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I have a valid Schengen type C visa as a non-EU family member of an EU citizen. Can I travel alone on this visa to any Schengen country, or do I need to get a new Schengen visa to travel alone if not travelling with or joining the EU family member in the member's state? Thanks.

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  • Free movement law applies when a non-EU family member accompanies or joins an EU citizen in a different EU country from the EU citizen's country of nationality. It usually does not apply in the country of nationality (though there are some exceptions).
    – phoog
    Jan 1 at 16:34

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I can't find anything explicit, but it's pretty clear that you can use this visa (subject to the 90/180 rule for any days when you are not with your EU family member or traveling to join your EU family member). For example, from the Practical Handbook for Border Guards:

When the family member travels on his/her own and does not hold a valid residence card or a residence permit (see point 2.8 of this Section), the normal regime concerning the length of the short stay will (re)start to apply, as the conditions for benefiting from the facilitations concerning the free movement of the EU, EEA and CH citizens and their families are not met anymore.

The previous stays performed in the area without internal border controls accompanying or joining the EU, EEA or CH citizen should not be taken into account for the sake of the calculation of the compliance with the 90/180-day rule which is applicable to the short stay only.

The provisions in the Schengen Borders Code itself only require a valid visa (where the traveler does not enjoy an exemption from this requirement). There's nothing in the Schengen Borders Code nor in the Schengen Visa Code suggesting that a visa issued to a non-EU family member for travel under the free movement directive is valid only when the bearer is traveling under that directive.

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  • Thank you for your response
    – user141666
    Jan 18 at 15:56

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