London, October 21st 2017


British Government laid dawn significant changes to family settlement route

Posted by Larissa Traynor as blog, imigration news, Post

On the second week of June 2012 the British Government announced changes to the immigration rules for non-European Economic Area (non-EEA) nationals, applying to enter or remain in the UK on the family migration route, on the basis of their family relationship with a British citizen or a person settled in the UK. In 2010, family migration accounted for approximately 18 per cent of all non-EU immigration to the UK – around 54,000 people out of 300,000. The new immigration rules will also unify consideration under the rules and Article 8, of the European Convention on Human Rights, which basically states that everyone is entitled to respect for their private and family life, by defining the basis on which a person can enter or remain in the UK based on their family or private life.

Today rules have been laid in Parliament which will bring these changes into effect. Most of these changes will apply to new applicants from 9 July 2012, generally for fiancé(e) of a proposed civil partnership, spouse, unmarried partner, or same sex partner, unless otherwise stated or the context otherwise requires.  The changes are part of the Government’s programme to reform the immigration routes, and follow wide consultation and expert advice from the Migration Advisory Committee. The changes 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 four years, and requiring them to complete a five-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.

Also, as you may know, the test Life in The UK will get harder. You do not have to wait until near the end of your visa to do it. We are running the last test preparation course, before the changes, on 30 of June and 01 of July 2012. At LondonHelp4U we are committed to provide with the most up to date information about your rights; let us take care of your visa, we give 100% guarantee or your money back!

Giselle Ribeiro, UKBA