Permanent resident family members of EU citizens can enter in Schengen visa-free

Published at: 19/10/2020 12:00 pm

Permanent resident family members of EU citizens can enter in Schengen visa-free

The family members of EU citizens, who are permanent residents, must be exempt from the entry-visa process in the European Union, according to the European Union Court of Justice.

The ECJ's comment arrived after a question from the Administrative and Labour Court of Budapest on an administrative decision to fine Ryanair airline in 2017.

The Irish, budget or low-cost airline was fined with 3,000 euros for "allegedly not taking the necessary measures as a carrier, to ensure that a passenger owned the required travel documents to enter Hungary."

The Ukrainian passenger was a permanent resident of the United Kingdom. According to the Directive on the right of EU citizens and their family can freely move and reside in any Member State's territory. However, the Ukrainian passenger did not have an entry visa.

The ECJ ruled that family members of an EU citizen can enter visa-free in the European Union, irrespective of the type of their residence card or status should enjoy the right of the visa-free entrance.

"In that regard, the Court points out that the permanent residence card may be issued only to persons who have already obtained a residence card as a family member of an EU citizen and lawfully resided for an uninterrupted period of five years with the EU citizen concerned in the host Member State, benefiting during that period from the visa exemption attached to the possession of such a card", announced the Court in its verdict.

Furthermore, the authorities must consider the permanent residence permit card as proof of the holder's family member status.

The verdict secured the rights of the family members of the EU citizens. Moreover, the benefit of the visa-free entry provided by the EU directive extends to family members of a citizen who have a residence card or permanent residence card. Both when a card has been issued to them by an EU Member State outside the Schengen area and when an EU Member State has issued it within the Schengen area.

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