New clarification from the Court of Appeal on EU Treaty Rights

This article deals with a new development in the law surrounding EEA citizens’ rights to have non-EEA national family members join them in Ireland.

Summary of “EU Treaty Rights”:

When living and working outside of their home country in the EU, EEA citizens are entitled to apply to have their non-EEA family members join them in their new “host” EU country.

This right to apply for family reunification is set out in the “Citizens’ Rights Directive” (Directive 2004/38/EC).

There are two categories of family members for the purposes of the Directive:

1. Qualified Family Members (e.g. spouse or child) and

2. Permitted Family Members: (e.g. a dependant or a member of the household of the citizen)

Whether a person is a permitted family member however can be quite tricky to prove - particularly so when relying on being “a member of the household of the citizen”. What exactly is meant by “household” is not clear.

What has happened:

The Court of Appeal in the case of Subhan and Ali v the Minister for Justice and Equality has recently ruled on this subject.

The Court confirmed that membership of the household requires that the person is: - a family member of the citizen; - who has at some point resided under the same roof as the citizen; and - who is in some way central to the family life of the citizen.

The case gives some helpful guidance on how EU Treaty Rights applications should be dealt with.

Please contact us if you feel you have any questions arising from the above.

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