Surinder Singh routes is a name given to the UK – EEA Family Permit Visa process. It is called the Surinder Singh route after the person who successfully won a High Court case against the UK Home Office to allow his Non-EU citizen Wife to join and live with him in the UK under the European Union Law. The precedence set in the court case has been used by many Non-EU citizen family members to join their family and live in the UK using the court case as a reference point and using the applicable European Union Laws.How does it work? The family member must meet certain conditions and requirements but in broad terms, it is that the family member applies for an EEA Family Permit outside the UK for a period of six months. After this, they will after applying, receive a Biometric Residence Card valid for five years when they return to the UK. After they have lived in the UK for 5 years they can apply for indefinite leave to remain – permanent UK residence. Once you have received this year 6 you can apply for British citizenship – which leads to a British passport.
Documents You Must Provide?
- A valid passport
- 2 passport size colour photographs
- Evidence of your relationship, marriage, birth certificate, civil partnership
- Your family members passport
How do I get my family member a visa to the UK using the Surinder Singh route?
- Proof of their address in the EU & how long they have life, a rental agreement, a mortgage statement.
- Proof they have integrated into the EU, do they speak the language, or have any children born outside the UK.
- Proof that they are employed or self-employed overseas, tax records, employment contracts.
- Do they have an EU bank account in the EU country where they live?
- Guide to supporting documents click here
To sum up, if you move to the EU & gain employment your legally married wife can join you. Once you have live & worked (economically settled) as a guide we would advise at minimum of at least 6 months, you can apply for an EEA permit. The visa is free & you do not need to meet the new financial requirements of the immigration rules.
Further guidance – What are the benefits of using the Surinder Singh route ?
Using the Surinder Singh route and if you apply under the European Union law means exemption from certain stringent UK Settlement Visa requirements. Using the Surinder Singh route would mean no UK A1 English test, no TB test and no financial requirement rules would need to be met. The UK family member of the applicant does not under the Surinder Singh route need to show that he or she has an annual gross income of £18,600. Another added benefit of applying under the Surinder Singh route is that when applying for an EEA Family Permit outside the UK there is no visa fee to pay for the family permit is free for 6 months after this when the applicant applies for a residence card the cost is only £55 compared to Settlement visa application fees that include the IHS fee of nearly £2000.
- Read the entry clearance guidance for more information about Surinder Singh cases & how you can benefit.
EU citizen rights – freedom of movement
If a family member is a European Union citizen such as a UK national or settled UK national then EU citizens have the right to ‘Freedom of Movement’ around the entire European Union. A European Union citizen can then enter and then live together in the UK together with their Non-European Union family member(s).
Anyone who is a national of a European country is a European Union citizen. Being an EU citizen gives every citizen rights. These rights include the right to move around the European Union Schengen states and settle anywhere within the European Union. People find it surprising that it doesn’t apply to family members of UK citizens, only to those of European Union citizens. The reason why is that there has to be ‘movement’ between the EU member countries.
There is now an option people can use – the Surinder Singh route. As mentioned above, if the family member and EU citizen meet certain criteria’s then it allows a non-EU family member of UK citizens to make an application for a UK visa using the European Union law instead of trying to apply under the current UK immigration policy. In layman’s terms and an example of how this is most commonly used is that the Wife, Husband, or child of a UK citizen can use the Surinder Singh route and apply for an EEA family permit then a UK residence card using the applicable European Union laws rather than trying to meet the requirements under the UK immigration rules.
- Apply for an EEA family permit – guidance about the correct forms, & general guidance UK immigration advice.
- EEA loophole set to be closed – closing the easy route for UK family members to join UK family members – read more.