ACTIVITY SURROUNDING ZAMBRANO
The potential impact of the Zambrano decision is already making its mark in the office – we have been inundated with calls from clients, members of the public and press. Brophy Solicitors has certainly welcomed the decision in terms of the benefits and rights arising from a person’s status as a member of the Union and we are aware that the impact of Zambrano is not to be underestimated. The decision goes beyond the current Free Movement Directive and Regulations in dealing specifically with what it means to be a citizen of the Union.
We have already released a statement to the press in respect of one of our cases concerning the deportation of the father of an Irish citizen child. (See article by Jamie Smyth, Irish Times, 10th March 2011) The father voluntarily left the State following a deportation order having been issued against him, and judicial review proceedings are in place to challenge the deportation order. We are now working on the application to revoke the deportation order on the basis of the Zambrano judgment.
Apart from this very obvious instance of how Zambrano may be applied ,we have to deal with a host of potential situations in which the case may have an impact (or may not). In fact, the case has raised many more questions than answers. For example, to which family members of an Irish citizen will the judgement apply? Can partners and spouses of Irish citizens benefit from the judgment? What about the non-marital family and parents who do not have a direct involvement with their children’s upbringing? How will the decision impact guardians? What exactly does ‘dependency’ entail? Are all children not dependant on their parents? Do the rights of the EU citizen child extend beyond reaching the age of majority? How will social welfare policy be affected and the requirement of habitual residency? Will parents of Irish Citizen children currently resident on Stamp 3 conditions now have their status amended so that they can reside and work in the State?
It seems to us that many of these questions can only be confirmed by the courts, and potentially the questions will be referred by the High Court back to the European Court of Justice during the determination of particular cases.
We welcome the statement released by the Immigrant Council of Ireland saying that Ireland’s practice of refusing to give some parents of Irish children permission to live and work in this country must now end and that those parents who had already been deported must be allowed to return.
We are now working toward submitting applications to revoke deportation orders as well as making change of status applications for family members of Irish Citizens on restricted residency permits. We are also updating applications for visas for family members of Irish citizens. In fact, we are reviewing all current cases to which we think Zambrano may apply and we are also in dialogue with interest groups and NGO’s in an attempt to pool all knowledge and information. We welcome your comments and questions.
Sarah McCoy, Brophy Solicitors