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I have just traveled outside the UK with my Permanent Residence Card

I’m a Philippine passport holder with UK Permanent Residence Card (PRC), more commonly known at the airports as Residence Permit (PR). As non-EEA national, it’s a bit rigorous to travel around Europe on my own with this documentation alone. I get interrogated at the passport control going in or out of the country I visit.

When I and my hubby traveled to Paris in December 2014, I went through the immigration process quickly. No fuss, no question. As soon the officer saw my Permanent Residence Card, he stamped my passport right away.

However, flying back to UK, I got grilled by the custom officer. He asked which airport I came in, which was the same airport I was going out. Unconvinced by my answers and my husband’s explanation, the officer called his supervisor who came explaining to him the rules surrounding my type of visa (PRC).

Even when I travel to Italy with my husband, I always get interrogated and I find the whole process exasperating. It makes me feel like, “Am I the first if not the one and only non-EEA national travelling to this country?” I would have thought those officers should have been expert with immigration law and visa requirements.

Having said that, I always feel anxious everytime I travel out of the UK. So I developed a principle which is, “If the airline let me go, then I should be okay.” Usually, airline staff are trained regarding visa requirements. In fact, sometimes they know better than the immigration officer. But of course, the final decision is still at the discretion of the immigration officer.

Question: Can I travel to Europe Schengen area with my Permanent Residence Card – that is without Schengen visa?

Answer: Yes and No.

I have just done it. However, the decision is still up to the immigration officer. You might be allowed or denied entry. Personally, I will never dare do it again.

(Visited 3,591 times)
{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Jessa November 19, 2016, 7:02 pm

    Hi Jem

    I am also Filipino and I have lived in the UK for 3 years now with my pinay mom and Polish step dad. My visa is “Residence card of a Family Member of an EEA national”. My concern is, what is the next step after this visa expires? Will I be applying for a permanent residency (like yours?) or an ILR? I was 16 when I came here and I’m 19 now. Looking forward to hearing your advice. Thank you so much.

    • Jemina Sentina November 20, 2016, 9:29 am

      Hi Jessa, yes, you will need to apply for the permanent one like me. We are both dependents of an EU national so it’s the same process.

  • Julz August 19, 2016, 11:25 pm

    Hi there Jem,

    Im also a Filipino and I’m confuse. I have an EEA permit now. I lived with my Spanish Husband in Spain and we moved to the UK. Having an EEA Permit I understand that I would need to apply an EEA Pemit 2 ( or residence card for 5 yrs) within 6 months. Say I have already the EEA PERMIT 2 already can i still go back to Spain for vacation without the need of securing a Schengen Visa?

    Nice post! Thanks for your story by the way!


    • Jemina Sentina August 31, 2016, 9:15 pm

      Hi Julz,
      Thanks for stopping by. Unfortunately, I’m not an expert on immigration stuff, but I think if you exchange your EEA Permit to Residence Card/Documentation then we would be in the same shoes. You can go back to Spain without a visa if you travel with your husband. Travelling alone, you will need a Schengen Visa. However, I could be wrong regarding your travel restrictions.

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