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Finland / Supreme Administrative Court / 22.5.2013/1747 KHO:2013:97

L v The Finnish Immigration Service

Policy area:
Justice, freedom and security
Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
Supreme Administrative Court
Decision date:

Key facts of the case:

The appellant, a national of Algeria, has held a permanent residence permit in Finland since 2003, following her marriage to a Finnish national. The spouses divorced in 2004. L had sole custody of their child, born in 2004, who had dual Finnish and Algerian nationality. In 2006, L married an Algerian national who had resided in Finland as an asylum seeker from March to October 2006 when he was returned to Algeria. Their child, born in 2007, had Algerian nationality. L applied for her spouse to be granted a residence permit in Finland on the basis of family reunification. The application was rejected by the Immigration Service. The Aliens Act requires that the applicant of a residence permit has secure means of subsistence. L’s means of subsistence came from subsistence support and other benefits and her husband did not have employment in Finland.

Outcome of the case

Having requested a preliminary ruling of the Court of Justice of the EU (C–357/11, Maahanmuuttovirasto v. L, 6 December 2012), the Supreme Administrative Court concluded that the decision to refuse the husband’s residence permit did not prevent L. from continuing her lawful residence in Finland with her children, or prevent the older child from the genuine enjoyment of the rights conferred by the child’s status as an EU citizen. Considering, for instance, the children’s age, their knowledge of Arabic, and the fact that a possible move to Algeria does not prevent the older child’s contacts with the biological father, the best interests of the child did not demand that an exception be made to the subsistence requirement.