This is my second trip to Italy with my wife who is an Italian citizen. First trip was in 2011 for a duration of two weeks but at that time we were not married.

I am currently unemployed and worried they might refuse the visa. I will be able to prove that I have funds to sustain me for the duration of the visit but cannot prove I am permanently employed as I am basically freelancing. For my last application the Travel Agent, who is an accountant, gave a letter stating he is the bookkeeper of the sole-proprietor business I owned (a restaurant at the time) and they accepted it.

Will I be able to do it the same way?

As background, I am South African and the marriage is legitimate. We have even applied for an unabridged marriage certificate but only in November last year and apparently it takes up to eight months to obtain. In the previous visa, we submitted our Islamic Marriage Certificate.

We might travel to Germany as well, where my wife's sister resides. In theory, I would like to stay in Europe. I am 59 and my wife and I have known each other 30 years but never got married. We made Nikaah in 2009 and registered at Home Affairs in 2016; otherwise, I would hold an EU passport by now.

Should I rather apply for a spouse reunification visa, as my wife is applying for emigration from South Africa?

She has dual citizenship, so as to be able to cash her retirement annuity before the age of maturity.

I was thinking of applying for a spouse visa for a one month visit, and then remain in Italy for the 90 days and thereafter apply for a longer visa.

  • You should not be telling lies or withholding material information on a visa application. It can come back to bite you. If you got away with it the first time doesn't mean you will get away with it again. What is your citizenship and where do you reside? Feb 8, 2017 at 19:20
  • If the visa officials believe that the marriage is genuine, the new application should be much easier. Your wife has a right to travel to Italy and she has a right to take you with her. If you look at the form, quite a lot of questions are no longer applicable.
    – o.m.
    Feb 8, 2017 at 19:20
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    @GayotFow: Are you sure the EU rules apply when the wife is traveling to her own country of citizenship? Usually, I'm led to believe, that is not considered to be exercising her freedom of movement. Feb 8, 2017 at 20:06
  • @HenningMakholm I agree, I think you're right
    – Gayot Fow
    Feb 8, 2017 at 20:42
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    Your question has changed. See my revised answer. You keep changing your premise, you said unemployed, then freelance, then back to unemployed. Your question must be accurate from the beginning as much as possible in order to receive the best answer Feb 9, 2017 at 18:35

1 Answer 1


Telling lies was a very bad idea. If they find out, now or in the future, that puts your credibility into question. If the visa officials think that you are a liar, anything else you say will be disregarded.

Fortunately for you, if you travel together with your wife you can apply for a special kind of visa, a visa for family members of an EU citizen. If you download a Schengen visa application form, you will note that many questions are marked as not applicable to family members of EU citizens, as long as those citizens are exercising their treaty rights. It boils down to two questions:

  • Is the marriage genuine or a sham?
  • Is your wife traveling to Europe according to her treaty rights?

In theory you could show up at the border with your wife and your certificate of marriage and they have to give you a visa on the spot. In practice the airline won't take you along if you try that because the airline can't be sure your certificate will be accepted, and it is much easier to get the formalities done in advance.

  • I'm not sure the answer to the second bullet point is "yes" in this case. A citizen of Italy doesn't need treaty rights in order to travel to Italy. Feb 8, 2017 at 20:11
  • @HenningMakholm, good point, but elsewhere in the Schengen area she would and the visa is not just for Italy. I don't think the visa form has a field for "show that the citizens is exercising treaty rights."
    – o.m.
    Feb 8, 2017 at 20:18
  • @HenningMakholm I don't think the second bullet point is relevant. Italy has elected to extend the right of freedom of movement under directive 2004/38/EC to non-EU family members of Italian citizens where those rights are more favorable than the provisions of Italian domestic law. So Rashid can enjoy freedom of movement.
    – phoog
    Feb 10, 2017 at 3:29

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