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UKBA’s reform of family visa categories to move forward!

16 September 2011

Immigration Minister Damian Green has recently reaffirmed the importance of tackling abuse of the family migration route, and promoting better community integration for those who come to live permanently in the UK.

According to the UK Border Agency, the new proposals prevent the family route being used to bypass immigration laws, while welcoming those who want to make a life here with their family and contribute to their local community. Among the proposed changes:

•    define more clearly what constitutes a genuine marriage for the purposes of the immigration rules to help identify sham and forced marriages;
•    introduce a minimum income threshold for those sponsoring family migrants to ensure they are supported at a level that helps integration;
•    extend the probationary period before spouses and partners can apply for settlement in the UK from 2 years to 5 years to test the genuineness of relationships and to encourage integration into British life before settlement is granted; and
•    require spouses, partners and adult dependants aged under 65 applying for settlement to be able to demonstrate that they can understand everyday English.

As the requirements to qualify under a family visa categories are likely to become more onerous, we would strongly recommend anyone who is planning to come to the UK as fiancee or spouse to  apply sooner rather than later and to seek expert legal advice.

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Migra & Co is a private immigration company, regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), reference number F200900038. This website is not a government website and as such, we are not linked or affiliated with the UK Visas and Immigration. We offer expert legal advice and flexible tailored solutions to both private and corporate clients to ensure that their immigration needs are met. If you wish to download or prepare a UK visa application form, you can do so free of charge by visiting the Official UKVI website.