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I'm a South African living in Britain with my husband who is Polish. My visa has expired already, and I have not applied for my residence card yet.

My husband has travelled to Poland to be with his family for Christmas. Would I be able to travel to Poland to meet him there without me having my residence card? I was told by a friend that I could travel if I have my marriage certificate on hand: is there any truth in that?

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In short, no, but you should be able to get a Schengen visa without charge and quickly.

South Africans require a visa to enter the Schengen area. Visa nationals are exempted from this requirement if they have a residence card indicating that they are a family member of an EU/EEA national.

Family members without such a card still enjoy the right of freedom of movement under EU law, when traveling with or joining their EU/EEA family member, except that they still require a visa.

Since you don't yet have that card, you need a visa.

The visa is supposed to be issued free of charge, and through an expedited process. Your best course of action, therefore, is probably to apply for a visa at the Polish consulate.

  • Would the fact that the OP is overstaying in the UK have any effect? – CMaster Dec 10 '15 at 9:09
  • @CMaster as the spouse of an EU citizen, OP can't really overstay, she can only be fined for failing to register. – phoog Dec 10 '15 at 14:33

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