UK Announces Changes to Family Immigration Rules
Tuesday, 10 July 2012
There will be some changes to the Family Immigration Rules coming into effect from July 9, 2012, according to the UK Border Agency (UKBA).
Non-European Economic Area (non-EEA) nationals who apply to enter or remain in the UK under the UK family migration visa will be affected by these changes. Under the new changes, a system will examine the basis on which a person can enter or remain in the UK depending on the basis of their family or private life. People who already have left to enter or remain in the UK as spouse or partner of a settled person can apply for settlement if they qualified according to rules applied before July 9, 2012.
Some changes are:
- New minimum income threshold of £18,600 for sponsoring the settlement in the UK of a spouse or partner, or fiancé or proposed civil partner of non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationality. For a family with children, there will be a higher threshold; £22,400 for one child and an additional £2,400 for each further child;
- Extension of 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;
- Introduction of a list of factors associated with genuine and non-genuine relationships under the casework guidance in order to help UKBA caseworkers focus on these issues;
- Ending immediate settlement for the migrant spouses and partner who have been living together overseas for at least 4 years, and requiring them to complete a 5 year probationary period;
- UK visa applicants for settlement must 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 starting from October 2013; and
- Adult and elderly dependants applying for settlement in the UK must prove illness or disability requiring long term personal care that can only be provided by relatives in the UK. Applicants are also required to apply from overseas rather than switch in the UK from another category.
If you are interested in UK Visas, contact Migration Expert for information and advice on which visa is best suited to you. You can also try our visa eligibility assessment to see if you are eligible to apply for a visa to the UK.