What is a Surinder Singh application?

It is possible for the family member of a British citizen who has previously exercised their free movement rights in another EEA country to apply for a EEA family permit or residence document in order that they can joint their British citizen family member on their return to the UK.

You can make this kind of application if the British family member in question is your husband, wife, civil partner, parent, grandparent, child or grandchild. The rules include family members who were adopted under UK law.

The question as to whether unmarried partners can benefit from Surinder Singh is currently being considered by the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Demonstrating that you are eligible

To show that you are eligible to meet the requirements, both you and your British citizen family member have to demonstrate that you genuinely made your home in another EEA country and in doing so “transferred the centre of your life” to the host EEA country.

Transferring the Centre of your Life Test

The Home Office test that you require to pass is that you have “transferred the centre of your life” to the other EEA country.

This includes showing that your home in the host country was your main residence and that you had integrated into the host country.

Your British family member must also demonstrate that they had the right of permanent residence in that country, or that they were working, self-employed, self-sufficient or studying in that EEA country.

How to apply

You are required to provide evidence to prove that you made your home in an EEA country, including details of addresses where you lived and evidence of integration, such as proof that you learned the language or that you were involved in the local community. The British family member will be expected to provide documents to demonstrate that they were working, self-employed, studying or self-sufficient while living in the EEA country. This can include wage slips, tax documents, or other relevant paperwork.

It is important to be aware that your application is likely to be rejected if the evidence suggests that you lived in another EEA country solely for the purposes of making a ‘Surinder Singh’ application for entry into the UK. The Home Office consider this to be “circumventing Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules”.

How we can help

Making a Surinder Singh application can be a very complicated process as the Home Office scrutinise these applications very carefully, mainly due to the fact that they regard these applications as “loop-holes” and they treat these applications with suspicion.

With over 25 years of experience to call upon, we can give you the best possible advice and guide you through the process of making your Surinder Singh application. Whilst we cannot guarantee success, we can assist you in maximising the chances of making a successful application.

What's next?

We have been helping clients solve their personal immigration problems for over 25 years. To find out if we can assist you and then to arrange an initial fixed fee consultation, contact our experienced team in either Edinburgh or Glasgow.

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