Legal News | Getting Around Immigration Regulations

News has emerged that some British citizens are bypassing immigration regulations to get their relatives into the UK buy using a technicality that allows them to be considered under EU rather than UK law.

The technicality, known as the “Surinder Singh route” after a historic court case, means that the relatives of British citizens can have their visas considered under European Union rather than UK law, if the Briton has worked in another European country for at least three months.

Normally, a British citizen can only bring in a family member who is a non-European Economic Area (EEA) citizen if they earn at least £18,600 a year.

However, under the technicality, if the earning criterion cannot be met, the British citizen can go to another EU country and be joined by their relative, and as long as the Briton can work there for at least three months and thereby be classified as a European citizen, both can return legally to the UK without having to meet the £18,600 minimum earnings requirement.

This is because EEA citizens have stronger migration rights than UK citizens, which is not something the UK Borger Agency (UKBA) likes to publicise, as each year some 20,000 non-EEA family members come into the UK via this route,

A lot of British citizens married to non-EEA partners are moving to Dublin to work, as there is no language barrier, and there are even Facebook groups for flat-sharing and job finding for people using the technicality.

However, refuting criticism that the route is an infringement on British people’s rights, Immigration Minister Mark Harper insists that the Surinder Singh route is not a loophole but merely reflects the current requirements of EU law.

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Mackrell Turner Garrett Solicitors in London