I am a spouse of a British citizen and applied and was granted a Schengen visa from the French embassy last year, which is valid till 2015, this was however in my passport which has my maiden name. I have recently changed all my documents and passport to my married name including getting a new passport. When I got the new passport, my old one was made void by punching 2 holes through the bio data page.

My question is, I would like to go to Spain for a wedding next month, can I travel with both my passports or will I need to cancel the old visa in expired passport from French embassy and then apply for a new visa from the Spanish embassy?

  • 1
    I think you may call to French embassy and ask them to put your valid visa in a new passport
    – MikkaRin
    Commented Mar 19, 2014 at 12:24
  • Will you be travelling with your British spouse? The rules are different for spouses of EU citizens travelling within the EU, depending on if they're travelling alone or with their EU spouse
    – Gagravarr
    Commented Mar 19, 2014 at 12:52
  • Yes I would be traveling with my British spouse, thank you for your reply, it is difficult to speak with anyone from the embassy over the phone, I will try sending them an email.
    – Mrs Moen
    Commented Mar 19, 2014 at 15:36
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    @jwenting - No valid visas on an expired passport are still valid.
    – DumbCoder
    Commented Mar 19, 2014 at 17:52
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    You should be able to take both passports with you, as well as a proof of name change, and the visa will carry over to the new passport. I know many people that travel with their old passports due to still valid visas, but the name change is the spanner in the works here.
    – Dwev
    Commented Mar 20, 2014 at 11:41

2 Answers 2


It seems that for Schengen visas, it's actually pretty normal to put your maiden name.

And indeed, this is a common question for many embassies about the Schengen visa.

Take the Italian Embassy in the Philippines for example - they have an FAQ page:

  1. Is it OK that my maiden name is written on my visa?

For married female, it is standard that their maiden name is written on their issued visa.

As for visas being in expired passports, I still have a valid UK Ancestry visa in my expired passport, and I regularly used it to access the UK. I'd present both the expired passport (with the visa inside) and my new current passport. The two together are enough. Just because a passport has expired, does not necessarily invalidate the visas within.

However, as with all legal matters of jurisdiction and travel, it's highly recommended that you contact your nearest embassy, to ensure that a) we're correct and b) that rules haven't changed recently.


Traveling with a new passport and a visa in an expired/invalidated passport is pretty common and should be OK. It has occasionally been an issue in the Schengen area in the past (specifically in Latvia) and the EUCJ ruled unequivocally that a Schengen visa in an invalidated passport is still valid and can be used together with a new passport. But that was about someone using exactly the same name in both passports so there is another complication in your case.

If you are traveling with your British spouse, the visa should be issued quickly and free of charge, so simply applying for a new one could be a good way to sidestep the problem. The downside is that the new one might not be valid until 2015. Your French visa might also need to be invalidated first, in which case you gain nothing because you still need to get hold of the French consulate first.

If everything else fails, you can still try to go to Spain. Make sure you take a copy of your marriage certificate with you and if you are able to convince the airline to carry you, you should be able to get in. The border guards might be reluctant and/or make you wait some time but in principle as the spouse of an EU citizen traveling with him, you should even be able to get a visa on arrival and enter in any case. (The certificate is there to prove that you are indeed married to the EU citizen.) A copy of the EU webpage I linked before can be useful too if either the airline or the border guards don't know/don't want to acknowledge the rule.

See also: Indian Visa in expired passport, new passport with husband's surname (but that was for the US).

(The answer was UPDATED to describe the outcome of the EUCJ case.)

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