FREE MOVEMENT OF PERSONS : COURT CLARIFIES CONDITIONS FOR RIGHT OF PERMANENT RESIDENCE.

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Third-country nationals residing in an EU member state before their country joins the EU may obtain a right of permanent residence based on such periods of residence only if these were completed in compliance with EU law, ruled the Court of Justice in a judgement handed down on 21 December 2011 (Cases C-424/10 and C-425/10).

In 1988 and 1989, respectively, two Polish nationals obtained a permanent right of residence in Germany for humanitarian reasons. After Poland joined the Union in 2004, they applied for permanent residence in Germany under Directive 2004/38/EC on the free movement of persons. Their applications were turned down on the grounds that they were not in employment and were unable to prove that they had sufficient resources. The two Poles appealed the decisions and the German federal court hearing the case asked the EU Court of Justice whether residence periods completed in a member state in compliance with national law alone, including before...

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