This is your last chance to get your application in before new Family Migration UK Immigration Rules come into effect on Monday 9 July 2012.
Starting 9 July the UK Government will be implementing a number of important changes to family migration routes.
Brits who want to marry a non-EEA European Economic Area national and live in the UK together will have to showing earnings of at least £18,600 per annum.
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 is bringing in the changes to prevent lower-paid applicants from bringing in husbands or wives who will be dependant on state benefits as soon as they arrive in the UK.
The new restrictions could force some British Citizens to move abroad in order to live with their overseas partner.
However, legal challenges and appeals on ‘Article 8’ Human Rights grounds are expected as people demand a right to a family life in the UK.
Changes announced by the UKBA include:
- introducing 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;
- 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; and
- restricting family visit visa appeals, initially by narrowing the current definitions of family and sponsor for appeal purposes, and then, subject to the passage of the Crime and Courts Bill, which was published on 11 May 2012, removing the full right of appeal against refusal of a family visit visa.
The changes do not affect the rules governing who can qualify for entry on a UK visitor and the millions of visitors expected for the London Olympics are welcome.
Last week it was reported that Home Secretary Theresa May is planning changes to the test taken by foreign nationals who wish to become British citizens.
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’.
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: