Family granted appeal against decision of French consulate to block their reunion

On 23rd March 2020, a separated Afghan family represented by Trust grantee International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) was granted an appeal by the Administrative Court of Nantes against a decision of the French consulate to block the reunion of family members. The case was taken on by IRAP in October 2019, seeking to bring a father and his two daughters, currently seeking asylum in Greece, to his wife and son, the two daughters’ mother and brother, who are residing in France.

The family’s reunification request had been denied when the French consulate refused to consider their application. IRAP challenged the refusal and filed an appeal for interim relief, arguing that the Court consider the case on an emergency basis due to the long separation of the family and the negative impact of the separation on the children. The Court ruled that the French consulate’s refusal to accept or consider the reunification application was most likely illegal, ordering a ruling on the family’s application by the French consulate within 15 days. This decision holds the possibility to open doors for many families who have been separated in Greece and France and IRAP hopes that it is the first of many successful challenges to the significant roadblocks states continue to place in the way of families attempting to reunite.

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