6. Surinder Singh

You might be able to apply for an EEA family permit if you’ve lived in another EEA country with an eligible family member who’s a British citizen. This is known as making a ‘Surinder Singh’ application.

Your British family member must be one of the following:

  • your spouse (husband or wife) or civil partner
  • your parent or grandparent (or their spouse or civil partner) - you must also be under 21 years old or dependent on them
  • your child or grandchild (or their spouse or civil partner) - you must be dependent on them

This includes family members who were adopted under an adoption order that’s recognised in UK law.

Eligibility requirements

You and your British family member must prove that you:

  • meet the eligibility in the EEA country where you live now - if you want to come to the UK at the same time
  • met the eligibility while living together in another EEA country - if you want to join your British family member in the UK

Eligibility for you and your British family member

You must have genuinely made your home in another EEA country. Both of you must prove that:

  • it’s been your main residence or base for the ‘centre of your life’
  • you’ve lived there together
  • you’ve integrated there

Eligibility for your British family member

Your British family member must either have the right to permanent residence in the EEA country where you’ve lived together, or have been one of the following there:

  • working
  • self-employed
  • self-sufficient
  • studying

If they’ve been back in the UK for more than 3 months, they must also be working, looking for work, self-employed, self-sufficient or studying in the UK.

Check your eligibility in the entry clearance guidance.

Documents you must provide

You must provide:

  • a valid passport
  • 2 passport size colour photographs
  • evidence of your relationship to your British family member, such as a marriage certificate, civil partnership certificate or birth certificate
  • your family member’s valid passport (or a certified copy if you can’t provide the original)
  • a list showing when you’ve been in the UK - include the dates you arrived and left
  • a list of any other UK visa or immigration applications you’ve made - include whether you applied from inside or outside the UK, and details of each visa or permission to stay if you were successful
  • a list showing any removals, deportations or other immigration penalties you’ve had in the UK

Both you and your British family member must provide documents showing that you’ve genuinely made your home in another EEA country. Include proof that you’ve:

  • lived there together - include your addresses, time spent living at each address and any proof of renting or buying a home
  • integrated there - for example proof of speaking the language, having children born or living there, or involvement in your local community

You must also provide proof that your British family member:

  • was working, self-employed, self-sufficient or studying in the EEA country where you’ve lived together
  • is working, looking for work, self-employed, self-sufficient or studying in the UK (if they returned more than 3 months ago)

Examples of proof include employer’s letters, wage slips, contracts, bank statements, proof of tax registration, or proof of enrolment and attendance for study.

The guide to supporting documents has more examples of each type of evidence.

You’ll need to provide a certified translation of any documents that aren’t in English or Welsh.

Apply

Apply following the usual EEA family permit process.

After you apply

You and your British family member can be asked to give more information or go to an interview.

Your application will be refused if it looks like you’ve only lived in another EEA country to gain entry to the UK by making a ‘Surinder Singh’ application.