Foreign spouses of EU citizens granted equal residence rights

On July 25, 2008, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the right of EU citizens to live in any EU member state also extends to non-citizen spouses and relatives. The court found that Directive 2004/38/EC [PDF] of the European Parliament guarantees foreign nationals married to EU citizens the same rights of residence as their spouses. The case decided by the ECJ was brought by four Irish couples appealing deportation orders from the Irish Ministry of Justice, Equality, and Law Reform. The orders were issued based on findings that one member of each affected couple was not a legal citizen of any EU member country.


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