I am a British citizen working in Iraq and want to move to the UK with my non-EU/EEA wife and my child. Right now, she is a refugee in Germany and has a 1-year residence permit and, with her, is my 16-month-old child. Although my child was born in Germany, she is a British citizen and also has a 1-year residence permit. How can I get my wife and child to England?

  • You say you want to move to the UK and that you work in Iraq. Do you reside in Iraq? If not, where do you reside now? Have you ever resided in an EU country other than the UK?
    – phoog
    Commented Feb 5, 2017 at 22:41
  • No I just visit EU every month I spend 2 weeks with my wife Commented Feb 5, 2017 at 22:59
  • I've done a bit of an edit to make it clearer; I apologize if I have misunderstood your question. You can undo the changes if you wish.
    – Giorgio
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 0:19

1 Answer 1


For your wife to move with you to the UK, she will need a ‘family of a settled person’ visa.

You may wonder whether she qualifies for this visa because you are not now resident in the UK. On the eligibility page, you can see that British citizens qualify by virtue of their British citizenship.

This visa is somewhat costly, the fee being £811 as of February 2017, plus a healthcare charge. (Using the healthcare charge calculator with some assumptions, I arrived at a charge of £600, but the actual charge may of course be different for your actual circumstances.)

If you can move with your wife to another EU country for at least six months before moving to the UK, you may instead be able to apply for a free EEA family permit under the EU freedom of movement directive, using the Surinder Singh route. The EEA family permit is easier to qualify for because the EEA sponsor does not (that is, you do not) need to meet mfinancial criteria.

Of course, the cost of the extra move could easily exceed the fees required to move directly, and the uncertainty associated with the UK's proposed departure from the EU also makes the EEA family permit approach less attractive.

  • thank you for the information. do i have to work in the UK befor I can apply for the Visa for my wife? why do i have to move out of Germany can i just apply for resident in Germany for few months ? thank you for your kind help Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 8:04
  • @FadelAlfatlawi You do not need to work in the UK before applying for the visa. You ask "why do I have to move out of Germany," but your question indicates that you live in Iraq. Where do you actually live?
    – phoog
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 13:35
  • Yes I do live and work in Iraq my work allowed me to travel to Europe every month . Sorry you said "If you can move with your wife to another EU country for at least six months before moving to the UK"is this out of Germany or i could move to Germany? Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 7:52
  • If you can live together in Germany then you may be able to qualify for the Surinder Singh route. You may have trouble with this, though, if your employment is located in Iraq. As I understand it, your "centre of life" must be in Germany for at least six months. You should probably talk to a UK immigration lawyer about that.
    – phoog
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 8:44

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