We have recently encountered cases where a non EU National is entitled to make applications for (1) a residence card (EU FAM Card), (2) a Permanent Residence Certificate according to Article 16 of the Directive and (3) an application for residency based on his/her parentage of a Union citizen child. The non-EU national will be either separated or divorced from his/her spouse.
In one such case, our client, lawfully residing in the State for 12 years, firstly as a student and then as an EU Family member was eligible to apply under all three categories. Despite having submitted clear documentation to evidence that his wife exercised her EU Treaty Rights for 5 years and also having submitted evidence that she is currently exercising those rights in the State, his applications for an EU Fam card and permanent residence to which he is entitled were refused on failure to submit sufficient documentation which included a P60 for a particular year and a further proof of residence, both in respect of the Union citizen. On submitting a review of the decision which clearly overlooked all other evidence, supporting documentation and legal submissions, 7 weeks later, a letter from the EU Treaty Rights Section provides for a temporary Stamp 4 while our client’s review is pending. During this time, our client, having worked with the same company for 12 years, was advised by his employer that his contract would have to be terminated. Our client is now unemployed but subject to maintenance payments in respect of his child who resides in the State with his mother. This reflects the reality of a situation when such applications are refused for the most minor, disproportionate reasons coupled with the Department’s refusal to issue temporary Stamp 4 permissions within a reasonable time in order to satisfy employers and to provide evidence of one’s lawful status. Our client is among many who face unemployment as a result of a failure on part of the Minister to produce a temporary Stamp 4 in such matters. The Minister is pushing such applicants into a situation where they will be reliant on the State for financial assistance. This week, we have encountered at least three cases whereby applicants have lost their jobs as a result of failure to issue a stamp 4/temporary stamp 4. This is a great injustice and is extremely worrying for those who are lawfully entitled to reside in the State and are in full time, permanent employment.