EU Court of Justice strengthens the right to family reunification

Two new rulings by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) have corrected the previous practice of the German authorities concerning family reunification in the case of underage recognized refugees.
Until now, Germany has prevented minors from joining their family members of refugees if the children have come of age during the application process. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has now ruled that this violates EU law. The decisive factor is that the child was a minor when the asylum application was filed. The European Commission announced this statement on its integration website.
This applies when a child wants to move to join his parents who are recognized as refugees in Germany. In the same way, it also affects a minor who has been recognized in Germany and is awaiting permission for his parents to join him. In all cases, it is significant that the child was a minor at the time when the person to whom family reunification is to take place and who is then recognized as a refugee applied for asylum. In this case, the law of the ECJ is now binding for all EU member states.
According to the EU Commission, this significantly strengthens the right to family reunification for refugees and can no longer be prevented by delays on the part of the processing authorities.
As a background to this, there are two instances in Germany in which the authorities refused to allow family members to join them because the refugees had reached legal age during the proceedings. In one case, Syrian parents had applied for family reunification with their underage son, who is recognized as a refugee in Germany. In another case, an underage Syrian woman applied to live with her father, who was recognized as a refugee in Germany.
The complete article from the EU Commission:
Urteil: EuGH stärkt das Recht auf Familiennachzug zu anerkannten Geflüchteten in Deutschland | European Website on Integration (


Das Landgericht in Tübingen. Foto: tünews INTERNATIONAL / Mostafa Elyasian.


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