No. 42 - June 2013
KINGDOM – SPOUSES AND PARTNERS “FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS”
It is now nearly 12 months since comprehensive changes were
introduced by the UK government to the criteria for spouses
and partners of UK citizens and of those settled in the UK.
These changes introduced on 9 July 2012 affect husbands,
wives, unmarried partners, civil partners and fiancés.
As well as extending the probationary period for settlement
from 2 to 5 years, the new rules introduced stringent new
financial maintenance requirements.
12 months on, and many applicants are struggling to meet the
requirements and many families have been separated as a
result. A recent report by the UK All-Party Parliamentary
Group on Migration condemned the “anguish” caused by the new
However, the new rules seem set to remain in one shape or
another. An immediate reduction in family visas of 16% is
the first indication that these rules will help the
government to meets its target of reducing net migration.
So, how does one meet the financial requirement? Currently,
this can be met through income or savings (or a combination
of the two).
In short – an annual income of GBP 18,600 is needed by the
UK sponsor or total savings of GBP 62,500 (held either by
the UK sponsor or applicant). These amounts are increased if
children are to be included.
But the new rules are incredibly complicated and the
documentary evidence to support an application needs to be
almost perfect – case officers are rejecting applications
without asking for clarification.
Income can be met through employment, self-employment,
pension, investment, property rental.
Savings can be met through “cash funds” held in a bank
account or similar.
The following are some of the main issues that arise;
* What sources of income and savings can be combined
together? For instance employment and pension income can be
combined but self-employment and savings cannot be combined.
* The rules have introduced a new formula for using savings
to top up an income shortfall.
* The rules differ greatly depending on whether the
applicant and / or sponsor are in the UK or outside the UK
* Applicants outside the UK can only rely on the employed
income of the UK sponsor but pension income can be from
* Applicants employed outside the UK must have an offer of
employment in the UK. Self-employed applicants must show an
intention to continue self-employment.
* Only savings held in cash funds can be counted – property
equity, shares and stocks are all irrelevant. Savings must
be held for 6 months.
* The specified evidence for self-employment and employment
is very difficult to meet and many applicants (especially
outside the UK) struggle to satisfy the requirements.
We are seeing many applicants coming to us who have been
refused and are trying to submit an appeal. The reality is
that an appeal is difficult unless you can show that the
case officer made a basic error (which does happen of
It really is vital to prepare an application thoroughly and
well in advance. We advise applicants to contact us early in
their plans to move to the UK.
These new rules are complex and applications need to fit in
exactly with one of the permitted categories for financial
maintenance. The new approach is very different from the
previous more flexible system that was in place before July
If you need assistance on any aspect of UK migration, then
please feel free to contact us through our website;
free Online Assessment Form
* United Kingdom info page with the 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
33 - February 2011
34 - April 2011
35 - June 2011
36 - September 2011
37 - November 2011
38 - March 2012
39 - May 2012
Newsletter 40 - September 2012
Newsletter 41 -
SKILLED MIGRATION UPDATE
With the new migration program year (2013-2014) starting on
1st July 2013 the Australian Department of Immigration has
confirmed that there will be no major change in the planned
The Immigration Minister has stated that Australia's
migration program would be maintained at 190,000 places "to
help fill skills shortages and reunite Australian families".
This is likely to see a continued focus on state sponsored
migrants in the skilled migration categories
Since the launch of the SkillSelect application system 12
months ago, state sponsored migration has now become a very
important component of the migration program.
Indeed from July 2012 to May 2013, nearly 8,000 nominations
for permanent residence (visa subclass 190) were made by
state / territory governments. The most popular states for
nomination were New South Wales, South Australia, Australian
Capital Territory and Western Australia.
For the same period, over 18,000 applicants were invited to
apply for Independent migration (visa subclass 189) by
The Pass Marks for both Independent and State Sponsored
migration has remained constant at 60 points. State
Sponsored migrants can receive 5 or 10 points to reach the
required 60 points.
The most popular occupations currently being processed
include Accountants, ICT Professionals, Engineers, Nurses
The most popular countries of origin for skilled migrants
India, UK, China, Pakistan, the Philippines, Iran, Sri
Lanka, Malaysia, Ireland, Bangladesh, South Africa, USA.
The SkillSelect system has been able to impose “occupation
ceilings” – i.e. to limit the number of invitations that can
be issued from an occupation group.
In the migration year, 2012-2013 the following occupation
groups reached their “occupation ceiling”;
Chemical and Materials Engineers
ICT Business & System Analysts
Telecommunications Engineering Professionals
Other Engineering Professionals
Software and Application Programmers.
The new migration program on July 1st allows all these
occupations to become eligible again.
Also, on July 1st all state / territory governments will
release their updated occupation lists for state
sponsorship. These lists are crucial for many applicants who
do not qualify for Independent migration. State sponsorship
is now a major route of entry and this trend is likely to
Another development to take effect on July 1st is a change
in the Federal Skilled Occupation list with some occupations
now being removed. These are; Hospital Pharmacist, Retail
Pharmacist, Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Avionics),
Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Mechanical), and Aircraft
Maintenance Engineer (Structures).
Would you like to migrate to Australia in 2013-2104? What
visa subclass is best for you? How does the new migration
program affect you?
If you are interested in applying for migration to
Australia, then please contact us so that we can check your
free Online Assessment Form
info page with the 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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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!
country? What visa?
our clients say?
UK Government Registered Immigration Consultants No.
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Immigration Advisers (ARIA)
Affiliate Member of the
Australian Institute of Migration
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