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I have just received my Irish passport. My wife has a UK passport. If I stay in an EU country for 90 days then leave and return straight away, can my wife also do this? Do I need documentation of any sort?

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  • I am in the same position: I am dual UK / Irish and my wife is UK only. I have had mixed experience using this right. A few years ago in Copenhagen, I tried to take her through the EU queue with me and I was told: "we don't do that here". More recently, in Amsterdam, we went to separate queues and she was told off for not going through with me.
    – badjohn
    Apr 22 at 12:25
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    @badjohn They were wrong both in Copenhagen and Amsterdam. Schengen Border Code Article 10 2. Persons enjoying the right of free movement under Union law are entitled to use the lanes indicated by the sign shown in Part A (‘EU, EEA, CH’) of Annex III. They may also use the lanes indicated by the sign shown in Part B1 (‘visa not required’) and Part B2 (‘all passports’) of Annex III. This includes Family Members. Apr 22 at 12:40
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    @MarkJohnson I am not saying that either was right or wrong, just what I experienced. I did not make a fuss in Copenhagen as the non-EU queue was not long and we did not plan to stay long. In Amsterdam, I was not there when my wife was told off but she was told to go through with me next time.
    – badjohn
    Apr 22 at 12:44
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    @MarkJohnson: Why what that matter? In my experience immigration, customs & security offices often don't give a hoot what's right or wrong: they do whatever they feel like doing. They know they are in a position of power and that the traveler has little or no recourse. Pointing out to an officer that they are not following the rules typically does NOT end well.
    – Hilmar
    Apr 22 at 13:38
  • As a non EU-citizen (but a resident (not PR)) I often use the EU lines because they're shorter/faster, no one ever complains because the process to let me in is maybe only 10 seconds longer than a citizen (because they need to scan both my passport and my residence permit, but no further questions are asked, my passport is not stamped per schengen code) but way faster than a tourist (which can take several minutes). Outside EU there's been times where I was routed to all passports queue even though I was citizen (because line was shorter), sometimes even to the diplomatic passport line.
    – ave
    Apr 23 at 13:33

2 Answers 2

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If I stay in an eu country for 90 days then leave and return straight away can my wife also do this?

Provided they are traveling with you or going to join you, yes, your freedom of movement as a EU citizen extends to your partner (and also to unmarried -21 children), and the Schengen clock will not run if you're with them.

Do I need documentation of any sort?

You will want to have the proof of marriage in hand if married, but you are unlikely to be asked for it.

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  • traveling with you or to reunite with you
    – MJeffryes
    Apr 22 at 11:36
  • travelling with me Apr 22 at 12:25
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    @PaulWaring MJeffryes wasn't asking you a question, but clarifying that the freedom of movement extends both to someone travelling with their EU spouse and someone travelling to reunite with their EU spouse.
    – Sneftel
    Apr 22 at 13:10
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If I stay in an eu country for 90 days then leave and return straight away can my wife also do this?

Yes. Whether simply 'hopping over the border and then immediately back' will be considered as an absence, interrupting the 3-month period, will depend on the registration laws of the specific country.

Whatever form a specific country may require (if any) as registration for stays longer than 3 months in a single EU country, your non-EU spouse would be included in that registration.

As the spouse of an EU citizen, when accompanying or joining the EU citizen, the spouse may utilise the same Freedom of Movement rights as the EU citizen.

Do I need documentation of any sort?

A marriage certificate should be sufficient.

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  • Thankyou for the information Apr 22 at 12:26

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