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Important Announcement from the Home Office

On the 9 July 2012, a number of changes to the Immigration Rules came into effect on 9 July 2012. These changes will affect non-European Economic Area (non-EEA) nationals applying to enter or remain in the UK under the family migration route.


These changes will define the basis on which a person can enter or remain in the UK on the basis of their family or private life, unifying consideration under the rules and Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.


If you obtained a permission to stay in the UK under the family arrangements prior to the 9 July changes, then these new rules do not apply to you. If you do not have permission to be in the UK or you need to enter the UK then these rules will apply to you.


If you are unsure, email us, tell us about your circumstances and we let you know where you stand.


You will need to meet the rules which were in force before 9 July 2012 if you apply for settlement.


Changes to Income threshold:


Changes to relationship period (In the UK):


Changes to relationship period (Overseas):


Changes to Life in the UK Test from October 2013:


A more detailed summary of the changes can be found in the Home Office news story.



Many family members want to enter the UK to join their loved ones and the Home Office has put in place certain guidelines on who can enter the UK and who can extend their UK stay.


Family members of British citizens and settled persons

Who can join British citizens and settled persons in the UK?

The following may be granted permission to enter the UK:


Family members of migrant workers and students

Information for the partners and dependant children of migrants who have temporary (limited) permission to stay in the UK.


Family members of migrants under the points-based system

If you are the partner or dependant child under 18 of a migrant who is in or coming to the UK under most categories of the points-based system, you can apply for a visa to join them here.  You need to check first to see if you meet the guidelines.


Family members of migrant workers in other immigration categories

If you are the partner or dependant child under 18 of a migrant who is in or coming to the UK in most work categories outside the points-based system, you can apply for a visa to join them here.  You need to check first to see if you meet the guidelines.


The migrant worker will need to prove that they can support you and themselves without needing state benefits or other public funds. You will need to show that:


Marriage and civil partnership

To find out more about marriage and civil partnerships click here.


Forced marriage

What is a forced marriage?

A forced marriage is a marriage that takes place without the full and free consent of both parties.  In a forced marriage, you are coerced into marrying someone against your will. You may be physically threatened or emotionally blackmailed to do so, or you may be a victim of psychological abuse. Forced marriage cannot be justified on any religious or cultural basis. Forced marriages are not the same as arranged marriages, where you can choose whether to accept the arrangement or not. In an arranged marriage, families take the lead in selecting a marriage partner but the couple have the free will and choice to accept or decline the arrangement. The tradition of arranged marriages has operated successfully within many communities and countries for a very long time.


If your relationship ends

What to do if you are a migrant in the UK in a relationship with a British citizen or settled person and your relationship with that person has ended and you currently have permission to enter or remain in the UK as that dependant.  The Home Office normally issues a two year visa for marriages or civil partnerships (known as the two-year probationary period before they can apply to live here permanently) and if you are on this type of visa you should inform the Home Office of the change in your relationship. Depending on the circumstances of the relationship breaking down and other factors involved, the Home Office may curtail (cancel) your visa. However, this will not automatically happen if the basis of your stay has changed - for example, you may qualify for permission to stay on a different basis, or there may be other compassionate or relevant reasons why it would not be appropriate to curtail your stay.

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