The Home Office has recently published new guidance to its staff on how to consider Surinder Singh immigration applications that are made by family members of British citizens applying to remain in the UK under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016.
The guidance which was updated in October 2017 can be found here.
One of the main changes to the guidance includes clarification that a British citizen does not need to be a qualified person for their initial three months back in the UK. This follows the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruling in the case of O v Minister voor Immigratie, Integratie en Asiel, and Minister voor Immigratie, Integratie en Asiel v B, where it was found that where an EU citizen returns to their Member State of nationality after exercising their right of free movement in another Member State, the Free Movement Directive applies by analogy to any family members wishing to accompany or join them there.
In practice, this should mean that a British citizen does not need to be a qualified person for the first three months after returning to the UK in order for their non-EEA family members to make a Surinder Singh immigration application to join them.
Further changes to the guidance include the addition of a brief new section about retained rights of residence and the addition of a new section about assessing UK residence prior to 25 November 2016. This confirms that, in relation to an application for retained rights or permanent residence by a family member, evidence must be provided to demonstrate that the British citizen was the equivalent of a qualified person for any period from 25 November 2016 if the family member held a residence card until this time or for any period relied upon where a residence card was not held.
If you require assistance with Surinder Singh immigration application, please contact us.
Our up to date Brexit immigration analysis can be found here.