My wife is Chinese and I’m Romanian. We currently live in Beijing, but are planning to fly to Romania in February, where she will get the residence permit. After that, we want to travel for 6-12 months within the EU, by car. The issue is that with that document, she still won’t be able to travel within the Schengen area, Romania not being part of Schengen. As far as I’m aware, only Sweden is issuing visas right now. She received tourist visas in the past from France (last one was for 1 year) and I’m not sure if it matters, but we lived in the UK for 2 years, until the pandemic came.
From the Europa.eu website, I could find that she still needs a Schengen visa to enter the zone from Romania. Also, it’s stated there that there shouldn’t be any issues if she doesn’t have a visa, because the customs authorities are able to grant it on the spot, if shown proof of marriage. Now, we don’t prefer this option, as we would like to have everything in check 100% and get a visa beforehand. Also, it’s stated on the website that she would only be able to stay 90 days out of 180 days in the Schengen countries with a short stay visa. Would it be possible to stay longer with a long stay visa? How do we apply for that? We definitely don't want to spend only 90/180 days.
The French government website states this: "A foreign national who holds a long-term resident permit-EU from a state of the European Union" is exempted from visa. Many other websites state that she needs a visa, even though she has a residence permit for family member. It is quite confusing. Any advice is greatly appreciated!