NEWSLETTER No. 42 - June 2013

Immigration UK visaUNITED 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 rules.

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 either party.

* 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 course).

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 2012.

If you need assistance on any aspect of UK migration, then please feel free to contact us through our website;

* Our free Online Assessment Form

* United Kingdom info page with the 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.

Subscribe to our newsletter at info@commonwealthimmigration.com 


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
  Newsletter 37 - November 2011

  Newsletter 38 - March 2012
  Newsletter 39 - May 2012
  Newsletter 40 - September 2012
  Newsletter 41 - January 2013



Contact us


Commonwealth Immigration Consultants Ltd.

based in London and Cambridge

Tel. +44 (0) 1223 830 916
Email: info@commonwealthimmigration.com 

Australia Immigration and ResidencyAUSTRALIA - 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 migration intake.

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 SkillSelect.

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 and Teachers.

The most popular countries of origin for skilled migrants are;
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
Electronic Engineers
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 continue.

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 eligibility.

* Our free Online Assessment Form

* Australia info page with the migration news


Immigration UK visaEEA 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.

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


Teaching Australia Immigration and VisaE-book  TEACHING AUSTRALIA 


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


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 www.commonwealthimmigration.com or
2) give us a call on +44 (0) 1223 830 916

We would love to hear from you!

Regards
Tim McMahon
Commonwealth Immigration
www.commonwealthimmigration.com


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UK Government Registered Immigration Consultants No. F200100020

Member of the Association of Regulated Immigration Advisers (ARIA)
Affiliate Member of the Australian Institute of Migration

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Commonwealth Immigration Consultants Ltd. | info@commonwealthimmigration.com