I am British citizen living and working in Dubai UAE. I am married to a Filipino lady and we are planning to move back to the UK to live. I haven't found a job to go to yet as it's difficult from the UAE. I have heard of a resident card for non eea. If so what does it require to apply for one for her or if not what is the visa I need? Thanks Stewart

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    I believe, though others may come and correct me later, that you will need to be resident in the EU first in order to get the resident card and then rely upon EU rights of free movement. Otherwise, you will have to apply for a UK spouse visa meeting all of the financial requirement therein. – ouflak May 6 '17 at 5:08

Because you are a British citizen, your family members can only qualify for an EEA family permit if you have lived elsewhere in the European Union, and even then there are several hurdles to be overcome. You can learn more about this on the UK.gov page on the topic.

Chief among the hurdles is that you and your spouse must have lived together elsewhere in the EU. I don't remember whether this requirement has been upheld by the court, but if it hasn't you probably don't want to be the test case.

If we assume that you cannot qualify for the Surinder Singh route, then you will have to bring your wife to the UK using the family settlement route. Don't worry about all the talk about being "settled in the UK" or "living in the UK permanently"; you qualify because you are a British citizen, full stop.

Unfortunately for you, this route is much more expensive than the EU route, since it costs £1464 and you have to have a minimum income.

You can also try moving together to Ireland or France under EU freedom of movement, and then claiming the Surinder Singh status after that to move to the UK, but time is short for that.

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