New guidance on the Surinder Singh route

The Home Office has updated its guidance on Surinder Singh cases, with “clarifications” on the requirements of the eponymous route. As our in-depth post on this topic explains, the Surinder Singh route is a potential means for British citizens to rely on family-friendly EU free movement laws – rather than the harsh UK immigration rules – to be reunited with their family members. The changes to the guidance include an additional clarification that a British citizen does not need to be a “qualified person” in their initial three months back in the UK to sponsor a family member in a Surinder Singh application. There are also new sections about retained…

13th November 2017 By Nick Nason

Reference made to CJEU on extended family members, Surinder Singh and appeal rights

The case is UK v Banger C-89/17. Text of the reference here: Do the principles contained in the decision in Immigration Appeal Tribunal and Surinder Singh, ex parte Secretary of State for the Home Department (Case C-370/90) [1992] operate so as to require a Member State to issue or, alternatively, facilitate the provision of a residence authorisation to the non-Union unmarried partner of a EU citizen who, having exercised his Treaty right of freedom of movement to work in a second Member State, returns with such partner to the Member State of his nationality? Alternatively, is there a requirement to issue or, alternatively, facilitate the provision of such residence authorisation…

26th April 2017 By Colin Yeo

The Surinder Singh immigration route: how does it work? (updated)

This blog post has been updated to address the changes introduced in the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2016. The ‘Surinder Singh route’ has become well known to British citizens seeking to be reunited with their family members. The toughening up of UK immigration rules in July 2012 – particularly the introduction of the minimum income rule and its labyrinthine documentary requirements and the awful elderly dependent relative rules – has resulted in an ever increasing number of split families. The Childrens’ Commissioner has described affected families with children as “Skype Families”. An old Court of Justice of the European Union case called Surinder Singh provides a potential means to rely on…

31st January 2017 By Colin Yeo

Home Office confirms that official EEA series application forms are not mandatory

In a useful policy document explaining internal processes within the UK Visas and Immigration department of the Home Office, it is confirmed that applicants for EU free movement documents such as residence certificates and residence cards do NOT have to use the forms provided by the Home Office. The guidance document is addressed to Home Office caseworkers and tells us how they will process applications. The news that the forms are optional may come as quite a relief to those faced with the 85 page EEA(PR) or, even worse, the mammoth EEA(FM) I covered previously: UK blatantly obstructing EU free movement rights with red tape. Since that post, a new version…

12th October 2016 By Colin Yeo

Update to Surinder Singh ebook

I have belatedly updated my Surinder Singh ebook, which is now available for purchase or to be downloaded by previous customers who created a user account at the time of purchase. There are some quite significant changes and additions. I no longer recommend to clients that they should use the EEA(FM) application form for Surinder Singh applications and I have updated the ebook to reflect that advice. My reasoning is that the form gathers more information than the Home Office is entitled to and that the unnecessary information is then used as an excuse for unlawful refusals. I have also added a detailed analysis of reasons for refusal in nearly…

22nd March 2016 By Colin Yeo

New slightly shorter EEA(FM) and EEA(EFM) forms introduced

New slightly shorter EEA(FM) and EEA(EFM) forms have been introduced. The previous EEA(FM) weighed in at some 137 pages and the new ones at a mere 76 and 91 pages. That is still far, far too long, though, and far, far longer than the forms they replaced. It is also far longer than the UK domestic equivalent forms.

22nd July 2015 By Colin Yeo

UK blatantly obstructing EU free movement rights with red tape

The UK is now blatantly obstructing EU free movement rights. As of 30 January 2015, a new Form EEA(FM) has been introduced for family members of EU nationals and of British citizens exercising Surinder Singh free movement rights. It is 129 pages long. The old version, called the EEA2, was 37 pages long. By comparison, the paper versions of forms for non EEA nationals applying as family members under UK domestic immigration rules are a grand total of 35 pages, and that includes all the interminable detail required for Appendix FM applications (VAF4A and VAF4A Appendix 2). I have updated my Surinder Singh ebook with a new section giving guidance…

18th February 2015 By Colin Yeo

Surinder Singh centre of life refusals

Having just heard of a particularly shocking centre of life refusal of a Surinder Singh case, I thought I would start collating such refusals. I will try and work out a way to submit them to the European Commission, who are investigating the UK on this issue, and will use extracts for a future edition of my Surinder Singh ebook to inform those considering making an application. If you have been unfortunate enough to receive a centre of life based refusal, please send me a copy using the submission form below. I will anonymise or seek consent before doing anything with them, but to be doubly sure if you are…

18th February 2015 By Colin Yeo

McCarthy and EU family permits

Last year the Court of Justice of the European Union handed down judgment in the case of McCarthy v United Kingdom C-202/13. In some ways it is a very straightforward case: the UK is not permitted to require residence card holding family members of EEA nationals to apply for yet further documentation in the form of an entry permit.

29th January 2015 By Colin Yeo

Claiming damages for breaches of EU free movement rights

The Irish High Court has awarded a claimant over €100,000 in damages against the Irish government for breach of EU law free movement rights. The case is an example of the award of damages awarded for losses caused by a Member State breaching EU law under the Francovich (C-6/90 and C-9/90) principle. I have heard much talk of bringing such cases but in the absence of a successful example it has been rather hard to propose it as a viable way forward. The case is certainly not a precedent in UK law but it is interesting nonetheless. It shows that such claims might be possible on some facts. However, those…

22nd January 2015 By Colin Yeo

Home Office refuses Surinder Singh case because applicant knows law

This just in from the marvellous BritCits: Furthermore, you have provided a detailed covering letter explaining why you qualify for an EEA Family Permit under Regulation 9. You have quoted case law and the rules concerning how long someone can work in a member state and qualify under Regulation 9. It is clear from this letter that you and your British spouse have gone to extensive lengths to understand fully Regulation 9 of the EEA Regulations which suggests that your reason for living in the France is merely to qualify under the Surinder Singh provision and to circumvent the Settlement procedure.

9th October 2014 By Colin Yeo

Abuse of EU law and Surinder Singh

Some European Union member states are anxious that their own citizens should not circumvent their own sometimes very tough immigration rules by relying instead on EU free movement law. The UK is one such, and has been right from the start. At paragraph 24 of Surinder Singh itself, the court said as follows: As regards the risk of fraud referred to by the United Kingdom, it is sufficient to note that, as the Court has consistently held, … the facilities created by the Treaty cannot have the effect of allowing the persons who benefit from them to evade the application of national legislation and of prohibiting Member States from taking the measures necessary…

9th September 2014 By Colin Yeo

EU to investigate UK interpretation of Surinder Singh

The EU Commission is fully au fait with the amendments the UK made to its EU free movement rules in January 2014 and has stated in a recent letter that the UK rules are incompatible with EU law. Further, the EU intends to contact the UK authorities to seek their “observations” on the incompatibility, the first step in pursuing infringement proceedings against the UK.

2nd September 2014 By Colin Yeo