According to the available data, the number of refugees worldwide has recently exceeded 50 million people. Europe in particular has become the place to which immigrants direct themselves in search of a better life. Numerous have been the efforts at EU level to introduce new legal channels of immigration. Within these efforts, family reunification has not been thoroughly explored by the EU as a tangible way to provide an alternative legal pathway to asylum.
The scope of this work is to link family reunification between static EU citizens and third country nationals to the current European immigration background in order to appreciate it as a way to channel safe immigration. This article will first give an overview of where we stand today in terms of the protection of this kind of family looking at data and case law. It will then focus on the reasons why a further enhancement of this tool is desirable and how it can be achieved in a concrete fashion. In particular, it will argue that a broader reading of the concept of emotional dependency, within the broader application of Zambrano, should be applied to further benefit families involved in the current refugee crisis.