France: Decision of the Tribunal Administratif de Nantes following refusal to register family reunification request

Monday, March 23, 2020

On 23 March 2020, the Tribunal Administratif de Nantes published its decision in case No. 2001918 concerning the refusal of the French consulate in Athens to register a family reunification request of a separated Afghan family.

The applicant fled Iran, where the family resided, for Greece with her husband and three minor children as a result of persecution by Iranian authorities. In Greece, she gave birth to her fourth child. The family submitted requests for asylum upon arrival but were met with no response. She travelled with her new born child to France in 2017, where they were granted status as beneficiaries of international protection, while her husband and other children remained in Greece. They submitted a request for family reunification to the French consulate in Athens. The request was rejected on the grounds that, inter alia, the French authorities had already decided the matter when they rejected a request for their transfer.

The Tribunal Administratif de Nantes noted that the previous decisions from September 2019 and January 2020 by which the consular had refused the applications for family reunification had failed to consider, inter alia, that the execution to grant family reunification was justified by emergency conditions, and that refusal to grant reunification may only be refused in circumstances where the relevant individual does not comply with principles of public order. As a result, the Court concluded that there were serious doubts as to the legality of the decisions refusing family reunification. The Court therefore suspended the decisions and ordered the consulate to revaluate the applications.

Many thanks to Charlotte Bertal, Europe Legal Program Manager at International Refugee Assistance Project, for notifying the team about this judgment and for assisting with the summary. Based on an unofficial translation by the EWLU team.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE.                               

Family reunification
Family unity (right to)