“Surinder Singh Immigration Route” is a term often mentioned when the EEA Family Permit is discussed.
Families who do not qualify for the UK Family Migration Route, sometimes choose to use the Surinder Singh Immigration route.
It is, however, a complex route, and there is often confusion on how to qualify.
What is the Surinder Singh Immigration Route?
A person who lives in an EEA country, with an eligible British family member, can apply for an EEA Family Permit. This will permit the person to enter the UK with the British family member.
This application under the EEA Family Permit route is called the Surinder Singh Immigration route. UK case law established the precedent.
The route thus entails that spouse or civil partner or child or stepchild or parent or parent-in-law of a British citizen who has exercised Treaty Rights in another EU State can enter and reside in the UK under the EU law.
It is thus easier to meet the criteria for the Surinder Singh Immigration route, compared to the UK Family Migration criteria.
How to qualify for the Surinder Singh immigration route
To qualify, the applicant will have to prove that another EU state was their main residence, for at least three months. The applicant will also have to prove that they lived there together and integrated there.
The British citizen must have exercised his or her treaty rights in the EU state. To exercise your treaty rights, you have to work, be in self-employment, self-sufficient or a student.
The main advantage of the Surinder Singh immigration route
The family will be applying for the EEA Family Permit to come to the UK. There is thus no need to fulfill the difficult UK Family Migration minimum income threshold criteria.
Right to Work in the UK and the Surinder Singh Immigration Route
There are no work restrictions on the holders of the EEA family permit.
The EEA family permit is valid for six months.
Breytenbachs recommend that the entire family apply for an EU residence card within the first 6 months of arrival. This card will be in the form of a Biometric Residence Permit.
Should you be interested in applying under the Surinder Singh Immigration route, we strongly recommend that you seek professional immigration advice.