The right to family reunification within the European Union 83
- the minor children including adopted children of the sponsor where the
sponsor has custody and the children are dependent on him or her. Member states
may authorize the reunification of children of whom custody is shared, provided
the other party sharing custody has given his or her agreement;
In regard to minor children, the Directive states that they must be below the
age of majority set by the law of the member state concerned and must not be
An important exception in regard to children is that according to which
“where a child is aged over 12 years and arrives independently from the rest of
his/her family, the member state may, before authorizing entry and residence
under this Directive, verify whether he or she meets a condition for integration
provided for by its existing legislation on the date of implementation of the present
According to article 4 second and third alignment of the Directive, member
states can by law or regulation, authorize the entry and residence, pursuant to this
Directive and subject to compliance with the conditions laid down in Chapter IV,
of the following family members:
- first-degree relatives in the direct ascending line of the sponsor or his or her
spouse, where they are dependent on them and do not enjoy proper family
support in the country of origin;
- the adult unmarried children of the sponsor or his or her spouse, where they
are objectively unable to provide for their own needs on account of their state of
- unmarried partner, being a third country national, with whom the sponsor is
in a duly attested stable long-term relationship, or of a third country national who
is bound to the sponsor by a registered partnership.
In regard to the statute of “dependent” family member, by considering the
jurisprudence of the Luxembourg Court, it was concluded7 that this statute is the
result of a situation characterized by the material support effectively offered,
regardless of establishing a right to be provided for.
The relevant provisions are those of the case C-1/058: “also, as stated by the
Court, the quality of dependent family member does not entail the right to food, as
this would make that certain statute dependent on national laws, which are different
from one state to the other (the previously quoted Lebon decision, point 21).
It is the opinion of the court that it is not necessary to determine the reasons for
this support, but the question which should be asked is whether the interested
7 For this C. I. Casian, The impact of free circulation of people on family, in Private Law Magazine
2/28.02.2011, article consulted in iDrept database.
8 In this case, Mrs. Jia, a Chinese citizen, has requested a residence pass form Swedish authorities,
considering she was a relative of a citizen of a member states. Namely, she claimed she is the mother
of a community citizen and is financially dependent on her son who lives in Sweden with his wife.
Mrs. Jia’s application was denied as the financial dependence was not sufficiently proved.