Families of Migrants

The government are looking at making changes to the rules that allow family members to reunite and live with migrants who have already achieved full settlement (permanent residence) status. The proposed changes, which unsurprisingly make the system tougher, include:

  • Five-year probation period before family members are allowed to apply for settlement.
  • The migrant will be required to demonstrate a higher level of income.
  • The family member, on applying for settlement, will need to demonstrate they have qualified an English language course equivalent to level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference (Cefr).

Under the proposals the unemployed or those living on less than around £5,000 a year would be banned from applying to come to the UK. The family member, once in the UK, will be denied access to welfare benefits during the 5 year probation period.

The government are also looking to change the human rights protection to allow deportation of family members who have been living illegally in the UK.

If implemented, the proposals would be far stricter than those in force in most EU countries, the US and Canada, says Thomas Huddleston, a researcher for the Brussels-based Migration Policy Group.

Certificates of Approval to Marry

The Certificate of Approval to Marry Scheme was abolished on 9 May 2011.

The certificate of approval to marry requirement was introduced in February 2005 as part of a package of measures by the Government designed to deter persons without indefinite leave to remain from entering into marriages of convenience ('sham marriages') for immigration purposes.

The scheme required persons, who were subject to immigration control, did not hold indefinite leave and who wished to marry (other than in the Anglican Church) or register a civil partnership in the UK, to apply to UKBA for prior approval and pay a fee.

The Courts concluded the scheme to be an unlawful interference with the fundamental right to marry.

Certificate of Approval for Marriage

The government has today announced its intention to abolish the 'certificate of approval' scheme. A Remedial Order under the Human Rights Act 1998 has been laid in Parliament to achieve this aim.
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Migrants marrying UK citizens must now learn English

Today, the Home Office announced that it is bringing forward to the autumn a piece of Labour legislation that will deny entry to people from outside the EU who marry British citizens but don't speak English.
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Armed Forces and marriage visas

The UK Border Agency today lowered the marriage visa age to 18 for serving members of the armed forces and their partners.
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