Having a European child gives non-EU parents the right of residence

15th March 2011, Comments 3 comments

Member states of the European Union must allow parents of underage children to live and work in that European country.

That was decided on Tuesday by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. The child will be given - and must take - the nationality of the relevant European country.

The court made the ruling in the case of a Colombian couple with two children. After their birth, the children were given Belgian nationality. The father lodged an appeal because Belgium had denied him a residence permit and unemployment benefits.


In response, the Brussels Labour Court asked the European Court whether the parents had the right to live and work in Belgium under European law. The court ruled that they do indeed have this right. Refusal would mean that their children could not exercise their rights as citizens of the European Union.

Two requirements

According to Dutch immigration lawyer Hans Langenberg, it's still unclear exactly how this statement should be interpreted. In his eyes there are two requirements:

Whoever wants to stay in the European Union must have a child with the nationality of one of the EU member states.

The child with EU nationality must reside in an EU country.

Doomsday scenario

Lawyer Hans Langenberg believes this could potentially cause a doomsday scenario: Children could be separated from a non-European parent living in an EU country before the parent has had time to apply for a temporary residence permit.



3 Comments To This Article

  • shayworth posted:

    on 24th March 2011, 15:20:01 - Reply

    Too late for me. My daughter, a citizen of Spain. We lived apart for 2 years after trying to legalize myself in 1999. I entered legally from Miami and never recieved my papers even though I was told I was entitled to them, in Miami. My ex would not pay child support but did everything he could to prevent me from working, including preventing me from putting her in a school in Zamora so I could look for work. He would not help or pay but he continually blocked my attempts to legalize myself. I wouldn't marry him because of this and every gov't official told me the easy way was to marry.............no! My daughter is 24 and I'm still illegal, I've given up in frustration. He owes me 60,000 € in back child support which we will never get. Too little, too late.
  • THOMAS posted:

    on 18th March 2011, 22:51:14 - Reply

    that will cool if all european country accept that
  • THOMAS posted:

    on 18th March 2011, 22:51:11 - Reply

    that will cool if all european country accept that