Skip to content

Family members of EU/EEA or Swiss citizens

Specific rules relating to applicants who are family members of EU/EEA or Swiss citizens

According to Directive 2004/38/EC18 on the rights of Union citizens and their family members to move freely within the territory of the Member States, Schengen countries should process the visa application from a family member of a EU/EEA or Swiss citizen as soon as possible on the basis of an accelerated procedure.

In order to establish if you can derive any rights from this Directive, three questions should be answered:

1) Is there an EU citizen from whom the visa applicant can derive any rights?

In principle, the Directive applies only to those EU citizens who travel to a Member State other than the Member State of their nationality. THIS MEANS THAT IF YOU ARE A FAMILY MEMBER OF A DANISH CITIZEN AND YOU ARE TRAVELLING TO DENMARK YOU DO NOT DERIVE ANY RIGHTS FROM THIS DIRECTIVE.

2) Does the visa applicant fall under the definition of “family member”?

The following persons are defined in Article 2(2) of the Directive as ‘core’ family members:

  • the spouse;
  • the partner with whom the EU citizen has contracted a registered partnership, on the basis of the Legislation of any Member State, if the legislation of the host Member State treats registered partnership as equivalent to marriage;
  • the direct descendants who are under the age of 21 or are dependant as well as those of the
    spouse or partner as defined above; or
  • the dependant direct relatives in the ascending line and those of the spouse or partner as defined above.

3) Does the visa applicant accompany or join the EU citizen?

Article 3(1) of the Directive stipulates that the Directive applies only to those family members, as defined above, who accompany or join the EU citizens who move to or reside in a Member State other than that of which they are a national.

This means that even if you are a family member of an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen in order to have your visa issued under the Directive you must be travelling with or joining your EU/EEA or Swiss family member on the trip that the visa is covering.

Supporting documents

In order to prove that you have the right to be issued with an entry visa under the Directive, you must establish that you are a beneficiary of the Directive. This is done by presenting documents relevant for the purposes of the three questions referred to above, i.e. proving that:

  • there is an EU citizen from whom you can derive any rights;
  • that you are a family member (e.g. a marriage certificate, birth certificate, proof of dependency, serious health grounds, durability of partnerships …) and his/her identity (passport); and
  • that you accompany or join the EU/EEA or Swiss citizen on the trip

If you fail to provide such evidence, the consulate can conclude that the applicant is not entitled to the specific treatment under the Directive.

Additional documents may not be required regarding the purpose of travel and means of subsistence (e.g. proof of accommodation, proof of cost of travelling), which is reflected in the exemption for family members of EU citizens from filling in the following fields of the visa application form:

  • Field 19: "current occupation"
  • Field 20:"employer and employer's address and telephone number. For students, name and address of educational establishment"
  • Field 31: "surname and first name of the inviting person(s) in the Member State(s). If not applicable, name of hotel(s) or temporary accommodation(s) in the Member State(s)
  • Field 32: "Name and address of inviting company/organisation"
  • Field 33: "Cost of travelling and living during the applicant's stay"

However please note that family members of EU/EEA and Swiss citizens must still lodge their application according to the requirements listed under 'HOW to lodge a visa application'.

Visa Fee

No visa application fee will be charged. However if you lodge your application with VFS Global you must still pay their service and courier fee.

Processing time

As soon as possible.

set title