"I have never welcomed the weakening of family ties by politics or pressure" - Nelson Mandela.
"He who travels for love finds a thousand miles no longer than one" - Japanese proverb.
"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence." - Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
"When people's love is divided by law, it is the law that needs to change". -
David Cameron.

Saturday 5 April 2014

European Commission press release : A clear legal regime for family members of non EU citizens


Europe moves towards providing clarity and direction on free movement rights?

'Migrants' right to family reunification is recognised throughout the EU. Common rules are in place on the conditions under which family members of a non-EU citizen, legally resident in a Member State, are allowed to enter and reside in the EU. Experience however shows the need to ensure greater coherence in the implementation of these rules.

'That is why the Commission is presenting guidance for the correct and meaningful application of the Family Reunification Directive (2003/86/EC) across Member States while avoiding possible abuses.

'"The right to family life is a fundamental right. Maintaining family ties is key to well-being and facilitates the integration of migrants who have arrived in the EU. It is important for happiness and well-being, and helps migrants integrating in society”, underlined Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs.


'The right to family reunification must be genuinely applied according to the rules of the Directive. While Member States retain a certain margin of appreciation when applying some of the optional provisions of the Directive, the guidelines will ensure that such discretion does not undermine the individuals' rights. At the same time the right to family reunification is not unlimited and guidelines allow for possible fraud and abuse by applicants to be tackled effectively.'


For the detail - Communication on guidance for application of the EU Directive on the right to family reunification :


'In accordance with Article 3(1), from the moment a sponsor holds a residence permit valid for at least one year and has reasonable prospects of obtaining the right to permanent residence, he/she may submit an application for family reunification.'


'Article 13(1) requires that, as soon as an application for family reunification has been accepted, the MS is obliged to grant family members every facility for obtaining the requisite visas. This implies that when an application is accepted, MSs should ensure a speedy visa procedure, reduce additional administrative burdens to a minimum and avoid double-checks on the fulfilment of the requirements for family reunification. Since the purpose of stay of family reunification is long term, the visa issued should not be a short-stay visa. '

Previous correspondence with Cecilia Malmström's office :

IMPORTANT Update 5/April :

Careful reading of the piece linked at the head of this post clarifies matters. It pertains to family members of non-EU citizens resident in the EU (e.g. a US citizen working in Germany, or an Indian citizen working in Italy). If such a person had lived in the EU member state for over one year with reasonable prospects of gaining permanent residency, they could then bring family members to live with them.

It is nevertheless an interesting development for everyone.

Via an interesting discussion on Facebook, one contributor adds pertinently :
'You could argue by extension it would only help EU Residents and their family members - I particularly like this line of the article "The right to family life is a fundamental right guaranteed by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Convention of Human Rights, and protected by the highest courts in the EU." - something the UK seems to ignore on a daily basis.'

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