I'm an EU national. My mother-in-law is not an EU national, but she is waiting for the residency permit as Family Member of an EU national. She had a 90-day tourist visa type C, which is already expired.

Can she travel with me to another EU member state while waiting for her residency permit as a family member of an EU national?

  • Where is she now, and on what legal basis? Some countries permit temporary residence while papers are being processed, but that's not the same as either having a Schengen C visa or a national permit.
    – o.m.
    May 13, 2017 at 11:56
  • @o.m. if they are traveling together then she enjoys freedom of movement under directive 2004/38/EC.
    – phoog
    May 13, 2017 at 14:01
  • 1
    @phoog, as the OP explained the mother in law is waiting for the card to confirm this status. So it might be impractical to exercise the right now.
    – o.m.
    May 13, 2017 at 14:24
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    @o.m. on the other hand, if they're not going outside Schengen, there's no reason not to travel, especially if they take with them the evidence of relationship and dependency that they used to apply for the residence card. If they are leaving Schengen, they'll need to get visas, but that still ought to be possible, if somewhat of a hassle.
    – phoog
    May 13, 2017 at 14:47

1 Answer 1


Yes. Since you mention a type C visa, I assume that you are in a Schengen state. You can travel together with her to another Schengen state as long as she has her passport.

To travel to a non-Schengen state, she will generally be required to hold a visa for that state. Such a visa should be granted according to an accelerated procedure and free of charge.

There is one caveat, however. A non-EU mother in law falls under the freedom of movement directive only if she is dependent on the EU family member (that is, on her adult child or adult child's spouse). To get a freedom-of-movement visa for a non-Schengen EU state, she will have to submit proof of dependency (or of being a member of your household) as well as of the relationship. Similarly, if she is suspected of overstaying in the Schengen area, she might need to offer the same proof in her defense, although a verbal explanation of the circumstances would probably suffice in most cases.

In principle, however, her right to travel under the freedom of movement directive is independent of any document. This is why the document is called a residence card instead of a residence permit; it simply evidences a right that she already has rather than being the instrument through which that right is granted.

The relevant EU legislation is Directive 2004/38/EC.

Finally, if you are traveling out of the Schengen area, she will probably need to get a new Schengen visa to re-enter it. This would complicate matters somewhat, and, if I were you, I would postpone the trip if possible or at least discuss it with the relevant authorities in your country of residence before making definite plans.

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