Most of the already posted questions were about traveling between EU countries. In my case I would like to visit Austria with my South African wife. We got married over 20 years ago in Austria, lived there together for 6 years, but moved to SA 16 years ago. The permanent residence my wife had once expired and she needs a Schengen visa. The Austrian Embassy tells me that my wife has to apply in person, show proof of income, proof of accommodation, has a travel insurance and all fulfills all other requirements like every ordinary applicant.
Is the Directive 2004/38/EC only applicable for spouses when they are already within the EU or is it also valid in our case?
In particular the personal appearance is a problem as we are living in the Southern Cape and going to the embassy means a round trip of 2600 km, closer is the consulate in Cape Town but still requires a 1200 tour.