On 14 November the district court of Haarlem referred preliminary questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) concerning evidentiary requirements in family reuinification cases. In May 2017 the Migration Law Clinic published an expert opinion on the Dutch evidentiary requirements in Eritrean family reunification cases. The expert opinion examines whether the rejection by the IND of the explanation of Eritrean sponsors for the lack of official documentation is based on sufficient and reliable country of origin information. Furthermore, it assesses whether the Dutch evidentiary policy, as it is applied in Eritrean family reunification cases, is compatible with the EU Family Reunification Directive. It concluded that the strict requirements as applied by the Dutch IND in (many) Eritrean family are not in conformity with EU law.
The district court has referred the following questions in the case of an Eritrean minor seeking family reunification with his foster mother:
- Does the CJEU have the authority to answer preliminary questions about the interpretation of the Family Directive concerning the right of stay of a family member of a person who received subsidiary protection, if this Directive is applied directly and without reservation on persons who received subsidiary protection?
- Does Article 11(2) of the Family Reunification Directive need to be interpreted such, that it does not allow the rejection of an application for family reunification of a refugee, solely on the fact that the refugee did not submit official documentary evidence of the family ties? Or does Article 11(2) of the Family Reunification Directive need to be interpreted such, that it only does not allow the rejection of an application for family reunification of a refugee solely on the fact that documentary evidence of the family ties is lacking, if the refugee has provided a plausible explanation for this lack of evidence and for his statement that he is not able to obtain such evidence?