Pamela Duncan in the Irish Times reported last week that more than 850 non-EU parents of Irish-citizen children have been granted residency in Ireland since the ECJ issued its ruling in the Zambrano decision which created rights of residency for parents of Member State citizen children. Apparently, six parents of Irish citizen children who were previously deported have been granted permission to re-enter the State.
1000 cases have been processed to date by the Minister who said that the decisions were taken “in the best interests of the welfare of eligible minor Irish citizen children”.
The Irish Times reports that 700 cases remain outstanding; ‘In approximately half of those cases the department has requested further documentation or clarification from the applicants before their cases can be progressed. This number does not include other non-EU parents of Irish-born children who had an existing right of residency, for example where people were lawfully resident on a worker, spouse or student visa.’
We have a number of outstanding applications as well as a number of applications which we have requested a review following a negative decision. One such decision was reached upon the Minister’s determination that the father of an Irish citizen child who resides with his child in the State, was not seen to have shown evidence of a ‘relationship of dependency’ between both he and his child. Other applications are outstanding whereby the applicant parents reside outside of the State with their Irish citizen child(ren). We submit that a refusal of such applications is in turn a refusal to permit entry to the State by an Irish citizen. We are however pleased that one application concerning the father of an Irish citizen child residing outside of the State was granted after a nine month delay in determining the visa application.
Various complications arise in the submission and in the determination of Zambrano applications. It seems to us that the very reliance on the word ‘Zambrano’ when applying for residency/Stamp 4 on behalf of a client triggers a delay on their application for residency where that application might also be based on other factors for example a relationship with an Irish citizen. We have also encountered situations whereby applications to renew a permission granted under leave to remain are delayed whenever submissions are made in respect of an Irish citizen child. Therefore, otherwise uncomplicated, straightforward applications for residency which would normally be considered rather promptly are faced with delays and requests for further and specific documentation. We note that in one of our cases, an applicant had been granted a visa to join his Irish partner in the State without any difficulty. He is also the father of his partner’s child, an Irish citizen. As a result, he was permitted to register under Stamp 4 when reporting to the GNIB, which in our experience has been standard practice, but was asked to make an application to the Minister for residency based on his parentage of an Irish citizen child. This application is still pending, the applicant has not been permitted to work, even for a temporary period and has been forced to return to his home country much to the dismay of his Irish partner and mother of his child.
In another situation, two applicants from the same country, with the same background and immigration history had both submitted applications for leave to remain on the very same date, 3years ago. We were notified by the Repatriation Unit that both applications were due to be considered. One of the applicants had in the meantime become father to an Irish citizen child. His application for leave to remain was put on hold. His friend’s application was determined and was successful.
We will keep you informed as matters develop and welcome your thoughts and comments on these issues.