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Surinder Singh

If you are a British citizen and you want to return to the UK with your non-British family after having lived in another EEA country, this route is for you. Your family might be able to apply for EEA family permits. This is known as making a ‘Surinder Singh’ application.

Who qualifies as an eligible family member?
For a British citizen to be an eligible family member, they must be one of the following:
- your spouse or civil partner
- your parent or grandparent (or their spouse or civil partner), in which case you must be either under 21 years old or dependent on them
- your child or grandchild (or their spouse or civil partner), in which case you must be dependent on them

What do I need to prove?
You must have genuinely made your home in another EEA country. Both you and your eligible British citizen must prove that:
- The EEA country has been your main residence or base for the 'centre of your life'
- You have lived there together
- You have integrated there

You will also need to determine the purpose of the residence in the EEA host country, and prove that it was “genuine”.

Why do I need to prove that my purpose of residence was genuine?
Ordinarily, non-EEA family members who wish to reside in the UK with British citizen sponsors must meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules, including a minimum income requirement. If the motivation behind the joint residence in the EEA host country was for the purpose of bringing the family member to the UK under EU law instead of those rules, such that the residence in the EEA host country was not genuine, the applicant will not be eligible to enjoy a right to reside in the UK as the family member of a British citizen under the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2016 and the residence card application will be refused.

Our experience with Surinder Singh Applications
Our client was the Pakistani spouse of a British national sponsor who exercised his treaty rights during his residence in the Republic of Ireland.

Our client and the British sponsor met in Pakistan. When they married, the sponsor was a Pakistani national living in Pakistan. Following their marriage, they initially lived together in Pakistan before he (the sponsor) emigrated to the UK. This is when he obtained indefinite leave to remain followed by naturalisation as a British national.

Once the British sponsor was earning sufficient income to sponsor his family members to come and live with him in the UK, he made applications under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. Unfortunately, due to an issue with not providing specified evidence (rather than the British sponsor not earning enough money), these applications were not successful, meaning that the family could not be reunited at this point.

The British sponsor moved from the UK to Ireland after being offered an employment position there. He then began working as an EU citizen (British national) who was exercising his treaty rights in Ireland. He was able to sponsor his family members to travel from Pakistan to reside with him in Ireland under EU law.

When the British sponsor was made unemployed a few months later, he registered for jobseeker allowance support and started to search for work. He was unfortunately unable to find new employment and by this point, the family had become reliant on Irish social assistance. The family therefore decided to return to the UK as the British sponsor had an opportunity to start self-employment there. He, as a British national, had no problem returning to the UK, but he needed help for his partner and children.

We made an application for the spouse, as well as for the two the children of our client and the British sponsor under Surinder Singh for them to get a family permit.

Well today we had some excellent news - the visa has been approved. We are very very happy and very relieved. Thank you for your help. I would not hesitate to contact you again in the future, or recommend you to any friends or family who may need your services.


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If you have any questions about our services or you would like to instruct us to represent you with your application or appeal please get in contact with us now.

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