How to get around the UK Family Migration Route

Tried and tried, time and again, to get your family to join you in the UK? Tired of trying? Try once again. This time though, do it Surinder Singh’s way. Mr. Surinder Singh is the man who has paved the way for many families seeking immigration who were unable to cater to the UK immigration laws.

Mr. Surinder Singh is the reason that non British citizens now have an alternate route around UK immigration laws. Being an Indian citizen, he successfully exercised his right to live in the UK on the basis of two rationales: first, his wife was a British National and second, they had spent some time living in Germany, an EU country. This method, which enables you to make use of your right as an EU member gives you far more leverage than that involving UK citizenship. It has become rather well known as the ‘Surinder Singh Route’.

The core idea established by the Surinder Singh case is that in European Union law, the right for a person who wishes to travel from one member state to another must include a right to return. If you are utilising your right to come back to your home member state you are doing so under European Union law. This implies that it is European Union law and not the regional rules of your member state that is also applicable to family members.

According to the European Union Directive 2004/38/EC, it is possible for citizens of an EU or EEA member state who reside in or visit a member state, to authorise direct family members as well as family members who are beneficiaries, regardless of their nationality, to move and live freely within the European Union. This clause offers a way out to those who wish to immigrate to the UK but are unable to do so, because of the new minimum income threshold regulations implemented by the UK Home Office.

All you have to do is apply for an EEA family permit and you can bypass the UK family migration rules. However, clever as they are, the UK Government started to make amendments to the EEA directives for British Citizens concerning the Surinder Singh route. These amendments were applicable from the 1st of January, 2014. According to these additions, certain requirements have been specified. These requirements are ‘Factors relevant to whether the centre of a person’s life has been transferred to another member State include the period of residence in that member State, the location of that person’s principal residence, and the degree of integration.’ This ensures that a minimum of three months residence has been spent in another EU member state and asks for proof of strong family. According to the official explanatory notes of this law, ‘These changes are to ensure that a British citizen engages in genuine and effective use of the rights conferred by Directive 2004/38/EC before a right to reside in the United Kingdom is conferred on a non-EEA family member.’

Although these restrictions have narrowed down the chances of immigration for some families, they do not pose a threat to most applicants. This is an excellent chance to successfully move to the United Kingdom, as well as other states of the European Union, as a complete family unit!