I am a non-EU national based in Norway. I hold a valid Norwegian Residence Card for family members of EU nationals. My wife is Latvian.

My question - would it be possible for me to travel to another Schengen country by air ALONE on my Norway residence permit. Or do i need to be accompanied by my EU national spouse.

I have been reading on websites that it is a rule that non eu nationals have to be accompanied by their EU family members during travel to schengen countries.

Kindly advise.

  • Norway is in Schengen!
    – Sebastian
    May 9, 2019 at 7:58
  • @Sebastian yes it is, but as Henning Makholm's answer notes, there is a good deal of confusion about this because the free movement directive does not apply when the non-EU family member is traveling alone.
    – phoog
    May 10, 2019 at 1:10

1 Answer 1


There are two sources of travel rights involved:

  1. Those you have because you're a family member of a union citizen.
  2. Those you have because you hold a residence permit from a Schengen country.

The rights from part (1) generally depend on you accompanying or joining the union citizen.

The rights from part (2) don't. You may have your residence permit because you're a family member, but a residence permit is still a residence permit, and gives you the same rights other residence permit do.

Part of the rights from part (2) is to make short trips within the Schengen area up to 90 days of every 180. Since this is triggered purely by having a residence permit, you do not need to accompany your wife to use that.

For comparison, if you want to go to an EU state that is not in Schengen, such as Ireland, you'd need to depend on the rights that are only triggered by accompanying or joining a union citizen. (Due to your Article 10 residence card they may not require a visa from you, but as far as I understand the directive they could still decide not to let you in when you're traveling alone, same as they can refuse entry to any visa-free national who arrives at the border).

  • With regard to the last paragraph, as far as I know there is no country that accepts an article 10 card in lieu of a visa when the bearer of the card is not traveling with or joining the family member.
    – phoog
    May 10, 2019 at 1:01

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