My wife and I will soon make our first post-Brexit trip to the EU (Denmark). I am a dual UK / Irish citizen and hence I will use my Irish passport card to enter. My wife is only a UK citizen. Can she use the EU citizen immigration queue with me or do we need to use separate queues? If we use the same queue, do we just walk up together and I hand over both passports together?

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    The Schengen Borders Code says that you can go together to the EU citizens line, but I understand that different countries implement this differently. I don't know about Denmark.
    – phoog
    Commented Apr 28, 2022 at 13:55
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    I think you best stay together whatever line you use, each can hand their own passports, needed if you can use automated passport control ports.
    – Willeke
    Commented Apr 28, 2022 at 14:52
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    @Willeke Automated gates often don't accept passport cards. Of course, I could use my full passport but I rather like the card.
    – badjohn
    Commented Apr 28, 2022 at 14:58
  • I will be travelling to Europe next year on a Greek passport and staying past the 90 day limit imposed on non European citizens. Will my wife be restricted to the 90 day limit or can she stay longer as we will be travelling together. My wife is Greek of heritage but born in Australia... Commented Jul 26, 2022 at 5:29
  • When travelling togeather, the 90 day limit does not apply to the non-EU citizen spouse of an EU citizen. Commented Jul 26, 2022 at 5:34

1 Answer 1


The Schengen borders code states that family members of EU citizens can use the "EU/EEA/Swiss citizens" lane when they are travelling together.

In order to reduce the waiting times of persons enjoying the Union right of free movement, separate lanes, indicated by uniform signs in all Member States, should, where circumstances allow, be provided at border crossing points. Separate lanes should be provided in international airports.

‘persons enjoying the right of free movement under Union law’ means: Union citizens within the meaning of Article 20(1) TFEU, and third-country nationals who are members of the family of a Union citizen exercising his or her right to free movement to whom Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (21) applies;

Source: Schengen borders code https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32016R0399

  • It seems that not all border staff know this. We arrived in Copenhagen airport and, as expected, there was an EU and non-EU queue. I went to the EU and there was a woman doing a precheck. I showed her my Irish passport card which she was happy with it. I asked whether my non-EU wife could join me. She said no. I said that EU rules allowed it but she said: "not in this airport". I did not argue further as I did not want to make a scene. Anyway, the non-EU queue was quite short and moving well. In fact, my wife got though slightly ahead of me (probably due to my discussion).
    – badjohn
    Commented Jul 26, 2022 at 16:21
  • @badjohn was it truly a "non-EU" queue or was it an "all passports" queue as it is supposed to be? Did the pre screener prevent you from going with your wife in that queue? They really ought to have let you go together, for example if your wife had overstayed the 90/180 limit and was entering under free movement as your spouse.
    – phoog
    Commented May 28 at 17:15
  • It's over two years ago so it's hard to be sure now. "Did she prevent us?" Not physically nor by any threat. She just said: "we don't do that here". If we had expected to stay longer than 90 days or the EU queue was much shorter then I might have objected. However, we only planned to stay a week and both queues were short. Apart from proving a point, there was no purpose in an argument.
    – badjohn
    Commented May 28 at 17:38

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