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Commission publishes guidance on family reunification

The European Commission has recently published guidance on how the Family Reunification Directive should be correctly applied across Member States while at the same time avoiding possible abuses.

Migrants’ right to family reunification is recognised throughout the EU. Common rules are in place on the conditions under which family members of a non-EU citizen, legally resident in a Member State, are allowed to enter and reside in the EU. However, the Commission says that experience has shown the need to ensure greater coherence in the implementation of these rules, which is why it has produced the guidance.

Altogether the guidelines provide for a more transparent and clearer understanding of family reunification rules and common standards at EU level, including on:

  • The scope of the Directive (e.g. clarifying the definition and concepts applying for the migrants who benefit from the EU rules);
  • The submission and examination of the application (e.g. the requested evidence, the length of the procedures);
  • The requirements for the exercise of the right to family reunification (e.g. accommodation, sickness insurance scheme, sufficient resources, integration measures);
  • The entry and residence of family members (e.g. long stay visas and residence permits, access to employment);
  • The situation of beneficiaries of international protection;
  • Overall principles related for instance to the availability of information, the best interest of the child, abuse and fraud, the right to legal challenge.

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