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Centre of Life - Surinder Singh Route

Our client a non-EEA national married to a British national resided in the Republic of  Ireland for around 7 months where his wife worked as a self-employed person. The couple decided to return to the UK and applied for a family permit under the Surinder Singh Route (Regulation 9 of The Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016). However, when he applied for a residence card, his application was refused on two grounds. Firstly, his British wife had retained the tenancy of her flat in the UK, therefore, the centre of life had not moved to Ireland and secondly, the couple had resided in Ireland only for 7 months. we were engaged by the couple to represent them in their appeal. We argued before the First-tier Tribunal that our client's wife had retained the tenancy for her adult daughter as she was residing therein and paying rent to our client's wife. Our second argument was that the centre of life test is not required under the EU law and the British national is not required to sever all ties in the UK to demonstrate that her centre of life had moved to Ireland. Our appeal was dismissed. Our application for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal was dismissed by the First-tier Tribunal but it was allowed by the Upper Tribunal. The full-fledged appeal came up for a hearing before the Upper Tribunal in July 2019. The Upper Tribunal allowed our appeal on the date of hearing itself holding that a British national can have more than one centre at one time. The British national can work in other EEA countries retaining their home base in the UK. In the present case, the appellant could not have left the centre of life in the UK as her children lived in the UK even though she had started to work n Ireland. The written decision was promulgated last month. The Upper Tribunal in another case  ZA (Reg 9. EEA Regs; abuse of rights) Afghanistan [2019] UKUT 281 (IAC) haded down its decision on14 November 2014 holding there is no basis in EU law for the centre of life test, as set out in Regulation 9(3)(a) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (the “Regulations”). We didn't have the benefit of this decision as our appeal was heard in July 2019 and the decision in ZA (Reg 9. EEA Regs; abuse of rights) Afghanistan [2019] UKUT 281 (IAC) was delivered on 14 November 2019.

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