#Human Rights
British Foreign and Commonwealth office & European Parliament

British Citizens accompanying their Non-EU visa-national spouses on visits to the UK are denied entry to the UK as a couple if they travel without a valid visa. Couples must decide, either travel alone, or not at all.

Meanwhile, Non-British EU citizens and their Non-EU visa national spouses are free to visit without any visa requirement.

Under current European law, EU citizens, who are not British themselves, are able to exercise their right under the Freedom of Movement Treaty, to have their spouse travel with them on visits to the UK, regardless of that person's immigration status or nationality. So the bizarre effect of this is that couples get greater protection of their Article 8 rights in an EU country other than their own.

We, British Citizens, demand free-movement rights and fair and equitable treatment for our spouses whatever their nationality, and regardless of the British citizen's country of domicile.

Please support us in fighting this injustice and sign our petition.


This petition was started because of an incident at a European airport check-in desk. A British citizen and his visa-national wife were denied boarding on a flight for a 24 hour visit to the UK due to lack of visa. The wife was in possession of a multi-entry 12-month Schengen visa and the couple had a return plane ticket. Immigration control advised that the couple would need to return to the wife's country of origin to make an applicaion for a visit visa, before entry could be granted.

Meanwhile, the couple's travelling partners, a German citizen and his Russian spouse, were granted boarding rights and subsequently entered the UK without undue formality, cost, or disclosure of visit purpose - a right extended to them under European law.


UK visit visas have to be obtained from the country of origin of the visa national spouse.

EEA family permits commonly used to circumvent visa entry requirements to the UK may be obtained from any issuing office in any European country.

A UK short-term visit visa cost eighty-five pounds. Note, the cost can be much higher due to the use of external document processing agencies. In all cases, regardless of relationship to British citizen, a fee is charged.

Schengen visas and an EEA family permits are issued free of charge to spouses of EU citizens.

UK visit visas can be denied to the spouse of a British citizen.

Schengen visas, or EEA family permits, are granted automatically to EU spouse applicants.

The UK visit visa application is 10 pages long, requiring details of personal finances together with supporting evidence, in addition to information about friends and family in the UK.

Schengen visa applications are 2 pages long and do not require the visa national spouse to disclose private data, only to prove the relationship with the EU citizen.

We, the undersigned, call on the British Government to respect family rights of British Citizens who are partnered with Non-EU visa nationals, and allow them to accompany a British Citizen on visits to the UK without visa requirements that impose undue formality, cost, and inconvenience.

The Non-EU visa-national spouses of British Citizens denied automatic visit rights to UK petition to British Foreign and Commonwealth office & European Parliament was written by Simon Shekyls and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.