No. 37 - November 2011
KINGDOM – IMPORTANT COURT CASE ON SPOUSE / PARTNER VISAS
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;
free Online Assessment Form
* United Kingdom info page with the latest migration news
“IELTS” ENGLISH TEST FOR MIGRATION
- INTENSIVE COURSE IN LONDON
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
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Previous Newsletters on migration
1 - January 2007
2 - March 2007
3 - April 2007
4 - May 2007
5 - May 2007 - In Focus: Australia
6 - June 2007
7 - July 2007
8 - August 2007
9 - October 2007
10 - November 2007
11 - December 2007
12 - February 2008
13 - March 2008
14 - June 2008
15 - July 2008
16 - September 2008
17 - November 2008
18 - December 2008
19 - January 2009
20 - February 2009
21 - April 2009
22 - June 2009
23 - August 2009
24 - October 2009
25 - December 2009
26 - February 2010
27 - March 2010
28 - June 2010
29 - July 2010
30 - September 2010
31 - November 2010
32 - December 2010
Newsletter 33 - February 2011
Newsletter 34 - April 2011
35 - June 2011
36 - September 2011
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;
free Online Assessment Form
info page with the latest migration news
EEA APPLICATIONS FOR FAMILY MEMBERS OF BRITISH CITIZENS
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.
There 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
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FOREIGN CURRENCY -
Make sure you use a reputable and competitive currency
provider when transferring funds to the UK or to any other
Most banks offer poor exchange rates meaning that simply by
using a dedicated currency provider, you can save a lot of
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
For more information contact Richard Bass, Worldwide
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
1) complete the Online
on our website www.commonwealthimmigration.com
2) give us a call on +44 (0) 1223 830 916
We would love to hear from you!
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Australian Institute of Migration