just says spouse of EEA citizen). Because she hasn't changed her last name after our marriage they needed to see proof that I was actually her spouse, which is fair enough I guess.EUsmileWEallsmile wrote: Interesting feedback. When you use enter by the Dutch border do you have UK documentation (such as an registration certificate or document certifying permanent residence)? I know your wife does. Have you ever challenged the requirement for showing the marriage certificate?
The main thing is that you and your wife are able to travel. Thanks for the feedback.bdb303 wrote:
I always have my registration certificate - the blue card - with me but I've never been asked for it (and doubt the Dutch border guards even know what it is).
Ok, but if they ever doubt that you are working in another EU country, you could show this to them. The card handily refers to the directive, but the residence card (non-EU) does not.
When I challenged them about the marriage certificate, they said it's because my name isn't mentioned in my wife's EEA2 visa, (it just says spouse of EEA citizen). Because she hasn't changed her last name after our marriage they needed to see proof that I was actually her spouse, which is fair enough I guess.