Opinion AG in unaccompanied minors case

On 26 October 2017 Advocate General Bot gave his opinion about case C-550/16 concerning 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 Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is asked to decide 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). The Migration Law Clinic wrote an expert opinion in this case. Earlier, the CJEU has asked the Dutch and Polish Government and the European Commission to respond to the argumentation in the expert opinion.

The Advocate General concludes, in line with the expert opinion of the Migration Law Clinic, that unaccompanied minors, who became adults during the asylum procedure and obtained an asylum status valid from the date of the asylum application, should be allowed family reunification. The Advocate General refers to the best interests of the child and the right to family life. He also notes that the right to family reunification as ‘cannot depend on the speed with which the administration of the Member State can process claims for asylum’. It is now up to the CJEU to reach a judgment.