The ‘Surinder Singh’ route permits family members of a ‘qualifying British citizen’ to return with them or join them in the UK after a period of residence in an EU Member State (or Switzerland) in accordance with EU free movement law. Applicants will need to apply for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit on which they can enter the UK. The requirements are set out in Appendix EU Family Permit, to the Immigration Rules.
What is the EU Settlement Scheme Surinder Singh Route Visa?
The EU Settlement Scheme Surinder Singh Route Visa is for British Citizens and their family members who were residing and exercising treaty rights in an EEA State before 31 December 2020 and who now wish to live and work in the UK. The EU Settlement Scheme Surinder Singh Route Visa is for an initial period of 6 months. You can stay longer than 6 months if you eligible to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme Pre-Settled Status.
Who can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme Surinder Singh Route Visa?
In order to apply you need to be a qualifying British Citizen. A qualifying British Citizen means:
- The British citizen must have resided with their family member in an EEA state where they are exercising Treaty rights (i.e. they were a worker, a self-employed person, a self-sufficient person or a student) before 31 December 2020, and continue to do so at the date of the application, or immediately before they returned to the UK.
- The British citizen will need to provide evidence of their exercise of Treaty rights in the EEA state and of their ‘genuine’ residence. This means they will need to show that their family life with the applicant was created or strengthened while living in the EEA State. There is no need to show that the ‘centre of their life’ moved there.
- Alternatively, if they acquired the right of permanent residence in the EEA state in which they are residing with their family member before 31 December 2020, this can be relied on.
- There is a slight anomaly in how ‘qualifying British citizen’ and ‘family member of a qualifying British citizen’ are defined, as the definitions indicate that the British citizen and their family member must be returning to the UK together.
However, the eligibility criteria in paragraph FP6(2) make it clear that the British citizen can return to the UK before the applicant: ‘The qualifying British citizen is resident in the UK or will be travelling to the UK with the applicant within six months of the date of application’.
Which family members can apply under the EU Settlement Scheme Surinder Singh Route Visa?
The eligible family members are:
- Spouse or civil partner;
- Durable partner;
- Children under the age of 21 or dependent children over 21 before 31 December 2020;
- Dependant parent; and
- Other dependent relatives.
The family relationship should have existed prior to the date of withdrawal of the UK from the EU, which occurred at 2300 GMT on 31 January 2020. The relationship must continue to exist at the date of application.
Requirements for the EU Settlement Scheme Surinder Singh Route Visa application
In order to qualify for the EU Settlement Scheme Surinder Singh Route Visa you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) that:
- You are a qualifying British Citizen exercising treaty rights in an EEA state before 31 December 2020;
- You are a family member of a British Citizen living with the British Citizen in an EEA state before 31 December 2020; and
- You intend to and/or must be returning to the UK before 29 March 2022.
The EEA includes the EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Children who were born or adopted after 31 December 2020 may also be eligible, if they’re the child of either:
- an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen; or
- an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen’s spouse or civil partner.
The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances. You may want to speak to our expert immigration lawyers for legal advice.
What if the relationship was formed after 31 January 2020?
Where the relationship was formed in the 11-month period between the withdrawal date, 31 January 2020, and the end of the implementation period, 31 December 2020, applicants may still be able to rely on this route if they can satisfy the entry clearance officer that there are reasonable grounds that they did not return to the UK with the British citizen before 31 December 2020.
This may assist those who were prevented from travelling to the UK by 31 December 2020, by reason of covid-19 related restrictions. The Home Office is preparing non-exhaustive guidance on what constitutes ‘reasonable grounds’ for not applying before the deadline.
Alternatively, applicants may be able to apply for partner and family visas pursuant to Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules.
Making an EU Settlement Scheme Surinder Singh Route Visa application with OneLaw Chambers
At OneLaw Chambers, our immigration solicitors and barristers regularly assist with EU Settlement Scheme Surinder Singh Route Visa applications in order for applicants to remain and settle in the UK. We have assisted many foreign national applicants to prepare and submit successful EU Settlement Scheme Surinder Singh Route Visa applications and we have represented clients from all over the world.
Whether you require expert immigration advice on the requirements of the Immigration Rules, an independent immigration assessment of your prospects of qualifying for an EU Settlement Scheme Surinder Singh Route Visa or professional immigration representation with preparing your EU Settlement Scheme Surinder Singh Route Visa immigration application, our immigration solicitors and barristers can help you.
We are committed to ensuring that our immigration solicitors and barristers prepare every immigration visa application with utmost quality and skill so that successful outcome is achieved every time. Our immigration solicitors and barristers operate in a friendly and cooperative manner to provide our clients with the best client care and service during the entire immigration application process.
To discuss your EU Settlement Scheme Surinder Singh Route Visa application with one our immigration solicitors and barristers, please contact our Immigration lawyers on 0207 489 2044 / 0208 616 1819 or complete our enquiry form with your details.
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