Changes in immigration rules 9 July 2012

From UKBA – Most of these changes will apply to new applicants from 9 July 2012.:

The changes are part of the Government’s programme of reform of 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 andpartners 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.

From 1 October 2012 if you have overstayed your leave by more than 28 days any application for further leave will be refused.


Private Life

7.7 The 14-year rule (paragraph 276B(i)(b)), which provides a route to settlement on the grounds of long residence, lawful or unlawful, is being withdrawn. Instead the new Immigration Rules provide that at least 20 years’ continuous residence, lawful or unlawful,  will, subject to criminality and other criteria, normally be necessary to establish a claim to remain in the UK on the basis of the Article 8 right to respect for private life. (The 10-year rule (paragraph 276B(i)(a)), which provides a route to settlement on the grounds of continuous lawful residence in the UK of at least 10 years, will remain).

7.8 There are also new provisions allowing an applicant to be granted on the basis of private life after seven years‘ continuous residence if they are under the age of 18; or if they have spent at least half of their life in the UK if they are aged between 18 and 24; or if the applicant has less than 20 years‘ continuous residence in the UK but has no ties (including social, cultural or family) with their country of origin.