Non-EU parents of an EU citizen child are allowed to live and work in Ireland

Published by Emilia on

In a major decision on 8 March 2011, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has decided that third country national parents of an EU citizen child have rights to residence and access to employment in the child’s country of nationality. A refusal to do so would deprive the child of the enjoyment of the rights of citizenship.

The European court case arose in relation to two Colombian nationals, Mr and Mrs Ruiz Zambrano who were refused asylum in Belgium. On 8 March 2011 the EJC has decided that Mr. Zambrano has a right to residence in Belgium and does not need a work permit for employment there because two of his children are Belgian nationals and therefore also EU citizens.

Until 2005 all children born in Ireland were automatically Irish citizens irrespective of the nationality of their parents, though this ceased to be the case following a referendum in 2004. Children born in Ireland to foreign-national parents must now become citizens through naturalisation.