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Given an Australian-Schengen area dual citizen who has an Australian single citizen wife is it possible for the couple to visit the Schengen area together for more than 90 days without taking up residency there?

I have reviewed Schengen visa for non-EU spouse of EU citizen http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/residence/family-residence-rights/non-eu-wife-husband-children/index_en.htm Non-EU spouse of an EU citizen - is visiting EU without needing a visa possible? but I do not see an answer to this particular question.

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Yes, as long as you separate "taking up residency" from "getting a residence card": if they are planning to spend more than 90 days in any country, they are strictly speaking supposed to apply for a residence card in that country. Whether this will actually be possible depends on the country and on how much longer than 90 days they want to stay. In some cases, they might be told not to worry about the residence card if they're staying, for example, for 100 days.

If they want to spend no more than 90 days in any country, no residence card is necessary.

The consequences of failing to get a residence card will also depend on the country, but will in no case be worse than a fine. It's probably a good idea to weigh the negative consequences against the cost of preparing the residence card application.

In France, for example, there's no actual fine; instead, if the spouse is discovered in France after 90 days, she will be told to get a residence card, and the application fee will be €340 instead of €25. But if the couple is about to leave, the spouse won't actually need to apply for the card. This is how it works for my parents: When they leave, my mother is found to have spent more than 90 days in Schengen, and then she is seen to be the spouse of an EU citizen, and they stamp her out.

For a more specific answer, a more specific itinerary would be necessary, since the particulars depend on the country.

Note that the term is "residence card" rather than "residence permit" because it serves to document a right that has its source in EU law, not in a grant of permission from the immigration authorities. A consequence of that is that if their administrative procedures are not sufficiently agile to handle the case of a stay that's slightly longer than 90 days, they can't forbid you from staying for slightly longer than 90 days.

  • > If they want to spend no more than 90 days in any country, no residence card is necessary. - so what happens to the 90-180 rule? How would the authorities know to not apply that? – chx Feb 1 '17 at 15:24
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    @chx the non-EU traveler could be required to show evidence that she was traveling with her EU family member. In the case of my parents leaving the Schengen area at a French airport, they were traveling together. The border guards didn't actually discuss this with my parents. One time they approached passport control separately, and the border guards were taking a long time with her passport. Then they somehow connected her with my father, asked her if they were married, and when she said yes they immediately stamped her passport and sent her on her way. – phoog Feb 1 '17 at 17:24
  • @chx I emphasize that practice could vary from one country to the next. After the incident described in my previous comment, my parents have always presented themselves together at the EU/EEA/CH Passports desk. They have never been told to use the All Passports desk, but I have read on this site that mixed EU/non-EU couples have been told to do that in Italy (despite the fact that the Schengen Borders Code specifies that "persons enjoying the right of free movement," which includes accompanying spouses, can use the EU/EEA/CH desk). – phoog Feb 1 '17 at 18:10

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