In practice it would be very difficult for a Member State to refuse entry to a TCN (third country national) spouse who needed a visa under national rules but did not have one if she (or he of course) pitched up at the airport with spouse, proof of relationship, etc.
seems to be the latest case in which the European Court of Justice looked at the issue, though that was an-after entry case. The lack of recent on-entry cases suggests that most immigration officers give way in the face of argument and evidence and issue a residence permit on the spot, which takes the place of a visa.
Lack of a visa alone was rejected as basis for refusal of entry by the European Court of Justice in Mtax
back in 1999.
62 The answer to the first question referred for a preliminary ruling must therefore be that, on a proper construction of Article 3 of Directive 68/360, Article 3 of Directive 73/148 and Regulation No 2317/95, read in the light of the principle of proportionality, a Member State may not send back at the border a third country national who is married to a national of a Member State and attempts to enter its territory without being in possession of a valid identity card or passport or, if necessary, a visa, where he is able to prove his identity and the conjugal ties and there is no evidence to establish that he represents a risk to the requirements of public policy, public security or public health within the meaning of Article 10 of Directive 68/360 and Article 8 of Directive 73/148. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/s ... 61999J0459
So just make sure you're wearing the right tie, the conjugal one will suit the occasion better than a regimental one
To paraphrase Leona Hemsley, "Only the little people follow national rules."