British citizens are reportedly bypassing UK immigration regulations in order to get oversees family members into the country.
A report from BBC has uncovered the use of a technicality that skirts around the current minimum income requirements in place for UK spouse visas.
British citizens are required to earn a minimum of £18,600 in order to bring a non-EEA partner to the country on a spouse visa. However, some people have started to make use of a loophole in the law that essentially sees EU rights trump those of UK citizens.
If a British citizen lives and works in the EU for at least three months the individual's status as a European citizen takes priority over the person's status as a UK citizen. Known as the Surinder Singh route, doing so allows people to bring their non-EEA partner back to the UK without meeting the income requirement.
Guy Taylor, from the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, told the news source that more and more people are making use of the Surinder Singh route as a result of the government tightening the rules regarding visa and work permit access.
Mr Taylor said: "One person I spoke to yesterday in working in an arcade in the south of Germany with his Russian wide.
"There are people who are working in Portugal, Spain, France. A lot of people going to Dublin – obviously because of the language. It's hard to estimate exactly how many people are doing this because so many don't declare they're going. There are Facebook groups about people trying to share flats and actually co-ordinating on this."