Who can benefit from The Surinder Singh Route

Which Family Member’s can Benefit?

The Surinder Singh Route is available to direct family members of an EEA national.   These family members are outlined in Article 2 of Directive 2004/38/EC.

Direct Family Members

Direct Family Members include:

  • Spouse’s

  • Children of the EEA National &

    Children of the EEA National’s Spouse –  Who are either:

    • under 21

    • Over 21 and Dependant on their parents

  • Dependant Parents/Grand parents of either the EEA National

  • Dependant Parents/Grand parents of either the EEA National’s spouse


OK. So what about ‘Extended Family Members’?

Obviously there is still the possibility that this position could be expanded by the ECJ to include extended family members.  This is not currently the case.

UPDATE: In case C-456/12 it appears clear that Extended Family Members will not directly benefit from The Surinder Singh Route. However, as outlined in Case 109/01 – the human rights of the persons involved must be taken into consideration. This principle was upheld in the UK Courts in the case of Cain v SSHD (IA/40868/2013). However, please be aware that The Home Office does not feel that the ruling of this case binds them to anything:

we are aware of the Cain v SSHD IA/40868/2013 judgment. This judgment is, however, limited to the facts of a particular case and any conclusions are not binding on the Home Office with respect to its wider policy. It does not, therefore, impact on any guidance we hold and we have not considered making any amendments as a result.

Surinder Singh for Extended Family Members

The position of the Courts is that if a person applies under EU Law for confirmation of rights stemming from EU Law, then the person’s human rights must be assessed.  If the human rights of the applicant (or EU citizen) would be breached, then The Home Office should (but don’t) issue leave outside of the rules (discretionary leave to remain).

9 thoughts on “Who can benefit from The Surinder Singh Route”

    1. Only core family members can benefit from the Surinder Singh Route. This has been reitterated many times in Freedom of Information responses from The Home Office many times.

      Article 2 of Directive 2004/38/EC (the Citizen’s Directive) outlines Direct family members as:

      2) “Family member” means:
      (a) the spouse;
      (b) the partner with whom the Union citizen has contracted a registered partnership, on the
      basis of the legislation of a Member State, if the legislation of the host Member State
      treats registered partnerships as equivalent to marriage and in accordance with the
      conditions laid down in the relevant legislation of the host Member State;
      (c) the direct descendants who are under the age of 21 or are dependants and those of the
      spouse or partner as defined in point (b);
      (d) the dependent direct relatives in the ascending line and those of the spouse or partner as
      defined in point (b);

      So in short: A child of either the EU citizen or the EU citizen’s partner can benefit if they are either:
      Under 21 years of age; OR Over 21 and DEPENDANT on the EU/EU’s Partner;

      Chiara Berneri on the EU Law Analysis website outlines well a case issued in Jan ’14 from the ECJ Reyes v Sweden [2014] EUECJ C-423/12 in his post entitled When is the family member of an EU citizen ‘dependent’ on that citizen?. The same case is also posted by Colin Yeo on FreeMovement: CJEU: Dependency is a question of fact.

  1. Helo Wayne! Tejanos for your excelente source of information. I just got married and we are going through this drama of bringing my spouse to UK. My UK based employer is posting me to France for a few months and I am wondering if I can use Surinder Singh on my return to the UK. I will be living in France and taking care of my job duties, however I’ll be still getting my payslips from UK. Shall I ask my employer to pay my salary in a new French back account and deduct the taxes to be paid to French tax authority instead of UK. How this could be better arrange for a successful EEA free movement application via Surinder Singh?


    1. See the case of O v Netherlands. Legally (by EU Law) you do not need to work. However, the UK still require you to work.

      Let’s take a look at the requirements of Regulation 9 (since the centre of life changes):

      “Family members of British citizens

      9. (1) If the conditions in paragraph (2) are satisfied, these Regulations apply to a person who is the family member of a British citizen as if the British citizen (“P”) were an EEA national.

      (2) The conditions are that—

      (a)P is residing in an EEA State as a worker or self-employed person or was so residing before returning to the United Kingdom; .

      (b)if the family member of P is P’s spouse or civil partner, the parties are living together in the EEA State or had entered into the marriage or civil partnership and were living together in the EEA State before the British citizen returned to the United Kingdom; and .

      (c)the centre of P’s life has transferred to the EEA State where P resided as a worker or self-employed person. .

      (3) Factors relevant to whether the centre of P’s life has transferred to another EEA State include—

      (a)the period of residence in the EEA State as a worker or self-employed person; .

      (b)the location of P’s principal residence; .

      (c)the degree of integration of P in the EEA State. .

      (4) Where these Regulations apply to the family member of P, P is to be treated as holding a valid passport issued by an EEA State for the purpose of the application of regulation 13 to that family member.”.

      Technically speaking there isn’t anything wrong with your proposed Singh Route – as long as you document it correctly. Infact, family reunification is aimed at cases such as yours (why should you enjoy family life for four or five months, then both of you go and setup two separate homes?)

      When it comes time to return back to the UK, you may encounter problems, so being prepared for a legal battle may be wise. Lawfully speaking… I cannot see what would be wrong here…

      Obviously, your centre of life would be in France: Your home, Family, JOB would be in France.

      I cannot personally advise you though ( only supply information 🙂 ). You’ll need money to live, so being paid into your french account would be wise (using a British Bank account would be murderous with fees).

      Also note: There is an ECJ Case from 1994 (VAN DER ELST Case C-43/93) which is focused on an EU company posting a non-EU employee to a different member state. Said employee would be allowed to take his family to the member state with them.

      The ECJ has issued several judgments in cases regarding the posting of workers from non-EU countries. For non-EU workers who already have a fixed employment contract in the country where their employer is established to be required to secure a work permit in the new host country has been judged by the Court to go beyond what can be demanded as a necessary condition for providing services (judgment of 9 August 1994 in Case C-43/93 Vander Elst). Also, the Court found against Luxembourg in 2004 (Case C-445/03) and Germany and Austria in 2006 (Cases C-244/04 and C-168/04) for imposing preliminary checks and conditions going beyond the principles established in the Vander Elst judgment.

      Source: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-07-913_en.htm?locale=en

      We then have the Carpenter Case (Case C-60/00) which the Home Office’s own reading of the case is:

      In the case of C60/00, Mr Carpenter was exercising EU free movement rights as a supplier of services. The Court determined that the UK‟s decision to deport Mr Carpenter‟s wife was disproportionate (having regard to Article 8 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“ECHR”).
      The Carpenter case simply highlights the fact that Member States cannot take action against the family members of EU nationals which would breach their rights under Article 8 of the ECHR. While the context of the case related to the exercise of the freedom to provide services, the determining factor in the case was the disproportionate effect of the proposed deportation of Mr Carpenter‟s wife.

      Source: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/cy/request/159913/response/421565/attach/3/FOI%2028377%20response.pdf

  2. Good day Wayne, thank you so much for your informative site, however I see that most of your site is aimed at EEA nationals who would like to bring their family to the UK. I am a Dutch national, and my husband is neither a EU- or EEA national, and I would like to do the Ireland route to bring him to eventually live with me in the Netherlands. I plan to be a frontier worker by keeping my job in the Netherlands, and then registering my home address in Ireland, and split my week between NL and Ireland. Also, I won’t be travelling with my husband into Ireland when we start the process, or is it possible for him to fly into NL with a tourist visa and then we go to Ireland from there? Can you possibly advise me how to go about stuff? or where I can possibly find more information for our situation?

    Thanking you in advance, Wendy

    1. Hi Wendy, Sorry about the delay in responding. Since kicking off the website it’s slowly been getting more spam comments every day, so I disabled email notifications – almost missed your comment. So basically, the rules to go to Ireland will be the same as a British Citizen. You will need to show either self sufficiency / worker (inc. Self employed) / student. Your frontier worker status would lead me to believe you would be self sufficient in Ireland, and any public funds claimed would be from NL – However, I’m not sure on that one. I believe you’d need Comprehensive Sickness Insurance – In most states an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) can be used for this purpose. This website is aimed at Bringing Family back to the UK due to the UK’s harsh Immigration Rules which would see a child without a mother (I understand some other countries in the UK have similar issues). The beautiful thing is: The Singh Route works in ALL EU STATES! (So maybe it would be easier to split between another Shengan State instead of Ireland (Shorter commute?). It’s worth noting that O v NL (Case C-456/12) would assist you in reuniting in NL in the end. Read more on Free Movement (again a UK law site, but still applicable): Surinder Singh Route – O v NL

  3. Hi Gwyn, It’s been a couple of months since you commented, I’m really sorry in the substantial delay in getting back to you. As I’m sure you can appreciate, I’m still having a few problems with the Home Office ETC. 😉 Anyway, to answer your question: Since Case C-456/12 (O v Netherlands) Self Sufficient status in another EU state is good to go, as long as you reside together. Sadly, the UK government are taking their sweet time sorting this out (Why would they want to help their citizens out by giving them a nice, stress free family life when they’ve got targets to meet). Whilst we all know self sufficient families benefit from EU law, we’re keeping to the UK law ATM for ease (otherwise, it’s gonna end in a fair few appeals).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

Your guidance resource to applying the 'Surinder Singh Route' to your case.