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Old Jul 29th 2013, 2:41 pm   #1
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Default My experience of going the Surinder Singh route so far

Whilst I was doing a little research I realized that there is so many unanswered questions for people thinking of taking this route. I don't proclaim to know everything but I am in the process of going through the Surinder Singh route at the moment. We have been in Ireland for a month now.

I am going to give you my experience so far, although we have a long way to go .....

We arrived in Ireland on the 29th July. Mine and the kids British passports were not ready by the time we left so I came on a temporary passport and the kids on their South African passports.

There is a bit of a debate as to whether we were stupid or brave! We left SA with no passports, no jobs and no house to go to with 3 children, one of them has Down syndrome!

As my husband is South African, he is schedule 1, meaning he did not need a visa. We went armed with a copy of the Directive just in case.

On arrival in Ireland, we presented ourselves at immigration and told them the purpose of our entry. In my opinion, it is better to be honest; we are not doing anything illegal or wrong. The immigration guy was lovely; he asked why we’re here and what we planned to do whilst we were there. I informed him that we were relocating and we planned to start our own business. He actually seemed to be interested in what we were doing rather than an interrogation. All in all it took about 10 minutes and he stamped my husband's passport with a 3 month visa and gave us some advice on where and when to apply for GNIB. He advised to do it after 2 months so that we have a bit of history to make a better case.

We booked into a hotel so that we could look at houses. We contacted a couple of agents but there does seem to be a bit of resistance to non-nationals (Navan area). After a week, we became quite desperate and took the first house where the landlord was willing to rent to us (private let). Thankfully it turned out well and we are in a stunning area.

A word of warning, this route is not cheap! We hired a car for 1 week and stayed in a hotel - 1000 euros in total. Upon renting, we paid 1 month's deposit. Cars are expensive here and the cheaper ones advertised on Gumtree and Done Deal are bangers! We had to spend double our budget to get anything remotely decent (still turned out to be a costly fix up job). On hindsight, we would have bought from a dealer rather than a private sale. Car tax was 300 euros for 6 months and car insurance 1000 euros for the year (seemingly we got a good deal compared to other new arrivals).
Food is fairly expensive but we just shop around for good deals and stockpile the freezer when the bargains are available.

We applied for our PPS number about 2 weeks ago, we were under the impression that we would get it the same day, hence not rushing. We were given an appointment on the 14th August only so be prepared for that. Seemingly you can work if someone is willing to employ you with no PPS number and pay emergency tax but we have found that you can't do anything without a PPS number or a letter confirming a permanent address (utility bill). We can't even set up a domain or business registration until the PPS number is confirmed so it's quite frustrating not being able to start working.

Speaking to locals, they say that there is jobs if you want to work, even if it's Tescos. A lot of people here seem to be happy to live on benefits as soon as they are entitled (not my words or opinion, we were told this by a number of our Irish and Polish neighbours).

I'm not sure what else to say at this time as that's as far as we have gotten but I will say that Ireland is absolutely beautiful. The people are stunning and apart from our initial resistance by estate agents, everyone has been completely welcoming and supportive.

Oh, another word of warning. If you are looking for a house on Daft and someone tells you that it will be no problem to get a house on arrival - don't believe them, it takes an age to do anything here. Even if you do find a house quickly, they take a while to check references etc.

Also, my sister came over to visit us on the ferry when we arrived and she said that no-one checked her passport or any identification upon boarding or leaving the ferry. She just breezed through immigration.

Overall, we are so happy we did this. We are definitely a bit poorer but you can definitely do it cheaper by staying in cheaper hotels and if staying in Dublin, you may not need to rent/buy a car. We wanted to live rural.

I hope my experience helps in some way.

p.s. Husband is going apply for GNIB shortly so will update with details of his experience.
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Old Jul 29th 2013, 3:37 pm   #2
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Default Re: My experience of going the Surinder Singh route so far

Angela, thank you so much for posting your experience!

Many of us are so curious about how this route could work in real life, and it's marvellous to be able to read how it's working out for your family as you live it!!

Please do keep us posted how things go for you.
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Old Jul 29th 2013, 4:11 pm   #3
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Default Re: My experience of going the Surinder Singh route so far

You are definitely brave, launching into the unknown. I really hope it all pays off and you have a settled home life in the UK before too long. I read of the route, but it is interesting to hear of someone who's doing it! Keep us updated, good youve met some friendly people, and I wish you every success, you wonderful,brave person!
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Old Jul 30th 2013, 9:01 am   #4
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Default Re: My experience of going the Surinder Singh route so far

Thanks guys!

I am a member of a Facebook group with all members in the process of going through the SS route or have gone through it and are now successfully in the UK. It is very informative as the experiences are straight from the horses mouth. Don't think I can post the link here as it's a closed group but PM me if you are starting the process or seriously thinking of it and I'll try to invite you to the group.

The SS route can be done and it's not that painless. In my opinion, it's better than having immigration hanging over you for 5 years.

It's a little unsettling but the kids are having a ball and in a few months, we will be legally in the UK and my DH will have a temporary resident visa guaranteed and to be able to work (after we get a residency card here). We will also have full access to all facilities. We are treating this leg of the journey as an extended holiday.

FYI - The general rule for work is 10+ hours/10 weeks before moving over but most prefer to wait for the residency card before making the move. There are some people who have been given the stamp on application if all the paperwork is correct (hoping we will be one of those!).
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Old Jul 30th 2013, 11:25 am   #5
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Default Re: My experience of going the Surinder Singh route so far

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Originally Posted by AngelaV View Post
Thanks guys!



The SS route can be done and it's not that painless. In my opinion, it's better than having immigration hanging over you for 5 years.

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It is a good route - and free but until you have permanent residency you will still have "immigration hanging over" you as you put it
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Old Jul 30th 2013, 7:16 pm   #6
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Default Re: My experience of going the Surinder Singh route so far

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It is a good route - and free but until you have permanent residency you will still have "immigration hanging over" you as you put it
What I mean by "immigration hanging over" is the financial requirements. If we took the spousal visa route, I would have to maintain a salary of 18600 pounds for 5 years, with a special needs child, that's not an option in my case. By taking the SS route, my husband's income will be taken into consideration.
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Old Jul 31st 2013, 7:13 am   #7
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Default Re: My experience of going the Surinder Singh route so far

Hi AngelaV

Myself (british) and my husband(south african) have been living and working in dublin, ireland for 15 months now with him on the 5 yr eea family permit/spouse visa and are looking to move to the UK. We were looking to go through the trouble of the spousal visa route and posted on here with some questions and were given a link to your page. After getting yourselves sorted in ireland what do you plan to do to get to the uk?
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Old Jul 31st 2013, 8:59 am   #8
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Default Re: My experience of going the Surinder Singh route so far

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Hi AngelaV

Myself (british) and my husband(south african) have been living and working in dublin, ireland for 15 months now with him on the 5 yr eea family permit/spouse visa and are looking to move to the UK. We were looking to go through the trouble of the spousal visa route and posted on here with some questions and were given a link to your page. After getting yourselves sorted in ireland what do you plan to do to get to the uk?
Hi tickletori, you won't need to go the spousal visa route if you have been living and working in Ireland. As your husband has a 5 year permit/visa, you can exercise your Freedom of movement rights and move over to the UK anytime.

This is a link to the directive which will provide you with all the information you need - http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/...35:0048:en:PDF

and here is a guide which puts it in laymen terms - http://ec.europa.eu/justice/policies...vement_low.pdf

PM me and I'll direct you to the Facebook page for people who have done it, there is a lot of experience and wealth of knowledge on there.

Where in SA are you from? We lived in the West Rand for most of our time and then in Hermanus for 2 years before coming here. I miss SA but I love it here. There is such a sense of freedom, I love that the kids can play outside and can stop at "robots" without being bombarded!!

When your hubby got his visa, did you have to provide an Apostille copy of your marriage certificate? It took us months just to get our unabridged certificate from home affairs which we got only a few days before we left SA so we were reluctant to give it over to someone else for any reason at that point! So ours isn't apostilled, I am hoping it doesn't have to be but I think it probable does. We want to get his permit/visa next week if we can, apostille requirements dependant.
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Old Jul 31st 2013, 9:56 pm   #9
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Default Re: My experience of going the Surinder Singh route so far

I asked if I could share the Facebook group with everyone and it is okay to do so. It is a really good group with lots of people sharing experiences and giving advice on taking the Surinder Singh route and settling in Europe.

EU FREE MOVEMENT DIRECTIVE/2004/38/C - http://www.facebook.com/groups/477537505627291/
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Old Aug 1st 2013, 12:56 am   #10
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Default Re: My experience of going the Surinder Singh route so far

Thankyou for your informative post My husband and I are considering this move to Ireland and your post has been very helpful.
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Old Aug 1st 2013, 1:50 pm   #11
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Default Re: My experience of going the Surinder Singh route so far

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I asked if I could share the Facebook group with everyone and it is okay to do so. It is a really good group with lots of people sharing experiences and giving advice on taking the Surinder Singh route and settling in Europe.

EU FREE MOVEMENT DIRECTIVE/2004/38/C - http://www.facebook.com/groups/477537505627291/
Eire is one of the countries my wife and I are looking at for early next year. We're already members of that FB group, and the ones in my signature.
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Old Aug 1st 2013, 4:05 pm   #12
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Default Re: My experience of going the Surinder Singh route so far

Small gesture, I know, but I've just signed a petition on Change.org. I am just so mad that British citizens and their families are being forced to make such complicated arrangements in order to come and live in Britain.
This law has to change!
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Old Aug 1st 2013, 7:02 pm   #13
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Default Re: My experience of going the Surinder Singh route so far

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Small gesture, I know, but I've just signed a petition on Change.org. I am just so mad that British citizens and their families are being forced to make such complicated arrangements in order to come and live in Britain.
This law has to change!
My DH's favourite saying this year .... "chip away", every small action leads to the ultimate goal. We have done so much chipping over the past months, we could have brought down the Berlin wall!! LOL
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Old Aug 1st 2013, 9:14 pm   #14
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Default Re: My experience of going the Surinder Singh route so far

Forgive my ignorance, but why do you not want to stay in Ireland rather than
come to the UK?
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Old Aug 1st 2013, 9:33 pm   #15
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Default Re: My experience of going the Surinder Singh route so far

Our purpose of moving to the UK is mainly for support, we have a child with Down syndrome with heart problems/pulmonary hypertension and sleep apnea. My family are in Scotland. To be honest, I haven't had a day or night off (or a full night's sleep) in 4 years, having my family close by to help is going to be invaluable. Also, Ireland's private healthcare don't cover pre-existing conditions so my daughter won't be covered if she needs treatment.
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