Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) has reported a surge in applications for EEA Family Permits being issued to spouses of UK nationals ‘exercising their treaty rights’ in Ireland.

With reports of agencies in the UK charging up to £7,000 to help people get their non-EU spouses into the UK using visas issued by Ireland. The agencies are focusing on UK citizens’ spouses who come from South Asia like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and from Iraq and Afghanistan. In order to apply for UK visas for foreign spouses the UK citizens are required to meet the financial eligibility requirement (earnings of £ 18,600 per annum) and their foreign spouses need to meet the English language requirement.

How does it work?

European regulations on free movement allow European citizens to travel to another EU country without the requirement of a visa and are allowed to ‘seek’ work in the member state. The regulations require that once the European citizen is a ‘qualified person’ they can apply for residency for a longer term. EEA Family permit rights allow them to bring their spouses and direct dependents to the member state.

However, if the European citizen can demonstrate that they made the EU member state a centre of their life and had brought over family members to the state, then should they wish to return to their home country, they are entitled to bring their family members back with them.

UK citizens are using this rule (also known as ‘Surinder Singh Route’) to bring family members to the UK.

At SmartMove2UK our immigration solicitors have helped non-EEA family members of EU nationals to apply for EEA Family Permit to UK. You can contact us if you are seeking legal help from UK visa consultants in relation to UK EEA Family Permit.

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