Changes to spouse visa requirements being announced next week

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Changes to spouse visa requirements being announced next week


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Old 8th June 2012, 08:26 PM
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Default Changes to spouse visa requirements being announced next week

Hi all,

I know there's been quite a bit of speculation and discussion around this lately, but it looks like there's finally going to be an announcement from the government next week.

Copied and pasted the article because the board won't let me post a URL as a new member (spam prevention, I guess). It's from The Guardian though, published by Alan Travis earlier today.

Quote:
British citizens with foreign-born partners are to be given the choice of indefinite "exile" in countries including Yemen and Syria or face the breakup of their families if they want to remain in the UK, under radical immigration changes to be announced next week, MPs have been told.

The home secretary, Theresa May, is expected to confirm that she will introduce a new minimum income requirement for a British "sponsor" without children of up to £25,700 a year, and a stringent English speaking test for foreign-born husbands, wives or partners of UK citizens applying to come to live in Britain on a family visa.

Immigration welfare campaigners say that the move will exclude two-thirds of British people – those who have a minimum gross income of under £25,700 a year – from living in the UK as a couple if they marry a non-EU national. They estimate that between 45% and 60% of the 53,000 family visas currently issued each year could fall foul of the new rules.

Ministers have also been considering extending the probationary period for overseas spouses and partners of British citizens from two to five years and introducing an "attachment test" to show that the "combined attachment" of the couple is greater to Britain than any other country.

The changes are to be introduced alongside new immigration rules, making clear that an illegal migrant or a convicted foreign national facing deportation who has established a family life in Britain will only be blocked by the courts from being removed, under article 8 of the European convention on human rights, in rare and exceptional cases. Instead they, too, will face a choice between separating from their British-based spouse or partner or going to live with their partner as a family overseas.

The moves to restrict the family route for migrants coming to Britain form part of the home secretary's drive to reduce net migration from 250,000 to "tens of thousands" by the next general election.

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) has sent MPs a dossier of 13 detailed cases of families who would face serious consequences under the proposals, "to provide a snapshot of the reality of the lives of ordinary British citizens and settled people who want their husbands, wives, civil partners and in some cases children to join them in the UK".

It includes the case of Anna, a British woman who is pregnant with twins, earning £31,000 a year, who may have to give up her home, job, flat and friends in the UK and move to Yemen to live with her husband, Ahmed, at a time when the Foreign Office has advised British nationals not to travel there. The fact that Anna is expecting twins means the minimum income maintenance requirement in her case will be set in a range from £24,800-£46,260, rather than at the childless couple rate of £25,700.

It also highlights the case of Emma , a British graduate who works, and is due to complete a journalism course this year, who may also have to give up her flat, family and friends in Britain, and travel to Syria where her Palestinian husband was born.

The JCWI says that the dossier shows how the ordinary circumstances of life, such as pregnancy, accidents at work, disability, low pay, poor currency exchange rates and nationality laws in foreign countries could penalise people if the proposals make it into Britain's immigration rules.

The dossier also highlights how an extension of the probationary period for those granted family visas could trap more women in violent marriages and suffering domestic abuse in silence because of the fear of being deported if they complain.
"When, if ever, is it acceptable for British citizens to be placed in a position where they are effectively indefinitely exiled from their own country on account of choosing to have a relationship with a non-European Economic Area national?" asks the JCWI pamphlet, United by Love/Divided by Law?

When the home secretary published her proposals in May she said that it was obvious that British citizens and those settled here should be able to marry or enter into a civil partnership with whomever they choose: "But if they want to establish their family life in the UK, rather than overseas, then their spouse or partner must have a genuine attachment to the UK, be able to speak English, and integrate into our society, and they must not be a burden on the taxpayer. Families should be able to manage their own lives. If a British citizen or a person settled here cannot support their foreign spouse or partner they cannot expect the taxpayer to do it for them."
I married my wife - an American - in January of this year, so like many I'm eager to see exactly what will be changed, and when those changes will come into affect. Roll on next week I guess!

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Old 8th June 2012, 08:34 PM
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Stark choice under new immigration rules: exile or family breakup | UK news | The Guardian

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Old 8th June 2012, 08:35 PM
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Thanks for posting the link.

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Old 8th June 2012, 08:36 PM
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Well I CAN post a link. I just had a feeling we would hear something today, darnit. Anyway, here is the link for the Guardian piece, if I can find anything on The Wail, erm, Mail, and/or the Telegraph I'll ETA:

Stark choice under new immigration rules: exile or family breakup | UK news | The Guardian

LOLOLOL, Nyclon ya beat me to it-can you find anything else?

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Old 8th June 2012, 09:18 PM
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As someone who won't be directly impacted by the proposed increase in maintenance levels, the only thing I don't like (other than that "attachment test" foolishness that they mentioned) is that 2 year probationary period to change to 5 for Fiancées and Spouses married to UK nationals.

I used to sing "God Save the Queen" when I was a little girl at school, as Her Majesty is also the queen of my country; I like most members of her family; I (supposedly) speak fluent English and I'm more than willing and able to contribute to the English way of life... heck, I'll even go so far as to join in complaining about the sodding rain - after all, I'm a Vancouverite and it rains here as well... in fact, it's raining as I type and it's expected to do so throughout the weekend. I'm learning to appreciate football and can make bacon sandwiches (Ed's favourite breakfast/snack food).

If that doesn't show a foreign national's attachment to the UK, I'd like to know what would!

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Old 8th June 2012, 11:08 PM
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Default I had heard it was coming

In a letter to me dated 30 may 2012 my local MP confirmed just what the article says.. I can e mail a copy to anyone who wants to see it.
And I am now trying to work out how I am to live abroad.
After 30 plus years paying taxes in this country I am starting to hate this place.

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Old 8th June 2012, 11:21 PM
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I feel badly for you Bookman, and I'm sorry if my glee is offensive... it is not meant to be.

I wish that the Home Office/UKBA could go after illegal immigrants/work permit overstayers and student overstayers (and the post secondary institutions who issue the paperwork for their visas) and leave the rest of us alone... it seems unfair that for as difficult as the current rules make it to come to settle in the UK as spouses/proposed partners of UK citizens are to begin with, we (fiancé(e)s, spouses and their families who have followed the letter of the Home Office law to get in legally) are being further punished for the actions of those with no legitimate claim to be allowed to stay.

Hopefully the changes that the Home Office have coming next week aren't as severe as is being rumored (governments have a tendency to do this sort of thing)... it's a given that the changes are coming, but we can still hope that they'll ease off as far as severity goes.

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Old 8th June 2012, 11:25 PM
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Well, that's not good at all .

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Old 9th June 2012, 12:07 AM
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Very sad day the day that happens.

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Old 9th June 2012, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
the only thing I don't like is that 2 year probationary period to change to 5 for Fiancées and Spouses married to UK nationals.
This is the probationary period that economic migrants (who contribute to the economy pretty much as soon as they get off the plane) must meet to be eligible for ILR. While I sympathize with family migrants, I'm much more horrified at the short sightedness of limiting the number of the "best and brightest", those with exceptional talent, who can be recruited from outside of the EU to come to the UK help stimulate the economy. Additionally, while the UK has some great institutions of higher learning, they're making it extremely unattractive for international students by making it very difficult for them to gain international work experience after obtaining a degree. Higher learning institutions are going to to lose a lot of lucrative international student fees to countries that are much more accommodating.

Quote:
I wish that the Home Office/UKBA could go after illegal immigrants/work permit overstayers and student overstayers (and the post secondary institutions who issue the paperwork for their visas) and leave the rest of us alone... it seems unfair that for as difficult as the current rules make it to come to settle in the UK as spouses/proposed partners of UK citizens are to begin with, we (fiancé(e)s, spouses and their families who have followed the letter of the Home Office law to get in legally) are being further punished for the actions of those with no legitimate claim to be allowed to stay.
You have conveniently left out those on spouse visas whose relationships have broken down but who are skirting the rules by not informing the Home Office and trying to stay.

There is a bigger picture and there are problems in every immigration category and that includes family migration.


Last edited by nyclon; 9th June 2012 at 12:50 AM.
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