More and more people are relying on The Surinder Singh Route to ensure that they can remain a family unit when they return to their home country…
Why would I rely on The Surinder Singh Route?
In July 2012 a financial requirement was introduced by the British Government. This financial requirement meant that a British Citizen must earn £18,600 to sponsor their spouse for entry into the United Kingdom. This requirement increased if there were any non-British children who also needed to enter the United Kingdom.
The Surinder Singh Route imposes no financial requirement.
Applications based on the United Kingdom Immigration Rules require substantial evidential requirement. These document range from the obvious – such as marriage certificate – to the less obvious – and downright private and confidential personal communications between spouses.
Document submissions are often a foot or more tall (1000 pages or so) at a minimum for applications under the UK Immigration Rules. [Note each case is unique, some applications are smaller, but smaller applications are often refused under the unofficial “didn’t conform and disclose enough personal information clause”.
The EU Route: Article 5 of the Directive lays down that to enter the UK you only need to provide the following evidence:
Proof of family relationship to an EEA National: Marriage certificate (or Birth Certificate for children under 21 [it’s a little more complicated for children over 21 who are dependent.]).
Proof of ID for the non-EEA National: Passport
Proof of ID (and citizenship) of the EEA National: Passport / National ID Card.
“Proof” that the non-EU and EU will travel together: A simple letter from said EU confirming so, with maybe a preplanned (not booked) flight itinerary.
Under Article 6, both the EU citizen and their family have a right of residence for up to three months SOLELY on the above documents.
After three months of residence, the EU national must be a *Qualified Person Under the Directive.
Cost of Application
UK Immigration Rules
A friend of mine recently applied to renew their 10 year route Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). They aren’t very clued up in legal ins and outs so approached a solicitor. On top of the actual application fee, they are paying £1000 (One Thousand Pounds) to the solicitor to file their application.
“But why don’t they file it themselves” I hear you screaming? Sure… it would save them £1000, but let’s skip back “they aren’t very clued up in legal ins and outs”. Even top solicitors and barristers struggle to cope with the ever changing immigration laws.
So lets put this into a very clear perspective. For the 10 year route (if you don’t meed the financials), then you need to apply for FOUR visa’s, PLUS a fifth one known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Please don’t confuse ILR with British Citizenship (they are not the same thing).
Here’s the Maths
Cost for application (FLR): £649
Solicitor Fees: £1,000.00
This is four times = £2596 + £4000 Solicitors Fees.
Cost of application (ILR): £1,500
Solicitor Fees: £1,000
Despite your fingerprints not changing throughout the application process, you are required to submit your biometrics at the post office. Each submission attracts a nice fee of £19.20 for the post office – so in total an additional £96.
So, in solicitor fees alone, the process costs £5,000. The application costs are currently £4192.
Applications are mandatory. Failure to provide “requested” information renders the application “invalid” – with no right to a refund/appeal.
EU Immigration Route
So, the process for the EU route is as follows:
Enter the UK on an EEA Family Permit. Cost: Free (£0.00)
Apply for a five year Residence Card. Cost: £65 for The Home Office. £19.20 to the Post Office for Biometrics. Total Cost: £84.20. However: Applications are only for a confirmation of a right you already hold – and thus, applications are optional.
After five years of lawful residence within the UK, in line with Directive 2004/38/EC, you AUTOMATICALLY AQUIRE Permanent Residence (PR) – this is the same as ILR on the Immigration Rules. You can apply for a confirmation of these rights. Cost of application: £65.00
Total cost for UK residence in line with the EU route: £149.50. Obviously, you may spend more on other costs such as copying, etc, but I haven’t factored that into the UK Immigration Rules either.
… and solicitor fees? I’ve approached a couple of solicitors: Most didn’t understand the EU route. But those that did, were charging between £500 and £800 to file the applications… (even solicitors see the EU applications as much simpler).
Matter of Course Refusals
There have been many who have been refused regardless of fulfilling the evidential requirements. Families have provided income details, and then been refused on the basis of a perceived shortage of accommodation, or even a statement that the spouses are in a marriage of convenience despite being married for 12 years and having three children together. These refusals are a last ditch attempt by Home Office employees to prevent the migrant from settling in the UK with their family.
Forced Family Separation
… so, you’ve lined up a job for your return to the UK. The job is paying £40,000 a year. EASY. Let’s just apply for the visa… NO! Sorry, but it really isn’t that easy. If employed, you have to show that you’ve been earning or will be earning £18,600 a year. You do this by providing AT LEAST six monthly payslips, which must add up to in excess of £18,600/yr pro rata.
So what does this mean for the family whilst these six months (25 weeks or 182 days of a child without one of their parent’s) pass? Well it means that the family are separated. Broken Up. Children are in forced single parent families. This from a government who is allegedly “Pro Family”.
Genuine Reasons People Singh
Did you embark on the Singh Route? Do you want to share your story with us? Feel free to post your story below.