Judgement in Case C-550/16 – A and S v Staatssecretaris van Veiligheid en Justitie

Author (Corporate)
Series Title
Series Details C-550/16
Publication Date April 2018
Content Type

Further information:

An unaccompanied minor who attains the age of majority during the asylum procedure retains their right to family unification. Such an application for family reunification must however be made within a reasonable time, in principle within three months of the date on which the minor concerned is recognised as having refugee status.

Background information:

A minor of Eritrean nationality, who had arrived unaccompanied in the Netherlands, lodged an application for asylum on 26 February 2014. On 2 June 2014, she attained her majority. On 21 October 2014, the Dutch State Secretary for Security and Justice granted her a residence permit for persons granted asylum, valid for five years, with effect from the date on which her application for asylum was submitted. On 23 December 2014, an organisation in the Netherlands that works on behalf of refugees submitted an application for temporary residence permits for the her parents (A and S) and the three minor brothers for the purposes of family reunification with an unaccompanied minor.

By decision of 27 May 2015, the State Secretary rejected that application on the ground that, considering decisive the date on which the application for family reunification is submitted, at that date the daughter of A and S had reached the age of majority.
A and S contested that refusal. According to them, it is the date of entry into the Member State concerned which is decisive in order to determine whether a person may qualify as an unaccompanied minor within the meaning of the EU Directive on family reunification.
The case was then referred to the CJEU by the rechtbank Den Haag (District Court, The Hague, Netherlands).

In its judgment handed down on 12 April, the Court qualifies as ‘minors’ nationals of non-EU countries and stateless persons who are below the age of 18 at the moment of their entry into the territory of a Member State and of the introduction of their asylum application in that state and who, in the course of the asylum procedure, attain the age of majority and thereafter are recognised as having refugee status.

The Court recalls, in that regard, that the Directive provides refugees who are unaccompanied minors the right to reunification which is not subject to a margin of discretion on the part of Member States.

Taking the date on which the application for international protection was submitted enables identical treatment and foreseeability to be guaranteed for all applicants who are in the same situation, by ensuring that the success of the application for family reunification depends principally on facts attributable to the applicant and not to the administration (such as the time taken to process the application for international protection or the application for family reunification).

The Court of Justice of the European Union published on 12 April 2018 its Judgement on Case C-550/16 - A and S v Staatssecretaris van Veiligheid en Justitie.

Source Link http://curia.europa.eu/juris/liste.jsf?&num=C-550/16&td
Related Link(s)
EurActiv, 12.04.18: EU court: Child refugees can apply to bring their families https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/eu-court-child-refugees-can-apply-to-bring-their-families/
CJEU: Press Release: Judgment of the Court of Justice in Case C-550/16 - A and S v Staatssecretaris van Veiligheid en Justitie https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/jcms/p1_960576/en/
CJEU: Opinion of the Advocate General in the Case C-550/16 - A and S v Staatssecretaris van Veiligheid en Justitie http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:62016CC0550
Reuters, 12.04.2018: Teen refugees can apply for families to join them in EU: court https://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-court-refugee-minors/teen-refugees-can-apply-for-families-to-join-them-in-eu-court-idUSKBN1HJ1ID

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