Further Changes Made to the UK Immigration System - UK Visa Bureau

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The Conservative-led Government made bringing net migration down to the ‘tens of thousands’ an election pledge and while there is some way to go to achieve that figure, significant changes to the UK immigration system came into effect in July. If the changes themselves weren’t confounding enough, more details have since been announced; the UK Visa Bureau is on hand to help you navigate through the new requirements.

UK visa

The UK Visa Bureau has years of experience in helping people migrate legally to the UK and can help applicants understand the migration process from start to finish.

Moving to the UK is still a perfectly plausible option for many but the requirements, particularly the need to have the money in your account for six months mean it is essential to make sure you have everything right the first time.

One of the major UK immigration changes the Government made in July was the threshold required for couples to meet before the non-EEA partner can become eligible for a UK visa; couples must be able to demonstrate recent earnings, or potential earnings, of at least £18,600 a year to be granted a visa or be able to prove that they have £62,500 in savings if they have no discernible income.

The latest details announced mainly concern the lengths applicants are required to go to prove they have the necessary funds to qualify for a UK visa, both in demonstrating that they hold the required amount and also showing where the money comes from.

One of the main points is that anyone applying for a UK partner visa who will be relying on funds from income rather than savings is only permitted to use the UK-based partner’s income, rather than their own, to support their application.

Secondly, equity or other inaccessible monies, such as those tied up in investments or property cannot be used to support an application in that form. Any funds required from such investments or equity must be realised, either sold or liquidated, and held in either the partner or applicant’s account for a minimum of six months before they can be used to support an application.

Furthermore, any savings to be used in support of an application must remain in an applicant or partner’s savings account for a minimum of six months before an application is made; as this can be as high as £62,500, this option for many rules out temporary loans from parents, for example.

Savings of one or both partners in a relationship can be used to meet the financial requirements, either in total or in conjunction with an eligible partner’s income. However, no income earned from self employment, by either partner, can be used in conjunction with savings.

Marissa Murdock, casework manager at the UK Visa Bureau, says the changes, while intended to make the process more stringent in line with the Government’s promises to bring immigration levels down , only highlight the need to get the process right first time.

“The Government wants to clampdown on an immigration system it perceives as too lax. Their intentions are understandable but the changes make it harder for genuine applicants whose only intention is to join their partner and contribute positively to the country to understand what is required of them,” said Ms Murdock.

“Moving to the UK is still a perfectly plausible option for many but the requirements, particularly the need to have the money in your account for six months mean it is essential to make sure you have everything right the first time.”

The UK Visa Bureau has years of experience in helping people migrate legally to the UK and can help applicants understand the migration process from start to finish.

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Tom Blackett
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