Family migration route: Britain ready to slam the door on its poor relations

As Britain prepares to welcome the world to greatest international sporting event on British soil for forty years the Government is getting ready to slam the door on its poor relations. 

The UK Government has announced changes to the Immigration Rules for non EEA Nationals applying to enter or remain in the UK on the family migration route. The new Rules will define the basis upon which a person can enter or remain in the UK on the basis of their family or private life.  

Most of the new changes will apply to applicants from 9th July 2012, less than three weeks before the Olympics opening ceremony.

These changes will affect thousands of individuals who are due to make applications in the coming weeks.  

The changes include:

  • Introduction of a new minimum income threshold of £18,600 for sponsoring a spouse, partner, fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner to settle in the UK. If children are also being sponsored the threshold rises to £22400 for one child and an additional £2400 for each further child.  
  • Extending the minimum probationary period for settlement for non-EEA spouses and partners from 2 years to 5 years.
  • publishing a list of factors associated with genuine and non-genuine
  • Abolishing immediate settlement for migrant spouses and partners where a couple have been living together overseas for at least four years.
  • 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, removing the full right of appeal against refusal of a family visit visa.
  • Allowing adult and elderly dependants to settle in the UK only when 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
  • Individuals only have a few weeks in which to take advantage of the current Immigration Rules.  

In their manifesto, the Conservative Party promised: “We need good, strong families to help our society work well," and “We will support families to stay together." It seems that they were only referring to families with a requisite amount of money.

Many UK residents who originate from outside the EA without sufficient funds will either be forced to leave the UK to join their partner or face being separated from their families forever. The Government is reinforcing its reputation for only caring for the rich while they cast aside the poor.

Paljinder Bath
Litigation Executive
DBS Law Limited

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