One of the key innovations of Directive 2004/38 EC is the introduction of Article 16 on the right of permanent residence in the host EU Member States of EU citizens and their third-country national family members. For the first time EU citizens and their third-country national family members, regardless of whether they are engaged in employment, are eligible to the right of permanent residence after having resided in the host Member State for a continuous period of five years. The acquisition of the right of permanent residence grants EU citizens and their family members’ enhanced protection against expulsion. In addition, those who have such a right shall enjoy equal treatment with the nationals of that Member State also in terms of social benefits and tax credits.
The advantages deriving from this provision led many EU citizens and third-country nationals to try rely on it in different circumstances. For this reason, often, national courts have found it necessary to stay proceedings and refer to the Court of Justice of the European Union in order to seek clarifications regarding its application. This occurred also in Case C-244/13, Ogieriakhi v. Minister for Justice and Equality.European Public Law