The Zambrano case refers to a case in the Court of Justice of the European Union which resulted in an amendment to European Economic Areas (EEA) regulations.

The Zambrano case, titled Gerardo Ruiz Zambrano v Office National de l’Emploi, was an appeal by parents of Colombian nationality whose Belgian-born children would not be able to exercise the Treaty rights they are entitled to should their parents be asked to leave the country.

The Zambrano judgement established that a third country national parent who is the primary carer of an EEA minor child could not be refused a right to reside and work in the host member state if the refusal of a right to reside would force the EEA child to leave the country, thus depriving them of their European citizenship rights.

Because of the ruling and subsequent amendments to EEA regulations the Zambrano case now acts as an immigration route that states that EU member states can grant a right of residence the primary carer of an EU national child if refusing this would mean the child’s care would be jeopardised.


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