I have contacted Your Advice Europe, the Australian Embassy, and the Spanish Embassy, and responses are extremely mixed.
I also posted this on Toy Town Germany, who advised I post here. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
I am an Australian citizen with an EU spouse. We live in Germany. I have a German Residence Permit whereby my right to free movement is derived from my EU spouse.
I wish to travel alone from Germany to Spain next month.
I will be cycling, and I will be joining non-immediate family (so no tickets proving my journey, and no hotel reservations proving my stay).
Here is where it gets tricky:
As an Australian citizen, I am granted visa-free Schengen travel as per the 90/180 rule
As an Australian citizen I am granted an extra 90 days in Germany ON TOP of my Schengen travel, as long as that stay is at the end of my journey.
- As a Non-EU family member, my German residence permit only allows me freedom of movement if I am travelling with my EU spouse, or meeting him at my destination.
I entered the Schengen area on June 4 from the UK, via France.
I left France on June 26 and entered Germany.
I obtained my residence permit on September 4.
My reasoning is as follows:
I have spent 22 days on the Schengen Clock, which 'paused' when I entered Germany due to the bilateral agreement.
I spent 75-ish days in Germany under the bilateral agreement, which 'paused' (or ended) once I received my German residence card
I still have 68 Schengen Days left (within the current 180 period) as an Australian passport holder
This can be used independently of my German Residence Card that says I can only travel freely with my EU spouse
As an Australian who enjoys Visa-free Schengen travel, I can therefore travel to Spain without a Visa for up to 68 days.
Your Advice Europe said I need a Visa, based on the fact that I am a third country national - they didnt know about my Australian 'rights'.
Spain didnt know whether my Australian 'rights' were now superceded by my German 'rights'
Australia thinks I'm all good but cautions that most other Schengen countries dont know about the bilateral agreement Australia has with Germany, thus according to my stamps it might look like I've been travelling the Schengen area continuously since June 4 (my entry stamp in France). They also weren't sure about whether my German status was an issue.
I want to do this the right way.
What do you guys think?