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Let’s suppose that Jane is a non-EU citizen and is planning to travel to an EU country (on a tourist Schengen visa) to get married to her partner John, who is a citizen of that country.

As part of the Schengen visa application, Jane has to show a flight return ticket and provide evidence that she is not planning to stay in the EU country. However, her plan is to apply for residency and stay there after the wedding.

  1. Does Jane need to mention the wedding and plans to stay when applying for the Schengen visa?
  2. Is this the correct procedure? Or is the correct procedure to leave after the wedding and then apply for another type of visa or residency which would allow Jane to re-enter the EU country and stay there?
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    I doubt that tourist visa is the correct choice when the intent is marriage ... Sep 13, 2023 at 12:51
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    Lying on an application is generally a bad thing to do. "John, who is a citizen of that country" means it could depend on which country, as EU freedom-of-movement and family unification rules may not apply. If it had been "John, who is a resident in that country but a citizen of a different EU/EEA country" the EU rules would give Jane greater rights.
    – Henry
    Sep 13, 2023 at 12:52
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    The correct procedure is to a) apply for the entry permission relevant to the purpose of the trip and b) not to lie/deliberately mislead about that purpose in order to try to circumvent applicable immigration rules. Which EU country specifically?
    – Traveller
    Sep 13, 2023 at 13:08
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    There isn't a general restriction on what a Schengen visa holder may do or may not do, other than the grant of entry permission and the limitation on the period of stay. National rules determine whether a person on a short-stay Schengen visa may work, do business, study, get married etc. in that country. A country can prohibit a short-stay visa holder from doing tourist things if it wishes, although no country does that for obvious reasons.
    – xngtng
    Sep 13, 2023 at 13:39
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    However, for a Schengen visa, your intended stay must be less than 90 days out of any 180-day period, and it is a ground of refusal if your intention to leave is doubted. Getting married alone does not necessarily suggest you will stay in Schengen, but it may suggest so.
    – xngtng
    Sep 13, 2023 at 13:43

2 Answers 2

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Let’s suppose that Jane is a non-EU citizen and is planning to travel to an EU country (on a tourist Schengen visa) to get married to her partner John, who is a citizen of that country.

Because John is a citizen of the country where the marriage will take place, and because Jane is planning to stay there for longer than 90 days, Jane should not apply for a Schengen (type C short-stay) visa. Instead, she should apply for a national (type D long-stay) visa, the details of which will be governed by national law. Without knowing what country it is, it's not possible to be much more specific. (It is however possible that some countries use short-stay visas for fiancées to enter the country, get married, and apply to stay, but obviously if there is such a country then there would be no problem with being up front about one's plans in the visa application.)

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    (+1) Completely true but it's not even obvious that many EU countries offer such a type D visa (or, if they do, that they let you get one easily). So the only realistic options might also be (1) type C visa, marry, leave, and then apply for a type D visa from outside the EU country (that's what French authorities recommend even if there is a clear risk that disclosing your ultimate intent actually makes getting the type C visa more difficult) or even (2) marry abroad before applying for any visa.
    – Relaxed
    Sep 14, 2023 at 11:20
  • Different situation, but I was given a 6-month D visa to work and apply for longer residency in Germany. However, I don't think I ever had to request a certain visa type. I told the consulate why I wanted to go to Germany, and after processing everything, they told me what I was granted.
    – user253751
    Sep 14, 2023 at 19:54
  • Indeed, it seems that the type D long-stay visa is the right one. It seems that several countries (at least in theory) grant the "Family Reunification" type-D visa also for the purpose of establishment of family relationship, like marriage or adoption.
    – hb20007
    Oct 16, 2023 at 11:36
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There is no EU-wide or Schengen-wide answer to this question. Long term visas are subject to national law in the Schengen area and are not harmonized. You will have to research the requirements in the country of your partner's residence to see how to proceed and may wish to consult with an immigration lawyer licensed to practice in that country.

For example, in Germany, the Federal Foreign Office advises:

I am not a German national and want to marry my German partner in Germany. What do we have to do to get an entry visa?

First of all find out from the competent registry office in Germany what documents you and your German spouse have to present in order to marry in Germany.

As soon as the registry office confirms your documents are complete, you can apply for a visa to marry in Germany.

Once you are married the final residence and work permit will be issued by the foreigners authority in Germany.

Details on the documents to be presented with your visa application are often available on the webpage of the competent German mission abroad or directly from the mission itself.

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    You might add that a foreigner planning to marry in Germany needs quite a lot of translated and attested documents from the home country, and that getting them within a 90-day window is ambitious. If the needed documents are already provided, then the visa for marriage purposes should be no problem.
    – o.m.
    Sep 14, 2023 at 5:20

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