I'm British, my spouse is non-EU, holding an Article 10 residence card issued by Malta.

We are currently on an extended trip outside the EU and will not return until shortly after Brexit when we plan to fly to France. From France we intend to travel to Ireland, before eventually returning to Malta.

Pre-Brexit, everything (airlines/boarding, immigration) is pretty simple thanks to the residence card, but I have not been able to determine whether the card will still be considered valid after Jan 31st.

Most of the UK government advice aimed at British and EU citizens seems to imply that effectively nothing will change during the transition period, but I haven't seen any guidance specifically for non-EU family members of a British citizen.

Will the Article 10 residence card continue to facilitate the EU entry/travel of my spouse after Jan 31st?

  • How are you travelling between Ireland and Great Britain? Last time I took the ferry there, nobody even checked my documents.
    – gerrit
    Jan 27, 2020 at 8:25
  • @gerrit Just because there is no control does not mean that the Immigration Laws aren't applied. Where leave to enter is required, it is automatically granted for 3 months when comming from Ireland. Proof of entry date to the United Kingdom is required. The ferry ticket is considered to be proof. Jan 27, 2020 at 8:48

1 Answer 1


Yes, Article 10 (Personal scope) of Part II (Citizens' Rights) of the Withdrawal Agreement:

(b) United Kingdom nationals who exercised their right to reside in a Member State in accordance with Union law before the end of the transition period and continue to reside there thereafter;

also includes the family members.

This has been clarified within the Questions and Answers statement of the European Commission published on the 24th of January 2020:

Who is protected by the Withdrawal Agreement?

The Withdrawal Agreement protects those EU citizens residing in the United Kingdom, and UK nationals residing in one of the 27 EU Member States at the end of the transition period, where such residence is in accordance with EU law on free movement.

The Withdrawal Agreement also protects the family members that are granted rights under EU law (current spouses and registered partners, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren and a person in an existing durable relationship), who do not yet live in the same host state as the Union citizen or the UK national, to join them in the future.

Children will be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement, wherever they are born before or after the United Kingdom's withdrawal, or whether they are born inside or outside the host state where the EU citizen or the UK national resides. The only exception foreseen concerns children born after the United Kingdom's withdrawal and for which a parent not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement has sole custody under the applicable family law.

As regards social security, the Withdrawal Agreement protects all those EU citizens who, at the end of the transition period, were in a situation involving both the United Kingdom and a Member State at a time. Their family members and their survivors are also protected.


  • 1
    This actually seems to cover the situation after the end of the transition period (so by extension it should indeed apply during said transition period).
    – jcaron
    Jan 27, 2020 at 9:00
  • @jcaron This mainly applies for both the British Citizens and their family members to receive a normal 3rd country residence permit, but based on the time they have already spent in that country when no residence permit was required. Jan 27, 2020 at 9:11

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