Blaise Baheten Metock and Others v Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform.

Mr Metock, a national of Cameroon, arrived in Ireland on 23 June 2006 and applied for asylum. His application was definitively refused on 28 February 2007

  1.  Ms Ngo Ikeng, born a national of Cameroon, has acquired United Kingdom nationality. She has resided and worked in Ireland since late 2006.Mr
  1.  Metock  and Ms Ngo Ikeng met in Cameroon in 1994 and have been in a relationship since then. They have two children, one born in 1998 and the other in 2006. They were married in Ireland on 12 October 2006.
  1.  On 6 November 2006 Mr  Metock  applied for a residence card as the spouse of a Union citizen working and residing in Ireland. The application was refused by decision of the Minister for Justice of 28 June 2007, on the ground that Mr  Metock  did not satisfy the condition of prior lawful residence in another Member State required by Regulation 3(2) of the 2006 Regulations.
  2.  Mr  Metock , Ms Ngo Ikeng and their children brought proceedings against that decision.

The  ruling of  the  European Court of Justice in Metock ( Case  C-127/08 judgment 25 July 2008, [2008] EUECJ C-127/08) establishes that a third-country national in  the United Kingdom who is a family member of an EEA national (Union citizen) exercising Treaty rights here, is entitled to a right of residence on  the  basis of  the  family relationship alone. That right is not subject to a requirement of lawful residence.

2. However, this ruling does not mean that there is any change in  the  approach to deciding EEA appeals involving such family members. Such appeals have to be decided (as before) under  the  Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 (“ the  2006 Regulations”). Where  the  respondent’s decision is to refuse to issue a residence card,  the appellant, to succeed, must show not only that he has a right of residence under reg 14(2) but that  the  respondent is obliged to issue a residence card under reg 17.

3. Where  the  family member is  the  spouse or civil partner of a United Kingdom national, he or she must first fulfil  the  conditions set out in reg 9. If  the  conditions set out in reg 9 are fulfilled,  the  family member must meet  the  requirements set out in  the  2006 Regulations as they apply to family members of EEA nationals exercising Treaty rights.

4. Whether a person can succeed in establishing a right of residence as a family member will depend, inter alia, on (i) that person establishing that  the  family relationship is genuine and on whether (if invoked by  the  respondent) there are valid (ii) public policy (reg 21) or (iii) fraud grounds for denying him or her that right.