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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: 

info@immigrationmatters.co.uk or visit www.immigrationmatters.co.uk

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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. englishtrainer2008@yahoo.co.uk'

    My husband and I married in 2010 overseas as I was working out in the country where he was from . We are still in love have a baby boy. And yet still struggle with all the visa stuff saving up for visa renewals.. I don’t know where people get it into their ignorant minds that non eu spouses are coming here to take our jobs and place a strain on the social care…
    1. My husband works all the hours god sends to provide for us on a measly min wage here.plus he actually loved to work.. not sit on his ass all day like most of our jeremy Kyle society loves to do so and get funded for it from our government.
    2. As a non eu spouse you are not entitled to public funds so no benefits..
    3. People before they make judgements and general statements about non eu immigrants need to know facts its actually the eu state immigrants that are bleeding Britain dry. Do you honestly believe that poles are investing their money here or the other easteuropean states which claim our benefits are they hell no they are sending them home to build new homes etc .. our country needs to wise up make the lazy work. Stop giving all our benefits away to eastern Europeans and change the laws completely…

  2. dr_lovetemple@yahoo.com'

    just want to share my experience with the world on how I got my love back and saved my marriage… I was married for 6years with 2kids and we lived happily until things started getting ugly and we had fights and arguments almost every time… it got worse at a point that he filed for divorce… I tried my best to make him change his mind & stay with me because I love him so much and don’t want to loose him but everything just didn’t work out… he moved out of the house because it was a rented apartment and still went ahead to file for divorce… I pleaded and tried everything but still nothing worked. The breakthrough came when someone introduced me to this wonderful, great spell caster who eventually helped me out… I have never been a fan of things like this but just decided to try reluctantly because I was desperate and left with no choice… He did special prayers and used roots and herbs… Within 7 days he called me and was sorry for all the emotional trauma he had cost me, moved back to the house and we continue to live happily, the kids are happy too and we are expecting our third child… I have introduced him to a lot of couples with problems across the world and they have had good news… Just thought I should share my experience because I strongly believe someone out there need’s it…

  3. tatotato504@yahoo.com'

    i want marry
    im boy 21 year old
    every body see some where and like her
    i like england and i want marry

  4. joblooker888@yahoo.com'

    Screw the rules! We are in love!

  5. euukimmigration@gmail.com'

    You can start with Theresa May and David Cameron – you can find their details on the Parliament website:


  6. sdeklerk@mango.zw'
    sdeklerk@mango.zw'sandra deklerk says :

    I am a British Pensioner aged 73 and living in Zimbabwe I have been married to a Zimbabwean for 37 years. I wish to return to live in UK how can I leave my husband behind My British Pension is £96 per month Will some one please tell me who I can contact to speak to.

  7. shams_bmu92@hotmail.com'


    I am a foreign national, married to an English lady. My annual salary is 16000£ and my wife salary is around 12000£. my query is that, can my wife sponsor me to stay here in the UK (as we both earn around 28,000£/anum) or do I have to go back to my home country when my visa runs out?


    S Khan

  8. Malcolmcampbell@gmx.co.uk'
    Malcolmcampbell@gmx.co.uk'Malcolm says :

    Hi all I hope this is easy to answer in my job I get over 8 uk pounds an hour my salary for the last 3 years has exceeded 24000 uk pounds because of-thee overtime that I receive it is extremely un clear if I can dring on hourly rate of is ok on the annual top line can anyone clear this issues

  9. chris_hick01@yahoo.co.uk'

    I am concerned as my wife is currently on her two year visa but we will be applying for ILR in a couple of months. We have a baby together plus I have two children from a previous marriage. How much do I need to earn? I have just started a new job with a probationary period. Will this be an obstacle to sponsoring a visa for my wife?

  10. Ayeshak@hotmail.com'
    Ayeshak@hotmail.com'ayesha k says :

    me and my husband came on student visa so we can come to the UK to stay here. We live with my brothers and sisters house and don’t have to pay rent or expenses. now we are married and I am pregnant. If our baby is born here can we get indefinite leave to remain and british citizenship. We want to settle in the UK. My husband is working full time but its hard to earn so much money as students are not allowed to work many hours. but we want to stay here with my family and not in pakistan.

  11. dmbrady2009@hotmail.co.uk'
    dmbrady2009@hotmail.co.uk'david brady says :

    i fell in love with an argentine woman 2 years ago, i didnt know about this new £18500 what hope have i got to get her here as my wife i earn £15000 a year and have no hope of earning that much pleaseeeeeeeeee can anyone give advice as this woman is my everything,i would go to live with her but i have 2 children and could never dream of leaving them any info would be so welcome ty

  12. birdcage123@hotmail.co.uk'

    he understand he has to go back as we cant be married in the uk till he get a new visa and the one he has has ran out….. so i have to go over there for this to happen its so unfair and the thought of myself going all the way over to pakistan is a little scary to say the least all just cos we want to live our lives together

  13. euukimmigration@gmail.com'

    You need to take immigratin advice. Why does he need to go home?

  14. birdcage123@hotmail.co.uk'

    im english, and in a realtionship with a wonderful man from pakistan/// his visa as run out and he has to return to pakistan so i will go over and get married there…. why do i have to earn so much just to get him back here its madness when he has a job here waiting for him can anyone tell me why

  15. euukimmigration@gmail.com'

    The appeal courts may influence this, otherwise the £18600 visa Rule will probably stay as long as Theresa May is Home Secretary.

  16. mofazzulmiah786@hotmail.co.uk'

    hi i wanted to no when would this 18600 law end

  17. euukimmigration@gmail.com'

    The country really needs people like you who love the UK so much.

  18. ahmedkhan666@gmail.com'

    Hello, I am from Pakistan and my wife is a British citizen, she used to volunteer and eventually got a part time job in the same organization and started getting paid £6.10 per hour for couple of years. She was living with her family in UK. We got married in January 2013 and we are currently living in my home country which is Pakistan. We are planning to have a baby and we want the best for the new comer. We have been trying to search information and we have found that we can not settle in the UK as we don’t fall in the requirement of earning £18600 per annum as per the new law. Unfortunately things are not in good terms with my wife’s family so trying to get help from my in-laws is not possible. I have done MBA (Marketing) and my wife has done BBA graduation. Can we get some advice as to what we should do
    1) I want my child to have british nationality
    2) We want start a new life as my pregnant wife is finding it hard to settle in Pakistan
    3) If not England is there any other country we can go to before the second trimester starts
    4) We have savings of approx US $10000

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!!

  19. Hussainali1980@googlemail.com'
    Hussainali1980@googlemail.com'MuhammadAli Hussain says :

    If god was here he will give me spouse visa on same day I got married fuckin goverment taxing pepole more and f***in minimum wage is 6.20 then how fck can some bring a spouse dirty British policy .. I will fight to last breath for this and god is ultiment truth we will see how you go with this …..f………….u……..c………kkk…..u

  20. katiesuzanne@hotmail.co.uk'

    Can I just say its mostly the EU people that come over to the uk and claim benefits because the ones that come over from outside of the EU don’t have the same rights to claim benefits even if they wanted to I married a South African man and had a child with him he works on two jobs very hard and I was on benefits while we were waiting for him to get granted to come back over here as I was heavily pregnant but as soon as he was granted his visa (2nd time around!) I immediately stopped claiming and he had a job within 1 week of returning and I now work again too etc its 80% European citizens that move here and move half if not ALL of their families over here and tell them about britains easy money so as for making people outside of the EU suffer or pay more because of the European I think it’s disgusting really!!!

  21. stevebm1309@gmail.com'
    stevebm1309@gmail.com'steven Myers says :

    Well goodbye Tim and good luck in your new more sympathetic country. I am in the position of applying for a fiance visa for my partner who will travel here to get married (from Australia). Although the 5 years in inconvenient, it has been brought into play because of so many free loaders already here, many who have commented above. However, I agree with the new law, no one should come here straight onto benefits, it is such a shame it does not apply to EEA members also!

  22. nwascum27@gmail.com'

    As a UK citizen I find this country disgusting, I am leaving as soon as possible. This place is a sinking ship, goodbye!

  23. brodhurst4ev@yahoo.co.uk'

    i think that the law change was really harsh haw do they expect a person to earn that much money i think the government is just picking on the poor people…it is not human at all to let a family be broken apart…what is so wrong with getting married abroad and calling them over here they will be working to support their family not sponging of benefits like people think….not all the marriages are sham instead the should give a interview to see if the relationship is real….i have been happy married for 4 yrs naw but stress is getting to me because of this law change my little one misses her dad so much…

  24. nekkyeze12@yahoo.co.uk'
    nekkyeze12@yahoo.co.uk'Jennifer Eze says :

    Iam a british citizen and i fell in love with a guy that came to london with invitation visa and my question is can we get married here in london.Thankyou.

  25. nekkyeze12@yahoo.com'
    nekkyeze12@yahoo.com'Jennifer Eze says :

    I am a british citizen and fell in love with a guy that to london with invitation and my question can we do our marriage here in london.Thankyou.

  26. buchananmillie@aol.com'

    i think the goverment is wrong with there £18600 wages if a person is working not getting any benefit it should not matter how much they are earning they should allowed to bring their partner here and allowed the partner to find work. and allowed employer to take a small mount out of people monthly wages if sicknees come and they cant work for awhile then they can still get a wages they will never need to claim any benefit. BARE ARSE HOLE IN THE OFFICE MESSING WITH PEOPLE LIFE BECAUSE THEY ARE RICH

  27. eliseraggett18@hotmail.com'

    hi im britsh citizen.and I work as a forklift truck driver.i only earn 14000 a year.how I can get my wife here.as I never can earn more then that as my wage is this.thats mean I never be able to live with my wife?wich is against the human rights.please any one can tell me how I live here and my wife there is that fair with both if us?please please change those income rules.for godsake.

  28. euukimmigration@gmail.com'

    Unfortunately, this is why the government brought in the 18600 min income rule, although you could argue that you would not need benefits if he was here.

  29. shaz_d_bst@hotmail.com'
    shaz_d_bst@hotmail.com'SHABANA says :

    hello i wanted to ask tha im on income support with two twin girls 1 years old. im a british citizen and have married a pakistani man i want to call him over but im on all the benefits. how can i apply for him to come

  30. diwas_tulachan@yahoo.com'

    Dear Sir,Madam
    I already heard the news about the rules to bring spouse he/she need to earn 18600 pound a year and what are the other criteria to bring spouse to uk in the year 2013. please give some important suggestion…

  31. Charlotteclifford@ymail.com'
    Charlotteclifford@ymail.com'CharLotte says :

    I am saying if cutbacks need to be made in immigration they should look at the immigrants with no connection to a British citizens before they try bring in rules to keep immediate family members apart. As a uk born and bred citizen i should have the right to invite my partner to live with me without question. It is fine to say they have no entitlement to benefit but they shouldn’t have a problem to be here with me and our daughter.

  32. euukimmigration@gmail.com'

    Charlotte. So you want your daughter’s ‘rights’ to sponsor a immigrant, but say that others should stay out?

  33. Charlotteclifford@ymail.com'
    Charlotteclifford@ymail.com'Charlotte says :

    The government need to prioritize. Yes we are a small island and need cutbacks on immigration. However that should be immigrants with no direct relation to a British citizen. This is my country. I should have the right to have my partner come and live with me, my daughter deserves the right as a British citizen to have her dad. That isn’t about financial gain. That should be our right as original British citizens. Who do these people think they are to say no?

  34. chris.d.rolfe@blueyonder.co.uk'
    chris.d.rolfe@blueyonder.co.uk'chris rolfe says :

    Iv been marride almost a year. I have to be with my wife but how do I do it now, she works in Israel. We was ment to reaply for the second time. We hoped to live here but now this new rule £18600 not many average people are on that sort of money.Each case should be looked to see if they can aford to support. Not put a lid on it, this is cold hearted madness. Please amend the rule to make it fare. It has shatterd our lifes. You can live as a couple on a lot less money than £18600.

  35. euukimmigration@gmail.com'

    See an immigration adviser – 02089051822 – for an consultation appointment.

  36. enizua@hotmail.com'

    hello any one can advised me please,i came to the uk 2005,i got married in 2008 now we have 2 child born in the uk one is 2yrs 5 months and the other one 2 months old ,well we were on student visa then we overstay from 2009 till now ,my parther n i are both different religion can anyone advised me where do we stand from the new laws.

  37. Tahirshah89@hotmail.co.uk'

    Hello friends ..I m tier 4 student in UK but my college is closed now and my sponsor is finished m married to a British citizen ihav got a baby boy vd her and she’s pregnant again vd my baby she’s my my wife n I love her n i love my son too but one thing I’m worried about is the new rule £18600 mt wife dosent work she’s got baby to look after n is living on benefit now on wana get the visa to stay forever vd my family but in worried if I can get he visa or not Wat if they send me back home how m I gana live without my family how my wife’s gana live vd out me please can somebody tell me is there any hope for me ..

  38. david-riley2010@hotmail.co.uk'
    david-riley2010@hotmail.co.uk'Aziz David Riley says :

    Hi i want to know if I am married here in england when i got married in Morroco cant find it any where and been to Rigistry office and they say cant get married again in England because i am already married.Any one help

  39. euukimmigration@gmail.com'

    Then by your statement it’s an average earning s figure and not as high as some would suggest? Perhaps that’s why the government don’t want even more people on lower incomes who will draw from, rather than add to the economy?

  40. hugohullabaloo@yahoo.co.uk'
    hugohullabaloo@yahoo.co.uk'charles darwin says :

    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
    so funny. Approx half the UK population earn less than this figure.

  41. […] Immigration Rules came into effect for the family migration route from 9 July […]

  42. euukimmigration@gmail.com'

    EEA or Eurorpean regulations are different and UK Rule changes do not apply, but the application must be filled in and submitted correctly otherwise it will be refused. If you need advice call for an appointment with Cynthia Barker of Bison UK on 0208 905 1822

  43. ebony-phelps@gmx.de'

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