UK citizens wife, obtaining a EU residence card

  • My situation is unusual and confusing, in that I have many 'residences'.

    Me UK national, UK passport. I have permanent homes in UK and Ireland (and Thailand) and part time homes in Holland. I own and run a Irish pan euro company employing staff in multiple countries and have dormant UK and Dutch companies. I do tax returns in all 3 countries. I am constantly travelling around europe with my down time at my Thailand home.

    Wife, Thai national, Thai passport. Married 15 years. She has a 5 year 'visitor visa' and comes to the UK multiple times a year. We also obtain Schengen tourist visas and she accompanies me on my work travel. She is globally well travelled, all over Asia UK and now Europe. We have never had a visa application denied.

    Both of us wealthy enough for any financial demands, fully insured health plans, between us multiple homes, land, no need to recourse to any state benefits or funds, can show large cash bank balances, etc etc etc.

    As anyone can imagine this travel schedule results in lots of visa work, constant trips to bangkok to get new schengen visas, etc etc. The issue is I do not really wish to establish residency in mainland EU countries and EU doesnt seem to have any long term visitor visas like the UK 5 and 10 year options. Its be 'resident' or '90 days'..

    As the wife of an EEA / EU national, can I obtain her a residence card without ILR ?? She doesnt need or want to take up full time residence in the UK, I am only in the UK a few months / weeks a year, so going ILR in the past wasnt our goal, I am merely looking at ways to make our travel within the EU easier. I am not trying to 'trick' residency or pull a Surinder Sing type move, just ease the burden.

    Logically she is my wife of long term, she should have the right of accompanying her husband, however in practice how does the application work.

    If thats a non starter I dont see why I cannot simply 'take up' dutch residency (register my address at city hall) and then they have to give her a dutch version of the 'wife of an EEA national' ?? Its just more complex for me as once registering in NL on what car registration and insurance you hold etc etc. I am told the Dutch dont like a registered citizen driving a non national car in thier name in another country etc etc etc..

    As said above I already have tax returns presented in all 3 countries and incorporation's and offices in each. 'Residency' is just so much harder to define when you have many homes and live out of a suitcase most of your life.

  • Maybe I made this more confusing than it needs to be. I think the pertinent question is this.

    While my wife in in the UK on a 5 year visitor visa only can she apply for a residence card to travel to europe accompanied by me ?

    We dont intend to live in UK or Europe long term, We dont want to go through ILR when theres no end goal of living in UK, this is simply about creating a legal right to travel schengen countries together without going back to bangkok every few months and having only 90 day schengen tourist options while I work.

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