Monday, July 25, 2011



It might be of interest to know that this morning we made an application to the High Court for a temporary permission to reside/work pending determination of an Chen / Zambrano application for a third country national father of a Union citizen child, the family unit being permanently resident in Ireland. We argued that such applicants should be treated analogously to applicants for a residence card under Directive 2004/38 on the basis that all rights were deriving from the Treaty, and not the secondary legislation itself. We argued that just as an applicant pursuant to the Directive/Regulations is protected with temporary permission to reside and work, so too should our client be protected in this way. Particularly given that the family was fully dependant on his weekly earnings.

The judge refused our application, and would not entertain the argument that the application was analogous to those made under the Directive. He found that the court should not intervene when an application was before the Minister as this would effectively preempt the Minister’s decision.

It is also of interest to note that the Judge indicated that Zambrano may not be relevant to the case as the child was not a citizen of this State, and did not risk being removed from the territory of the European Union.  To us, this seems to create a clear discrimination between Irish children and other Union citizen children. The former are now distinctly advantaged as their non EU parents can obtain the right to reside and work within Ireland following Zambrano, while the parents of children of a European Union nationality other than Ireland would be forced to leave Ireland and assert these rights in the country of the child’s nationality. This would seem contrary to the fundamental concept of free movement within the EU.

It seems likely that these questions will have to be referred to the European Court of Justice for clarification in the coming months. 

Brophy Solicitors

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