Dutch court forces family reunification

A recent court decision in Haarlem finds that the Dutch “family reunification” laws are too strict compared to the EU directive.

The case involved a Turkish man who divorced his wife in 1994 and came to live in Holland. The mother died in Turkey in 2001 and the father wanted to bring his son to the Netherlands on the grounds of family reunification, saying there was nobody else to care for the kid.

Dutch immigration refused to give the kid, who was by now 18 years old, a temporary stay permit, saying that the family link between father and son had in fact been broken due to the long lasting separation between the two.

The EU directive talks about “active family life” which according to the Dutch court means involvement between parent and child. The EU directive wants to prevent a case where children of immigrants use the right of family reunification despite having no formal relation with their parents.

According to the court, the Dutch interpretation, saying that children of immigrants who have lived apart from their parents for more than five years, lose their right to reunification, is too strict.
Source: NRC Handelsblad (Dutch)

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