UPDATE ON CONTINUED DELAYS IN PROCESSING OF VISAS FOR FAMILY MEMBERS OF EU CITIZENS
There are long and continued delays in the processing of visas for the family members of EU Citizens pursuant to Directive 2004/38/EC and the European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2015. We have highlighted this issue on our blog on several previous occasions.
Many of those affected by these continued delays have issued judicial review proceedings in the High Court to challenge the very substantial delays in the processing of the visas for their family members.
Our offices are representing our clients in such matters and have taken a number of cases to the High Court to challenge the unlawful delays, which are causing severe stress and anxiety to applicants and their family members, who have been separated for long periods of time.
The cases of Atif and Mahmood v Minister for Justice and Equality and Ahsan and Ors v Minister for Justice and Equality  IEHC 691 are scheduled to be heard by the Court of Appeal in December 2017.
These cases are being treated as test cases in relation to the delays in the processing of visas for family members of EU Citizens pursuant to the Directive and Regulations.
There are a large number of cases travelling together in the High Court and those cases have been adjourned to the 22nd January 2018, to await the progress of the test cases in the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal’s judgment in these cases will have a large bearing on the outcome of a very large number of cases and pending visa applicants for the family members of EU Citizens to join or accompany their EU Citizen family members to Ireland.
We would submit that the Directive makes clear that State’s should operate an “accelerated procedure” for the processing of visas for family members of EU Citizens and the 2015 Regulations specifically allow for an accelerated procedure for applications from permitted and qualifying family members.
We submit strongly that the continued and extremely long delays in the processing of such visas is clearly in breach of the Directive and Regulations and the rights of EU citizens to free movement within the Member States.
We will keep you updated as matters progress in the Court of Appeal.