I am a UK citizen, my wife is a non-EU/EEA/Swiss Citizen who holds a UK Residence Permit. Her mother would like to visit us and travel with us to France over Christmas, my question is which visa should we be applying for? She currently holds a UK short stay visa (1 year multi entry) so travelling to the UK isn't a problem. However she isn't dependent on us financially, though we will be paying for the trip, so it seems like she cant apply for a family visa due to this?

  • For clarity, what nationality is your m-in-law?
    – Traveller
    Oct 31, 2018 at 23:25
  • She is Chinese. Nov 1, 2018 at 8:15
  • Slightly confused about the UK visa your m-in-law currently holds. You say it’s a one year short stay visa, however UK standard visitor visas are generally valid only for 6 months (or 2, 5, or 10 years for a long-term visitor visa).
    – Traveller
    Nov 1, 2018 at 8:30
  • Also, just a caution regarding whether and how much your m-in-law has already used her visa to enter the UK. Multiple entries are allowed but frequent / repeat visits out of line with the original premise/application could flag up as a problem at Immigration. See travel.stackexchange.com/questions/85468/…
    – Traveller
    Nov 1, 2018 at 10:07
  • Thanks for the replies. I've confirmed it's a 2 year visa. She has only entered once so far and wants to travel with us to France for the Christmas period. Nov 5, 2018 at 22:34

1 Answer 1


Because your mother in law is independent of you and your wife, you are right that she cannot benefit from the free visa specified in the EU freedom of movement directive. She therefore needs whatever document she would need if she were visiting the Schengen area without you: a Schengen visa (unless she is traveling with the passport of an "Annex II" country) plus, of course, her passport.

The free movement directive extends to a non-EU parent or other relative in the ascending line (including the ascending line of the spouse or partner) only if the relative is a dependant, a member of the household, or in need of "personal care" (Article 2(2)(d), Article 3(2)(a)). Your mother in law appears not to qualify.

  • A single-entry Schengen visa is probably the one she will need from the French embassy/consulate cn.ambafrance.org/…
    – BritishSam
    Nov 1, 2018 at 15:58
  • 1
    @BritishSam there's no need for the visa to be valid for a single entry. It would be a short-stay visa unless she plans to stay for longer than 90 days.
    – phoog
    Nov 1, 2018 at 16:03
  • Thanks. She will be applying for short term multi entry visa. Nov 5, 2018 at 22:35

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