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New spouse visa rules from 9 July 2012

From 9 July 2012 family immigration rules are changed. The new rules affect all applications made on or after this date. Those who applied before 9 July, as well as those who are already in the UK as family members of UK residents, are not affected.

The new rules set the minimum income requirement of £18,600 for sponsors wishing to bring in a non-EU national spouse. This income has to have been maintained over a six months’ period prior to the application. The rules provide for alternative savings options where income requirement cannot be met.

Maintenance requirement for a sponsored child is £3,800 for the first child and £2,400 for each additional child.

“Probation” period for spouses is increased to five years (this affects those whose initial application was made on or after 9 July 2012).

Probation period will equally apply for those who had lived as a family abroad prior to relocating to the UK (the old rule permitting immediate settlement for those whose marriage had subsisted for four years before applying is abolished).

The 14 year rule (settlement on the basis of length of residence independently of legality and status) is abolished.

The rules for dependent relatives are severely restricted.

A new rule is introduced purportedly attempting to address the situations where private and family life is established. Jurisprudence of the courts on interpretation of Article 8 rights is disregarded.

Statement of changes to the Immigration Rules HC194

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