We have a family member who doesn't have citizenship of a Schengen country. She lives in South America and has no intention in moving to the EU other then regular visits. This is now done on Schengen multiple entry visa. The 90/180 rule and the bureaucracy when the visa needs to be renewed can be time consuming an annoying. Because of a funeral of her father was missed. Currently we have to postpone an invitation because a renewal of her passport required a new Schengen visa, with al the bureaucracy needed.

Since her family all resides in Schengen member states we are wondering if there is some sort of resident permit, which would allow staying in Schengen while at the same time residing in a non-Schengen country.

  • If you can get a residence permit in any shengen country, then yes. Like me. I have shengen (Polish) residency but live in UK (non-shengen). Over the years I got a UK resident , so it doesn't matter for me now. But I am a Polish national. Your problem sounds like your family member is not European nationality. So it is most likely not possible, without following the procedures you do now.
    – Piotr Kula
    Mar 13, 2014 at 11:38
  • @ppumkin We are indeed not talking about a EU citizen here otherwise visas would not be relevant.
    – Gala
    Mar 13, 2014 at 11:44
  • @Andra Does your relative have a spouse from an EU citizen or is the relationship more remote?
    – Gala
    Mar 13, 2014 at 11:44
  • Beyond the details of the situation, note that residency and long-term visas are still national matters. There might be some practical solution in this case but there is no such thing as a general “Schengen residence permit”, only resident cards from Schengen member states that also happen to open the right to travel in other Schengen member states.
    – Gala
    Mar 13, 2014 at 11:49
  • @GaëlLaurans we are talking about a widow from a Schengen citizen, who is my mother, I am a Dutch citizen. All of her direct family members live in Schengen member states.
    – Andra
    Mar 13, 2014 at 12:14

1 Answer 1


Her being the widow of an EU citizen does not help, extended family not so much either. For a direct ascendant or descendant (i.e. father/mother/children), it's possible to obtain a residence permit from one of the member states under certain conditions. You will still need to deal with paperwork and renew it from time to time. Most importantly, depending on local law, the person will most likely need to actually live in that country most of the time so as to avoid forfeiting this residence permit.

That's an EU-wide rule (resulting from the EU citizen's freedom of movement), not related to Schengen (it would also apply, e.g., for a Romanian citizen living in Ireland). But once you have a residence permit from a Schengen country, you can travel in the area easily. However, if the EU citizen “sponsoring” a family member lives in his or her country of origin, then this principle might not apply, EU law is (for the most part) not relevant. Also, there is no such thing as a “Schengen resident card”, long-term stay is a national matter.

Otherwise, she needs to have a Schengen visa. The best thing would be a visa valid for several years (sometimes called a “circulation” visa, up to 5 years are possible) but it seems she already has one of those. Also, renewing her passport does not necessarily mean that she needs a new visa, it might be possible to travel with both a new passport and the old one with the visa in it.

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