NEWSLETTER No. 37 - November 2011


In a major blow to the government’s immigration policy – the UK Supreme Court has struck down the restriction on spouses / partners aged less than 21 years being able to settle in the UK.

This was introduced in 2008 by the previous government in a bid to cut down on “forced marriages”. However, the rules also discriminated against legitimate couples aged over 18 but under 21 who wished to settle in the UK to join a spouse / partner.
The rules applied to married spouses, civil partners, fiancés and unmarried partners applying under UK immigration law.

This court case was an obvious result of such legislation – it just took some time for a test case to be decided by the courts. The court said that the rule was unjustified because it interfered with the human rights of couples. While the intention to cut down on “forced marriage” may have been a good idea, the implementation of this restriction was far too wide-ranging. 

The Home Office has now agreed to change the relevant section of the Immigration Rules. 

2012 is also likely to see major changes to the requirements on spouses / partners moving to the UK. This is following the recent consultation on family migration. Proposed changes may include; increasing the probationary period for spouses from 2 to 5 years, more rigorous assessment of relationships, introducing minimum income requirements. 

If you need assistance on any aspect of UK spouse / partner migration, then please feel free to contact us through our website;
* Our free Online Assessment Form

* United Kingdom info page with the latest migration news

Commonwealth Immigration

Proof of English language ability has always been a key assessment factor for many migrants for Australia, Canada and the UK.
The most common test used to evidence one’s English language ability is the International English Language Testing System, most commonly known as IELTS. 

Obtaining a high score in IELTS is now crucial to the migration plans of many applicants, including native English speakers. IELTS is used to demonstrate English language ability for many applicants applying through;

Australian General Skilled Migration 
Canadian immigration for skilled workers
UK Highly Skilled Workers
UK spouse / partner visas
Australian state sponsorship
Skill assessing authorities for many trades and professions 
For the test - you can choose between the Academic or General Training versions. 

The test has four sections: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. Many applicants struggle with the IELTS test, especially those who have been out of an examination environment for many years.

However, IELTS, like all other tests can be prepared for by using specific focused techniques. While practice materials are available online, many candidates have found a face to face intensive one day course to be of benefit.

If you are a native English speaker or at Intermediate level and are interested in a one day intensive course in London, then please contact us for more information.

* United Kingdom info page with the latest migration news

NEWSLETTER - Subscribe to keep updated!

We are sending a newsletter on a periodic basis to update you on new developments and changes in all matters relating to migration.

Please feel free to forward the newsletter on to your friends and family. Newsletter will be archived on our web site as well.

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Previous Newsletters on migration issues:
Newsletter 1 - January 2007
  Newsletter 2 - March 2007
  Newsletter 3 - April 2007
  Newsletter 4 - May 2007
  Newsletter 5 - May 2007 - In Focus: Australia
  Newsletter 6 - June 2007
  Newsletter 7 - July 2007
  Newsletter 8 - August 2007
  Newsletter 9 - October 2007
  Newsletter 10 - November 2007
  Newsletter 11 - December 2007
  Newsletter 12 - February 2008
  Newsletter 13 - March 2008
  Newsletter 14 - June 2008

  Newsletter 15 - July 2008
  Newsletter 16 - September 2008
  Newsletter 17 - November 2008
  Newsletter 18 - December 2008
  Newsletter 19 - January 2009

  Newsletter 20 - February 2009
  Newsletter 21 - April 2009
  Newsletter 22 - June 2009
  Newsletter 23 - August 2009
  Newsletter 24 - October 2009
  Newsletter 25 - December 2009
  Newsletter 26 - February 2010
  Newsletter 27 - March 2010
  Newsletter 28 - June 2010
  Newsletter 29 - July 2010
  Newsletter 30 - September 2010
  Newsletter 31 - November 2010
  Newsletter 32 - December 2010
  Newsletter 33 - February 2011
  Newsletter 34 - April 2011
  Newsletter 35 - June 2011
  Newsletter 36 - September 2011

Contact us

Commonwealth Immigration Consultants Ltd.

based in London and Cambridge

Tel. +44 (0) 1223 830 916

Australia Immigration and ResidencyAUSTRALIA - PROPOSED JULY 2012 CHANGES

A senior Australian immigration official has outlined the framework of a new selection model, which they hope to implement by July 2012.

The idea that more radical changes are to be introduced will likely annoy migrants still getting used to the current system.

The new initiative to streamline skilled migration to the benefit of Australia is the introduction of “SkillSelect” - from 1 July 2012.

SkillSelect will be a new skilled migrant selection register which will still include the point tests system and will allow selection of skilled migrants from a pool of prospective migrants. It will be based on a two-stage process whereby prospective migrants first submit an expression of interest and may subsequently be invited by the department to make a skilled migration visa application.

Employers will also have the option to access SkillSelect —allowing them to locate and contact prospective migrants that have shown an interest in employer sponsorship.

However, the new system will also allow immigration to impose occupation-specific Pass Marks instead of the current Pass Mark which applies to all occupations. So, where applications in a specific occupation are oversubscribed or undersubscribed, an occupation specific Pass Mark will be implemented. 

This is a radical change from the current system, where migrants are able to assess themselves against a fixed Pass Mark. It seems that these new proposals require a lot more thought to ensure Australia can still remain attractive to skilled migrants and that forward planning for potential applicants can still be undertaken.

These changes will not apply to anyone who has already applied or who will apply, to the Department of Immigration before July 2012.

If you are looking to apply for Australian residence before these changes may affect you, then please contact us so that we can check your eligibility.

If you are interested in moving to Australia, then please complete the Online Assessment form on our website so we can see if you qualify on the current system;

* Our free Online Assessment Form

* Australia info page with the latest migration news


While many British citizens rely on UK immigration law in sponsoring family members to join them in the UK, its needs to be remembered that EEA law can also be used by British citizens.

This is especially so, where the British citizen has been living in another EEA member state.

EEA2 Family Permit UK visasThere are many advantages to applying under EEA law as opposed to UK immigration law. Firstly, the definition of a Family Member is wider (for instance including parents). There is no requirement for an EEA Family Member to complete an English language test. Also, the application process can be quicker.

If you are a British citizen having difficulty in sponsoring a Family Member under UK immigration law, then please contact us so we can see if an application under EEA law would be possible. 

This includes children, spouses, unmarried partners, parents etc.. 

EEA law has specific criteria for “Family Members” and “Extended Family Members”. The definitions that cover these relationships do not necessarily follow the same definitions as under UK immigration law. 

We have extensive experience in EEA applications, please visit our dedicated EEA webpage and obtain your free EEA guide;

* EEA info page with free Guide on EEA applications

Commonwealth ImmigrationKEEP UP TO DATE THROUGH OUR


Teaching Australia Immigration and VisaE-book  TEACHING AUSTRALIA 

Are you a Teacher looking to work or study in Australia?
Then you should visit and obtain your Free E-book.


Make sure you use a reputable and competitive currency provider when transferring funds to the UK or to any other country. 

Most banks offer poor exchange rates meaning that simply by using a dedicated currency provider, you can save a lot of money.

Make sure you use a currency provider that is fully registered by the UK authorities. 

We recommend Worldwide Currencies who have assisted many of our clients in the past and can offer exchange rates with no commission or charges, and often up to 5% better than the banks. 

For more information contact Richard Bass, Worldwide Currencies;
Tel +44 (0) 20 3326 4403  

We hope that this newsletter has been informative for you.  However, remember everyone's circumstances are different so if you or a friend or family member want to check your eligibility to emigrate then either

1) complete the Online Assessment form on our website or
2) give us a call on +44 (0) 1223 830 916

We would love to hear from you!

Tim McMahon
Commonwealth Immigration

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