I'm a non-EEA national in a Civil Union with my Spanish partner. I hold a Residence Card which was issued under Article 10 of Directive 2004/38/EC (the ‘Free Movement Directive’). On the back of my Residence Card states that I'm a Family Member of a Union Member. Will I be able to enter and visit the UK with my partner with my Article 10 Residence Card even though my Partner has not exercised his free movements rights in another EEA state?

1 Answer 1


Yes. Your Spanish partner is exercising free movement rights simply by traveling to the UK.

See https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/entering-the-uk-as-the-holder-of-an-article-10-residence-card/entering-the-uk-as-the-holder-of-an-article-10-residence-card:

2. What you are allowed to do with a residence card

A valid, genuine Article 10 (or Article 20) residence card allows the non-EEA national family member of an EEA national to travel to the UK without the requirement to obtain an EEA family permit.

However, in order to be admitted to the UK you will need to demonstrate that you have a right of admission under EU law. Without evidence that you have a right of admission, you will not be allowed to enter to the UK on the basis of your residence card.

3. Evidence you need to bring in addition to your residence card

In order to be admitted to the UK, we would expect to see the following in addition to your valid residence card:

  • your valid passport
  • evidence that you are the family member of an EEA national (for example, your marriage certificate or birth certificate)

In addition, if you are not travelling with your EEA national family member, you will also need to show:

  • evidence that your EEA national family member is in the UK, and
  • evidence that they have a right of residence in the UK because:
    1. they have been in the UK for less than three months, or
    2. they are in the UK as a worker, self-employed person, self-sufficient person or student, or
    3. they have acquired a right of permanent residence in the UK under EU law.

If you cannot satisfy the Border Officer that you have a right of admission to the UK under EU law, you will not be allowed to enter the UK.

  • Thanks for you reply, phoog. However I'm aware that usually the article 10 residence cards are issued when the EEA national are practising their treaty rights in a Member State than that of their nationality. And in my case, I was issued a card under the article 10 from being a partner of a EEA national It seems like there are other member states that are more generous if they want to and to apply EU law instead of domestic law to the family members of the nationals. Will the residence card work to enter the UK then? Thank you.
    – Nicole
    Sep 19, 2016 at 17:46
  • 1
    @Nicole I see your point, and it is a good one. However, the UK has no way of knowing whether your partner exercised treaty rights elsewhere before you got that article 10 card. All they can know is that you have it. If you bring all of that extra documentation with you, as specified in their web page, they'll let you in.
    – phoog
    Sep 20, 2016 at 0:03

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