Immigration Update – changes to rules for non-EEA nationals

06 July 2012

On 11 June 2012 a number of changes were announced to the rules affecting applications by people from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) applying to enter or to remain in the UK.  Most of the changes will come in effect on 9 July 2012 and include:

  • There will be a new minimum income threshold of £18,600 for sponsoring the settlement in the UK of a spouse, partner, fiancée or proposed civil partner of a non-EEA national.  A higher threshold has been set for any children also to be sponsored, with a threshold of £22,400 for one child and an additional £2,400 for each further child.
  • The minimum probationary period for settlement for non-EEA spouses and partners has been extended from two to five years.
  • Immediate settlement for the migrant spouses and partners who have been living as a couple together overseas for more than four years has been abolished and they will now be required to complete the five year probationary mentioned above.
  • From October 2013 all applicants will be required to pass the Life in UKtest and an English language speaking and listening test. Also there are plans to modify the Life in the UK test. (See BBC News article).
  • Adult and elderly dependants may only settle in the UK if they require long term care that can only be given by a UK relative.
  • Family visit visa appeals will be restricted.

For more details, please see the UKBA Website or to discuss this or any other immigration matters please contact Tanya Laidlaw.