I plan to visit Europe some time during the next year (hopefully before a hard Brexit) and want to check what I need to fulfil for Schengen visa as the spouse of a British citizen. My spouse and I both live/work in Pakistan and we may travel to Netherlands and France. I was reading up on EU citizens' family members right of free movement and it seems that I just have to attach evidence of our marriage. The Netherlands visa service (VFS global) here lists the following requirements:

enter image description here

Direct link: http://www.netherlandsvisa-pakistan.com/pdf/Family-Members-of-EU-EEA-Nationals-Checklist.pdf

I have everything but I do not understand point no. 6, "Proof that this family member is using or has recently used his/her right of free movement". Does the fact that my spouse would be travelling with me, hence exercising her right of free movement, cover this point? Or does she need to be a resident of an EU country or registered in one other than UK?

Thanks in advance.

  • 1
    This looks like an incorrect interpretation of the directive by the Dutch government. You might consider raising it with SOLVIT. – phoog Jan 20 at 5:23

The other answer has been voted down because there was a long discussion of whether a UK citizen visiting the Netherlands for a holiday is "exercising their EU rights of free movement" or not, and there is absolutely no agreement. So this other answer may be totally correct or totally wrong, but people can't agree.

Fact is that you have the legal right to move to the Netherlands with your partner permanently (well, until October 31st if nothing changes), rent or buy a house, get a job and so on. The biggest reason why countries tend to refuse visitor visas is that they fear the person who enters legally for a holiday will then stay longer illegally. They shouldn't fear that in your case, because if you intended to stay longer, you could do so perfectly legally and there would be no need for you to do it illegally.

So you might consider applying for a visitor visa, and add a note pointing this out, as evidence that you will be returning home.


Unfortunately your spouse, being resident in Pakistan, is not exercising their right of free movement and so you will not be able to travel with them (without applying for a regular visa). Your spouse would need to be living in an EU/EEA country other than the UK in order to be exercising their rights and thus to be able to travel freely with their family members.

The crucial text is at the top of the picture you posted: "by living/working in another EU/EEA country ... than he/she is a national of."

Some explanatory text courtesy of the European Commission can be found on page 6 and is copied below - see the very last line:

enter image description here

At the suggestion of @phoog I checked other languages: enter image description here

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. Please take further comments there as well. – Willeke Jan 20 at 10:11
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