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My unmarried partner and I are both US citizens with residency in the USA. I am also a EU citizen and we will be traveling to the EU. We do not want to be separated when going to the passport line on arrival. Can I bring my partner with me through the EU passport line?

Please correct me if I am wrong, I think the EU extends certain rights to non-EU family of a EU citizen where that family member is now no longer limited to 90 days in the Schengen, can go through the EU passport line, and possibly obtain the right to work/study. Is there a way to extend this to my unmarried partner?

There used to be a EAA Family Permit, which I think no longer exists. Is there a modern version of this? My partner and I would be considered to be in a "durable relationship" according to the EAA Family Permit.

Does the EU have a specific definition of a "durable relationship" written into law and all the ways this can be proven? I just want to be sure in case it has since updated.

Thank you

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    All the rights given by the EU only apply when you go to a country of which you aren't a citizen. EEA Family permit was a UK thing though May 20, 2023 at 17:35
  • I have an EU passport but my wife does not. Despite the rule, some airports have not allowed her to join me in the EU queue. (Not the country of my citizenship.) I have not made a fuss yet as the non-EU queue has not been much longer. Certainly, you could join her in the non-EU queue.
    – badjohn
    May 20, 2023 at 18:29
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    @traveller Are you asking me? I am Irish and my wife is British. We flew London to Copenhagen. I asked whether my wife could join me in the EU queue. I was told: "we don't do that in this airport". As I said, both queues were short so I didn't make a fuss. This was last August (2022}.
    – badjohn
    May 20, 2023 at 19:45
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    There's no non-EU queue. There's an EU/EEA/Swiss queue and an "all passports" queue. You can certainly go together to the latter.
    – phoog
    May 20, 2023 at 21:12
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    @badjohn the imprecision originated in the question. It's also a common misconception.
    – phoog
    May 21, 2023 at 13:20

1 Answer 1

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We do not want to be separated when going to the passport line on arrival.

Go to the "all passports" queue. There's no queue that is limited to non-EU passports.

In fact, you can try going together to the EU-EEA-CH-only queue. You might get through and you might get sent to the other queue. I've experienced the former firsthand and I've heard stories of the latter.

Please correct me if I am wrong, I think the EU extends certain rights to non-EU family of a EU citizen where that family member is now no longer limited to 90 days in the Schengen, can go through the EU passport line, and possibly obtain the right to work/study. Is there a way to extend this to my unmarried partner?

You're not wrong about extending rights to non-EU family. Whether an unmarried partner counts as family, however, depends on the host country. Furthermore, durable relationship rights only exist after you have submitted evidence of the relationship that has been accepted by the host country. This is in contrast to the rights accorded to spouses and other close family members, which are automatic. In any event, it doesn't matter which desk you go to at passport control.

Does the EU have a specific definition of a "durable relationship" written into law and all the ways this can be proven? I just want to be sure in case it has since updated.

No. It's for each country to define according to its national law.

There used to be a EAA Family Permit, which I think no longer exists. Is there a modern version of this? My partner and I would be considered to be in a "durable relationship" according to the EAA Family Permit.

The EEA family permit was a UK document. It's no longer issued because the UK left the EU. The rules for establishing durable relationship for the EEA family permit were fairly clear because they were the rules established by the UK under its own law. They never applied to people seeking to establish a durable relationship for the purpose of EU free movement rights in any other country.

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