Ad-Hoc Query on checking identity and family relationships in case of family reunification with a beneficiary of international protection
21 (Member) States provided information on their practices regarding the verification of identity and family relationships in case of family reunification with a beneficiary of international protection. This query was launched in June 2016 by the Dutch Contact Point to the EMN.
The migration crisis has resulted in an increase in the granting of international protections statuses. In turn, this has caused an increase in the applications for family reunification. An issue is that many beneficiaries of international protection claim that they cannot provide official documentary evidence of their identity and family relationship. Different other methods can be employed in order to check identities and relationships (e.g. DNA research, interviews, etc).
The Dutch Contact Point of the EMN launched an ad-hoc query in June 2016 in order to obtain more information on the practices regarding the verification of identity and family relationships in cases of family reunification with beneficiaries of international protection in the other (Member) States. 21 (Member) States provided an answer, including Belgium.
Some of the main findings of this ad-hoc query:
- The vast majority of countries require applicants to substantiate their application for family reunification with documentary evidence (official documentation such as passports or marriage certificates, or other documents such as driving licences or military records).
- In case of a lack of documentary evidence, the majority of countries do not reject an application for family reunification solely on these grounds.
- Most countries offer other means to establish identity/ family relationships (DNA research and/or ID interviews). Practices vary in this regard.
- Most countries do not require family members of beneficiaries of international protection to approach the authorities in their country of origin in order to ask for documentary evidence in order to qualify for DNA research and/ or an ID interview.
More detailed information can be found in the attached compilation of answers provided by 21 (Member) States, or in the summary of the answers prepared by the Dutch Contact Point of the EMN.