I am an Egyptian citizen; I am going to marry a Bulgarian girl and I will apply for a family residence permit in Bulgaria.

With Bulgarian residency, will I be allowed to enter the UK without a visa?

  • 3
    Residency extremely rarely matters for a visa. However, every visa question is answered at the IATA Travel Centre (and yes, it asks for residency). Plugging in random but plausible answers based on the question says "visa required".
    – chx
    Sep 11 '15 at 21:04
  • @chx i didn't understand what u mean !!
    – dark night
    Sep 13 '15 at 13:01
  • use the official website: gov.uk/check-uk-visa/y/egypt Sep 13 '15 at 22:00

According to the UK government website:

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There are no special visa waivers for nationals residing in EU countries outside of Ireland and the UK.

  • although having a family permit residence and travelling with my wife ?
    – dark night
    Sep 15 '15 at 15:38
  • @darknight you will still need a 'EU family member' visa.
    – JonathanReez
    Sep 15 '15 at 15:55
  • i will need visa for only uk or full europe countries , as i have a family permit residence from bulgaria and bulgaria is out of shengen but it is in EU , will i need a visa for shengen countries too ?
    – dark night
    Sep 15 '15 at 16:00
  • @darknight you will need both a Schengen visa and a UK visa. The Bulgarian permit is only valid in Bulgaria itself.
    – JonathanReez
    Sep 15 '15 at 16:00
  • thank you for your help , but when i apply for a visa while holding a premit residence it's different from applying without it ?? , as i can get refused if i applied while holding my residence ?
    – dark night
    Sep 15 '15 at 16:16

EU rules provide that non-EU family members of an EU national, resident in the EU, should be able to travel anywhere in the EU without a visa if

  • they have "an EU family member’s residence card issued under EU rules" (this excludes residence cards issued by the country of the EU family member's citizenship)
  • they are traveling with, or joining, the EU family member

Since your card will be issued by Bulgaria, and your future wife is Bulgarian, this does not apply to you. See http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/entry-exit/non-eu-family/index_en.htm.

You will therefore need an EEA Family Permit to travel to the UK with your wife, or to join her in the UK. To travel to the UK without your wife, you will need a Standard Visitor visa.

  • sorry i have some miss of understanding , u mean that if i marry my bulgarian wife and get EU Family residence from bulgaria i can travel with my wife without visa and , if i want to travel alone i should apply for visa , is that true ??
    – dark night
    Sep 20 '15 at 2:31
  • The EU family member residence card must be issued by an EU country other than Bulgaria. The rule only applies if the EU family member (your wife) is exercising her right to freedom of movement by living in another EU country. Since you'll be living in Bulgaria, your residence card most likely won't qualify as "issued under EU rules" so it will not absolve you from the visa requirement. In other words, because your wife is Bulgarian, and you are living with her in Bulgaria, your residence there is controlled by Bulgarian law, not by EU freedom of movement.
    – phoog
    Sep 24 '15 at 22:20

Every reply is incorrect.

The ruling is called the Surinda Singh case. After the man who fought the case in the Courts.

AS I am English living in Bulgaria and my wife is non EU national of Uganda this advice is true.

You need a Bulgarian Visa to enter Bulgaria either as a husband or intending to marry in Bulgaria. A Shengen visa will allow you entry but will not allow you to apply for a residency permit.

On Arrival in Bulgaria if already married you can apply for the residency card. You may now travel to UK accompanied by your wife. On arrival at the passport control you must tell them you are travelling on the Surindar Singh case. You will then be granted a six month UK visa. Now you are free to travel back and forth on that visa until expiry.

If you wish to stay and work in the UK you need to apply (in the UK) for permission.

This advice applies to all non EU citizens married to an EU citizen.

In my case, as a UK citizen living in the EAA. I had to live and work (Retired) in the EAA for twelve months before the conditions for the Surindar Singh route were met.

  • 2
    -1. IIRC Surinder Singh case is related to UK nationals desiring to bring their non-EU spouses to UK (or broadly nationals of X, desiring to bring their non-EU spouses into the same country X). Neither OP nor his wife are UK citizens, so this answer does not apply to them.
    – RedBaron
    Mar 24 '17 at 8:33
  • Not correct. the Surindar Singh case was about having clarification on EU law as a spouse of a UK national they must be treated the same as other EU nationals. Therefore with the Original poster being an non EU national married to a Bulgarian EU national the case does apply. Maybe I should have said that as a non UK EU national with a non EU spouse you are allowed entry under EU rules, however if you get any problems at Border control then cite the Surindar Singh case.
    – Davegs
    Mar 27 '17 at 19:08

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