I'm a Swedish (EU) citizen and my husband is a non-EU citizen. We moved to Spain a few months ago. My husband have a article 10 residence card. This card is issued by the Spanish authorities because he is a family member of a EU citizen and is valid for 5 years.

We are going to London in October together. Just for a few days as tourist. Me and my husband don't work in Spain yet. We are self-sufficient and we have private health insurance. I worked in Sweden before we moved to Spain and we have saving money for our cost. We learn the Spanish language and then we want to open our own company in Spain.

I know that my husband don't need to apply for visa or family permit to travel to UK. Because he travels with me and holds an article 10 residence card. But I'm worry about some things, it would be grateful if anyone can answer my questions.

1. May be a problem at the border control because none of us work in Spain yet? (As I said we can prove that we have funds).

2. We travel from Sweden to UK and back to Sweden from UK, could this be a problem? (We will be a couple of weeks in Sweden during the planned trip to the UK.)

  • Could you please share your experience after your travel. İ have a very similar question. Thanks
    – MoonHorse
    Sep 10, 2018 at 15:34
  • We are going to UK in the middle of October. I will write here about our experience after the travel.
    – Linda
    Sep 11, 2018 at 17:28

3 Answers 3


I would just share our experience as I had promised. We went to the UK and my husband only needed to show his passport and residence card. He didn't get any stamp at all in his passport. We live in Spain, I'm a Swedish (EU) citizen and he is a non-EU citizen. He have a article 10 residence card from Spain.

As I have mentioned in my main post. We traveled from Sweden to the UK and then back to Sweden from UK. There was a little problem at Sweden's airport. First of all, we had to go to the Ryanairs visa control desk. The girl who stood there had never seen a similar residence card, she said. She called someone else. We explained to them how it's work. The problem was that they could not find the text "family member of EU citizens" on my husband's residence card because this text are in Spanish on the back side of the card. They called a few calls and it took a few minutes before they realized he hold a article 10 residence card and he didn't need a visa.

After the Ryanair visa check, we had to pass passport control and that was the same problem there. We had to stand for a few minutes and explain to the immigration officer. He said that everything is in Spanish on this card and he could not find the text "family member of EU citizens" on it. But I showed him the text in Spanish on the back side of the card. I told him that we have a marriage certificate and proof of our address in Spain if he wish to see them, but he was uninterested. The fun in all is that we have the same last name and they can see directly that we are married.

The officer took my passport, my husband's passport and residence card and went to another office. We had to sit and wait a few minutes. And at last he came back and said that is okay and we are allowed to go.

That was the same problem when we came back from UK to Sweden. On the passport control they didn't know anything about the residence card and it took time before they let us in. I strongly advise you to travel from and to the country which issued the residence card. In our case we would fly from Spain to UK and then back to Spain.

Unfortunately the Spanish authority issue the residence card only with Spanish text. In the UK they said nothing about his residence card at all. They checked my passport, my husband's passport and residence card and then the officer said "welcome to the UK".

I believe in UK they know about all residence cards issued in different EU countries and they didn't know that in Sweden. I just want to add that this experience is from a small airport in Sweden. If we had traveled from one of the big airports in Sweden maybe they would handle it better and had knowledge about the residence card.

  • "when we came back from UK to Sweden ... they didn't know anything about the residence card and it took time before they let us in": that's odd, because the Spanish residence card is, like any residence permit issued by a Schengen country, permission to enter the Schengen area.
    – phoog
    Oct 20, 2018 at 12:11
  • 1
    You have created two accounts. You can merge them.
    – phoog
    Oct 20, 2018 at 12:13
  • There is not a unified format for this card throughout the EU. Unfortunately residence cards due to family members of EU citizens don't have a unified format in all member states. And as I said all text is in Spanish on my husband's residence card. On the other hand residence card/permits issued for other reasons in all EU countries have a unified format.
    – Linda
    Oct 20, 2018 at 13:28
  • Most countries in the Schengen area, or at least some of them, issue the article 10 card as a "common-format residence permit" except for giving it the title "residence card" instead of "residence permit." I had assumed that Spain did the same, but now I see that the card has a different format. That would indeed increase the possibility of delay, as you have experienced. Do you think the hassle you experienced during your travel was more or less inconvenient than it would have been to apply for an EEA family permit?
    – phoog
    Oct 20, 2018 at 17:49
  • ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/e-library/… On this link (150 pages), you can see all different variants of residence cards and residence permits issued by member states.
    – Linda
    Oct 20, 2018 at 19:51
  1. Under the freedom of movement directive and its implementation in UK law, the UK is not allowed to apply a means test or any other test to EU citizens or their family members who are visiting for up to three months. They can deny entry only under the very limited condition that the traveler is a threat to public health, public safety, or public policy. It does not matter whether you are employed or how much money you have.

  2. Freedom of movement governs the conditions under which you may enter the UK without reference to where you begin your trip. You could be arriving from Sweden, from Papua New Guinea, or from anywhere else. As long as you have a valid passport or ID card and your husband has a valid passport and article 10 card, and, if they ask, you can show evidence of your marriage, you will be fine.


Upon reaching the UK border, you will present your passport or ID card, and your husband his passport and article 10 card. Feel free to join the EU queue if it's quicker (which depends on the airport).

Also bring your marriage certificate as a backup document, in case they question your relationship.

There's nothing wrong with living in Spain but not yet having opened up your business. Your husband clearly qualified for an Article 10 card in the first place (since you do live in Spain), which means he's covered by the freedom of movement directive.

Your husband's passport should not receive an entry stamp, but in practice it may happen.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Willeke
    Sep 7, 2018 at 14:52

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