The Surrinder Singh route to settled status in the UK, so called due to the landmark immigration case involving Mr. Singh, is drawing to a final close.  However, there is still time to commence an application before the 29 March 2022 deadline.

The main criterion for such an application is as follows, the applicant is a  family member of a qualifying British citizen or a qualifying European Economic Area citizen (EEA) - meaning EEA nationals that have definite (pre-settled status) or indefinite leave to remain (settled status) - under appendix IX of the EU immigration rules,  with whom you lived in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein on or before 31 December 2020 and you must have returned to the UK to live with them before you apply. 

You may be also eligible under the retained right of residence if you lived with a UK citizen prior to December 2020 in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and one of the following circumstances occurred:

  • The eligible family member has died
  • If you are the child of an eligible family member and they have died or they have left the UK and you are in education in the UK
  • You share a child with the eligible family member and they died or left the UK, and your child is in education in the UK
  • The eligible family member divorced you or a member of your family
  • Domesic abuse or violence caused a permanent breakdown of the relationship. 

There are also provisions for the children or grandchildren and parents of a married eligible family member (or a person in a civil partnership) in the event of the breakdown of the marriage or civil partnership and the applicant was living in the UK when the marriage or civil partnership ended.

There are also provisions for application for carers of a British citizen.

Gonzalo Butori, a partner, based between London and Barcelona, commented "this may be the last opportunity for families to re-unite in the UK. Applicants are advised to consider taking expert legal advice in order to ensure that their applications are submitted with the correct documentation and all other aspects of their applications are in place in order to avoid the possibility that their application will fail due an error or omission, as there may not be the possibility to re-apply." Gonzalo further stated "the Home Office has made considerable accommodations to facilitate the reunification of families with flexible deadlines, however, there will be an end to this facility."

Once you have re-joined a family member in the UK, if you were living outside the UK, you have six months to make an application for settled status. If you fail to do so you may still be considered provided that there are reasonable grounds for not making an application.

Your application must be supported by adequate valid legal documentation as to your identity and evidence of the relationship between yourself and the eligible family member.  Evidence must also be provided that show that the eligible family member was legally resident in the UK, also, documentation demonstrating their employment, if applicable.  If your eligible family member has died all the documentation surrounding the death must be presented.

If you have custody of a minor child, evidence of the relationship between you and the fact that they are in education must be provided.  Similarly, victims of violence or domestic abuse must also show proof of their situation as victims of such abuse.

 The documents must be original, copies are unlikely to be accepted.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.