Category Archives: Freedom of Information

FOI Request for definition of ‘centre of life’ for immigration purposes

Read more of this request here: FOI Request for definition of ‘centre of life’ for immigration purposes

From: European Operational Policy Enquiries
Home Office

1 May 2014

Dear Mr Hook,

Thank you for your email of 4th February to the Home Office Freedom of Information team. Please accept my apologies for the considerable delay in responding. This is due to an administrative oversight on our part.

For convenience, I have decided to consider your email as a general enquiry, rather than as a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, since we do not hold any specific guidance on the question you have asked.

I can confirm that the phrase ‘centre of life’ does not occur within the UK’s domestic Immigration Rules and there is no equivalent phrase therein covering the same criteria. The ‘centre of life’ test is specific to regulation 9 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006. I previously released guidance to you on how we apply that test (in response to FOI request 30271).

I trust this has clarified matters and I apologise once again for the delay in responding to you.

Kind regards,

P. Grant
European Operational Policy Team
Immigration & Border Policy Directorate
Home Office

FOI Request for definition of 'centre of life' for immigration purposes

Read more of this request here: FOI Request for definition of ‘centre of life’ for immigration purposes

From: European Operational Policy Enquiries
Home Office

1 May 2014

Dear Mr Hook,

Thank you for your email of 4th February to the Home Office Freedom of Information team. Please accept my apologies for the considerable delay in responding. This is due to an administrative oversight on our part.

For convenience, I have decided to consider your email as a general enquiry, rather than as a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, since we do not hold any specific guidance on the question you have asked.

I can confirm that the phrase ‘centre of life’ does not occur within the UK’s domestic Immigration Rules and there is no equivalent phrase therein covering the same criteria. The ‘centre of life’ test is specific to regulation 9 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006. I previously released guidance to you on how we apply that test (in response to FOI request 30271).

I trust this has clarified matters and I apologise once again for the delay in responding to you.

Kind regards,

P. Grant
European Operational Policy Team
Immigration & Border Policy Directorate
Home Office

Surinder Singh for Extended Family Members

Read more of this request here: Surinder Singh for Extended Family Members

International and Immigration
0207 035 4848
Policy Group
(switchboard)
Home Office
www.homeoffice.gov.uk
2 Marsham Street
London
SW1P 4DF
Sarah Goode
By email : request-196403-
[email address]

4 March 2014
Dear Sarah,

FOI Request 30645

Thank you for your email of 07 February, in which you ask for the following information:

“Can you please provide myself with information that you hold on assessing Surinder Singh Route
applications from unmarried partners, or any other extended family member that may live as part of my
household such as my 14 year old brother who I have played a role of mother to for the past six years.”

Your request has been handled as a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act
2000.

The provisions set out in regulation 9 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006
(as amended), which gives effect to the determination of the Court of Justice of the European Union in
the case of C-370/90 (Surinder Singh) apply only to family members of British citizens.

The relevant definition of „family member‟ is that set out in regulation 7, which is as follows:

(a) his spouse or his civil partner;
(b) direct descendants of his, his spouse or his civil partner who are —
(i)
under 21; or
(ii)
dependants of his, his spouse or his civil partner;
(c)
dependent direct relatives in his ascending line or that of his spouse or his civil
partner;
(d)
a person who is to be treated as the family member of that other person under
paragraph (3).

Persons who do not fal within the definition of „family member‟ as set out above are therefore outside
of the scope of regulation 9 and cannot rely on this provision for a right of residence in the UK.

As this provision is not available to persons who fal within the definition of „extended family members‟
as set out in regulation 8, the Home Office does not hold any information relating to assessing
applications from such persons.


If you are dissatisfied with this response you may request an independent internal review of our
handling of your request by submitting a complaint within two months to the address below, quoting
reference 30645. If you ask for an internal review, it would be helpful if you could say why you are
dissatisfied with the response.

Information Access Team
Home Office
Ground Floor, Seacole Building
2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF
e-mail: [email address]

As part of any internal review the Department’s handling of your information request will be reassessed
by staff who were not involved in providing you with this response. If you remain dissatisfied after this
internal review, you would have a right of complaint to the Information Commissioner as established by
section 50 of the Freedom of Information Act.

Yours sincerely

R Murphy
European Operational Policy Team
Home Office


How long do I need to live in another member state to qualify under Surinder Singh?

There has been a lot of talk on the internet of late regarding the new Home Office’s Centre of Life Requirement for Surinder Singh.  I see lots of people saying that “You must excercise treaty rights for at least X months“.  Today infact, a member of the EEA Visa group actually said that The Home Office informed her that she must excercise treaty rights for at least six months to qualify.

This is not correct!  Absolute rubbish, and totally out of order for the Home Office to claim such.

As previously linked to: The Home Office’s Centre of Life guidance clearly states the following:

Generally, the longer the British citizen has been exercising Treaty rights in another EEA member state, the more likely it is that they will have transferred the centre of their lives.

There is still no minimum time period that must be spent in the host member state and all cases must be assessed on their own merits.

This should also be noted along with the Opinion of Advocate General Sharpston in the Case of S and O.

 

Also, if in doubt, simply rely on the word of law.  Regulation 9 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 places absolutely no time limits.  To do so would be a good move for Singher’s everywhere as there would be goalposts.  The Home Office have simply implemented the Centre of Life requirement so as to allow it’s ECO’s a reason for refusal of any application.

The reasons being spouted by ECO’s are rediculous.

Obviously, the burden of proof is upon the applicant as a balance of probabilities.  It is best to provide as strong an application for an EEA Family Permit or Residence Card as possible.  Ensure that your covering letter includes the reason that you are returning to the UK.  These reasons might well be:

  • Job Offer
  • Seriously ill family member
  • Contact issues with children of a previous relationship (at which Section 55 would also apply)

The UK, as outlined within it’s response, has a duty to assess all cases on their own merits.  This was established in the case of Akrich Case C-109/01, along with the fact that you benefit from provision of EC law even if you deliberately place yourself into a position to benefit from EC law.

 

 

Can My Parents or My Spouses Parents Benefit From Surinder Singh?

As explained on Who Can Benefit From Surinder Singh The Surinder Singh Route is open to dependant parents of either the EU National or their spouse.  This fact is outlined clearly within  an official response from The Home Office on 29th November 2013 which you can find here: Surinder Singh Route for Parents.

The Home Office responded to the user’s Freedom of Information request with a generic response and treated the request as a general enquiry (as the user had not specifically requested the release of information, but instead requested clarification of Home Office policy).

For ease the actual response from The Home Office is below:

Dear Mr Syal,

Thank you for your email of 8 November to the Home Office Freedom of Information team seeking clarification of whether dependent parents can qualify for residence documentation under the Surinder Singh route.  Your email has been passed to this team to respond to, as we are responsible for policy guidance on European Economic Area (EEA) nationals and their family members.  I understand the Freedom of Information team has advised you that your query is being dealt with as a general policy enquiry, since you are seeking clarification of the policy rather than requesting the release of documents or recorded information held by the Home Office.

I can confirm that the Surinder Singh route applies to direct family members, as defined by regulation 7(1)(a)-(c) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 (‘the EEA Regulations’), provided they meet the requirements set down in regulation 9 of the EEA Regulations.

Direct family members for these purposes are:

  • the spouse or civil partner of the British citizen, provided they lived with the British citizen in the EEA state in which the British citizen was exercising free movement rights;
  • direct descendants (children, grandchildren) of the British citizen, or of the British citizen’s spouse or civil partner, provided they are aged under 21 or dependent on the British citizen or the British citizen’s spouse/civil partner; and
  • dependent direct relatives in the ascending line (i.e. parents and grandparents) of the British citizen, or of the British citizen’s spouse or civil partner.

Therefore, a financially dependent parent of a British citizen can qualify under Surinder Singh/regulation 9, provided the British citizen was engaged in genuine and effective employment or self-employment in another EEA state before returning to the UK.

You can view the provisions of the EEA Regulations referred to above via the following link: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2006/1003/contents/made

I hope this has clarified the position.

Kind regards,

European Operational Policy Team

Operational Policy & Rules Unit

Immigration & Border Policy Directorate

Home Office

New Home Office “Centre of Life” Guidance

In response to the new Centre of Life regulation introduced on Jan 1st 2014, A user of ‘What Do They Know’ has asked The Home Office for all of their guidance in relation to the new Centre of Life requirements.

You can find the original request here: Centre of Life Guidance for Surinder Singh.

Dear Home Office,

It appears clear that you have issued new Centre of life guidance
for Surinder Singh to case workers.

Can you please provide all policy updates. Home office circulars.
And full copies of guidance in relation to the new regulation 9.3
of eea regs 2006 that was introduced on Jan 1. 2014.

 

Another user of What Do They Know also submitted a Freedom of Information request which resulted in pretty much the same response.  This request can be found here:  FOI Request for definition of ‘centre of life’ for immigration purposes.

Dear Home Office,

I am making a Freedom Of Information request to ascertain how the
Home Office defines ‘centre of life’ as pertaining to immigration,
and written copies of all policy documents covering this. I am also
requesting copies of any guidance issued to any officials and
officers regarding decision-making regarding this.

I have been unable to find this information, and am looking forward to hearing from you on this matter.

 

I particularly like the fact that this FOI response actually states that there is NO MINUMUM TIME LIMIT you must reside / work in the EEA to qualify under Surinder Singh!

It is clear that this new ammendment was simply introduced so as to allow the ECO to use a “Legal” reason for refusal.  Ensure that you streghthen any application taking note of all relevant laws / case laws! (Particularly the recent ongoing case of S and O)

Surinder Singh for Dual British / Irish Citizens

Read more of this request here: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/surinder_singh_for_dual_british

From: European Operational Policy Enquiries
Home Office

13 January 2014

Dear Mr Singh,

Thank you for your email of 28 December to the Home Office Freedom of Information team regarding the Surinder Singh provisions under European Union law and how they apply to dual British/Irish citizens. Your query has been passed to the European Operational Policy Team for a response. We are treating your request as a general enquiry rather than as a request for specific information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

You have asked for “any guidance, legislation or otherwise which might outline a prevention of a dual Irish/British national from benefiting from the case of Surinder Singh via Ireland”. I have interpreted this to mean whether a dual British/Irish citizen can rely on the judgment in Surinder Singh when moving to the UK after a period of residence in Ireland as a worker or self-employed person. Please let me know if this is incorrect.

The Home Office has not produced any guidance on this specific subject. However, in the case of Shirley McCarthy (case C-434/09), the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that Directive 2004/38/EC (‘the Free Movement Directive’) is not applicable to a Union citizen who has never exercised his right of free movement, who has always resided in a Member State of which he is a national and who is also a national of another Member State.

You can view a summary of the McCarthy case at the link below:
http://www.eulaws.eu/?p=323

The ruling itself can be found at the following page:
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexU…

The UK interprets this judgment to mean that a dual British/Irish citizen cannot rely on their Irish citizenship to exercise free movement rights in the UK (and so bring in family members under EU law). Similarly, the same person cannot rely on their British citizenship to exercise free movement rights in Ireland. In both situations, the person would be residing in a Member State of which they are a national and in which they enjoy an unconditional right to reside. Consequently, a dual British/Irish citizen moving from Ireland to the UK would not be able to be able to invoke the judgment in Surinder Singh in order to engage family reunification rights, because their residence in Ireland would not have been covered by the Free Movement Directive.

There is, of course, nothing to prevent a British/Irish citizen from exercising their free movement rights in a Member State of which they are not a national and relying on Surinder Singh on their return to the UK (or Ireland, as the case may be).

I hope this has clarified the Home Office’s position.

Your sincerely,

European Operational Policy Team
Operational Policy & Rules Unit
Immigration & Border Policy Directorate
Home Office

Level 5 | Vulcan House (Steel) | 8 Millsands | Sheffield | S3 8NU

 

A Rough Guide to Filming the Police during a Stop and Search

On the 8th August 2013, I submitted a FOI request due to the possibility of being classed as a Terrorist for filming / photographic police officers ETC. – Section 58A of the Terrorism Act 2000 (to date, I’ve still recieved no response).  I noticed that another user on What Do They Know has also submitted a request regarding filming: Filming Constables in a Public Place.

It is from this second request that I have came across the link: A rough guide to filiming the police during a stop and search. A nice useful article, that many people should read and take the advice of. Even more so with the recent Stop and Search by the Home Office of “Immigration Offenders”.

The Importance of Play for Under 8’s

So, I made a large number of Freedom of Information Requests to some Public Authorities. One of them being the Department for Education, in my request entitled Importance of Play for Under 8s. I have received a sort of response (after some hassles) which I am satisfied with. This response releases the following information:

1: Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage – Setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five.

2: Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) – This non-statutory guidance material supports practitioners in implementing the statutory requirements of the EYFS.

3: Researching Effective Pedagogy in the Early Years.

In addition the DfE have linked me to the search results for all publications containing ‘Play’ in the title.

So, it is clear, from documents already in circulation, in addition to common sense, that children learn the most important lessons for their life in the first five years of their life. Lessons which involve their Primary Physical and Psychological development. I highly recommend looking at the guidance in (2) above, in addition to other information located at http://www.foundationyears.org.uk/.