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I am citizen of Uzbekistan, and I am living in Czech Republik 7 years, I do hold a permanent Resident card - Family member of EU Citizen. Me, my boyfriend (he is Czech citizen) and our son (Czech citizen) would like to travel together for 5 days to United Kingdom (London).

Do I need a visa before travel?

I did find information on Internet that:

The UK cannot block family members who are originally from outside Europe but now live in the EU entering the country without a visa, European judges say.

Non-EU family members do not need visa to enter UK, says European court Judges’ decision in McCarthy case is another setback in campaign by British government to control immigration from EU.

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UPDATE: The UK has updated its rules and it should now be possible to enter the country without visa with your “Family member of EU citizen” residence card. See EU rights clinic for more details.


What you read seems correct but this new McCarthy decision dates from mid-December 2014, a bit more than a month ago and this is only one step in a procedure. The UK court that requested a preliminary ruling from the EUCJ should then draw the relevant conclusion for Mr. McCarthy's case. The next logical step would be for the UK to amend their rules and issue instructions to the relevant agencies/departments to bring their practice in line with the decision.

I am not sure whether they already did it or if and when they will do it. Until all this settles down, it's difficult to know what the exact rules will be and it's still possible that an airline would deny boarding and/or a border guard would deny entry to EU citizens' relatives without visas even if this requirement is now apparently in breach of EU law.

It would therefore seem more prudent to apply for a visa even though it should in principle not be necessary.

  • Would it be possible to remove the historical information and only keep the current status? That would be much more helpful to future visitors – JonathanReez May 29 '17 at 10:11
  • @JonathanReez - isn't that essentially what new answers and upvotes are for? – ostergaard Jan 19 at 19:52
  • @ostergaard it is better to update old answers, if possible. Otherwise old answers have to be downvoted to push them down in the display order. – JonathanReez Jan 19 at 20:00
  • @JonathanReez is that specific to 'travel'? SO meta indicates a new correct answer to be the 'popular' protocol: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/265433/… – ostergaard Jan 19 at 20:08
  • @ostergaard feel free to open a Meta question – JonathanReez Jan 19 at 20:33
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You are completely right that the courts have ruled the UK visa policy to be a violation of the relevant EU regulations. That won't however help you from being rejected at the border, if the entry clearance officer guidelines haven't been modified yet.

If you are travelling together with your family members, you do however not need a regular visitor visa. You can apply for an EEA Family Permit, which will be issued by any UK visa issuing post (most consulates and embassies) free of charge. According to the UK Visas and Immigration guidelines, the permit should whereever possible be issued immediately:

Wherever possible a decision should be made at the time it is lodged or after an interview is conducted.

An issue may of course be that if you are not married to your partner (you talk about your boy-friend), you are not considered to be a "core family member" of an EEA citizen. Having had a Czech resident card for family members for seven years should however be enough to convince the UK officals that you live in a "durable relationship" with the EEA national. A marriage is not strictly required to be considered as a family member.

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    What “EEA regulation”? It's an EU directive (which EEA countries also need to apply obviously but that's moot). – Relaxed Feb 3 '15 at 23:11
  • I assumed that the freedom of movement rights were based on an EEA regulation or directive because of the title of the UK law and because the freedom of movement is within the EEA and not only within the EU. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Feb 3 '15 at 23:25
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo, it's a great answer because it acknowledges the need for published guidance before a court decision can be implemented, and they are not going to do that for a long time. The court case and court decision is totally irrelevant at this point. Relaxed's answer is good, but this answer is great because of '...that won't however help you from being rejected...' You also acknowledge the principle of 'durable relationship', which is a hurdle the OP must face when (and if) the guidance is finally published. – Gayot Fow Feb 4 '15 at 0:38