The UK Border Agency’s announcement on Friday 06 July 2012 reminded applicants that:
‘The changes to the UK Immigration Rules on family settlement will come into affect on 9 July 2012.’
The announcement continued:
‘If you have completed your application using our online application system you must submit your application and pay your fee by 00:01 on 9 July 2012 (UK time) to be considered under the current Rules. All applications submitted after this time will be processed under the new Rules.
‘Changes to the Rules will apply from 9 July and applications submitted on or after this date must be made using the new settlement visa application form (VAF4A) and appendices. The new VAF4A form and appendices will not be available until 9 July 2012. The appendices will not be available on the online application system so you will need to download, print and complete them from this website. You must bring the appendix with you, along with your other supporting documents when you attend the visa application centre. If you do not complete and submit the correct appendix your application will be delayed and you will still have to complete the correct appendix.’ Source: UK Border Agency.
Changes announced in June include:
- a new minimum income threshold of £18,600 for sponsoring the settlement in the UK of a spouse or partner, or fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner of non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationality, with a higher threshold for any children also sponsored; £22,400 for one child and an additional £2,400 for each further child;
- publishing, in casework guidance, a list of factors associated with genuine and non-genuine relationships, to help UK Border Agency caseworkers to focus on these issues;
- extending the minimum probationary period for settlement for non-EEA spouses and partners from two years to five years, to test the genuineness of the relationship;
- abolishing immediate settlement for the migrant spouses and partner where a couple have been living together overseas for at least 4 years, and requiring them to complete a 5 year probationary period;
- from October 2013, requiring all applicants for settlement to pass the Life in the UK Test and present an English language speaking and listening qualification at B1 level or above of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages unless they are exempt; and
- allowing adult and elderly dependants to settle in the UK only where they can demonstrate that, as a result of age, illness or disability, they require a level of long-term personal care that can only be provided by a relative in the UK, and requiring them to apply from overseas rather than switch in the UK from another category, for example as a visitor.
The Rule changes have been implemented too quickly for most applicants to beat the deadline. Their applications will, therefore, be judged under the new Rules which come into effect today.
Cynthia Barker, of OISC registered immigration appeal specialist advisers Bison Management said they have been ‘inundated with cases from desperate applicants trying to beat the deadline’.
The controversial changes, which according to the Independent were opposed by Conservative Party co-Chairman Baroness Warsi, could see a raft of legal challenges and appeals on ‘Article 8’ Human Rights grounds, as British Citizens and demand a right to a ‘family life’ with their foreign partners or family members in the UK.
If you need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Tier 2, Tier 4, applying for university if your college has closed down, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, Dependant Visa or an Appeal against a refusal, or if you have been waiting for a reply from the Home Office for longer than a year, please email:
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