European Court Rules Against UK Visa Requirement

By Fiona Moore, for 22 December, 2014

The European Court of Justice has given a preliminary ruling that certain residence cards issued to non-European Union family members of EU citizens should enable these non-EU persons to enter the UK without a visa.

The Court was asked to consider the case of a Colombian woman living in Marbella in Spain who is married to a dual British and Irish citizen. The woman had been issued with a "Residence card of a family member of a Union citizen" by Spain, but this could not be used to enter the UK. Instead, she had to travel to Madrid to apply for a European Economic Area family permit.

The Court said residence cards for family members are intended to facilitate free movement within the EU and said member states have to recognize them as giving right of entry.

Britain had argued that family-member residence cards are easily forged. However, the Court said, although Member States have the right to refuse entry in cases of abuse or fraud, including sham marriages, this applies only when an individual seeking entry has been subjected to a specific assessment.

Tags: Court | Colombia | United Kingdom | Spain | European Union (EU) | Expats | Visas And Passports | Europe |


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