On 11th June 2012, the government announced significant changes to the family migration rules in the UK. The key changes, which largely came into force on 9 July 2012, include a new income requirement of £18,600 for people wishing to sponsor a partner to come to the UK, an extended period (from two to five years) before spouses and partners can apply for settlement in the UK, and a review of the application of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights to immigration cases.
The new rules are preventing many thousands of people from exercising their right to a family life in the UK. They have introduced additional hurdles and costs for people, particularly lower earners, who are either British or who are settled here and wish close family members to join them in the UK. As a result, the rules are likely to further undermine the integration of some migrant communities, and to be viewed more widely as unfair as their impacts on both migrants and British people are realised.
Click here to read the briefing paper by Migrants' Rights Network.