My wife and will be traveling to Italy for vacations and she is from a country that requires a visa. This is usually not a problem, as she has obtained travel visas to several other countries including the US and Ireland. However, we are running into problems that we now believe are due to a rogue immigrations official at the Italian Consulate in Buenos Aires, who is willfully disregarding EU law.
She had originally approached the consular official with the typical proof of funds, proof of accommodation, and international insurance. He denied her based on the format of her proof of funds (which had been prepared by her accountant in a similar way to those that had been accepted in all other countries).
Then we realized that different rules apply to her since she is the wife of an Irish national (me). She only needs to show my passport and an apostilled marriage certificate. She returned with this and still he claimed that he required proof of funds.
She returned again with printed EU law clarifying that he was not allowed to request those documents, and he then looked at my passport and our marriage certificate and noticed that my name has a small modification (one middle name on the marriage cert and 2 on my Irish passport). This is a common problem since I have two passports (USA and Irish). My USA only has one middle name (my parents claimed that there was only space for one when they got my passport a long time ago). This has trickled down to my current ID (in Argentina) and marriage certificate. The official said he couldn't accept this (even though I was in the room and showed him both passports).
The Irish embassy said this was a common problem and wrote a letter in official Irish Consular letterhead that certified the equivalence of the names. And once again the Italian official denied it saying it was "meaningless."
There is plenty of EU law that supports the right of a citizen to travel freely with his family and guard against "divergent administrative practices". On the other hand, I have no idea how to defend myself when these practices are violated.
This has been going on for a month and a half, and we're now very close to canceling a family vacation (non-refundable) due to a single consular official! Any advice?