Can my family join me in the UK or other European country?

Family Reunification under the Dublin III Agreement

It is difficult and heartbreaking to be separated from your family. Refugee Info Bus have made this fact sheet to give you information about how you can be reunified with your family.

 

This is not the only way you can request family reunification. Please look at Refugee Info Bus Fact Sheets on family reunion by the state and family visas for information on other methods of family reunion.  

 

This factsheet is for people who are in a Dublin III country and have a family member who is in a Dublin III country. 

Dublin III countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

 

You and your family member must be legally living in a Dublin III country (they must have refugee status, subsidiary protection, are an asylum seeker or a citizen) to request family reunification under Dublin III.

 

You must apply for family reunification within 3 months of applying for asylum, subsidiary protection or another form of international protection in a Dublin III country. 

 

You do not need to pay to apply for Dublin III family reunification. You may need to pay for translation, to send documents and in some states DNA testing.

 

It should take up to 11 months in total to be unified with a family member under Dublin III. It can take longer than this.

 

You can request family reunification under Dublin III with:

  1. A spouse, civil-union partner or a common law spouse

  2. Your children

  3. If you are an unaccompanied minor, your parents, brothers, sisters (including adopted brothers and sisters), adult uncles, aunts, or grandparents

  4. Dependent family members

  5. Other family members under the discretionary clause

 

  1. A spouse, civil-union partner or a common law spouse

 

If you are married, in a civil union partnership or have lived for two years continuously and stably with a partner who legally lives in a Dublin III country you can apply for family reunification.

 

Your relationship with your spouse, civil union partner or common-law spouse does not need to have existed before you left your home country. 

 

Dublin III countries do not allow family reunification for more than one spouse or civil union partner. 

 

Both you and your spouse/ partner must give written notice to the authorities who handle asylum claims of the Dublin III country you are in that you want to be reunified.

   2. Your children

 

If you have a child who lives in a Dublin III country or are the child of someone who legally lives in a Dublin III country you can request family reunification with them. 

 

The child you are applying for family reunification for must be under 18.

 

The child you are applying for family reunification for must not be living independently (for example they cannot be married or have their own children).

 

Both you and your family member must give written notice to the authorities who handle asylum claims of the Dublin III country you are in that you want to be reunified.

 

  3. Unaccompanied minors

 

If you want to be reunified as an unaccompanied minor you must be:

  • Travelling without your family or have been separated from your family

  • Under 18 

 

You must be able to prove that you are under 18, this can be difficult if you appear older than 18 and do not have documentation. You might have to undergo an age assessment by the state.

 

You can request family reunification with parents, brothers and sisters.

You can also request family reunification with adult uncles or aunts, or grandparents if you can they can prove that they can look after you when you join them.

 

  4. Dependents

 

A dependent is someone who needs to be taken care of.

If a parent, child (they do not have to be under 18), brother or sister is dependent on you or you are dependent on them you can request family reunification.

 

Your family ties must have existed before you left your home country.

 

The dependent must also be one of the following:

  1. Pregnant 

  2. Have a new-born child 

  3. Elderly

  4. Seriously ill

This is normally only long-term illness for which recovery is unlikely or prolonged (for example, cancer).

  5. Or has a severe disability

 

The family member needs to be able to support the dependent to be able to be reunified. This means they must earn enough money to be able to pay for the dependent to live with them in the UK.

 

  5. Other family members under a discretionary clause

 

In very rare cases other family members who are not eligible to be reunited through other methods may be able to apply through a discretionary clause. 

This is very rare and normally is only granted if family members are dependent and have a humanitarian reason to be reunited.

This page is run by the UK registered charity, Refugee Info Bus - for more info on our work, check out our website. 

PO BOX:  Po Box 28652, Edinburgh, EH4 9EX

Registered UK Charity Number: 1168538

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