I am a Pakistani citizen and my husband a British national. We both have planned a trip for Netherlands. My husband is presently in U.K. He will join me in Netherlands. I have applied for Schengen visa for 2 weeks. I want to know what documents I need and what things I must prepare for my trip.

One thing I want to add that I had applied for Poland Schengen visa but it was refused twice without any reason. According to EU law non-EU family member can't be refused. So can someone guide me how I can make my application strong ? I have a solid bank statement.

  • You've applied for the visa already ? What other documents are you thinking about ?
    – blackbird
    Oct 19, 2016 at 2:04
  • You need to submit your marriage certificate and proof of your husband's EU nationality. What else? It sounds like you didn't apply properly for the visa. Oct 19, 2016 at 2:29
  • Yes I am attached my marriage certificate , my husband 's British passport copy . Bank statement and hotel booking . My valid Pakistani passport .
    – Nazia
    Oct 19, 2016 at 2:42
  • 2
    @Nazia was your husband traveling with you, or was he going to be in Poland when you arrived, and did you make that clear in the application?
    – phoog
    Oct 19, 2016 at 4:13
  • 3
    You say your husband will join you in the Netherlands. Does that mean you will arrive there before he does? If so, the Netherlands is not required toprocess your visa under the freedom of movement directive.
    – phoog
    Oct 19, 2016 at 4:42

1 Answer 1


EU freedom of movement rights can be complicated to understand. The key insight you need to make sense of it all is that it's all about your husband's rights to travel in the EU (as a British and therefore EU citizen). Non-EU spouses or family members only have derived rights. It is therefore not exactly true that visas for non-EU family members cannot ever be refused, they are only entitled to enter the EU to the extent necessary to guarantee the EU citizen's own freedom of movement (and with a few caveats, even for that).

The underlying idea is that if your husband had to choose between staying with his family and working or making a holiday in another EU country, his freedom to move about would effectively be restricted. In this perspective he should ideally be able to take the best job or holiday location (and employers to hire the best person, etc.) in the EU, irrespective of national borders and without having to think twice about complex legal consequences. And that's why EU law gives his family the right to go wherever he goes.

Where does that leave you? You have to distinguish sharply between two situations:

  • You are travelling with your husband or joining him somewhere in the EU (except the UK, because he is a British citizen): You fall under freedom of movement rules, you can still be required to apply for a visa but this application must be free of charge, it should be processed quickly and can only be refused in very specific cases. In the unlikely event that they do refuse the visa, the consulate should not use the standard form but send you a letter with a detailed motivation.

    If your circumstances allow it and you want to make use of this possibility (in your case it would mean changing your travel plans so that your husband comes to the Netherlands before you), you only need to submit evidence of your husband's citizenship, your marriage and the fact he will travel with you. Do not submit bank statements or provide additional information on the form (read the fine print to find out which questions you can skip), it's not relevant and just invites confusion or could even be used to find reasons to doubt your status.

    If you still get a standard refusal or the consulates asks for more, see Schengen visa for a non-eu spouse of eu citizen and Does a non-EU Spouse of a UK national need a visa to visit the Schengen area? about the next steps you could take.

  • You are travelling alone or before your husband: You fall under the regular rules, you need to provide all the usual evidence, consulates are allowed to refuse the application using only a standard form (like the Polish consulate apparently did) and your recourses are limited. EU freedom of movement rules do not apply and you can use our archive to find many questions about the various refusal reasons and how to make your application stronger, e.g. Schengen Visa Refusal: Justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not provided and Schengen Visa Refusal: Justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not reliable.

    Of course, in your case, another option is always to modify your travel plans to have your husband travel with you or arrive first. In practice, if you enter the country at the same time, you could even stay a bit longer without him without trouble. Technically, I guess that you might not be covered by the freedom of movement anymore but unless you do something stupid like overstaying and working illegally, that would only be assessed upon entry and you should not fear any adverse consequences when leaving.

  • Yes I am going Netherlands with my husband from Pakistan
    – Nazia
    Nov 6, 2016 at 4:05
  • In order to apply for a Schengen visa as a EU/EEA family member you have to meet the following criteria: You are a family member of an European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) citizen; and that EU/EEA citizen is travelling to or is residing in an EU member state other than the member state of which they are a citizen; and you are accompanying that EU/EEA citizen or planning to join them in the Schengen state of destination.
    – Nazia
    Nov 6, 2016 at 4:09
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    What will be you openion for concrning if this rule of EU
    – Nazia
    Nov 6, 2016 at 4:10
  • @Nazia I am not sure I understand your question; this rule is what I have been trying to explain in my answer…
    – Relaxed
    Nov 6, 2016 at 9:10

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