Currently my partner has to go through the degrading process of obtaining a Schengen visa to visit Europe for holidays. We're on the 5 year route and coming up to the 2.5 year renewal midway. The (33mth) visa was issued in Shanghai, so no BRP was issued with it. The renewal will be in the UK, so a BRP will be issued.
Whilst in work, during a joint operation with police last week, I was passed a person who was the married spouse of an non-British EU citizen, who lives here. When asked if he had a passport or ID, he produced his British-issued BRP card. There was text printed on the base of his BRP stating "Residence Card of a Family Member of a Union Citizen".
I know that the Spanish Guardia Civil accept BRP EU/EEA Spouse cards which state that exact, specific text - a regular in the booth at Tenerife has told me. Further, I've not seen one, but I am told by UKVI staff (call centre) that when we renew my partner's FLR(M) visa, the new card probably doesn't contain any text due to me being a British National - they even agreed it was a disgusting situation.
I am told the UKVI issue two versions of this card.
1. Spouses of EU Citizens living in Britain - the text is present.
2. Spouses of British Citizens - the base of the card has a blank space.
Can anyone confirm this? It's hardly fair if this is the case. These free Visas involve a £140, 500-mile round trip to a consulate plus their postal fees.
I am British citizen with a non EU spouse (Filipino)....we are in the second stage of the 5 year route - her first (FLR) BRP, and the one we just renewed this March 2016, states:
Type of Permit: "Spouse/Partner Leave to Remain"
the only other information is her name, when the BRP is valid from and to, also "work permitted" and "no public funds", and her birth date & place of birth.
As the UK did not sign up to the Schengen Visa program for the EU, any non EU citizen who is married to a UK citizen, or not but has rights to live in the UK, has to apply for visa's to travel to EU countries, as far as I am aware, although as you state the visa should be free, but does involve traveling to the consulate in London and about 30GBP plus to get the passport back!
We traveled to Spain in May for a holiday, and reading about the requirements on the Spanish Embassy website, I did think for a moment, that she might not have to apply for a Schengen as I thought she might qualify under 'family". After contacting them and e-mailing a copy of her current BRP, they confirmed she did need the visa.
Been through all the silliness of getting travel visas again this month, was hoping this would be the last time, so sadly not.
Again been issues with VFS at Manchester. Tried to get an appointment for two months, they were initially saying they were full, then claimed there was a booking system fault fault on the VFS website. When we finally got an appointment, they were demanding documents they shouldn't be asking for, such as household bills, and finally stated we had not applied in time.
Made an email enquiry to EU Solvit helpdesk - they were really good. They mention delay is considered to be unacceptable.. the other unnecessary items they asked for were (ie items for an ordinary visitor visa not a spouse visit visa) - these also were said to be in breach of Schengen rules.
We were also told the answer given to us by the Dutch in a previous visa application was untrue - the consulate or embassy cannot compel you to use their appointed supplier (ie VFS et all) - they must allow Spouse/Family applicants the opportunity to apply at consulates or embassies.
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