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EEA Family Permit / Surinder Singh process - quick questions!

EEA Family Permit / Surinder Singh process - quick questions!

Old Jan 16th 2013, 4:29 am
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Default EEA Family Permit / Surinder Singh process - quick questions!

Hi there!

I am a British citizen. My long-term boyfriend is from the USA. We are looking at moving permanently to the UK in the coming years. We are contemplating whether to move under the fiance visa process, or the Surinder Singh route, and are researching both at the mo.

We are pretty clear on the fiance visa stipulations, but have a few questions regarding the Surinder Singh route. What we know about the Surinder Singh route already -

* We have to be married or in a civil partnership
* The British citizen half of the couple (me) must exercise their EEA treaty rights, by moving to and working for a minimum of six months in another EEA country.
* The non-EEA spouse must accompany the British person (me) during this six month period.
* This marriage or civil partnership must exist *before* we move to an EEA country to exercise my treaty rights
* We can apply for an EEA Family Permit as an *unmarried* couple, but must prove we are in a "durable relationship", by providing a record of our living together for at least two years as if in a marriage

That's what we know. Now for our questions -

1) Are the EEA Family Permit process and Surinder Singh process the same thing? How do they differ? How are they the same? (From what we can ascertain, the EEA Family Permit route is a process for *non*-UK folks and their family members only. Surinder Singh is the exact same process, but for **UK citizens** and their family members...is this correct?)

2) Timeline stuff! We have read that unmarried couples can apply under Surinder Singh, so long as they can demonstrate a "durable" established relationship akin to marriage, including living together for at least two years. However, if we were *married* and applying, would we *still* need to demonstrate a two-year previous commitment? We have been together for just over a year only at this point, and are weighing up whether we should get married or not before applying.

3) What is the cost of Surinder Singh? We believe the process to be free. Can anyone confirm this?

Many thanks for any help anybody out there can offer! It's much appreciated!

Kat x
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Old Jan 16th 2013, 6:45 am
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Default Re: EEA Family Permit / Surinder Singh process - quick questions!

I believe the process is free.
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Old Jan 16th 2013, 7:38 am
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Default Re: EEA Family Permit / Surinder Singh process - quick questions!

Originally Posted by prettyteacup View Post
Hi there!

I am a British citizen. My long-term boyfriend is from the USA. We are looking at moving permanently to the UK in the coming years. We are contemplating whether to move under the fiance visa process, or the Surinder Singh route, and are researching both at the mo.

We are pretty clear on the fiance visa stipulations, but have a few questions regarding the Surinder Singh route. What we know about the Surinder Singh route already -

* We have to be married or in a civil partnership
Or in a relationship akin to marriage as you pointed out below

* The British citizen half of the couple (me) must exercise their EEA treaty rights, by moving to and working for a minimum of six months in another EEA country.
No minimum time is stipulated and the UKBA guidance clearly states to case officers that the reason for exercising treaty rights (ie specifically to use this route) is irrelevant. Nevertheless there is a concensus on this board that 3 or 6 months is needed and that must be people's impresison for a reason.

* The non-EEA spouse must accompany the British person (me) during this six month period.
Yes, you must be living together in the EEA

* This marriage or civil partnership must exist *before* we move to an EEA country to exercise my treaty rights
No. My wife and I married in Germany and obtained EEA Family permits for about 8 years for visits to the UK. But, of course, your wife has to be able to legally enter and marry in whatever country you chose.


* We can apply for an EEA Family Permit as an *unmarried* couple, but must prove we are in a "durable relationship", by providing a record of our living together for at least two years as if in a marriage
Yes, but expect the case officers to make life difficult both entering the other EEA country and entering the UK.


That's what we know. Now for our questions -

1) Are the EEA Family Permit process and Surinder Singh process the same thing? How do they differ? How are they the same? (From what we can ascertain, the EEA Family Permit route is a process for *non*-UK folks and their family members only. Surinder Singh is the exact same process, but for **UK citizens** and their family members...is this correct?)
Correct. SS is the name of the person who applied for his wife to enter his own country under EEA rules (after living together elsewhere in the EEA), was denied and successfully appealed.



2) Timeline stuff! We have read that unmarried couples can apply under Surinder Singh, so long as they can demonstrate a "durable" established relationship akin to marriage, including living together for at least two years. However, if we were *married* and applying, would we *still* need to demonstrate a two-year previous commitment? We have been together for just over a year only at this point, and are weighing up whether we should get married or not before applying.
No, once you are married, you are married.

3) What is the cost of Surinder Singh? We believe the process to be free. Can anyone confirm this?
The EEA family permit to enter the UK initially used to cost approx 5GBP for postage. A residency permit in another EEA country cannot cost more that a residency permit / ID card for a local. An EEA-permit visa for initial entry to the other EEA country must be free (but htey can charge for postage). The EEA family permit int he UK is also free (plus postage). Plus the cost of copying all the documents, going to the various application centers (the UK EEA permit requires biometrics) etc. Still compared to the UK visa it's as close to free as you will get.

Many thanks for any help anybody out there can offer! It's much appreciated!

Kat x
No problems. Let us know how you get on
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Old Jan 16th 2013, 11:50 am
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Default Re: EEA Family Permit / Surinder Singh process - quick questions!

Originally Posted by prettyteacup View Post
Hi there!

I am a British citizen. My long-term boyfriend is from the USA. We are looking at moving permanently to the UK in the coming years. We are contemplating whether to move under the fiance visa process, or the Surinder Singh route, and are researching both at the mo.

We are pretty clear on the fiance visa stipulations, but have a few questions regarding the Surinder Singh route. What we know about the Surinder Singh route already -

* We have to be married or in a civil partnership
* The British citizen half of the couple (me) must exercise their EEA treaty rights, by moving to and working for a minimum of six months in another EEA country.
* The non-EEA spouse must accompany the British person (me) during this six month period.
* This marriage or civil partnership must exist *before* we move to an EEA country to exercise my treaty rights
* We can apply for an EEA Family Permit as an *unmarried* couple, but must prove we are in a "durable relationship", by providing a record of our living together for at least two years as if in a marriage

That's what we know. Now for our questions -

1) Are the EEA Family Permit process and Surinder Singh process the same thing? How do they differ? How are they the same? (From what we can ascertain, the EEA Family Permit route is a process for *non*-UK folks and their family members only. Surinder Singh is the exact same process, but for **UK citizens** and their family members...is this correct?)

2) Timeline stuff! We have read that unmarried couples can apply under Surinder Singh, so long as they can demonstrate a "durable" established relationship akin to marriage, including living together for at least two years. However, if we were *married* and applying, would we *still* need to demonstrate a two-year previous commitment? We have been together for just over a year only at this point, and are weighing up whether we should get married or not before applying.

3) What is the cost of Surinder Singh? We believe the process to be free. Can anyone confirm this?

Many thanks for any help anybody out there can offer! It's much appreciated!

Kat x

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/
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Old Jan 17th 2013, 1:53 pm
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Default Re: EEA Family Permit / Surinder Singh process - quick questions!

Originally Posted by prettyteacup View Post
... * The British citizen half of the couple (me) must exercise their EEA treaty rights, by moving to and working for a minimum of six months in another EEA country. ...
I would regard six months working as a safe harbour.
Fewer months or self-employed (as long as it is 100% legal activity in the host country) may still be OK.
Not sure about "things similar to marriage"; they will be OK as to a UK perspective but the host country might refuse based on national laws. I suspect some countries will be cool with this and some others will not.

Last edited by holly_1948; Jan 17th 2013 at 1:56 pm.
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Old Jan 17th 2013, 4:56 pm
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Default Re: EEA Family Permit / Surinder Singh process - quick questions!

Originally Posted by holly_1948 View Post
I would regard six months working as a safe harbour.
Fewer months or self-employed (as long as it is 100% legal activity in the host country) may still be OK.
The non-EEA family member must obtain a Residence Card for the host country, which may take up to 6 months from application. Therefore, you may need to stay longer.
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Old Jan 18th 2013, 3:59 am
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Default Re: EEA Family Permit / Surinder Singh process - quick questions!

Im confused about the "self employed" requirement. Without any employment offer you can set yourself up as self employed, but do you need to show that you have generated an income from this, or just showing say a piece of paper showing you are registered as self employed.

Do you have to show tax returns etc to prove you have been self employed?
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Old Jan 18th 2013, 10:51 am
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Default Re: EEA Family Permit / Surinder Singh process - quick questions!

Originally Posted by Panhandle View Post
Im confused about the "self employed" requirement. Without any employment offer you can set yourself up as self employed, but do you need to show that you have generated an income from this, or just showing say a piece of paper showing you are registered as self employed.

Do you have to show tax returns etc to prove you have been self employed?
Good questions. It's my impression (based on my own research on S Singh) that the key to this route is paying income tax into the first EU host country's tax system. If this is true, that means the self-employed person must generate income and pay the EU country's tax on that income in order to be exercizing EU Treaty Rights properly so as to be able to move to the UK under S Singh.

The Family Permit application (for the non-EEA partner to move to the UK after the EEA partner has worked the 6 months in the first EU country) seems to support this, though it doesn't spell it out:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/si...ily-permit.pdf

Maybe someone else can confirm this?

Last edited by WEBlue; Jan 18th 2013 at 10:53 am.
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Old Jan 18th 2013, 11:04 am
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Default Re: EEA Family Permit / Surinder Singh process - quick questions!

Originally Posted by WEBlue View Post
Good questions. It's my impression (based on my own research on S Singh) that the key to this route is paying income tax into the first EU host country's tax system. If this is true, that means the self-employed person must generate income and pay the EU country's tax on that income in order to be exercizing EU Treaty Rights properly so as to be able to move to the UK under S Singh.

The Family Permit application (for the non-EEA partner to move to the UK after the EEA partner has worked the 6 months in the first EU country) seems to support this, though it doesn't spell it out:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/si...ily-permit.pdf

Maybe someone else can confirm this?
So far this Singh route seems to be as much of an effort as applying through the front door.
Massive unemployment in continental Europe would not encourage me to relocate to the EU and become self employed.

Sound like a big waste of money and time
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Old Jan 18th 2013, 11:13 am
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Default Re: EEA Family Permit / Surinder Singh process - quick questions!

Originally Posted by Panhandle View Post
So far this Singh route seems to be as much of an effort as applying through the front door.
Massive unemployment in continental Europe would not encourage me to relocate to the EU and become self employed.

Sound like a big waste of money and time
For some people it may be the only route they can do, with the current tightening of the rules . But as you say not that cheap to.

Just for information the rules around the time spent in the EU are a bit vague, but given you do not need to show you are economically active until after you have been in the UK for 3 months, for defendants of EU nationals from other countries, would think at least 3 months would be required
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Old Jan 18th 2013, 11:19 am
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Default Re: EEA Family Permit / Surinder Singh process - quick questions!

Originally Posted by Panhandle View Post
So far this Singh route seems to be as much of an effort as applying through the front door.
Massive unemployment in continental Europe would not encourage me to relocate to the EU and become self employed.

Sound like a big waste of money and time
I agree that for some couples it won't work at all. For instance, having to sort out school in a foreign country for any children would make the S Singh route a lot tougher. And as you say, some EU countries have terrible unemployment, so could be very difficult/impossible to find work for the recommended 6 months. Makes more sense for many couples to simply look for UK work that meets the income requirements and/or squirrel away enough cash savings to make up any difference and apply then for the regular spouse visa.

But for young couples with no children, little work experience and low income or savings opportunities (for instance artists, musicians, writers, etc.) the S Singh Route could be the only way they could ever have a chance to move to the UK, as PennyinI says.

But this route does require a lot of study to carry out properly, and some nerve too, as well as a confidence that the UK will remain part of the EU....

Last edited by WEBlue; Jan 18th 2013 at 12:55 pm. Reason: grammar
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Old Jan 19th 2013, 6:14 am
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Default Re: EEA Family Permit / Surinder Singh process - quick questions!

Originally Posted by Panhandle View Post
Im confused about the "self employed" requirement. Without any employment offer you can set yourself up as self employed, but do you need to show that you have generated an income from this, or just showing say a piece of paper showing you are registered as self employed. ...
The treaty says "economically active". That clearly includes bona fide self-employment.
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Old Jan 19th 2013, 3:04 pm
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Default Re: EEA Family Permit / Surinder Singh process - quick questions!

Originally Posted by holly_1948 View Post
The treaty says "economically active". That clearly includes bona fide self-employment.
Well that would rule me out, cant see me getting a job if I dont speak the lingo, although one could go to the tourist area's, work in a bar etc and do it that way.
Last time I was in Cyprus I noticed many Uk citz working there in the bars etc
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Old Jan 21st 2013, 4:54 pm
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Default Re: EEA Family Permit / Surinder Singh process - quick questions!

Thinking about the logistics side of things again.

Could I go to, say, Dublin by myself, work etc and then move on to the UK, then my wife arrive in the UK direct from Mexico? Or do we both have to travel together to Ireland and on to UK?

And about the kids, they would have British passports but my wife would have a Mexican one. Can she still travel with them or would we face problems at the entry port?
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Old Jan 22nd 2013, 1:55 am
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Default Re: EEA Family Permit / Surinder Singh process - quick questions!

Originally Posted by Andrew79 View Post
Thinking about the logistics side of things again.

Could I go to, say, Dublin by myself, work etc and then move on to the UK, then my wife arrive in the UK direct from Mexico? Or do we both have to travel together to Ireland and on to UK?
My research indicates this would not work. The whole point of the S Singh route is that your non-EEA partner lives with you in the other EEA country for the required minimum time (usually recommended to be 6 months) while you the EEA citizen works, then your partner applies for the EEA Family Permit and upon receiving it accompanies you to the UK. You need to do those steps together for the SS route to work properly.

For proof, go to this page of UKBA and click open the bolded question at the bottom, "Can British citizens' family members enter and reside in the UK under European law?"

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eu...uments-family/

However, the European Court of Justice held in Case C-370/90 that British citizens can rely on European law in circumstances where they are returning to the UK in order to work or settle here in a self-sufficient capacity after working in another European Union state. In these circumstances, the returning British citizen has the right to be accompanied by his or her husband, wife or civil partner, if they have previously been living together in the other European Union state.
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