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I’m doing some travelling with my mate in a few weeks and I was wondering if, to save time, he could come through the Schengen border through the EU Line with me even though he is not a citizen? I’m a dual Australian and Italian citizen, and he is an Australian citizen and has a 1 year residency visa (Italy).

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Generally not. Non-EU citizens who are family members of EU citizens within the meaning of the free movement directive are entitled to use the EU passport lines at Schengen borders, but other traveling companions are not (see articles 10(2) and 2(5) of the Schengen Borders Code).

You can of course accompany him in the "all passports" queue. While that won't save any time, it should at least be less boring and/or more convivial.

  • The free movement directive only applies when you're entering a country that's not the country of your nationality. I.e. in this case it wouldn't apply to an Italian (and companions) entering Italy. So that can't be the official reason in every situation. – Erwin Bolwidt Apr 15 at 5:46
  • @ErwinBolwidt That's still the definition used in the Schengen Borders code. – Relaxed Apr 15 at 7:24
  • "Non-EU citizens who are family members of EU citizens within the meaning of the free movement directive are entitled to use the EU passport lines at Schengen borders" Do you have a reference for this? It could have saved a lot of time, but I had no idea ... – Szabolcs Apr 15 at 12:31
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    @Szabolcs Schengen Borders Code, article 10(2), read in the context of the definition at Article 2(5). Also note 2(6), which excludes non-EU family members covered by the directive from the term "third-country national" for the purpose of the Schengen Borders Code. The Schengen Borders Code does not apply in the UK or Ireland, and because this rule is established in the SBC, not the directive, the UK and Ireland are not obliged to have a similar rule. But see the comment I'm about to leave on the other answer. – phoog Apr 15 at 12:48
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    @Szabolcs as I understand it, in the UK such a family can go to the EU passports desk because the UK has a policy of not requiring families to separate. But I haven't ever seen that written anywhere, despite looking. I have no idea about Ireland. As to the countries that are officially Schengen candidates, I do not know whether they are bound by this part of the SBC, but I suppose that even if they are not, they follow it in practice. – phoog Apr 15 at 13:00
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With a residency visa and accompanied by you it is worth a try, but no guarantees.

I've had this several times in Germany with my girlfriend, who has a non-european citizenship, but a residence permit. The first time we entered Germany together, I stood with her the "all passports" queue and when we finally came to the counter, the officer looked at us and asked why we hadn't gone to the "EU" line. Which after this we did and never had issues.

This may not be official policy, however.


Addendum:

A study details the differences of member states treatment of unmarried partnerships. For example, about Germany it writes:

"Germany [...] does not include common spouse partnerships and does therefore not seem to recognise the principle of durable relationship."

  • The difference here of course US that your travel companion was your girlfriend, so possibly entitled to the benefit of the directive, although it's not clear that the officer was aware of that fact or reacting to it. In any event, practice appears to vary by country. I recall reading here about a married couple, where one had EU citizenship and the other did not, being sent to the all-passports desk in Italy after waiting in the EU passports line. – phoog Apr 15 at 13:01
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    and had a residence permit – akostadinov Apr 15 at 15:16
  • @akostadinov Official ruling is that people with residence permits must use the all passports queue, except if national law specifies otherwise. See here. Can't find any information whether that's the case with Germany. – Voo Apr 15 at 17:34
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    @phoog no, "girlfriend" is a status with no legal meaning. Marriage is a different thing, legally speaking. – Tom Apr 15 at 18:39
  • @akostadinov at that time she had a 1 year visa, just like the person in the question. – Tom Apr 15 at 18:39
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My experience is that a bit of common sense is applied for people travelling together and they will let you both through in the shortest queue. This also assists when they as for reason for visit etc. This applies when I've been going into UK, Thailand, and France.

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