Categories: News

The Home Office has this week announced a major immigration clampdown on family migration. From 9 July 2012, if you want to marry a foreigner (non-EEA European Economic Area nationality) and live in the UK together you must earn £18,600. 

The UK Home Secretary Theresa May has announced a new immigration clampdown this time on British citizens who marry foreigners.

Under the proposed changes Brits who want to marry a non-EU citizen will have to be earning at least £18,600 a year if they want to bring their spouse to live with them in the UK. 

In cases where the foreign-born spouse has children, their British partner would have to earn £22,400 or more, plus £2,400 for each additional children.

The government wants to change the immigration rules to prevent lower-paid Britons from bringing in husbands or wives who will effectively be dependant on state benefits as soon as they arrive in the UK. 

The new measures could force some Brits to emigrate if they wanted to live with a loved one from overseas.

Speaking on BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, the British home secretary said: 

“I think it is important that if people are bringing people into the UK to create a family here in the UK that we say that you should be able to support yourselves and not be reliant on the state.”

Conservative MPs welcomed the move but opposition Labour Party spokesman Chris Bryant said: 

“These new measures have more to do with Theresa May’s abject failure to live up to her promise to cut immigration than fairness. 

“It seems very unfair that a poor British man or woman can fall in love with someone from America or Thailand and be prevented from getting married and making a home here, while a rich person can.” 

Bryant said that a better way to deal with the problem would be to insist that Britons who marry foreigners and settle here provide a bond worth ‘a substantial sum’. 

Although Mr Bryant did not explain how someone earning less than £18,600, or £10 per hour, would be able to come up with a substantial amount of money or how such a scheme would be administered. 

The minimum probationary period for settlement for non-EEA spouses and partners will be extended from two years to five years, to ‘test the genuineness of the relationship’.

The government has pledged to slash immigration from the hundreds to tens of thousands. 

International students and Tier 2 work permit holders have been already targeted and those sponsoring family members and partners are next on the list.

Cynthia Barker, of Immigration Advisers Bison Management, has dealt with thousands of dependant visa applications and appeals and feels the new rules will mostly exclude first generation migrant workers who usually earn lower wages than similarly qualified native workers.

‘The rules will particularly hit Senior Carers and some Nurses earning less than £9.00 per hour who want their partners and children to join them in the UK. 

‘Traditionally, one family member will emigrate to the UK on a work permit and get established with a secure job and housing before applying for their dependants to join them. 

‘But after years of working and paying taxes without ever claiming benefits they could find that they can no longer sponsor dependants because of this new rule.’ 

Cynthia’s advice to those who wish to sponsor their dependants is to ‘act sooner rather than later’.

The government will be unable to prevent those marrying EU citizens from applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and settling in the UK under EEA Rules.

Theresa May is already on a collision course with the judges over the rights of foreign prisoners and visa overstayers to avoid deportation on Human Rights grounds, such as a right to a family life.

Last week May said she would bring in primary legislation if judges failed to implement new rules and guidelines expected to be introduced.

Hundreds of people on student visas, some of whom have overstayed their visas, have managed to stay in the UK because they had established a ‘family life’ or relationship in the UK.

See also: 

New appeal regulations on family visit visa confirmed


UK Home Secretary heading for Human Rights showdown with Judges

Visa and Immigration Appeals on the increase

Full right of appeal removed for UK family visit visa

If you need any immigration advice on applying for or renewing visas, sponsoring dependants, or have been served with a removal or deportation order, or need advice on an appeal against a refusal please email: or visit

Spread the Word, like or share this page, your friends will also love it. Thanks...

95 Responses to “Immigration clampdown announced – if you want to marry a foreigner and live in the UK together you must earn £18,600”
Read them below or add one

  1.''dan says:

    in reponse to jean baptiste’s comment i think before you come here your reason is to get a job and earned with the purpose of bringi g money to your family. when you apply for a job,you sign a contract with your agency or employer but your family is not included.why blame the home office,their job is only to issue an entry clearance and work visa.your reasons of loneliness is too shallow,remember its you that is to be blame because you knew already that once you go , its a choice and sacrifice.broken family is not a reason, because you still have your family and it also depends to both husband and wife if they are true to their can go home anytime coz you still have a family waiting.

  2.''dan says:

    my observation also with most of the comments is that most of them are desperate to get married with the intention of having a visa not because of what they call love?it is very clear what was their purpose,why did tou not marry before and apply for a spouse visa and why now when your visa is expiring. so the motive is very sensible. thanks

  3.''dan says:

    i think once you applied work overseas it doesnt mean that members of your family is included in the is a sacrifice for you and your family for the purpose of earning, this is the only countrythat is too lax with their rules that is why its been abused. why dont you try working in the middle east and asked their government if you can bring your family members.
    am asking you also if this british people wants to work in your country ,can you promised that your government will also allow their families to go with them.just that differnt countries have their own rules and regulation that we should abide.

  4.''Connie says:

    Britain is a small island. It is already overcrowded, and not able to handle the number of immigrants coming in every year, and absolutely cannot handle any more non-working, non-english speaking immigrants. This is a very good move by the British government. Thank you for finally doing something to reduce the number of immigrants. There is nothing stopping British citizens from moving to where their spouse resides.

  5.''Jean Baptiste says:

    Some people have chosen to get married and find their joy from that. sometimes, the government, the Home office should try to examine wether this decision to prevent people to bring their spouse is human or not. Do they know how many families are now being broken. just because the home office wants to save money. Do they want to end up spending that money on counseling and treatment for people who will be into drug and alcohol because they can’t cope with loneliness, anxiety? How many jobs the gov has created compared to the ones that have been cut?

  6.''David M says:

    These new requirements seem crazy to me, I have been offered a new job earning over the threshold but if I take it because my previous 12 months salary is lower and savings will not be counted my wife’s visa would be refused but keeping a lower paid job and using savings earnings we are just about at the threshold I am damned if I do and damned if I don’t

  7.''talha khan says:

    hi sir/madam
    i fall in love with a english girl a couple of years ago n we was going to get marry but u change the law what is £18,600/= a year n she can’t earn that coz she is not qualified enough too earn that much money shewill maximum earn £900-£1000 a month it means v can’t live together for all life no one like this rule if i need to go back n leave my baby so I’ll kill my self please change the laws we can’t survive like that please change it for god i can’t stop my tears my babe is keep crying as well can u please change the laws its a very humble request
    Talha Khan

  8.''Vorm says:

    What happens in the cases in which British citizens are _already_ living overseas ?
    I got married to my British significant other in 2010, in Argentina. We have since talked about the possibility of starting a family together. Naturally, the question arose whether the better option would be to do it here (Argentina) or there (UK). After much deliberation, and considering that the bulk of both our families is in the UK, we decided for me to apply for a spouse visa.
    In the event that joint salaries are taken into account, then I wouldn’t see a problem, other than the firm job offer requirement. However, it is nigh impossible for any one individual to make GBP 18600 in Argentina on even an above average wage. So if the only wage taken into consideration was my spouse’s, we would find ourselves in a position in which the ‘best’ (and probably only) solution would be for the British part of the couple to head on to the UK for at least six months (leaving not only a spouse, but a career as well behind) on the offchance that once we met all due requirements I could be _considered_ for an leave to remain.
    Is there anything blatantly evident that I might be missing or is this what is intended of us ?
    Mind you, her stay here has, for the past ten years, been in conditions of absolute legitimacy, both as a student, and as my wife.
    Any advice you might have ? (As it is now past the 9th of July and we have only learnt about this tonight)

  9. I understand your point, but someone on £18600pa is not rich in the UK. It is a below average salary.

  10.''AS says:

    Yes the new rules stink it was £5,000 before now it is £18,600 is to high it should be about £12,000 that would
    be about the right level.

    It’s alright the rich they got lot of money
    so this rise will not make a lot difference to them.
    Typical Tory’s hit the poor all the time.

    The cost to go through all processes to
    become a British Citizen goes up every year

    So the rich can fall in love and get the other
    half in the UK, but the poor can’t.

  11.''Joan says:

    I got married early this year and hoping for my husband to join me next year so we could start a family here in the UK. I personally feel that this new changes is so unfair for us ordinary workers who work hard and never depend on any benefits from the government. I work full time and has a second job, what is the best thing for someone like me to do if my annual salary does not reach £18,600?

  12.''sanu says:

    Hi this isn’t fair

  13.''JENI says:

    Dear sir/madam,
    I applied for settlement visa with my family 2months before.i haven’got any result from embassy yet.i am so confused now..please help this rules effect us? I need good immigration adviser please help me..i am looking forward to answer from you..

  14.''jeni says:

    Dear sir/madam,
    I applied for settlement visa with my family 2months before.i haven’t got any result from embassy yet.i am so confused now..please help this rules will affect us? I need good immigration adviser please help me..i am looking forward to answer from you..

  15.''fahima says:

    Thanks to here me.I applied for indefinit live thats why i have to wait for I am in the situation.

  16. Thanks Tiya However, I wouldn’t expect too much from Labour. Their leader now admits they got it wrong on immigration and are now talking tough to win back votes! See also: Labour leader Miliband confirms immigration U-turn

  17.''Tiya says:

    Contact Chris Bryant, Labour’s shadow immigration minister. We want him to oppose these policy proposals and any corresponding Rule changes. We want him to stand up and say publicly that immigration for the rich only is not on. He is in a position to give these Rule changes some serious opposition. Go on, drop him a line, you can contact him at He’d love to hear from you.

  18.''Tiya says:

    Guys! Leave Your Comments to Chris Bryant – Labour Immigration Opposition! Am Sure He’d Hear Our Voice! ;

  19. New rule starts 9 July so apply now. 5 years?? He must be extremely patient!

  20. Why 4 years? The new rule hasn’t even come in yet!

  21. Dear sir,or madam,
    I wanna recuest you don’t give us the rule.I wanna marry a foreigner.I love him.I want to marry him next year.He is waited for me last five years.Please don’t give us the panishment.We are allready suffer a hurt life.please please please feel our life from ur heart.Don’t distroye our life………………………………….

  22.''Fahima says:

    Dear sir,or madam,
    Please don’t take our dream.I want to marry a foreigner. Last four years he is waiting for me and I am also.please please please don’t break our life.When I see the rule I can’t stop cring.

  23.''Ben says:

    this new immigration practices by the current government are biased, unfair and go a long way to provoke the UK agreement of the human rights convention. many families and futures are destroyed and many will be. it is puzzling to see no strong reactions by NGO’s and “the independent judiciary courts ” who should protect the rights and welfare of immigrants….

  24.''Mohammed says:

    No this is not right as per gov. Rules only like for example if the person is working full time on minimum wage but still he can’t sponsor his partner and because of that he should work overtime which is against the law to put pressure on health mentally and physically.
    Therefor , I would object this decision and appeal to abolish this new rules for income.
    Thank you…..

  25.''D. WHITTAKER says:

    I AM FROM PHILIPPINES.WISHNG non-EEA SPOUSES APPLYING FOR ILR (UP TO MAY2014) BEFORE THIS LAW WILL NOT BE AFFECTED.=== The minimum probationary period for settlement for non-EEA spouses and partners will be extended from two years to five years, to ‘test the genuineness of the relationship’.

  26.''Ravish says:

    Hi My name is ravish and i am from Nepal. my wife has already applied for PSW under PBS on 2nd april 2012. She had just completed her masters from one of the college from London. So can I join my wife as her dependent if she got her passport after 9th July. Will dependent of PSW tier1 applicant comes under this new rules, please guide me I will be very thankfully to you. Thanks

  27.''muhammad tariq azhar says:

    yes right of should be taken off along with withdrawal of visa fee or otherwise embassy should call for interview

  28.''Actavia says:

    Dear madam/sir,
    Trust me I left my kids since 7 years and they forget what is mother and what mother care and love. Please only this is a country where mother have to right ti live. Please let me stay with my kids since 7 years I am living alone. Where we will go . shall we die only once we got life once die who will beg from you kids. I donot want any benefits. Please try to understand mother feelings. Remember your days when some time your mother was not with you how you was. I hope you will dry my tear like God. Bless yoy.

  29.''M a chaudhery says:

    I am a British national 68 years old married for the last over four years from Pakistan want to bring my spouse to the UK.
    I am living on pension credit about £150 a week. Please advise .

  30.''shams Khan says:

    My suggestion is that the right of appeal should not be take from the first degree relatives beacause these caese are mostly genuine.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked by *.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Contact Info

 4-8 Lysander Mews, Lysander Grove, Archway. London, N19 3QP. UK
Skype: Immigration Matters
FAX: +44 (0) 870 429 2701 - 24 hour service

Google Maps