United Kingdom: British Citizens and Permanent Residents Must Meet Minimum Salary to Sponsor Family Members
British citizens and permanent residents will have will have to earn at least £18,600 annually to sponsor a spouse or partner for immigration benefits, beginning July 9. The minimum goes up for each additional family member. In addition, residency requirements for foreign spouses and partners seeking settlement will be extended.
Effective July 9, 2012, British citizens and permanent residents will have to earn at least £18,600 annually to sponsor a spouse, partner, fiancé or proposed partner for immigration benefits. The minimum salary will be £22,400 if the couple has a child and will go up by £2,400 for each additional child.
In addition, dependent spouses or partners of British citizens, permanent residents, and temporary foreign workers under the Points Based System who enter after July 9 will have to reside in the UK for five years before they can qualify for permanent residence. Currently, they need only reside in the UK for two years to qualify.
The five-year residence requirement will apply to all foreign spouses and partners, with no spouse or partner qualifying for an immediate grant of settlement. Currently, a spouse or partner may qualify for an immediate grant of settlement if the couple has lived together overseas for four years prior to applying.
The UK Border Agency is also expected to more closely scrutinize family relationships, with new guidelines for case workers on how to determine whether a relationship is bona fide. The guidance will include a list of specific factors to be examined in family-based cases.
This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.