CJEU asks questions about Migration Law Clinic expert opinion in unaccompanied minors case

In January 2017 the Migration Law Clinic finalised an expert opinion in the context of a preliminary question of the district court of Amsterdam of 26 October 2016. The question concerns the right to family reunification of persons who were an unaccompanied minor at the moment of their asylum application but adults at the moment their asylum status was granted.

The discrict court wants to know which moment in time is decisive for the right to family reunification of an unaccompanied minor: the date of the application for family reunification or an earlier date (eg of the asylum application). According to Dutch policy, an unaccompanied minor loses the right to family reunification with his or her parents if s/he turns 18 during the asylum procedure.

The expert opinion of the Migration Law Clinic argues on the basis of the purpose of the Family Reunification Directive, the declaratory nature of the refugee status and principles of EU law that unaccompanied minors do not lose the right to family reunification if they turn 18 during the asylum procedure.

The Court of Justice (CJEU) will hold and oral hearing about the case (C-550/16) on 14 September 2017. The CJEU has asked the Dutch and Polish Government and the European Commission to respond to the argumentation in the expert opinion of the Migration Law Clinic.

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