help: EU Solvit

You can contact the EU’s Solvit service if you experience problems exercising your rights under European rules. It is a free service and they can be very helpful.

The down side is that they can take quite a while to resolve a problem, typically 3 to 10 weeks.  They are typically not lawyers and in some situations they may not fully understand EU law.

Contact them at

Examples of cases free movement cases handled by Solvit:

  • The Danish authorities refused to issue a visa to the Chinese wife of a British resident who wanted to accompany her husband on a visit to Denmark, because they could not provide a reference in Denmark who would confirm the reasons for the visit. SOLVIT Denmark contacted the Danish authorities who finally regretted not to have taken into consideration the existing EU rules and subsequently granted a visa to the Chinese citizen. Furthermore, the memorandum of practice by which the authorities have specified the rules and conditions for granting visas was adjusted according to the EU regulation in order to avoid similar problems in the future.
  • The Spanish embassy in Prague rejected a Ukraine national with a Bulgarian husband an entry visa to Spain. Her request was denied due to a two-year-old stamp in her passport from the Spanish embassy in Kiev denying an unrelated visa request. The officer did not know what this stamp meant, but recommended that the woman go to Kiev to remove the stamp at the Spanish embassy. SOLVIT Czech Republic found this in breach with EU law: issuing a visa to EU citizens’ family members should be a mere formality and shouldn’t result in the denial of entrance to an EU country, nor should its issuing be charged by high fees or complicated by unnecessary administrative requirements. Since the Czech SOLVIT centre’s communications with the officer at the Spanish embassy in Prague were not fruitful, SOLVIT Spain brought up the case with authorities in Spain. Soon after, the Spanish embassy in Prague granted the visa. Solved within 4 weeks.
  • A Lithuanian national and her Russian mother, both legally recognised residents of Lithuania, wished to travel to Austria together. The Austrian Embassy in Vilnius requested the mother to present a visa application and various additional documents concerning her living place in Austria, invitation to Austria, financial documents, health insurance, etc. Sensing an unnecessary lengthy treatment of the visa process, SOLVIT Austria requested a facilitated visa procedure which was granted after certain conditions regarding the process were clarified between both parties. Solved within 3 weeks.
  • While flying between St. Petersburg and Ireland, an Irish citizen and his Russian spouse had a two-hour stopover in a Prague airport. Bad weather delayed their arrival in Prague, causing them to miss their connecting flight home to Ireland. Czech immigration authorities refused the Irish citizen’s non-EU spouse her transit visa, despite the presentation of both passports, the Russian wife’s Irish Immigration card, and her third country national visa stating that she is the legitimate Spouse of an Irish Citizen. They were forced to spend the night in the airport. After being contacted by SOLVIT, the Czech Ministry of Interior admitted that refusal to issue the visa to the client was not consistent with Czech legislation or appropriate procedures, and that it should not happen again. The approach of the Czech custom official was purely an individual failure and was not a consequence of structural problems concerning domestic legislation or the application of appropriate regulations. The couple accepted the apology presented by the Ministry. Solved within 3 weeks.


  • rks2046  On June 1, 2013 at 13:51

    I would like to post my story dealing with SOLVIT and Belgium. I am an EU citizen, non-Belgian, and my wife is from Asia. Nearly half a year ago, I took her to the Belgian embassy to apply for a visa for her to join me to Belgium. She was denied. After contacting SOLVIT they finally, after three more months, informed me that the reason for her refusal was that we failed to prove to the embassy that we planned to travel together. It says on this pdf:

    Click to access guide_2004_38_ec_en.pdf

    Page 7
    “family members cannot be asked to present documents such as travel tickets,”
    yet SOLVIT told me that we should reapply and provide airline tickets as proof.
    Who is wrong? The EU Commission for posting such misleading information or SOLVIT for not understanding EU law?
    I presented this document to SOLVIT two months ago and they refuse to help us further.
    I would just like everyone to know that SOLVIT is not that effective.


  • David Botha  On September 4, 2016 at 07:26

    Good day, I’m South African Citizen married to an EU Citizen from Bulgaria in an same sex marriage, we got married in 2007 in South Africa and are together since 1997. We staying and working both in South Africa. We want to visit his family in Bulgaria again but it is now becoming an mission with all the visas I need to get to Bulgaria. Is there any way I can get an long term spousal visa to enter the EU and Bulgaria. Bulgaria don’t recognize same sex marriage so We cant register our marriage in Bulgaria. Any assistance will be helpful on how to apply and where I can apply. Thanks

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