Integration for Third-Country Nationals in the European Union
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Integration for Third-Country Nationals in the European Union

The Equality Challenge

Edited by Sonia Morano-Foadi and Micaela Malena

This highly original book provides an innovative analysis of EU migration and asylum law and its interplay with equality issues in order to assess the current integration framework for third-country nationals and to explore future scenarios in the European Context.
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Chapter 14: Inequalities of family members of EEA and non-EEA nationals: ‘integration’ and barriers to family reunification in the post-Lisbon era

Keith Puttick and Cordelia Carlitz


In this introductory chapter to Part II-3, we consider the inequalities affecting third-country nationals (TCNs) entering and residing in Member States as family members of EEA and non-EEA nationals. Chapters 15–17 then discuss various aspects of family reunification in more detail. Within the ‘family members’ group there are, broadly, three key groups: first, TCN family members of EEA nationals; second, TCN family members of citizens of the host EU country or of TCNs who have a settled status in that country; third, TCN family members of migrants who may themselves be TCNs with only limited residence rights, at least pending a change to a more settled or long-term status. Entry by these groups and then residence in EU Member States is assisted by several measures which we will discuss. These are Directive 2004/38 (the Citizens Directive), Directive 2003/86 (the Family Reunification Directive or FRD), the ECHR, and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. More recently, Directive 2011/98 (the Single Permit Directive, or ‘SPD’) introduced a single application procedure. The SPD requires Member States to issue a single permit for third-country nationals who apply for residence for the purpose of work, or who have already been admitted to that State, either for work or for other purposes: the latter group includes family members of TCN migrant workers and certain other TCN categories. Only a single application will be needed for the single permit, which covers both residence and work under Article 4(2) SPD. The measure simplifies application procedures, and does so in a way that is intended to reduce delays in processing applications. It also facilitates subsequent ‘control’ over residence and eligibility for work and other social rights. However, the SPD does not exempt TCNs from visa procedures, which Member States may still maintain.

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