An EU residence card from another EU Member State does not necessarily mean that you also have a right of residence in that State.

A father’s application for an EU residence card to stay with his Dutch child was initially refused with a reference to the French EU residence card of this father. According to the Dutch immigration authority (IND), having regard to this French EU residence card this father had a right of residence in France and the child did not have to leave the EU. According to the IND, the family life between the father and his Dutch child could be exercised in France. However, the Court judges that it has been shown that the father, despite his French EU residence card, no longer has legal residence in France. An EU residence card does not grant a right of residence, but has a declaratory (determinative) character. You can also have an EU right of residence without an EU residence card and an EU residence card does not necessarily mean that you have a right of residence. This father, client of Scheers Advocatuur, had meanwhile been divorced – and therefore had no right of residence in France on that basis anymore – and was subsequently also not eligible for continued residence. If the father did not get a right of residence in the Netherlands, this would mean that the Dutch child would have to leave not only the Netherlands but also the EU for the exercise of their family life. It did not have to go that far, because after the Court’s judgment the IND granted a Dutch EU residence card to the father.

The Court’s decision (in Dutch language) can be found here. For more information about residence rights, please contact Scheers Advocatuur.