9 July 2012 Settlement Visa Changes.

On Wednesday (13 June 2012), in accordance with Damian Greens statement released in February 2012 (GBP31000 Salary Requirement), the UKBA have followed through with impact assesments, a policy equity statement and a statement of compatibility to confirm their compliance of the rules set out in Article 8 (which stipulates consideration of family life and private life) in an attempt to balance public interest with individual rights.

After trying to take into consideration fellow South Africans working rights (seen as non-EEA nationals from their perspective), they have stipulated that the following changes are going to be made effective from 9 July 2012:

Change 1: Earning requirement for Sponsors (ie British passport holders or settled persons in the UK).

Change 2: Extending the nationalisation process from the current 3 years to 6 years – as like the Ancestry visa.

Change 3: Being able to claim ILR after 4 years of marriage and co-habitation to be removed.

Change 4: From October 2013, all applicants to meet both English ability requirement and Life in the UK test for extension or permanent residency applications.

At this stage, we cannot confirm how the earning criteria will be applied to sponsors (British passport holders) who derive income outside the UK will have to meet the earning requirement but we can confirm that the specified incomes are consistent with the MAC’s (Migration Advisory Committee) recommendation.

British passport holders looking to “sponsor” their immediate family to relocate to the UK have to earn GBP18600 annual income to sponsor just their wife. For a family with one child, sponsors have to evidence GBP22 400 and GBP24 800, GBP27 200 for families with two and three children.

“At this stage, we recommend all South Africans who are considering emigrating to the UK under this settlement visa category look to do so before 9 July 2012.” says Ryan Rennison, Move Up Director.

Further details regarding the UKBA announcement can be found here

Further details about the UK’s settlement visa can be found here and Move Up’s Visa Fees.

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