I am an EU citizen. Wife is Kazhak national and we live in UK. We planned a holiday in Italy and obtained multi entry visa from Italian consulate. Covid restrictions have resulted in us having cancelled Italian trip and substituting Spanish trip.

  1. Is my wife entitled to use Italian visa to enter Spain given we will not be visiting Italy?
  2. If we visit Italy on a subsequent trip during the validity of the visa is my wife likely to encounter difficulties when applying subsequently for a further Italian visa.

I would appreciate if respondents could provide links to official guidance that supports their answers

  • 3
    Would your wife's subsequent visits be with you or in her own? When she's traveling with you, the visa is barely more than a formality. The treatment she might encounter for independent travel will be harder to predict. In any event, there's not likely to be much trouble, but I don't have time now to put together a properly sourced answer; hence this comment.
    – phoog
    Sep 11 at 19:53
  • the schengen visa is applicable to all the schengen countries, regardless of where you applied it from. Sep 12 at 10:52
  • @SMC if she's travelling with you she doesn't need a visa at all, as she is a family member of an EU citizen (you).
    – kiradotee
    Sep 20 at 20:15
  • 1
    @kiradotee No, it's much more straightforward and general than this: Freedom of movement doesn't entail a general visa exemption. Kazakh citizens still need a visa to enter the Schengen area, no matter what. If they are not covered by the EU freedom of movement, they have to detail their purpose, finances, etc. and the visa can be refused for a number of reasons. If they are coverred by the EU freedom of movement, they merely have to prove they are indeed covered, the visa is free of charge and can only be refused if they are a threat. But they still need a visa.
    – Relaxed
    Sep 21 at 8:27
  • 1
    What's specific about land borders is that the visa can and should be issued on the spot so you can effectively present yourself without having obtained a visa in advance. Formally, you still need a visa and you can expect some delays and formalities, you shouldn't be simply waived through. In any case, it's a mistake to think that the spouse travelling with an EU citizen doesn't need a visa at all.
    – Relaxed
    Sep 21 at 8:30

In general, there is some flexibility as long as there is no reason to suspect you lied specifically to circumvent the regular procedures and never intended to travel to Italy. It's even less of an issue for a multiple-entry visa (which is by nature not tied to a specific trip). See also Can I use my Schengen visa for a completely different purpose and entry point?

For your wife as the member of the family of an EU citizen, it's even less of a problem. As long as she is traveling with you, the visa is merely a formality, where she is traveling is not relevant to the decision to grant entry or not. She can only be denied entry if she is not who she says she is (e.g. she is not your wife or you're not an EU citizen) or if she is a threat to public policy, public security or public health. In principle, you should not have had to justify the purpose of your trip or much of anything else when applying for that visa.

  • "Relaxed" thanks for comprehensive reply. I will take previous cancelled Italian bookings / tickets
    – SMC
    Sep 13 at 0:37

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