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My partner and I are planning to travel to Europe in 2015. My partner holds a British passport (he is an Australian citizen) and I hold an Australian passport. We are hoping to travel for one or two years.

We plan to spend most of our time completing workaways (no money is exchanged).

My question is: will a youth mobility visa for the UK allow me to travel throughout Europe without obtaining another visa for each individual country?

As far as I'm aware my partner will be able to travel on his British passport with no visa requirements.

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    @pnuts we will both be under 31 in 2018 yes. My partner is 28 this year and i am 26 – Elise Oct 27 '14 at 9:07
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I'm assuming your partner's British passport is because he has UK citizenship (in addition to Australian).

As an Australian citizen you don't need a visa to enter most European countries for stays up to 90 days per rolling 180 day period, but you will need a residence permit if you stay in, say, the Schengen area beyond that limit. (Which sounds likely to be the case unless you're planning your itinerary specifically such that you're outside Schengen for enough time to satisfy the 90/180 rule -- in which case you'll still need to deal with the rules of those other countries).

An UK youth mobility visa will not in itself count as a residence permit for other European countries.

The good news is that as long as you're accompanying your partner who is exercising his citizen's right of free movement within the EU/EEA, you basically cannot be denied a residence permit. You still need to apply for one, and there will be some processing time, but in most cases it will be fast-tracked, and most of the regulatory barriers to other prospective immigrants will not apply.

In principle the rules apply to cohabiting partners, but it will probably make for smoother trips through the bureaucracy if you get married before you travel. (Nobody says you need an actual big wedding, though).


[With the length of trip you're sketching here it is plausible that you will need to deal with tax authorities in the countries you're staying in, even if no money change hands -- but that is outside the ambit of Travel.SE]

  • Hi my partner is in the process of applying for a British passport. He is an Australian citizen but his mother is British born. Would he still be entitled to british citizens rights even though he is an australian citizen travelling on a british passport? Also in regards to the schengen area i could travel there for 3 months leave the area for say the uk or ireland for 3 months and return to start the 180 process over again? – Elise Oct 27 '14 at 0:56
  • @Elise: I would assume that the British would not issue him a passport unless it's because they're granting/recognizing him (dual) UK citizenship. -- Also, yes, 3 months in Schengen, then 3 months outside, then back to Schengen would be fine as far as Schengen is concerned. All you need is to make sure that, at any time, at most 90 of the preceding 180 days have been inside Schengen. So you could leave/enter more frequently than that as long as you keep track of your rolling totals. – Henning Makholm Oct 27 '14 at 1:10
  • ah ok. i have spoken with afew friends that have been granted british passports that are australian citizens but born to british national parents so I assumed this was possible but I guess I will hear back from the UK soon about this. – Elise Oct 27 '14 at 1:16
  • @Elise: That sounds like the deal is that he is (and always has been) "British citizen by descent" -- which doesn't prevent him from also being an Australian citizen. – Henning Makholm Oct 27 '14 at 1:35
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    Elise - be aware that with the UK, there are weird things about your mom V. dad being british. Also, note that you often say he is an "australian citizen". if he becomes a "UK citizen" he will in fact, be, a "UK citizen". (Note that it is completely and totally normal to be a citizen of more than one country.) if he, say, doesn't like the UK or doesn't want to admit to being a UK citizen, that's fine. But he will, absolutely, be a UK citizen, just as much as an "australian citizen". He will be completely bound by every rule and regulation of UK citizenness, same as for Aus. citizenness. – Fattie Oct 27 '14 at 8:39
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The UK youth mobility visa does not grant you any extra rights outside of the UK. As an Australian citizen, you can however travel to all EU countries for at most 90 days without visa anyway (i.e. even without the UK youth mobility visa). Beware, in the Schengen area (i.e. most of the European Union), it's 90 days per 180-day period in the whole area, not 90 days per country or 90 days per entry. In Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Cyprus, it's 90 days for each country. To make things even more complex, there are some special rules for Australian citizens in Denmark, see Consecutive Schengen area visas from different countries? Finally, Ireland has its own rules but you can also go there without visa.

For work or long-term stay you will need a local authorization or visa from each country. For many countries, one option is to get a “working holiday visa” but in some cases (e.g. France, if I am not mistaken), you need to get it before entering the country so plan carefully. Alternatively, if your partner is a UK citizen and you have some form of registered partnership, you can also easily get a residence card in other EU countries based on his free movements rights within the European Union.

Finally, countries like Russia, the Ukraine, Serbia, Albania, etc. are not part of the EU and have their own rules.

  • so if i was to say travel to the schengen area for 90 days then depart for the remaining 90 days before returning again I would be able to do so without obtaining any visas whatsoever? – Elise Oct 27 '14 at 0:52
  • @Elise Basically yes. – Relaxed Oct 27 '14 at 0:53
  • ok great I have been looking for information regarding longer term visas although it seems that I will have to contact each countries embassy directly for information as I'm only getting dead ends at the moment @pnuts – Elise Oct 27 '14 at 1:05
  • Relaxed has completely answered one of your questions. The UK (youth) visa has no connection to the rest of Europe / Schengen area. – Fattie Oct 27 '14 at 9:10

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