I'm a Chinese national with a type F Belgian residence card ("familielid van een burger van de Unie"). According to the EU law, it seems that I don't need a visa to enter Ireland as a tourist. Will I encounter problems at immigration because my residence permit is in Dutch?


The language shouldn't in itself be a source of trouble -- border guards will have access to documentation about how the relevant residence permits of other member states look.

Note, though, that your rights under the Directive only apply when you're traveling with (or traveling to join) the union citizen in question. If you're traveling on your own you can be required to have a visa.

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  • "The UK also interprets the directive to mean that the residence card is only valid for travel if the union citizen in question is traveling with you (or is already in the UK)." Don't they interpret it that way because that is in fact a required condition under EU rules? – phoog May 4 '15 at 15:22
  • @phoog: It is unclear to me from the text of the Directive. Article 5 does not seem to clearly say that the rights it specifies for family members apply only when accompanying the union citizen. .... Ah, there it is, Article 3 section 1 limits the entire directive to apply only to family members who accompany or join the union citizen. Fixed. – hmakholm left over Monica May 4 '15 at 16:59
  • I think I see your point: The family member, by residing with the EU national, falls under the directive, gaining the rights imparted by article 5 even when traveling without the EU national. But article 5 only concerns right of entry; right of residence for up to 3 months (article 6) is explicitly conditioned on "traveling with or joining" the EU national, and this seems to support the UK approach. – phoog May 4 '15 at 17:06
  • The problem with the UK was not so much that people had to travel with their EU citizen spouse (that's legit) or that they demanded additional documentation (that's questionable but it gets worse). Rather it was that they still demanded a visa (namely the EEA family permit) even when the person met all the conditions. A recent decision from the EU court of justice put that to an end and the UK issued new guidance to implement it correctly about a month ago (they did not implement it “partly” but simply in a blatantly incorrect way). – Relaxed May 4 '15 at 22:22
  • Question is: What about Ireland? I am not even sure they had unreasonable demands to begin with and the court decision would certainly apply mutatis mutandis to Ireland as well. But it would be nice to know precisely. – Relaxed May 4 '15 at 22:23

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