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.